19lb 14oz zander rocks UK record

You’re looking at one of the biggest zander ever caught in the UK.
Weighing a staggering 19lb 14oz, the predator was boated by Ian Crook at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire.
The specimen, which is just 1lb 7oz short of James Benfield’s current British record taken from the River Severn, was fooled on a vertically-jigged 6ins rubber shad lure.
It was the first double-figure zander of the winter for Berkshire-based Ian, who smashed his UK personal best by more than 7lb in the process. He said: “I’ve been fishing Grafham for five wintersand bought a season ticket with an aim of catching a 15 pounder.”
“This winter has been one of the hardest – with the bad weather it’s been a struggle to even get fishing, and before this one I had boated only a handful of fish to 9lb.
“This was the penultimate session of my campaign so I am so glad to have finally caught a dream personal best into the bargain.”
The Wokingham angler started the session catching trout, small zander, perch and pike while trying a number of different areas.
However, it wasn’t until the last drift of the day when his St Croix rod slammed over as a huge fish, which Ian initially thought was a pike, put his 14b YGK X Soul Upgrade line and 20lb fluorocarbon leader to the ultimate test.
When the fish finally broke surface Ian knew he had hooked the fish he had been dreaming about: “When I first saw the bulk of its body as it rolled one last time, my legs started trembling and I screamed to my partner to get the net. I have seen zander to 20lb caught in Holland before but to have one this big on my hook in the UK was amazing” he added.
It is not the first time Grafham has produced monster zander. In November 2009 Mick Dolan boated a claimed 22lb specimen, but the 57-year-old couldn’t claim a new British record for the catch as he released it while still afloat.