This is the exclusive picture of one of the biggest zander ever to be caught from the River Trent.
The huge predator – which topped the scales at 16lb 13oz - was banked Ian Wilson during a short evening session on a stretch of the waterway below Nottingham.
After flicking out a lamprey section into the margins, it wasn’t long before a slow confident take saw the 63-year-old set his size 8 Partridge trebles into the specimen and smash his previous personal best for the species.
It was also the second ever biggest to be reported from the river, falling short of the current river record of 18lb 10oz caught by Graham Hunt in March this year.
“I had a hunch that this stretch would hold predators because it is home to loads of silver fish at this time of the year,” Ian told Angling Times.
“It felt like a big pike at first but when I saw the light reflect off its eyes under the water I knew I had hooked something very special.
“Now that I’m retired I spend a lot of time fishing and during the last four years I’ve been concentrating on the Trent’s ‘zeds’. Even though it’s tough and a real challenge zander fishing is without a doubt my favourite at the moment.”
The Worksop-based specimen hunter used a simple leger rig incorporating a ‘weak link’ and a Drennan wire hooklink.
Like many anglers that target the Trent’s zander population, predator fishing legend Neville Fickling believes the river’s potential to produce a record-shaking fish is getting stronger every season.
“This is an incredible and very exciting river for zander anglers because big fish are being caught throughout the river system,” Neville told Angling Times.