FRED HEALEY, the three-times Angler’s Mail Specimen Cup yearly champ, is back on the big fish scene.

Fred Healey never thought he’d catch another big fish again after three months in hospital with pneumonia and sepsis in December 2016.

But he returned to the bank in fine style with his fifth 5 lb-plus perch with this superb stripy of exactly that weight.

Uckfield, East Sussex-based Fred tempted the big girl from a secret Lea Valley gravel pit.

Retired Fred said: “I have tried to go fishing on two previous occasions, but have found it so difficult due to being left so weak.

“Just recently I have started to feel more positive and more enthusiastic about my fishing.”

Mega perch for Fred Healey

Fred Healey continued: “Although I still found it very difficult, I managed to do a two-day session, setting up to catch some big bream on Lea Valley.

“When I landed the perch I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  It was witnessed and weighed on two different sets of scales.

“I believe this could be one of the biggest perch caught on the Lea Valley waters, and takes my total of 5 lb perch to five, caught on four different waters.

“To say I’m chuffed is a massive understatement, there is more big fish left in this old boy yet!

“The fish was caught using a maggot feeder, with one and a half lobworms on a size 6 hook,” concluded Fred.

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