A 600-mile-round trip proved fruitful for Jon Patten with the capture of this cracking personal best 15lb 8oz zander.
The impressive specimen was caught by Devon-based predator expert from an undisclosed Fenland drain.
Upon arrival, the 47-year-old Fox-backed rod headed to a known zander-holding spot to try armed with roach deadbaits and set-up a rig incorporating 10lb mainline, a 15lb wire trace, size 6 treble hooks and a heavy lead. This was cast towards the far-bank marginal slope just as the light was fading.
At around 3am, he was woken by a single bleep followed by a fast run and he lifted into something heavy.
“I knew instantly that the fish was a zander from the way it was fighting but couldn’t contemplate just how big it was,” he told Angling Times. “The fight was dogged from the off and it only surfaced once during the whole 10 minute fight. When I first it I thought there was no way it was going to fit in my net.”
Jon had to endure a couple of hairy moments when the large predator tried to find sanctuary in a set of lily pads but he was able to steer the fish away from the hazard and towards the waiting net.
“I’d brought my landing net which I use for barbel up to 10lb,” he said. “I had to try and shuffle the zander in as it simply would not fit! The moment it finally fell in was one of sheer elation and relief.” On the scales the fish broke his previous best for the species by 1lb 6oz.
“Zander are one of my favourite species and it’s saddening to see that some anglers deem the fish as an unwelcomed guest in British waters. I’ve caught tiger sharks to over 1,000lb in weight but the catch of this zander for me if definitely the most satisfying.”