PREDATOR fishing ace Andy Black tempted one of the largest perch of the winter with this 5 lb 1 oz beast. But at first glance, he thought he was on top of a group of large bream!

The huge perch was the largest of a five-fish catch made on a Northamptonshire stillwater and it’s a new PB for the Angler’s Mail contributor.

Andy’s impressive catch made it on the front cover of the weekly must-read print magazine (above).

Andy said: “After fishing for pike for most of the morning we motored past a small drop-off and on the right side of the boat I saw a small tight shoal of what I thought were reasonable-sized bream on the side-imager.

“I marked it and went around to see if there were any pike with them and as I did so my boat partner cast out and hooked into a good perch on-the-drop.

“Not being slow off the mark, I realised that the fish I was seeing were not bream but in fact very big perch.

“I quickly rigged up a small Zvartzonker McPerch lure in fire tiger colour with a light 15 g jig hook and cast it to where the fish were showing in 20ft of water.

“I had a couple of plucks on the way down and as soon as I was bringing the lure back through the shoal the big one hit.

“I knew it was a very big fish straight away as big perch don’t really fight but bang their heads hard from side to side and try and get rid of the hook.

“Luckily, it stayed on the hook thanks to the soft tip of the rod I was using and I scooped it up in the net as soon as it hit the surface.

“We had a couple of others to 3 lb 8 oz which looked tiny compared to the big one, but the shoal then split up and moved off and I was unable to find the fish again,” he added.

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