The Zander Guide


The zander (Stizostedion lucioperca) belongs to the perch-like species (Percidae) and has been one of the most popular angler fish in Germany, not only since the introduction of the rubber fish.

Table of ContentsDanger of ConfusionDisseminationSize and World RecordsLawning seasonSleep times and gentle measures of pikeperchBehaviourLife spaceStands Fishing for pikeperch – Fishing techniquesIn aquaculturePikeperch in the kitchenMy favourite recipe : Pikeperch in Almond Butter

Danger of Confusion

A danger of confusion exists especially as young fish with perch.      However, they can easily be distinguished from them by the missing thorn on the gill cover. Also as a young fish there is still a danger of confusion with the ruffe perch and chubby.

Info: A close relativeA close relative of the pikeperch is the North American walleye, which looks very similar to it, but is getting a little smaller.


Originally the pikeperch comes from Eastern Europe and is classified as non-native in Germany except in the Danube system.    In 1880, pike-perch were occupied for the first time in the Rhine and were able to build up stable stocks in the Rhine system, including the Neckar and Main rivers. Due to its great popularity as a fishing and edible fish, the zander is stocked in many waters, even if it cannot preserve itself there. For this reason, the zander is found in many German waters and above all in all river systems.

Particularly good zander waters are the Rhine, the Oder and the Port of Hamburg.

In Europe, the zander is now also at home as far away as Spain and can be found as far north as Sweden. Its original area of distribution extends over the whole of Eastern Europe to the Caspian Sea.

Size and world records

The official IGFA world record for zander is 11.48 kg and was caught in 2016 in Lago Magiore in Switzerland.      But there are also reports of a 14 kg pikeperch from a dredging lake and a 13.5 kg pikeperch from the Weser. Zander grow to a maximum length of 130 cm.    From 80 cm one can speak of a capital and such fish are usually over 10 years old.

Spawning season

The spawning season is in April and May. The male guards the spawn and also protects the young fish for some time. During this time the males do not prey and therefore hardly eat, but are extremely aggressive.

Seasons and sizes of pike-perch

In the following you will find all seasons and sizes of pike-perch in all federal states as of 2018. In some waters these may be extended or changed. This information can usually be found on your permit or in case of doubt in the respective state fishing regulations or fishing laws.

Unfortunately, my table toll does not allow me to write minimum dimensions with “ß”.


Zander are active at night and twilight so the best biting time is in the evening or early in the morning. As they can see very well in the dark with their extremely light intensifying eyes (trapecum). In turbid water they are also active during the day. Otherwise they often stand in small groups along the edges of rivers and under cover (such as deadwood) in lakes. In the main current itself they are only found at extremely low tide and are usually behind cover.


The zander prefers turbid but oxygen-rich waters. It does not like strong vegetation and prefers a gravelly ground.    Dredging lakes in which gravel is still dredged are therefore often good zander waters in which the fish feel at home and also reproduce.


Typically the zander lives in channels and depressions in rivers, so it needs some structure. In lakes it prefers gravel areas with some structure.    In the evening, zander usually rob in shallow water near the bank.    You will find hot spots and stands in this article >>

Fishing for zander – fishing techniques

Zander can be caught with both dead bait fish and spinner bait. Generally they prefer rather slim lures such as bait, smelt and gudge.    Most rubber fish for zander are based on these lures.

Dead bait fish can be offered both with the pose and on the basis of. An inconspicuous installation with a very light and perfectly balanced pose is recommended. The bait fish can be offered floating above the ground or also at night near the surface.      If a zander is suspicious or disturbed by something, it usually lets go immediately.    Triplets and hooks are therefore best hooked into the head area of the bait fish.

Natural bait Fishing for zander with bait fish – this is how

When spinning for zander, it can either be pursued at night with flat-running plugs or during the day with rubber fish or other rubber baits on the lead head or drop shot system.      Very successful is also spin fishing with Drakovitc system with a real bait fish.

Gummy fish fishing for zander and perch

Zander spinning rods for gummy fish fishing

In aquaculture

Zander are also kept and bred in aquaculture, but the conversion from live food (artemia) to dry food causes problems for the young fish. Furthermore, the fish are cannibalistic but not quite as strong as perch and pike.

Zander in the kitchen

The zander is one of the best edible fish in freshwater and its firm white flesh is a delicacy.        Pike-perch have a very light taste of their own, which should not be covered too much with spices.

Fish in the supermarket are mostly from Eastern European fisheries or aquaculture. The origin must be indicated on the packaging or on the display.

My favourite recipe : Pike perch in almond butter

Ingredients: Butter, pike-perch fillet, grated almonds, salt and pepper.    We recommend jacket potatoes as a side dish.

Very simple and very tasty Pike-perch in almond butter brings out the natural fine taste of pike-perch. The first thing to do is to melt plenty of butter in a pan and heat it up. It should not turn brown. The fillets are first fried on the skin side and turned over after 2-3 minutes. Now add the grated almonds to the pan and roast until the fish is cooked.

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