The British zander record has been broken with this 22lb specimen caught from Grafham Water Park by Mick Dolan.
Incredibly it was the first of the species which the 52-year-old had ever caught, and it was also the first time he had fished the 1,600-acre Cambridgeshire venue.
Presenting mackerel deadbaits in 46ft of water, the huge predator made its mistake as Mick tweaked his bait slightly before winding in.
“I could tell straight away that it was a decent fish from the way the rod bent over, but as it came up all I could see was its white belly so assumed it was another trout, because I’d caught one just a few minutes earlier,” said the Walsall-based tool maker.
“It was only when it rolled over that I saw it was a massive zander. As I’d never seen one on the bank before, let alone caught one, I didn’t realise just how big it was. Even when we weighed it at 22lb I still didn’t appreciate the importance of it, but when my mate told me it was a record I couldn’t stop shaking.”
Mick is now in the process of submitting his claim to the British Record Fish Committee, and if accepted it will replace James Benfield’s record of 21lb 5oz caught from the River Severn in 2007.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet, as catching a record was the last thing I
expected. I’d emailed Mick Brown before the trip asking for a bit of advice, and he said to head for the deeper water and look for the roach shoals. I’d like to thank him for his help as without it I probably wouldn’t have caught this special fish,” he added.
His winning set-up consisted of two size 8 Fox trebles fished on a 25lb wire trace in conjunction with a 2oz lead and a Fox Inline Trolling Float.