(This catch was reported before the river close season came into force on March 15th 2022)
A NEW chapter was written in the predator fishing history books on the last day of the river season, when Andy Black banked two zander in quick succession weighing an almighty 38lb 4oz between them.
The fish, scaling 19lb 14oz and 18lb 6oz, came from a Midlands river and fell to lure tactics in coloured water conditions.
Andy, who usually starts targeting zander seriously in February, had struggled so far this winter due to high river levels but, on March 14, things finally started to look good.
“Early in the morning there was still debris coming down, which meant deadbaiting was my only real option,” he told us. “But around midday a lot of the flow dropped out of the river, and less flotsam was coming down, so I changed to lure tactics.”
Covering the water with a 12cm Westin Shadteez pattern, it took Andy just three casts to connect with something substantial.
“Working the lure along the flow line, I hooked what I thought was a good pike,” he revealed. “There wasn’t much movement, just a couple of thumps and a heavy weight bending the rod right over. I gained line with each crank of the reel, when suddenly a massive zander’s head broke surface!”
Andy quickly got the net under the fish and was shocked at the sheer size of it.
“I’m no stranger to big zander, and I thought this one might go 20lb. But at 19lb 14oz, it’s still an epic PB,” added Andy.
He nearly packed up after that fish, but decided to have a few more casts, which turned out to be a good decision.
“I had another solid whack as the lure rose near the flow line, and again it felt like a big fish,” he said. “I had to chase this one down with the boat, but I got it in the net. She weighed 18lb 6oz, completing what I believe is the largest brace of zander in the UK. They were the only two fish I had that day!”