Searching for the Elusive 3lb Sergeant by Alfie Naylor

Around 3 years ago I set myself a target to catch a 3lb Perch. I’d seen loads of 3’s on social media and the angling press - I honestly thought it would happen pretty quickly. How wrong was I.

Over the course of three seasons I caught hundreds of Perch but I just couldn’t break the elusive 3lb barrier. The search quickly became an obsession. I would often spend my lunch breaks on the side of a canal; luckily my job means that I travel the length and breadth of the UK, so my opportunities to catch were many and varied. Still my mission was unsuccessful.

At the start of journey a few years back I made contact with a guy on social media called Phil Taylor.  It was obvious this guy really knew his stuff with numerous 3lber’s under his belt. I was extremely envious and started to message Phil to try and understand if I was doing anything wrong.  After a few conversations Phil offered to take me out on his boat – I was thrilled at the invitation and quickly began to make plans. Excited for my first boat based trip I was eager for the day to arrive!

On the morning of the trip I arrived at the car park where Phil told me to meet him. He clearly meant business as the boat was already in the water and ready to go! Literally within 5 minutes of getting there we were fishing and Phil was in to some good fish.  However, it quickly became clear, my tactics weren’t quite right. Phil offered some sound advice which changed the rest my day.

Mid-morning we had we stopped drifting down the river to take a few pics of the brace of 2’s for me and big 2lber for Phil.  These fish were returned and we were soon back in the boat and fishing again.  On every session there are highs and lows and unfortunately on our trip back up river, neither of us were paying attention to our rods and whilst we were both looking straight ahead we heard a 'plop' behind us. We couldn’t believe it! Phil’s rod and reel had dropped off the back of the boat and sank. Phil was utterly determined to get his tackle back and I was hopeful that it wouldn’t take a ‘strip to the pants’ to achieve it! Thankfully this didn’t happen and he recovered it using a makeshift landing net handle mounted hook and snaring his Lure.  A whole new meaning to lure fishing!!

The lows were over as we stopped for coffee and well deserved slice of cake. We were recharged and ready for another drift down river.  Despite our unfortunate mishap our spirits where high and we were enjoying a fabulous day afloat.  

We carried on catching plenty of fish with Phil catching a few pike too, I also had a Pike and several good Perch that we just slipped back without taking pics. This day was already a red letter session but what happened next left me completely speechless.   

We worked the whole stretch and pin-pointed an area Perch would be in, so we dropped anchor and really concentrated our efforts. After a few casts and couple of small Perch our inkling was confirmed, this area was obviously holding the fish.  On my very next cast tight to a boat I had amazing bite which I knew straight away it was a good fish, then it broke the surface my jaw dropped at the sheer size of it. This was definitely my PB waiting to happen. I’d never seen a Perch so big. After a tense few minutes I finally landed her and the size was more than I could ever have wished for.  My search for the elusive 3lber was complete - a fish of my dreams she was actually 3lb12oz of mind blowing giant Perch.   

The day continued both catching and to top it perfectly I caught another biggie of 2lb10oz

What a brilliant way to spend a day – yet another Red Letter Day. The perfect example of what a brilliant tool social media can be. There are some really nice people out there that are willing to help you progress. In my case I achieved a personal target that I’ve been trying to do for nearly 3 years, I can’t thank Phil enough for this remarkable session.