The zander is one of the most popular angling fish in Germany and there are many good reasons for this. For example, there is something mystical about the pikeperch, as for a long time it was considered almost impossible to catch with the classical methods. Even today pike-perch are not necessarily easy to catch and especially during the day it is important to find its habitat as the fish hardly move around at all. In the evening, on the other hand, life comes into the mostly twilight and nocturnal predatory fish and they move to their hunting grounds.
Zander Locations and behaviour where successful zander fishing
The zander is adapted to a life in the dark and likes murky water, otherwise it is more nocturnal and usually predates from dusk until late at night. The zander also loves stony or gravelly ground. Where there is one zander, there are usually several, so if you have a zander bite, you should keep trying nearby – your friends are usually not far away. However, larger zander are in smaller and smaller groups and large animals can even be solitary.
It’s easier to hunt in small groups, so zander often hunt shoals of small fish in the evening and surround them at underwater obstacles such as baffles, sheet piles or other water constructions. But also small fish that rest at night are hunted, especially in rivers at groyne heads. The zander likes to hunt for unsuspecting prey from ambush, for which it is specialised and so the baits should often be presented in a very unspectacular way. Especially when spinning with a plugs in the evening, a slow and unagitated presentation of the bait is considered to be particularly catchy.
This is what pike-perch eat – natural food
Pike-perch mainly feed on slender little fish such as arbours and the like. Crabs are also very popular. In recent years, more and more gobies have been found in zander’s stomachs. Of course, the main prey of zander is based on what they find in the water. As an angler you should use this as a guide when choosing bait.
One more tip: especially in the evening the zander often rob right in front of their feet in the shallow water – you don’t always have to pepper the rubber fish to the horizon. Plugs are also particularly promising in this case. Generally speaking, zander tend to stand low in winter and are active at noon, and in summer they tend to stand in darkness and very shallow.
Locations in rivers these are the zander hotspots
The best zander rivers are naturally cloudy rivers like the Rhine, Main, Oder, Neckar, Danube and Elbe.
- Warm water intakes: The zander likes it warm, that’s why there are also fast growing populations in Spain and as far as Turkey. Zander are therefore also frequently found at the outlets of power stations.
- Deep holes: In deep holes the zander usually lurk during the day, then rubber fish jigged over the bottom are often promising. Such holes can often be found when fishing for rubber fish and can be recognized by the longer sinking phases of the lure.
- Sandbanks: A good place to fish here with natural bait such as the dead bait fish or a fish shred. This is especially promising in the evenings in summer.
- Groyne fields: are the classic zander hotspot. Especially at the foot of the stone packs the fish are standing cautious! The danger of hanging is enormous. Even between two groynes you can find the zander in the deeper area during the day and at night in shallow water.
- The edge of the current: Here food particles are deposited that the current has carried with it and small fish are attracted, this also attracts the zander and you can also catch the fish here.
- Stream and river inlet edges: one of the best hotspots on the river for zander. The same applies to sweeping currents, which can also be caused by inlets.
- Ports and port entrances: While almost all other spots promise fish in the warm months, these are the fishing spots that are best visited in late autumn and spring. Depending on the stretch of water, a steel leader should also be used here, as pike also like ports.
- Mouths of old arms: Here the pike-perch also like to be found in spring and autumn. Bait fish in calmer waters often bring success.
- Bridges: Behind bridge piers the current breaks and here too there are often many food fish.
Locations in the lake
- Sunken wood and trees: Not only pike and perch like to spend time here, zander are often found here as well.
- Brook and river inlets: just like in rivers, they are also very good pike-perch sites in lakes
- Boat landing places: unfortunately only found on larger lakes, but pike-perch usually feel comfortable here, especially when it is a bit deeper.
- Spit of land: Often continue underwater and often have very steep edges. In winter it is particularly worth trying to find zander here.
- In general it is a bit more difficult to find zander in lakes, but where there are lots of food fish, it is often worth it. Usually zander are also found near the edge of the pike perch in the deeper water.