Andrew tells the story of the capture in his own words:

It has been a tough old winter for all of us and to end a run of blanks I had been toying with the idea of a day’s grayling fishing however in the end I decided against the easy option of going trotting for small grayling and thought instead I’d target some perch.

The conditions really seemed to be favourable for perch so I took the day off and headed to the River Derwent, where most of my biggest perch have come from.  It was a cold start, with a heavy shroud of fog, but just before the sun burned through it, about 11.30, I had a typically hesitant run and struck home into a good, chunky perch.  As soon as I saw it I knew it was a ‘three’ and when the scales registered 3lb 4oz, I reckoned it to be my largest since summer 2010. 

Having checked my records when I got home, it has turned out to be an even more significant capture than I thought because it’s actually my biggest since I caught my PB way back in August 2007!  It’s my seventh ‘three’ but my first on bait as all of the others were taken on lures.

Once the sun cleared the fog away, the conditions were pretty much useless for anything because the water was running really clear; I wandered around trying a few shady holes under trees but couldn’t provoke any interest, so for the last couple of hours of light I returned to the first swim, hoping there would be a late afternoon feeding spell, but it wasn’t to be. 

It’s been a long time since I got as big a buzz from a fish, despite it not being a PB, so I didn’t care at all and it has reminded me why I chose to chase specimens rather than sitting all day bagging small fish and it also reminded me just how highly perch rank amongst my favourite species. 

I know that there are bigger perch in the river as I’ve seen a 4lb fish caught there and know of more, but for that to be my first fish since November, in prime condition and in all its winter glory, it felt very special indeed. 

It’s definitely given me a much-needed confidence boost for the last couple of sessions of the season.