John Merritt 5lb 4oz Perch

As anglers, we sometimes set ourselves certain targets when it comes to our desired species. You might be after a double-figure tench this spring or have your sights on a 7lb chub this winter.

All-rounder John Merritt was hoping to catch a 4lb perch this year, having missed out narrowly in the past. Targeting a southern stillwater where he’s had a few ‘threes’ previously, he was hopeful me might be able to catch something special. After making an early start he cast out a small livebait on a paternoster rig and had a take just after first light.

Lifting into the fish, John thought right away that it could be a good perch by its distinctive fight. As it rose in the water and flanked, his thoughts were confirmed, and, once it was in the net, he knew he’d got his four-pounder. But when the scales read 5lb 4oz, John was in disbelief. A quick call was made to a local friend, who popped down to take the pictures. John says he felt privileged to land a fish that’ll be very difficult to beat.

Well done John!