Natural Bait Fishing For Zander With Bait Fish This Is How It Works


Even though rubber fish are omnipresent, this classic among natural baits still catches bait fish excellently, of course. Because especially cautious and capital fish can still be caught best with their natural food.  In this article you will learn everything important about this old and yet very effective method. This is also by no means old-fashioned, but still very uncomplicated.

Table of ContentsThe right tackle for natural bait fishing for zanderBottom fishing for zanderThe tackleThe rodThe reelBite indicatorThe right places to fish for zanderThe basic assemblyPose fishing for zanderThe right depthThe tackle for pose fishing for zanderPose fishing for zanderPose fishing for zanderRod and reel for pose fishing for zanderThe right pose mounting for zander fishing with bait fishThe best bait fish for zanderInstruction how to pull bait fish for zander

The right tackle for natural bait fishing for zander

When fishing with natural bait you do not need an expensive rod or reel. No matter if you fish with a pose or on the bottom, you are more interested in the bait, which has to be in the right place at the right time. For a general introduction to posing and bottom fishing there is already a guide on the website, if you are a beginner it is recommended to read it:

  • Link to Ground Angling Guide
  • Link to Pose Angling Guide

Ground Angling for zander the tackle

Light to medium ground rods have proven to be a good choice, but even a simple telescopic rod will do, because unlike spinning, the weight of the rod and reel is hardly important. After all, you rarely have the rod in your hand.

The rod

Of course the casting weight has to be adapted to the respective water, but mostly long rods up to 60 grams casting weight and 2.6-3.6 m length. Zander are not strong fighters, but nevertheless a bycatch of eel or pike can occur.    A good example is Amazon with the Cormoran Topfish Tele 40 Zander.      If you like it a bit stronger and prefer push rods you will be happy with any normal spinning or ground rod in this casting weight range.

The reel

Freewheel reels are a good choice for river fishing, in lakes or other still waters you can use almost any reel, because switching on the freewheel is out of the question for zander fishing. Because here the reel bar must be open for extremely careful zander fishing.    A suitable Baitrunner reel is the Okuma Longbow XT (link to my test) which has a great price/performance ratio. In general, reels from size 2500 on are suitable for bottom fishing for zander.

Bite indicators

In flowing waters you can fish with normal electric bite indicators and free wheel. However, I recommend leaving the reel bar open and putting a rubber band on the rod handle. Afterwards a small loop of line is led under the rubber.    With this the fish feels no resistance, because zander are extremely bitchy and otherwise they let go of the bait fish quickly.

In lakes and stagnant waters it is recommended to make a hanger from aluminium foil, which is very light and offers no resistance to the zander. If waves or wind are too strong, however, the method with the rubber fish is again suitable. In general, it is important that the rod tip points towards the lure, otherwise the zander will quickly run into the rod tip and let go.

The right places to fish for zander

There is an article>> on this subject in which the hot spots are listed. Zander can be found in completely different places during the day and at night.

The basic assembly

A zander leader for an assembly for bottom fishing is quickly made and not complicated. If gobies or crabs shred any bait fish for me, then I provide some buoyancy to the bait fish by inserting some foam or polystyrene into the mouth of the bait fish, or by threading a buoyancy ball onto the leader. A bait fish that floats just above the bottom of the water is actually always a good idea.

  • The lead weight is threaded onto the main line, the rule being: as light as possible, as heavy as necessary. A Tiroler Hölzl is often particularly good and prevents hangers.
  • A rubber bead is threaded onto the main line to protect the knot.
  • A simple swivel is knotted to the main line.
  • A soft braided line is recommended for the leader where no pike is expected, otherwise soft steel. Both are about 70 -100 cm long.
  • The bait fish is attached to the leader with a bait needle.
  • Put half a stroke of the line around the tail of the bait fish (see photo instructions below). With this the bait fish holds better and survives also harder casts without bending unnaturally.
Chris Tip:If you forget the bait needle at home or if the bait needle was lost during night fishing (happens to me occasionally). You can also pull up the bait fish with the hook, like a needle. Always from one side to the other to anchor it at the end in the head area normally.

Pose fishing for zander

Also with the pose or float you can fish for zander very successfully. Especially in still waters, a well cast out pose offers little resistance to the zander and is therefore an optimal bite indicator.

The right depth

The right depth cannot be determined for all situations. You can offer the bait fish just above ground or even in mid-water.  You can also fish the bait fish with the pose on the bottom, in this case a lead shot is 30 cm in front of the bait fish on the bottom and keeps the assembly on the spot.

How deep you fish for zander depends entirely on the water. In summer it is worth fishing rather shallow in the evening and at night or laying the bait fish on the bottom in very shallow water. During the day, deeper spots are promising.

The tackle for fishing for zander

The tackle for fishing for zander is also rather simple and does not require special fishing equipment or expensive fishing gear.

Zander poses

Zander poses are generally slim and fine. This is of course based on the weight of lead and bait fish required.

4-12 gram carrying poses are usually the right choice, even if this is of course already a wide spread indication. Knicklich poses are helpful at night. There are many opinions whether yellow bend lights have a scare effect or not. Personally I did not make a difference between the dimly shining blue and red and the bright yellow ones.

Rods and reels for pose fishing for zander

Again, cheap telescopic or push rods with a length of about 3-3.8 m and a casting weight of 20-60g are completely sufficient. Zander are not strong fighters. Only if there are eels in the water or you are fishing on the river should you use somewhat stronger tackle.

For those who have dedicated themselves to this kind of fishing or are often out and about in a pose, the DAM Effzett Zanderfloat is worth a recommendation.        Link to the rod on Amazon>>

You have a free choice of reels and any reel from size 2000 upwards is suitable.

The line may then be slightly lighter than for bottom fishing. A 0,22` is the lower limit and towards the top I would fish a maximum of 0,30 mm monofilament line.

The right pose mounting for zander fishing with bait fish

The mounting is basically very simple and consists of a slim pose, which has to be fished out very precisely, because careful zander feel every resistance and let go very quickly. A little lead, a swivel and a leader about 40-60 cm long and the assembly is ready.

For flowing waters, pose montages for zander are a somewhat more difficult matter and it is usually only possible to fish sensibly with the set fishing rod. Otherwise, our montage drifts off constantly, which is not necessarily desirable when sitting up. The lead and the pose don’t have to be quite as fine for the rivers, as river zander are less sensitive to resistance. At the most in very low current areas you can dispense with the set fish rod. No matter which of the two cases the pose mounting for the river is the same as for lakes and ponds.

The best bait fish for zander

The best thing is to already know what the pike-perch have shot into the water and possibly know the stomach contents of a pike-perch from the water. Then you also know what the pike-perch prefer to eat. In general, you don’t make any mistakes when fishing with finger-length perches. Zander generally prefer slim prey. It’s best to catch your bait fish yourself with

of a maggot on the bottom or just above it. Then you can quickly see what kind of small fish you can find in zander waters. Gobies are accepted as prey in many zander waters and are therefore good bait fish. They are also very good due to their toughness, as they do not detach from the assembly so quickly. In general, bait fish around 6-10 cm are never wrong. I always leave the swim bladder intact. Then the bait fish floats up a bit and can be taken up more easily by the zander.

Instructions how to pull bait fish for zander

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