Zander baits – The best baits for zander
Zander fishing can become a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. To find the right bait it is important to consider the eating behaviour of the fish. This not only changes over the course of a day, but is also influenced by the seasons. Bigger lures are interesting before the closed season and in spring, as zander see big fish as competitors and tend to attack them. Small baits and mini baits lead to success during the breeding season. Baits should correspond in size, shape and colour to the food fish currently hunted by the zander. However, shock colours also often lead to success, which is why there is not the one best bait available. You always have to find this out for your waters yourself.
But the fishing situation (the water, fishing rod and fishing method) also plays a role in bait selection.
The hunting behaviour of zander has a few special features that should be considered when choosing bait. Not only the active hunting season of zander, which begins as soon as it gets dark, is interesting here, but also the way in which they are hunted. For example, zander pursue their prey for some time before they strike. They also suck in their prey. Too big baits or hooks prevent them from doing so. It is therefore crucial for catching success not only to present the lure correctly, but also to adapt the lure size to the zander’s hunting behaviour.
The rubber fish as zander bait
Rubber fish are the most popular bait when the target fish is called zander. The tail shape is particularly important for rubber fish. The steeper the tail is set off to the body, the more water is displaced. This leads to the fact that especially action shads with a plate tail move very strongly and generate a lot of pressure under water.
But zander can also be caught with other rubber fish. You can be particularly successful with twisters in winter by jigging them over the bottom with an overleaded jig head.
V-tails or fringe lures are recommended for vertical fishing, as they move perfectly in the vertical and make very attractive movements when the lure is raised or lowered, leaving no predator fish cold.
Depending on the manufacturer the rubber fish are usually a bit softer or harder. In general, however, the softer the lure, the better the zander can suck it in. The disadvantage of lures that are too soft is that they have to be replaced after a few bites.
The choice of colour also plays a major role. It is recommended to always have several colour combinations at hand. In low light conditions lures that offer a high contrast to the water are often more successful. If the water is clearer and the light is good, muted colours work very well. Here it is important to make your own experiences and build up trust in the lure.
Recommendations for Zander rubber baits
I fish the following rubber baits myself and can therefore highly recommend them. Please note that I mainly fish for zander in slightly murkier waters and therefore prefer brighter colours, as lures in natural colour are rather inconspicuous.
Pike perch wobblers
Pike perch wobblers are also excellent baits for pike perch fishing. They offer an advantage especially in shallow waters. At night, when the zander’s hunting behaviour is most pronounced and they are in mid-water, slim wobblers are optimal. Bright colours in particular work very well then. Wobblers are well suited for trolling and should run one to two metres deep in the water, depending on the depth of the water. Longish plugs of about 10 cm are ideal.
Recommendations for pike-perch plugs
I often fish with the following plugs and have already caught some zander with them. Especially with plugs the condition of the water is very important. I usually use plugs only at low water in the harbour area. Especially in the evening plugs work very well as zander lures.
Jig spinners as zander lures
Jig spinners are especially suitable for vertical fishing from a boat or on a sheet pile wall. You can also fish vertically with them, but in this case I recommend replacing the triplet with a twin hook. Otherwise at least I had the problem of collecting a lot of dirt by the direct contact of the hook to the bottom.
Due to the spinner blade a jig spinner can be a very good lure if there is a lot of fishing pressure in the water and the fish are already used to rubber lures.
Recommendations for jig spinners
Especially on days when nothing seems to work properly I try jig spinners. Because we have a lot of current in the Weser, I use jig spinners with at least 25g. But in the harbour area it can be a little less.
I have already caught some zander with the following jig spinners.
If you want to fish for zander with natural bait, bait fish are the best choice. These can be offered either whole or in shreds. The fresher the fish, the better.
Especially in waters that are subject to high fishing pressure with artificial bait, fishing with bait fish can make all the difference. But even on days when the zander simply won’t bite, baitfish can be a lifesaver. It can also be helpful to vary the fishing spot from time to time. This increases the chances of catching the fish. In lower light conditions or when it gets dark, the catch rate also increases, as the zander are then more active or the hunting season begins. As long as temperatures are still mild, the zander will stay in the shallow shore areas. As soon as temperatures fall or when there is strong light, they retreat to the lower regions, especially in stagnant waters.
Which bait fish are suitable for zander fishing?
Bait fish, which are particularly suitable for zander fishing, should be 5 to 12 cm in size and fresh. Especially fish that are part of the natural diet of pike-perch function correspondingly well. These are gudgeons, perch, rudd or roach. These can be quickly caught with a dabbled rod and can be used immediately. Alternatively, most specialist fishing shops also offer bait fish for sale.
Methods of bait fishing for zander
Here the angler has two options. The bait fish can either be presented by basic mounting just above the bottom, or you can reach for pose mounting and guide the bait fish along in mid-water. However, this is only possible if the water is not too deep. This method is therefore particularly suitable for canals and smaller rivers.
The best zander bait for the day
During the day rubber fish are excellent zander baits. Zander stay in places where there is less light when the light is strong. During the day they retreat to the bottom of the water. The colour and size depends on the cloudiness of the water and the current weather.
The best zander bait for the night
When it gets dark, the zander’s hunting begins. Within half an hour the fish become active and rise to mid-water. Bright colours and UV-active baits are an advantage when fishing in the dark. As zander see less well in the dark, plugs with rattle are also a good lure as they create more pressure and stimulate additional senses of the zander.
Angling with bait fish is always a good option at dusk or in the evening, when active fishing is less easy due to limited visibility through the dark.