THE biggest zander of the season, weighing a whopping 19 lb 4 oz, has been caught after a catalogue of calamities.
The huge River Severn zander fell to Steve Williams, who smashed his old PB. But Steve admits that he was lucky to catch it.
The 48-year-old heating engineer from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, told Angler’s Mail all about his epic River Severn zander session.
Steve explained: âThe day started badly, my fishing partner Lee Kent turning up ten minutes late.
âWe stopped off at a McDonaldâs in Kidderminster, which is when boiling hot coffee spilled straight on my lap, scalding the âold todgerâ. Lee could not stop laughing.
âThen we noticed that a tyre on the trailer was flat, so we stopped, pumped it up and set off again. It went flat again, but this time it fell off.
âWe parked the trailer, and then drove to a garage to get the tyre repaired, before returning to the trailer and putting the tyre back on it.
âBy the time we got the boat out it was 10.30am, but the conditions were perfect.
âAs we approached a wide bend, the engine died, so we decided to drift to some far bank trees, clipping ourselves to them, hoping that the engine would work later on.”
River Severn zander tactics
Steve continued: âLee decided he didnât want to fish a livebait, but I did, so I trotted a roach downstream, presenting it just off bottom in 18 ft of water.
âSecond cast, the float shot under by the time it had trotted just 4 ft away from the boat.
âAs I played the fish, I saw a huge flash of white, so I thought it had to be a pike. A little while later I realised it was a zander.
“I insisted that I netted it, as Iâd only have myself to blame if it came off.
âOnce it was in the net, I thought it was about 13-14 lb, but then it rolled and looked absolutely huge.
âI donât think Iâll ever catch a better fish. I wouldnât have caught it if the engine hadnât died, as we are unable to drift silently to far bank trees when the engine is on.
âThe engine started straight away later on, and didnât play up at all, so it seems weird that it died just before we got to the spot where we wanted to fish.
“Iâve been a zander fanatic for 20 years, after seeing Mark Barrett with a stunning 15-pounder.
âI caught my old PB of 14 lb 15 oz after a couple of years of fishing for them, but I donât think Iâll better this one,â enthused Steve, who has appeared in several Anglerâs Mail features alongside Steve Collett.
The biggest-ever River Severn zander is also the reigning British zander record stands. That 21 lb 5 oz monster was caught from the River Severn at Upper Lode, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, by James Benfield, in 2007.
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