On Sunday, October 22nd, the competitors in the Perch Master Ireland 2023 had the seventh and final leg of their league event, followed by a prizegiving ceremony for the top anglers.

While perch are a prized sportfish species in many parts of Europe – like the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, where fish of 40cm+ are common – perch fishing is a very underdeveloped form of angling in Ireland, where a perch of 40cm is a prize fish.

With that in mind, Inland Fisheries Ireland were proud to sponsor this event to see what sizes of perch the participating anglers could come up with.

Venues across the event included ‘perchy’ locations on some of the better perch producing rivers and their canal systems – such as the Suck, Barrow, Shannon and the Inny system in the midlands. Unfortunately, during the competition days themselves there were no monster perch caught, but during practice sessions, there were plenty of really good fish – giving a good insight into the potential for big perch fishing in Ireland.

To catch big Irish perch on rivers and canals, most anglers will fish with soft plastic lures – like small shads and worms – fished using Carolina or drop shot rigs on light spinning tackle over areas where there is good cover for a hunting perch to ambush prey. Sometimes the key is to find a key colour or trigger movement to provoke the fish to strike! Natural baits will work well too – and many a novice angler will have been introduced to fishing by catching plucky perch on worms and maggots.

Prizes were awarded for the top three positions in the league and longest perch overall – which measured in at 34cm. The organisers are now planning next year’s Perch Master Ireland League 2024 in the same format – dates listed below – but they are also planning a boat event and a one-day event where anglers can fish anywhere they choose in Ireland on the day. Organisers are currently recruiting anglers to take part in all three events – so contact them via the Perch Master Ireland Facebook page. 

Perch Master League 2024 provisional dates are as follows (dates may change depending on weather and water levels) – sign up an get involved!

  • Leg 1- 18th of February
  • Leg 2- 17th of March
  • April – usually Perch are spawning so no fishing this month
  • Leg 3- 19th of May
  • Leg 4- 16th of June
  • Leg 5- 21st of July
  • Leg 6- 18th of August
  • Leg 7- 14th of September

Please fish in a sustainable manner