DREW DEARDEN was after pike on the Chesterfield Canal when he latched into his first ever zander – this venue record 9 lb specimen.

The 22-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was using a 15cm Savage Gear Real Eel, Fire Tiger pattern, which he rigged with a Pikemaster stinger treble fixed at the tail end.

He presented the lure sink-and-draw style in just 3 ft of water. And now he knows there are zander in the canal, he intends to target these at night to see what other surprises this water has to offer.

Pike Anglers Club press officer Alan Dudhill said: “I was amazed when a very excited Drew came to my tackle shop to report his capture. I’ve spent many years pike fishing on the Chesterfield Canal and, although small zander have been caught on the rare occasion, this is by far the biggest zander I’ve ever heard of.

“This is one of the most exciting captures of recent times and is sure to get the zander anglers stirred up. It just goes to show that zander are now extremely widespread.

“Though non-native and to some, considered to be a highly invasive species; zander are impressive predators and proving to be true survivors. They’re here to stay and would be impossible to eradicate so let’s accept them, conserve them and enjoy the sport.’’

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