A TWO-DAY trip for perch resulted in a magnificent six-fish haul topped by a superb 5 lb 2 oz specimen – and the captor believes the water could produce a record.

Stephen Ward took the astonishing catch that included another giant at 4 lb plus a trio of three-pounders and a 2 lb 8 oz sample from Scotland’s £8-a-day Loch Awe.

East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire-based Stephen said: “I will remember this trip for the rest of my life – it was my first perch trip on the water but I have fished for pike and trout in the past.

“I spent hours trying to find a fishy looking swim, plumbing depths and trying to spot any cruising fish. I can’t say exactly where but it was on the east bank.

“I finally decided on a swim that was overgrown with a nice drop off around 20 feet from the bank.

“I began casting a mixture of soft and hard lures, getting a feel for the swim, when out of the blue, my hitcher, tiger pattern lure was hit hard and after a short but energetic fight I landed a superb 2 lb 8 oz stripy.

“This was followed by another cracker of 3 lb, then, as the day came to a close, a beauty that took my scales to 3 lb 5 oz.”

“Best day of my life”

Stephen continued: “After a night of no sleep as I was far too excited, I was to have the best day of my life, when I was able to land a further three-pounder, one at 4 lb and finally the beast which topped the scales at 5 lb 2 oz.

“Throughout the fight I assumed I had hooked a pike until I saw a great dorsal fin cutting the surface of the swim.

“All the fish were in superb condition with the most vibrant red fins and black tiger stripes on their flanks.

“I think it definitely has British record perch potential. It was my first perch trip and I caught a five-pounder so in a water this size that must be a drop in the ocean for the size of the perch in there,” added 38-year-old toolmaker.

Loch Awe in Argyll is 41 km long and is Scotland’s third biggest loch but perch and pike fans can’t use livebaits. No rod licence is required north of the border.

He used a 7 ft medium jerkbait rod, an Abu baitcaster reel loaded with 20 lb braid, and 4-5 in. hard lures and soft shad types.

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