A Change of Scenery for Nick Speed

Nick Speed & Matt Rand

17th December 2014

Shimano’s Nick Speed recently took a day out from his usual match fishing schedule to spend a session predator fishing with fellow Shimano specialist angler Matt Rand. The duo had long discussed Nick having his first attempt at predators and one of the targets of the day was for Nick to hopefully see his first ever zander.

With a day penciled in to target one of Matt’s local Fenland rivers, the pair made their way to the venue at first light. On arrival they were greeted by an extremely hard frost, the first one the area had seen in a long time! Even though not ideal, one thing they did have in their favour was the fact that the river was a carrying a bit of extra water and pretty coloured as a consequence – perfect conditions for zander!

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With Nick never having targeted predators before any fish was going to be a result and it didn’t take long for the first fish of the day to put in an appearance. Nicks float fished roach deadbait fished directly in front was soon showing signs of interest and after a couple of twitches on the float it soon sailed away. A solid strike from Nick was then met with a solid resistance and in no time he was soon admiring his first ever pike in the net. This fish weighed in at 14lb, making it a great start to the day.

That very same spot produced another 13lb fish plus a few smaller jacks for Nick, before the decision was made to move on to another area to see if any zander were present. Before long a tentative dropped run on one of the floats soon indicated that a few zeds were in the area. Shortly after one of Matt’s floats slowly started moving away and a decent zander was hooked. After a pretty unspectacular fight, the pair slipped the net under an immaculate double-figure zander, allowing Nick to see how incredible this species looks in the flesh.

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The duo carried on fishing, but no more zeds were forthcoming. Right at last knockings however, Nick was to hook into his biggest fish of the day. Just as the sun was hitting the horizon, his float supporting a roach deadbait drifted out of site. Once again that day Nick wound down to a solid resistance and set the hooks, but this time the fish felt much heavier! Straight away the fish came thrashing to the surface putting on a proper display. Once in the net it looked like Nick could have managed a Fenland 20 on his first ever session, but on the scales it appeared that the awesome predator was a small roach short!

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The day had been a great introduction to predator fishing for Nick, with two very nice specimens brought to the bank. As Nick didn’t manage to catch a zander this trip however, we’re sure it won’t be long before they’re back out on the bank looking to get the job finished!

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