Search for a super stripy
Angler's Mail|January 14, 2020
They’ve done it! Robbie Northman and John Bailey have been on a long mission to catch a 4 lb perch. Robbie got there first, landing this specimen recently.

IT’S TUESDAY, you open your copy of Angler’s Mail and you turn to the pages of big fish captures. How do you feel? Are you filled with awe, envy or inspiration?

I’m filled with awe and inspiration, and I hope you are, too. Those pictures of massive fish really make me want to get out there and get among them myself. Inspiration is the key.

The pictures that I really identify with are those that represent a quest, the captor having been rewarded after a long campaign.

Sure, fish that come out of the blue are equally commendable, and every angling dog has his fishy day. That said, it’s a monster fish on the bank after weeks or even years of planning that really gets my juices flowing.

Robbie Northman and I have been embarked on a three-year quest for an East Anglian 4 lb perch.

The great thing about having a partner is that you can bounce ideas off each other, and feed off each other’s commitment. It doesn’t really matter who catches the target fish if you have a true partner. It’s the result that counts.

If you read Angler’s Mail on a weekly basis, it could seem that a 4 lb perch isn’t that big. Think again. In my book, a 2 lb perch is big, a three-pounder is massive, and a four-pounder is a fish of a lifetime, certainly for 95 per cent of anglers in the UK.

I’d suggest that the rivers Thames, Ouse and Lea, and some of the big reservoirs with an endless supply of whoppers, are far from the norm. Unless you have access to these venues, a 4 lb stripy will always be a massive, sometimes impossible ask.

Super stripy venues

If you want to catch something mega, you’ve got to find it first. Over the past three years or so, Robbie and I have been to lots of venues in East Anglia. We don’t have any canals to look at though, simply because East Anglia escaped the Industrial Revolution, not needing a man-made waterway to transport goods.

Estate lakes were a completely different thing, as North Norfolk is riddled with them. Robbie and I have had some 2 lb perch from estate lakes over the years, but predators have now killed the vast majority. Otters have had many of the big perch, and cormorants are decimating all of the small ones.

A lot of our time in the past has been spent on gravel pits, particularly along the Wensum Valley. The perch in these waters have fared better, because increased depth discourages predation to a large degree.

We have come close to our 4 lb target, having landed a clutch of decent 3-pounders, especially in pits that also hold a head of small silverfish. Big perch need big and suitable food supplies. Trouble is, the accumulating damage done by cormorants is cutting down food supplies, and the perch stocks seem to be collapsing on many of the pits that were prolific in the past.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ANGLER'S MAILView All

Venues on the menu

Dave regularly switches between different types of venue, as he is convinced that it helps him become a better and far more versatile angler. Here is his guide on what to expect and how to tackle them.

4 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

In our new mini series, the physiotherapist will put you in the right frame of mind to help you achieve your angling dreams.

4 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Search for a super stripy

They’ve done it! Robbie Northman and John Bailey have been on a long mission to catch a 4 lb perch. Robbie got there first, landing this specimen recently.

7 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Pole position carping

The thinking carp angler offers his opinion, insight and advice every week exclusively here in Angler’s Mail. Col will help you become a wiser angler.

3 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

My best catch!

This week: Billy puts his newborn daughter on the scales after a productive winter carp session.

3 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Huge zed after run of disasters

19 lb 4 oz monster zanderRiver boat fishing sessionSeries of calamities

2 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Christmas stocking

The future of fishery management is a bright one, these BTEC Fish Husbandry students keen to help stock an Essex lake with carp over the Christmas holiday, including this 21 lb mirror.

5 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Alien aquatic plants

In this final part of my special look at alien species, I have highlighted some invasive aquatic plants that have had an impact on waters, with an evaluation on the degree of threat that they pose, on a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest.

5 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

A guide's guide to guides

Canadian Jeff is a great guide, helping anglers to catch the fish of their dreams.

3 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020

Making Short Work Of Specimen Chub

It takes angling guide Kenny Parsons a few hours to drive from his home, near Bath, to his favourite Wessex rivers, but it doesn’t seem to bother him, as he just loves to catch big chub on feeder and fl oat tactics, his personal best standing at 7 lb 12 oz. One of his favourite methods for this cunning species is a maggot feeder with a short hook link.

8 mins read
Angler's Mail
January 14, 2020
RELATED STORIES

Anxiously Awaiting a New Museum Opening

With the year 2021 upon us, Arizona collectors are certainly excited about the pending May opening of the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum in downtown Tucson. Of course, the excitement extends beyond the border of Arizona and to far reaching locales around the globe.

7 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
February 2021

Emilie's Light

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary eight years ago was one of the saddest events we have ever covered. Yet as her story from 2017 shows, this mother of a young victim found hope and healing

8 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021

ROBBIE GALLOWS: SHADOWS OF THE PAST

I paint my memories, so people will know how we used to live, and then I am reminded that Punk is not dead; it has evolved, and it remains within me, and in the world I live in. - Robbie Gallows

2 mins read
Art Market
Issue #53 November 2020

OBI-20

AN ESSENTIAL EVENT FOR 2020

2 mins read
Street Trucks
July 2020

EDITH MAXWELL aka MADDIE DAY

Cozies certainly provide solace from many of the dark edges of the actual world,” says Edith Maxwell.

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

RESISTING REINVENTION

NELSON, B.C., IS ONE OF THE LAST DWINDLING HOLDOUTS OF OLD-SCHOOL DH IN NORTH AMERICA. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE KEEPING IT ALIVE.

10+ mins read
Bike
March/April 2020

A CHARISMATIC ROBBIE GIVES HARLEY QUINN HER WINGS

At one point in “Birds of Prey,” crime lord Roman Sionis, aka Ewan McGregor, sits down with a tub of popcorn to watch Harley Quinn suffer through a brutal interrogation.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
February 14, 2020

Dancing With Destiny

Robbie Robertson tells the history behind the bronze Fender Stratocaster that became the guitar star of the last waltz.

9 mins read
Guitar Player
December 2019

Robbie Madison's Pipe Dream

With land and air covered, all that was left for Maddo to conquer was the sea.

10+ mins read
TransWorld Motocross
September 2015

LET ROBBIE ENTERTAIN YOU!

His life story is headed for the silver screen – and it’s set to be a wild ride!

4 mins read
Woman's Day Australia
March 29, 2021