I WAS HAPPY TO BE PROVED WRONG ABOUT BIG PERCH
I THOUGHT that five years ago, big perch fishing had plateaued and the only way was down. I was mistaken. This year has seen another surge of very big fish that can’t be the ‘threes’ and ‘fours’ of the early 2000s because perch aren’t supposed to live as long as that.
Perch are one of the classic ‘shooter’ species, where some fry will grow far larger than their siblings in a very short time. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that, in ideal conditions with plenty of food available of the right size, a perch could reach 4lb in six or seven years.
When I read about catches such as James Champkin’s recent 4lb 4oz perch from the Lea and think about when Sam and Gary Edmonds first showed me the potential of parts of that river, it’s been a few years.
My best Thames perch came towards the end of the really good times on the tidal river and that was 2007.
With the numbers of roach and chub about, this new thrust of big fish is likely to produce something really special.
James Champkin’s 4lb 4oz perch shows the potential of the Lea.