THE biggest zander of the year has come out in a lure match on a canal.

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Although it was only enough for third, Tom Watts from Doncaster found the long journey from South Yorkshire to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal extremely worthwhile, as the 15 lb 12 oz beast smashed his PB by 10 lb!

The 31-year-old electrician explained: “The match was the last of the Leisure Lure Series league over six legs on a variety of venues.

“We had no chance of winning overall having missed four of them, but the winner of each stands a chance of fishing in the England bank trials so we gave it a go.

“The water was very coloured and the fishing slow but a number of anglers had congregated around Hempsted bridge so after a while we headed there.

“Initially I was convinced I’d hooked a decent pike and cranked it in, but when I saw its head the air turned blue.

“I couldn’t believe the size and the match is decided on lengths and it went 90 cm.”

High fiving on the bank

Tom continued: “It is one thing to catch a huge specimen on your own or with a mate but quite another to land one in front of 20 other top anglers, and there was plenty of high-fiving along the bank.

“I was fishing my favourite Z-Man TRD lure in pink bubblegum fished on a Ned rig which I’d highly recommend to anyone.

“It was my first double-figure zed but I’ve had pike up to 29 lb and perch to 3 lb on it.

“It’s not a record for the canal but I doubt whether many bigger lure caught zeds will come out anywhere this year,” he added.

Tom’s rig comprised a 6 lb Knot2kinky wire trace, 12.5 lb fluorocarbon leader, 13 lb braid main line, with a 1/5 oz Zman Shroomz jig head for the lure.

The next LL Series series will start again in September although there is also a LL Series 30 Challenge planned for June this year.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@timeinc.com – you could appear in Angler’s Mail magazine.