A FORMER match angler has come within a whisker of breaking the British zander record with a 20lb 5oz fish from the River Trent.
As well as being a venue record, it’s believed to be the UK’s fourth-biggest zed.
Captor Graham Boddice, from Worksop, ended up waist-deep in icy water to net his prize from some nearside snags. The former match angler decided to pack it in after Covid struck, and after getting a bit of lure fishing kit together, soon became addicted.
“I’d seen that the river levels were up and decided that it was an ideal time to get out. These predators push into the slacks in high water, and I actually hooked this one first cast!” he said.
Rather than using a glitzy lure, as some would in coloured water, Graham chose a Z-Man Diesel Minnow – a dark, natural-looking pattern.
“I think big, crafty zander can suss out gaudy lures,” he said. “This fish took the lure as it fell to the deck after I had jigged it, and as I hadn’t felt it hit bottom, I struck and hit into what I thought was a snag. Suddenly, the ‘snag’ went on a storming run into mid-river. As soon as it popped up and I saw its head, I thought, ‘that’s ridiculous!’”
Once it neared the bank, the fish became tangled in some marginal debris but, having seen the size of it, Graham decided he couldn’t let it get away.
“I only had a short net handle, but I had to get the fish,” he added. “I’d seen the swim in low levels and knew it was safe, so I waded in and scooped it. It was cold, but absolutely worth it! The feeling of catching a fish like this on a lure is hard to describe. It’s a totally different challenge to match fishing.”