To celebrate the festive period, we bring you the best ten stories of 2014, posted up on each of the last ten days of the year.

THE British perch record was narrowly ‘beaten’ just days before the 2013/14 season ended – by a huge river fish weighing it an incredible 6 lb 4 oz.

Caught from lower reaches of the River Thames by a publicity-shy pensioner, the massive stripy was part of an amazing haul which included numerous other big specimen perch and another 5 lb 8 oz giant.

The captor, who wishes to be just known as “Bill”, was persuaded to report the catch by his fishing partner, who sent the photos exclusively to the Mail after witnessing the historic catch himself with just hours of the river season left.

He caught the record-busting perch, which adds an ounce to the existing British best – held by two fish – on a float-fished lobworm whilst fishing an unnamed stretch of the Mail’s Venue of the Year 2013.

“It’s my biggest perch in many, many years of river fishing. I’ve had a few big ones before, including the 5 lb 8 oz, and we had several smaller ones in the same session but this is biggest I’ve ever seen,” Bill told Angler’s Mail magazine.

“It was absolutely massive, but as I’d had some really big ones already that day it didn’t seem that amazing by comparison!”

The fish was weighed on good quality scales using a correct weighing procedure.

An official claim was not submitted by the publicity shy veteran, so the Thames fish – like another notorious one a few years earlier – has not entered the official history books. That means, as we end 2014, the British record still stands at 6 lb 3 oz, jointly to top specimen hunters Neill Stephen and  Ken Brown.

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