WE might be a whole lot nearer the new river fishing season than the last one but check this out...

This immense, potential British record zander was caught just before the river season ended back in mid-March.

The captor couldn’t count it as a fair catch as he foul-hooked the 20 lb 6 oz monster in the head.

Billy Rugg only recently revealed his amazing late-season capture of the fish, just 15 oz below the official British record.

Billy’s freak encounter came when he fished on the River Nene near March, Cambridgeshire.

Like all rivers in England and Wales, the Nene is closed for coarse fishing until June 16th.

Billy will be amongst the river fishing fans keen to get back onto running water soon.

Of course, many lakes have just opened after lockdown rules were finally eased to allow angling.

Potential record zander captor’s story

Billy told Angler’s Mail all about the shock catch that he kept under wraps at the end of the river fishing season.

“I was feeder fishing for tench and bream, and I was catching steadily,” said 26-year-old Billy, who fished on a local stretch.

“The zander came about 2 am. As soon as I struck the clutch was screaming.

“I was in shock and ran down towards the fish and battled with it for 30 minutes on 6 lb line.

“I seriously thought I had my first huge river carp.

“Then when my girlfriend went to net the fish we realised I had foul-hooked in the top of the head a zander… exceeding 20 lb.

“Me and my girlfriend were both shocked. I think it could grow on to be a record,” added Billy.

The official BRFC lists are still topped by a record zander caught at the very start of the 2007/08 river fishing season.

That historic fish was weighed in at 21 lb 5 oz and came from the lower reaches of the mighty River Severn, by accident, to James Benfield.

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