“Gradually, I gained line with each crank of the reel, when suddenly a massive zander’s head broke surface and started trying to shake the lure free!”
A new chapter was written in the predator fishing history books on the last day of the river season when Andy Black banked two zander in quick succession weighing an almighty 38lb 4oz between them.
The fish, scaling 19lb 14oz (pictured) and 18lb 6oz, came from a Midlands river and fell to lure tactics in coloured water conditions. Andy, who usually starts targeting zander seriously in February, had struggled so far this winter due to high river levels, but on March 14th, things finally started to look good.
“Early in the morning there was still debris coming down, which meant deadbaiting was my only real option. But around midday a lot of the flow dropped out of the river, and less flotsam was coming down, so I changed to lure tactics.
Covering the water with a 12cm Westin Shadteez pattern, it took Andy just three casts to connect with something substantial. “Working the lure along the flow line, I hooked what I thought was a good pike. There wasn’t much movement, just a couple of thumps and a heavy weight bending the rod right over. Gradually, I gained line with each crank of the reel, when suddenly a massive zander’s head broke surface and started trying to shake the lure free!”
Andy quickly got the net under the fish and was shocked by the sheer size of it. “I’m no stranger to big zander, and I thought this one could go 20lb. However, at 19lb 14oz, it’s still a truly epic fish and a new PB for me,” added Andy.
He nearly packed up after that fish, but decided to have a few more casts, which turned out to be a good decision. “I had another solid whack as the lure rose and sped up near the flow line, and again it felt like a big fish,” he says. “I had to chase this one down with the boat, but eventually I got it in the net. She weighed 18lb 6oz, completing what I believe is the largest brace of zander caught in the UK. They were the only two fish I had that day!”
Well done Andy!