Anglers have hailed Phil Smith’s superb 5lb 4oz river perch as the fish of the season, from any venue.

The mighty predator, thought to be the equal biggest of the species caught from a UK river, fell to the Coventry angler’s classic tactic of legered lobworm.

Previously the biggest UK river perch mantle was held solely by Martin Bowler’s incredible Great Ouse fish caught while filming the Catching The Impossible series.

Tony publicised the fish on Facebook – a sign of the times – and received an overwhelming response. The fish measured over 19 inches long and had an impressive 16.5 inch girth. At the time of writing the post had received some 450 ‘likes’ and nearly 50 ‘shares’.

“Sometimes it all comes right,” said Phil. “The fish is a new personal best.”’s Gareth Purnell said: “For me this is the best fish of any species from anywhere in the UK this season.”