Could trout wa­ter’s 4lb 12oz stripey be the tip of the ice­berg?

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK - TONY GRIGORJEVS Se­nior re­porter

“Far­moor is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing some­thing very special in­deed”

THE in­cred­i­ble spec­i­men perch po­ten­tial of our trout wa­ters was high­lighted this week when Ben Far­ley took this gi­ant 4lb 12oz fish from Far­moor Reser­voir.

Dozens of big pike have al­ready been banked from the coun­try’s ex­pan­sive reser­voirs this win­ter, but this week’s catch at the Ox­ford­shire wa­ter proved that other huge preda­tors are also there for the tak­ing.

Ben, who works as a ranger at Far­moor, used a small live­bait to tempt the venue record perch.

With a daunt­ing 350 acres of wa­ter to go at, he de­cided to launch his at­tack from the shore on Reser­voir Two, with pike being his pri­mary tar­get. The ses­sion took a wel­come if un­ex­pected twist when the big perch grabbed the bait close to the bank.

He told An­gling Times: “The mo­ment I hooked the fish I thought it was a trout, but then I got a glimpse of it and re­alised I was into a mas­sive perch.

“I’ve had qual­ity perch from the venue be­fore, but this sur­passes any­thing else by a long way. It was a huge fish, and it shows that Far­moor is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing some­thing very special in­deed.”

Venue boss Will Barnard was on hand to ver­ify the im­pres­sive cap­ture, and he said: “This was a stun­ning fish, and it helps prove that wa­ters like Far­moor are the place to head to for a gi­ant perch.

“We know there are large shoals of them in here, and with the mas­sive num­bers of fry present they have plenty of food to feast on and grow to spec­i­men size.

“The pre­vi­ous best on rod and line was 3lb 9oz, but we weighed a dead fish with no head that had been washed up on the shore and it went 4lb 12oz.

“It was the size of a size 12 boot, and that was with­out the head!

“It’s any­one’s guess how big the perch in Far­moor grow.”

Other trout wa­ters too have no­ticed an in­crease in the num­ber of keen perch an­glers get­ting on the bank and Dave Cole­man – the boss of Cum­brian reser­voir Esth­waite Wa­ter – said: “We have had perch to 4lb re­ported, and the num­ber of peo­ple that are com­ing to Esth­waite to tar­get this species is def­i­nitely on the up.

“The in­ter­est in drop shot­ting and lure fish­ing has with­out doubt helped spark this in­ter­est.

“I also hap­pen to think that peo­ple en­joy the mys­tery of not know­ing ex­actly how big the perch could grow in a venue such as ours – Esth­waite Wa­ter is over 280 acres, so it could hide a gi­ant.”

“With the mas­sive num­bers of fry, perch have plenty of food to feast on”

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