Perch are usually deemed to be an autumn and winter quarry rather than one of the main target species for the summer months but for ‘perch-aholic’ Will Barnard anytime is perch time!

Having spent a couple of sessions on the River Kennet after barbel earlier in the season FishingMagic’s Sales Manager Will decided it was about time to target his favourite species –  perch – and set out to explore what he called a “very under-rated and under-fished section of the river.”

Armed with a whip and some snatching kit he started his short late afternoon session trying to catch a few livebaits and for the first couple of fish it was plain sailing but he was not quite prepared for the bleak which picked up his maggot a few minutes later, in Will’s own words: “it made my eyes pop!!”

A true leviathan of the bleak world
Measuring some 18cm long and registering 5oz at the first time of asking on the scales Will realised he had a potential British Record on his hands and a scramble for official scales and witnesses began resulting in an official weigh in on RDAA match scales which gave a weight of exactly 4oz – half an ounce under the current best but nonetheless a true leviathan of the bleak world!

With the excitement over and armed with a few bleak of a far more appropriate size Will targeted the perch in a swim where a drop off from some marginal tree roots offered a perfect ambush area where any perch holding up in the cover could strike from.

It didn’t take too long to get a response and a positive take saw will strike into a cracking fish late in the afternoon which weighed in at a great summer weight of 3lb 2oz.

“It had a very empty stomach,” Will explained, “at the back end of the season it is a fish which should weigh well over 3lb 8oz.”