SCHOOLBOY PERCH RECORD SHOCK -
1IT’S the stuff of fishing fantasy – a schoolboy fishes a tiny pond and catches a British record perch. Fantasy then? Not a bit of it, as Oxfordshire 11-year-old Dean Rawlings stunned the angling world with the capture of a then record 5lb 9oz 8dr stripey from a small day-ticket lake in his home county.
A perfect example of the unpredictability of angling, Dean took the fish most specimen hunters die for by floatfishing a bunch of maggots on a lake that no-one would spare a second glance. The perch grabbed his hookbait as he reeled in to recast.
Not only did the capture get the big-fish world in a bit of a tizz, but it also showed the promise of commercial-style day-ticket waters for big perch. Today, such lakes are targeted for their massive perch but back in 2002, they wouldn’t have been on the hit list of anglers planning their campaign.
“The catch was 90per cent luck and 10 per cent skill, we know that, but nevertheless we’re all very proud of Dean,” said his dad at the time.
Although the UK record has since eclipsed his fish, the schoolboy’s record perch is still a story that comes up immediately when talking about memorable catches.