Well according to the wife and half my friends, I have officially turned a corner and become old. Last Saturday was my 30th birthday and to celebrate we organised a trip to fish a new venue and try our luck for some Zander. So after a early start Sunday morning, a long journey and of course the obligatory McDonald's breakfast, we finally arrived at Rutland Water.
The tactics were simple, follow Greg and steal all his marks whilst bouncing soft plastics along the bottom. So to cut a long story short that's what we did. I took a massive amount of shads and soft plastics but in the end used nothing but my favorite paddle tail the TT Shad from Bait Breath.
The first mark produced a couple of pike for Greg but it was the second mark that produce 95% of the fish for the day. Ben was first to find a zed, not exactly a specimen but a great sign that we had found some.
The takes kept coming and soon we had all landed fish including perch, pike and zander but more importantly the laughs were coming think and fast to. My highlight was when Ben decide to urinate forgetting about the GoPro setup in front of him.
As you can see my first zander of the day was even less of a specimen than Ben's however things did improve as the day went on. The majority of my takes came on the drop and it didn't seem to matter what colour lure I put on. The important thing was to keep it hard on the bottom and with the 9-12mph winds we were having that took 30g jigheads. I even had a nice trout take the TT Shad on the retrieve which gave me a nice little scrap.
After missing a few takes we lined ourselves back up on the same drift. As we hit the drop off Ben struck into a fish. The fish was fighting well in the deep water and when it got half way up made a run for the bottom taking line. We both thought it would be a pike but then it gave up and out thoughts turned back to zander. as the fish came into sight all I heard from Ben was "It's a f**king zander". Sure enough Ben had just smashed his PB.
Before Sunday Ben's PB was about 6oz so this 6lb 14oz beauty well and truly smashed that. I think his smug face says it all. You know I reckon with a little more practice he might just be able to challenge Matt Jones to a smug off. We continued the same drift as we didn't have long and I now wanted a 7lb plus fish. Unfortunately it wasn't to be but I did manage another PB before the close of play.
With a total of 5 PB's on our boat alone it was hard not to be happy. What a great way to spend my birthday weekend. I will definitely going back for another trip. Thanks to all the lads for coming and making the effort. Another top day in top company.
I'll leave you with one last picture of Ben's cracking Zander.
All content copyright of Dean Pilgrim 2014