SMALL rivers don’t mean small fish as this stonking 4 lb 11 oz perch goes to show.

Caught by solicitor Laurence Mason from a tiny tributary of the River Lea near Ware, Hertfordshire, the super stripy is huge for the time of year, and goes to show big isn’t always best!

Laurence, 25, from nearby Waltham Abbey, Essex, said: “My dad was using float fished worms and myself using small spinners and plugs.

“After about 30 minutes of no action I decided to move swims to a spot where I had previously caught perch.

“Arriving in the spot I put on my favourite small diving plug and made my first cast towards a small bridge.

“I began my retrieve and immediately I received a vicious take followed by lots of head-shakes.

“I suspected it might be a big perch but wasn’t sure due to the water being a little murky. It was putting up a terrific scrap and finally I caught a glimpse of what was an incredibly large perch.

“My heart was racing as the perch made several lunges and I was begging the fish to stay on and finally I netted the huge fish.

“I immediately called my dad and he came running down the river to see the fish, we couldn’t believe how big the fish was and thought it would be close to 5 lb. We weighed the fish at 4 lb 11 oz, an unbelievable perch for a small stretch of river and a personal best for me.”

Laurence’s tackle used was a lightweight spinning rod with a small reel with 20 lb braid and a short wire trace with a diving plug on the end.

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