The second-biggest zander of all time has been banked this week at a weight of 20lb 2oz.
The mighty fish, which falls just 1lb 3oz short of the British record, was taken by Martin Jauncey from the River Severn during a day afloat with fellow predator enthusiast Chris Fowles.
It fell to a trotted roach livebait and came on Martin’s very first bite of an otherwise quiet session which produced just one other small fish of around 7lb.
“At first I wasn’t sure whether it was a pike or a zander. As it neared the boat I saw a flash of silver and thought ‘if that’s a zander, it’s absolutely massive’. Needless to say, as soon as I realised it was a zed I took my time with it!” said Martin
Once the fish was safely netted and hoisted on to the scales, Martin admitted that at first he thought his eyes were deceiving him.
“I obviously knew it was a very heavy fish indeed, but when the needle settled on just over 20lb, I almost couldn’t believe it. We kept re-weighing it, but the result was the same. An unbelievable fish from the best zander venue in the country,” he added.
Martin, who had a previous personal best zander of 18lb 10oz and lives in Worcester, mounted his bait on a single size 2/0 Owner hook attached to 30lb Fox Easy Twist wire, and presented under a large float just off the back of the boat.
“Big zander are often in places you wouldn’t expect them to be. For example, we often fish areas with a decent flow on, which others might readily dismiss. Just because it’s fast on top doesn’t mean it’s the same on the bottom of the river. It only takes a variation in depth of a foot to provide a good holding area for zander.
“Another mistake a lot of people make is to fish too light, whereas we sometimes use as much as 2oz below our floats to keep the baits deep in the water. Little things like this can make all the difference,” said Martin.