11-year-old bags 5lb 9oz fish to set new Bri­tish best

Angling Times (UK) - - 50 GREATEST CATCHES -

TWO out of the past three record fish have been caught from carp lakes.

Al­though the perch record now stands at a whop­ping 6lb 3oz, it was the cap­ture of a new na­tional best weigh­ing 5lb 9oz 8dr by school­boy Dean Rawl­ings from a small pond in 2002 that many rate as the most mem­o­rable of all.

As well as the fish fall­ing to the sim­plest of tac­tics, it also served as a re­minder of angling’s ut­ter un­pre­dictabil­ity. Af­ter all, the fish had come from an un­known, over­grown venue, and it had been caught in an age when – in­creas­ingly – many of the big­gest fish were be­ing caught by well-known an­glers from wellestab­lished waters with form for pro­duc­ing the goods.

When he made the stun­ning catch, the 11-year-old from Ox­ford­shire had been fish­ing with his fa­ther Trevor in a tiny pond boast­ing just a dozen pegs.

Rather than tar­get­ing any par­tic­u­lar species by de­sign, Dean had been ‘fish­ing for bites’, us­ing a bunch of mag­gots crammed on to a size 6 hook.

It was while he was re­triev­ing his rig af­ter it had re­mained bite­less for a while that the record-bust­ing perch grabbed the hook­bait.

The fish was in pris­tine con­di­tion, and broke a record that had stood since way back in 1985.

“Dean’s a very keen an­gler who has fished since he was very small. We know the catch was 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill, but nev­er­the­less we are all very proud of him,” said Dean’s dad.

The cap­ture not only made spec­i­men an­glers across the na­tion sit up and take no­tice but it helped prove, for the first time, the big-fish po­ten­tial of match/ carp venues as pos­si­ble tar­get waters for spec­i­men fish.

Nowa­days big perch are thriv­ing in com­mer­cial still­wa­ters and an­glers are cot­ton­ing on to th­ese type of venues.

Some fish­eries have even be­gan to stock spec­i­men-sized stripeys in or­der to at­tract more an­glers, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the qui­eter win­ter months, and th­ese of­fer the plea­sure an­gler the chance to set a new per­sonal best for this sought af­ter species.

“The catch was 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill”


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