18lb 13oz zander from the Severn
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.