Fishing for zander in June at Rutland? Yes, it was possible during Zander Challenge 2021. The rules states that lure fishing is allowed from September but the Lake Challenge competition is an exception. So it’s an opportunity for a lure angler to fish for zander in their activity peak. I knew what we can expect – a lot of action. My only concern was a training session that I had one week before with a fly rod. I didn’t catch a single zander which was strange because it was always easy. The only fish I had were pike and decent perch.
The competition weekend was divided in 4 parts:
- Saturday morning – training session
- Saturday afternoon – I competition session
- Sunday morning – II competition session
- Sunday afternoon – private fishing
The competition was individual but there were two anglers in a boat. Everyone’s goal was to catch 7 zander as long as possible.
During the training session we visited plenty of spots. We didn’t fish much but we just tried to find zander. It wasn’t easy for some reason. On the shallow water I had two fish very quickly but they were pike that I lost although I had 30 cm leaders. To short probably :/
So we moved a little bit deeper and finally we started to get zander.
After the training session we had a few chats with friends and it occurred that zeds are much deeper than we expected. People caught good ones very deep. That was a huge surprise for me. At this time of the year?
So when the competition started we went to the best deep spots but so did others. It was so crowded that we decided to move a few hundreds meters away to a little bit shallower water. It wasn’t bad – I immediately caught two fish. Unfortunately the size wasn’t the right one. Quick decision – we need to go to places we found during the training session.
When we got there we immediately started to catch zander. Most of them was small but we managed to land a few good ones. They were active so almost everything worked but the best was standard jigging and dropshoting.
After the first session I had 383 points and the 4th place. Not bad especially I had a few small zander to upgrade the next day.
The tactics for the second day was simple – we go to the previous day spots and we target only big ones. Easy to say…
There was almost no zander in our spots comparing to the day before. We had to move a lot to find small groups but even if we found them they didn’t want to bite. At some point we even thought about moving back to the deep places were everybody was fishing. Fortunately we stuck to our plan and finally I managed to catch a few missing big zeds but it could go either way. I was lucky to be honest … but luck is always the factor in fishing competitions.
I finished Zander Challenge 2021 in the first place with 456 points (75, 70, 68, 65, 64, 63, 51) so I was able to defend the title from the previous year 🙂
|№||Name||Score (top 7 zander)||Longest Fish (cm)||Total # of Fish Caught|