ZANDER specialist Mark Hunt says he was ‘just in the right place at the right time’ when he caught the year’s biggest zed a 16lb 1oz.

The Market Harborough, Leicestershire angler has concentrated on the species for the last decade, his catches topped by a 13lb 14oz specimen from the Great Ouse in 2004.

Mark took his new personal best, which is exclusively pictured in the current issue of Midland Angler, while fishing another of his favourite waters, Roswell Pit, which like the river is controlled by Ely Beet.

“I mainly fish the nearby Great Ouse because it’s more predictable than the pit and there is more water to fish, but this year I decided to concentrate on the pit to try and unlock some of its potential,” Mark told Midland Angler.

“On the day I was greeted with perfect conditions as rain had coloured up the water and it was still mild and the pressure was low. Roswell is shallow and when the first frosts hit it gets very hard indeed.”

Mark did ‘his usual trick’ of turning up at 3pm with a view to catching some baits and then fishing through until midnight.

“Aside from advising people to fish when the water is coloured, my other main bit of zander fishing advice would be to fish with fresh coarse livebaits if at all possible,” he said. “I know some anglers have caught zander on sea baits, but I always use coarse fish.”

Mark baited up with a two-inch roach, mounted on a simple running rig with size 8 trebles, a fine wire trace and 12lb mono mainline. He used a home-made boom to keep the trace clear and light Solar bobbins as bite indicators.

“There was nothing in the take to suggest it was anything special. Like so many zander takes it was very delicate and that’s why it’s important to have no resistance and to fish light indicators,” he continued.

For the full story and pictures, see January’s
Midland Angler (below), out now!