I have come close on a couple of memorable occasions in the past including one time on the river Ouse when I lost a Perch which resembled a stripey football at the net and another time whilst lure fishing on the Trent when the jack that I was bullying suddenly turned out to be a Goliath perch which promptly threw the hook and left me with that horrible sick feeling that only happens when you lose something special.
Today was like any normal fishing day apart from not being able to fish where I really wanted due to high and dirty water conditions. Rather than writing another day off I decided to stay local where water conditions were a little more conducive to catching a Perch or two. I found a nice swim with a small sidestream carrying clear water into the main river and got setup. After a couple of hours on the quivertip with nothing more than a couple of gentle knocks to show for my efforts I decided to setup a float rig to lay on with a worm next to some reeds to my left.
Within minutes and without any warning the float slid away and I struck into a heavy fish. To start with it kept deep, often going on short powerful runs, and I initially thought it might be a good Chub. I caught a glimpse of a deep stripey flank down in the murk and immediately knew then that it was a large Perch, a very large Perch! Somehow it found a hidden snag and I could feel my line grating through it really badly, I prayed that everything would hold together. Suddenly my line pinged free of whatever it was caught on and the Perch hit the surface, I quickly grabbed my net and scooped it out before it had chance to make any more lunges for freedom.
The net felt unusually heavy and I peeled back the mesh to reveal my prize. Before me lay the biggest Perch I'd ever seen and I knew straight away that I'd finally done a four pounder. It proved to be comfortable four as well as the needle settled on 4lb8oz, my mind was well and truly blown away!
4lb8oz, The fish of my dreams