On the 6th of September 2020 Polish Anglers Association held Zander Cup (Zander Challenge) – fishing competition on Rutland Water. 8 years of history has made this event the oldest one organized by PAA, however this year the competition was also a part of Lake Challenge. Contestants were not only aiming to win the Zander Cup but also to score valuable points towards Lake Challenge general classification. On the day. 56 contestants from 9 countries were ready to use their best skills, knowledge and equipment to catch required fish. Only 5 zanders and only ones 35cm or over were taken into account. During registration all contestants received start cards, tape measures made by Predator Maniac and welcome packs from Dragon and Relax Lure. Along fantastic lures and gadgets, the packs contained winter hats from Dragon. Fortunately they were not needed on the 6th of September, but we are sure they will come useful in the next couple of months. Life without sugar would not be the same, just like Zander Cup without sweet catering from Polish Village Bread would not be the same. PVB took care of the contestant’s sugar level.

Once morning briefing, run by Jarek Biszczuk (Predator maniac), Thom Hunt and Adrian Grycendler was over, everyone started getting ready to compete. 9am on the dot, contestants were ordered to form a start line, right behind a wall separating the entrance to the marina and harbor. Within 5 minutes all 28 boats were on the position and received a green light.

The competition was 9 hours long and throughout this time we were able to monitor constantly changing scores. It was possible due to the Score Fishing Application which is supporting all Lake Challenge events. Every minute a different name was displayed under number one contestant, every second scores were literally going crazy. Marcin Szymborski, who was unable to join us on Rutland in person, spent all day coordinating the application from the office. Marcin was making sure all pictures were taken and logged accordingly with rules. It was an extremely busy day for Marcin, as to our great surprise 236 photos were submitted. That is the exact number of zanders accepted towards official Zander Cup scores. That day far more fish was caught, mainly perch and pikes which qualify for the Like Challenge. Some of them were quite impressive, even over 100cm! Score Fishing App was set up for Last cast at 6:30pm.

Few minutes before the cut off time, Daniel Celeda was on the third position, right behind Jakub Tadych and Marcin Włodarczyk. In the last moment Daniel caught a winning 61cm zander and became a leader. Competition could not be any tighter. Daniel(241) won with Marcin(240) by exactly 1 point and with Jakub(239) by 2 points. Special congratulations should also go to Egidijus Vencuks who finished on the 4th place with 236 points and to Gints Grabuzovs who was the 5th with 234 points.Even though Gints did not win the competition on this occasion as he did last year, Polish Anglers Association can be proud to have him as a member. This fantastic angler from Latvia certainly knows how to catch a zander! In the general classification of the Zander Cup, 18 anglers managed to collect over 200 points. Submitting 5 zanders over 35cm did not guarantee being in the top 20 contestants, as Marcin Kiedrowski can confirm. Despite catching 5 qualified fish, he finished the competition in the 22nd position.

Around 7pm everyone gathered for the most important moment of the day. The winners were honored with great applause and even greater prizes from our sponsors. Fishing rods from Westin and Dragon, Relax Lures and Woblery Siek lures, Mahio lures box from Pike Maniacs Team and many more gadgets were worth 9 hours of competition. The winner received extra prizes from Realistic Shad and Rutland Water. The Zander Cup had to honor the biggest zander of the day, which was a 61cm zander caught by Daniel Celeda. It was another fantastic day and we can not wait to do it again, this time on Grafham Water. On the 4th of October, contestants will have the opportunity to win Perch Pro, which is the last competition within the Lakes Challenge. As always, this event could not have happened without great people like Marcin Szymborski, Grzegorz Biernat, Rafał Hołowiński, Piotr Matławski and everyone who helped to make it work.

Thank you and see you soon!

Zander Challenge full standings available here.