18lb 13oz zan­der from the Sev­ern

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THE River Sev­ern has pro­duced a 18lb 13oz zan­der, Angling Times can ex­clu­sively re­veal.

Cur­rent Bri­tish record-holder for the species, James Ben­field, leg­ered a bleak dead­bait just a few feet from the bank on the fa­mous wa­ter­way to lure the fish.

The cap­ture comes just nine years af­ter the 28-year-old from Malvern, Worcs, made his­tory by bank­ing the 21lb 5oz Bri­tish best from the same venue.

It was the slight­est tap on the rod-tip that sig­nalled the bite from the shy preda­tor dur­ing his lat­est ses­sion on the rver.

“These zan­der are very timid, so I use my 1.45lb test curve rod like a quiv­er­tip and strike at any move­ment. If I hadn’t been fish­ing like this and re­lied on a bite alarm the fish might have ejected the bait be­fore I’d have even known about it,” James told Angling Times.

His lat­est spec­i­men is the high­light of a pro­duc­tive start to his 2016 river cam­paign which has pro­duced many fish to around 7lb – but James ad­mit­ted that the 18-pounder came as a shock.

“Hav­ing caught lots of small zan­der since the start of the sea­son, I knew that this fish was some­thing spe­cial straight away.

“Then these huge boils start­ing ap­pear­ing on the sur­face and I just wanted it in the net. My heart was in my mouth,” he said.

“To have the record and then to catch an­other huge fish like this is be­yond words.

“I fully ap­pre­ci­ate what an achieve­ment it is to land a dou­ble-fig­ure zan­der, let alone two for 40lb.”

A sim­ple run­ning rig made up with 12lb main­line, a 3oz lead and a sin­gle size 6 tre­ble was the win­ning set-up for James, who went on to bank four other zan­der on the day.

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