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Watch: Fisherman Catches 7-Pound ‘Perch of His Dreams’ and Can Hardly Contain Himself

Jörgen Larsson finally did it. The Swedish angler has been on a lifelong quest to catch a perch over 3 kilograms, or roughly 6.6 pounds, and earlier this month while filming an episode for Westin Fishing, he caught the “perch of his dreams” from a large lake in the Netherlands. In a clip shared to Instagram Wednesday, Larsson can hardly contain his emotions as he holds the massive fish in front of the camera. “I have been searching for this fish for many years. I have been striking [out], I have been fighting the weather in Holland, I have been doubting,” Larsson says in the short clip. “But now, finally … finally, she’s in the boat.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jörgen Larsson (@jorgen_westinfishing) Gently cradling it in his hands, Larsson can hardly take his eyes off the fish as he gives its measurements: 51.5 cm (20.3 inches) long and 3.2 kilos (7.1 pounds). The chunky female carries most of this weight in its round, swollen belly, which looks about ready to pop. It’s an “absolute beast” of a European perch, and nearly twice as heavy as the biggest yellow perch ever recorded in North America. (Although the two species are nearly identical, they are recognized as two separate species with distinct ranges, with European perch growing substantially larger than their North American cousins.) “The absolute perfect fish … The Easter Egg finally came today,” Larsson says, kissing the perch as he prepares to release it back into the lake. “I love you.”   Read Next: Ice Fishing Tips: How to Jig Up Jumbo Perch The former Editor in Chief of Fiskefeber, a Scandinavian fishing magazine, Larsson is now a pro-staffer with Danish tackle manufacturer Westin Fishing. He’s broken multiple European fishing records and helped introduce the technique of vertical jigging to Scandinavia — the same technique he used to catch the perch of his dreams in the Netherlands. At the time, Larsson was fishing with Dutch fishing guide Luc Coppens on a large waterbody in Holland. In a YouTube video that gives a fuller account of their trip, Larsson describes the area as a series of lakes where several different rivers meet before entering the North Sea. He also says it’s one of the few places in the world where anglers have a realistic chance at catching a 3-kilo perch. “I’ve had a big, big dream for many years to catch a perch over 3 kilos. That’s the magical weight,” Larsson says at the start of the video. “And if you’re gonna do that, you have to fish in waters where they exist.” Larsson and Coppens filmed the episode over the course of two days. They dealt with high winds and rain but managed to net a handful of jumbo perch and one monster pike. Coppens leaned heavily on his side-scanning sonar to find good structure, and they used light spinning rods paired with ned worms and Carolina-rigged soft plastics. Read Next: 11 Great Spring Fishing Rigs But it was on their third day out — after the cameraman left — that Larsson caught the fish he’d been hunting for. The perch came on his first cast and ate a Crecraw creature bait. Larsson’s advice for fellow fishermen? “Never give up on your dreams.”