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UK Perch Record (How & When Was It Caught?)

It’s only the beginning of 2023 and already we’ve witnessed two remarkable perch catches from the River Thames, weighing up to 5lb 11oz. These colossal river perch are truly impressive. With the official UK predator season now underway, we’re excited to discover what other surprises await us in the country’s rivers, lakes, canals, and reservoirs. 

With this in mind, we ask, what is the current UK perch record and do we think it’ll be broken soon?

uk perch record (joint)
Neill Stephens with an impressive jointly-held official UK record 6lb 3oz

What is the current UK perch record?

Currently, the British record perch is held jointly by Neill Stephen and Ken Brown. Neill Stephen caught a remarkable 6lb 3oz specimen from Stream Valley Lakes in March 2011, and Ken Brown caught a perch of the same weight from Wilstone Reservoir in September 2011.

Are there any others we should know about?

Yes! In 2020, Matt Atkins caught an impressive 6lb 4oz perch from a southern still water. Even though he surpassed the official UK record by 1oz, Matt chose not to report the catch to the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC).

british record perch
Matt Atkins with the unofficial largest perch in the UK

In his own words… “At the end of the day I’m content just knowing I’ve caught a fish of this magnitude, but ultimately I want to safeguard the venue because it has so much potential. Over the last few seasons, I’ve enjoyed what’s possibly the greatest perch fishing in the country there – landing 15 fish over 4lb, of which three have been 5lb-plus…. Now I’ve seen what it’s capable of I want to try to protect the venue more than ever.” 

The Top UK Perch record LIST

6lb 4oz (unofficial)2020Matt AtkinsWithheld
6lb 3oz2011Ken BrownWilstone Reservoir
6lb 3oz2011Neill StephensStream Valley Lakes
6lb2010Ricky HillidayCotswold Water Park

What does the future hold for perch in the UK?

Similar to many other fish species in the UK, when they become a popular target for fishing, we quickly discover their potential size. The increasing popularity of predator fishing, especially lure fishing, has already demonstrated the impressive capabilities of the UK’s fishing waters and we’re seeing bumper catches for anglers all over the UK. A 4lb perch was once a rarity but is now a possibility and are caught with apparent ease. 

Environmental factors have also played a significant role in aiding coarse fish populations, providing an abundance of food for perch during longer, warmer summers. With more coarse fish available perch aren’t having to expend as much energy locating a food source and this can result in heavier fish. 

Do we think a 7lb perch is likely anytime soon?

It’s possible that a perch of this size has already been caught but not publicly shared. The current perch record stands at 6lb 3oz, with an unofficial record of 1oz more. The difference between the perch caught by Matt Atkins and a 7lb perch is 12 ounces, which is a substantial amount of growth but not unachievable. We anticipate hearing about and seeing pictures of any future record-breaking catches.

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Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Founder & Chief Editor of Predator Fishing World. Steve has been predator fishing for well over a decade and has amassed a deep knowledge base to share with you.