Perch (Perca fluviatilis) illustration by Jiří Malý
Perch (Perca fluviatilis) by Jiří Malý

While Perch are not a rare species in most European freshwater fisheries, finding larger examples in my local rivers has not been the easiest task in 2023. I caught a couple – but only two and they were both small.

Radbuza river Perch
Radbuza river Perch

Having said that, the second one is probably the biggest Perch I’ve ever caught. How is that possible? I’ll try to explain.

Perch Disease

Back when I did my coarse fishing, through the 1970s and into the 80s, the Perch population of the UK was facing a major medical problem which was generally known as Perch Disease.

I’m not sure that, even today, the experts know more than that it was some kind of virus. But it decimated the UK’s Perch population, especially the older fish.

So, although I was able to catch Perch from the River Thames and a couple of its tributaries, they were all very small.

A Specimen Perch?

So I’m after a specimen. Remembering that, to me, anything of 1kg or more would be classified, by me, as a specimen. If I’m able to catch one, even down to 1kg, I’ll consider this goal to have been achieved. After all, it would be a PB by a country mile!

Last year, as I have already mentioned, I managed to catch two Perch – both on jigs. This year I intend to spend more time trying to catch them but will change my approach to drop-shotting worms.



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