When fishing for pike-perch you specialize in a really strong predator.
Because the zander can sometimes weigh up to 20 kg and loves deep lakes, canals and rivers. Its distribution area extends mainly to Eastern, Central and Northern Europe.
To be successful in zander fishing, you should use natural and artificial bait.
But you can also catch capital specimens when fly-fishing. In order to be successful in zander fishing we will first of all talk a bit about the target fish zander.
Because only those who know their opponent can adjust to him. That’s why you will now get some information about the zander.
Zander Background information
Originally the pikeperch comes from the Danube basin area and the Eastern European and West Asian regions. This is where it has its origin. The zander is considered an active predatory fish.
That is why it is rather an unpopular predator for many water managers.
This is due to the fact that it sometimes eats up the entire stocking.
Its favourite habitats are deep lakes, rivers and canals. However, oxbow lakes with a solid bottom are also suitable habitats for the zander.
That’s why you should also fish for zander in these locations and habitats. In Germany, zander spend most of their time in deep ditches.
It likes to stay at the bottom of the water.
In areas around the Baltic Sea, zander can be found wandering between the Baltic Sea and monkeys.
During the spawning season they prefer to stay in shallow waters. However, here they spend a maximum of 2 weeks together.
As a rule, zander spawn between March and May. They are also characterized by the fact that they are stickleback spawners. They therefore prefer plants, roots and stones to lay the spawn.
Characteristics & Raubzeiten
A striking feature of zander is their eyes. They are also known as “glass eyes” or cat eyes.
The eyes of the zander are usually bright yellow.
These are caused by reflecting light and are therefore very sensitive to light conditions. This is the reason why they prefer to rob at night, which is why pike-perch fishing is mostly done in the evening and overnight.
Other striking features of the zander are the gill covers without thorn and its slender body which makes it a very agile predator. It is also often referred to as a torpedo-shaped body.
Its mouth is terminal with dog’s or canine teeth. On the dorsal, caudal and anal fins you will find irregular dark spots. The dorsal and caudal fins have darker stripes which are arranged parallel.
The scales are small and especially tightly attached scales. The dorsal fins are separate. The first one starts above the ventral fin base, whereas the caudal fin is very even.
Following the most important characteristics at a glance:
The largest zander have a total length of about 1.20 m and weigh about 19 kg.
Fishing for zander: Book recommendation
If you want to know more about pike-perch fishing in general, we recommend the pike-perch book “AnzeigeModernes Fische finden – Der Zander”
The following questions are answered in the pike-perch book:
- How does the pike-perch go hunting?
- How should you use fishing bait as realistically as possible?
- When and where does the zander stay in rivers, lakes or dams?
- What should you pay particular attention to when fishing for zander in lakes and reservoirs?
- What is the ideal weather for zander fishing?
The book is mainly designed to find the best hotspots and is therefore not a “standard book”.
Zander fishing equipment
In the following we will go into the most important fishing equipment for zander fishing. We will also show you what has proved to be especially good for us in the past.
Below is a rough overview of what you need and what you should not do without:
- Zander rods / spinning rod (taut action, length approx. 2.40 – 3.00 m)
- Zander reel / spinning reel (ideal is a ratio of approx. 4,8:1)
- Braided zander line (diameter: 0,10 – 0,15 mm)
- Steel leader
In the following we will go into more detail about the fishing equipment.
Zander rods / spinning rods
Those who want to fish for zander should first decide whether to go fishing from a boat or from the shore. In either case you will need a fast moving and not too heavy zander rod. If you want to go shore fishing, your rod should be between 2.40 m and 3.00 m long.
From the boat we recommend much shorter rods. This should be between 2.00 m and 2.40 m long. This gives you much more room to manoeuvre in the often very small boat space.
Here are the best zander rods in the comparison table:
Shimano Yasei AX Zander Pleasure 300
We have had very good experience with the Shimano Yasei AX Zander Pleasure 300. This one is really ideal with a throwing weight up to 30 g. And this is what it looks like:
Jenzi Tycoon Spin MXL
If this one is out of stock, we can also offer you the cheaper Jenzi Tycoon Spin MXL (2,70 m with a weight of 10 to 30 g). It is one of the best sellers at Amazon. Here is a picture of it:
Westin W4 Power Shad
The Westin W4 Power Shad also has an impressive total length of 270 centimetres (the transport length is only 141 cm). Besides the target fish zander it is also suitable for pike and perch. In our opinion a real all-round genius.
The casting weight is 15-40g. Altogether it comes to a rod weight of 174g. She is also impeccable in terms of casting and action. She also has a very good tip action so that you can feel every bite, no matter how small.
On the following picture you can have a closer look at her:
Greys Prowla Platinum Specialist II Spinrute 8″
In addition, we also recommend the advertisement Greys Prowla Platinum Specialist II Spinrute 8″. It consists of a total of 2 parts (it is a plug rod) and has a casting weight of 10-50g.
It also has a SIC ring and has a total length of 2.44 m. It is a light weight spinning rod for various predatory fish (not only zander).
It also has a high-quality finish. The balance weight and the handling during the drill are also very good. Of course it is not the most expensive but also not the cheapest zander rod. We can recommend it if you are looking for a zander rod with a good price/performance ratio.
DAM Nanoflex G2 – spinning rod
Another very cheap zander rod is the AnzeigeDAM Nanoflex G2 – spinning rod. It is a fishing rod made of carbon fibre. According to the manufacturer it is possible to lift 200 times the maximum casting weight without breaking.
With a casting weight of 25 to 50 g this means 10 kg. This means that you don’t have to worry about rod breakage even with larger zander.
It also has a pure, high-quality cork handle, SIC rings and a Fuji reel seat. It is especially suitable for rubber fish baits when fishing for zander.
And this is what it looks like:
Of course you should not skimp on the rod. Sometimes it’s worth investing an extra euro here to get something from the rod for longer.
You can find more rods for zander fishing in our big zander rod test with rods under 100 Euro.
Zander reel / spinning reel
The reel should be a little smaller. We have had very good experience with small stationary reels or spinning reels. If you want to fish for zander from a boat, choose a 1000 to 3000 model. From the shore it should be a bit bigger. For example, we can recommend the displayShimano Stradic Ci4 front brake reel.
If this is out of stock (which happens more often), we can also recommend the AnzeigeShimano Stradic CI4+ 4000 XG FB spinning reel with front brake, STCI44000XGFB:
This model is also a front brake reel in a class of its own:
Braided pike-perch line (diameter: 0.12 – 0.15 mm)
Many beginners and novices make the mistake of using a monofilament and not a braided fishing line.
Monofilament fishing lines are unfortunately too stretchy. Especially when fishing fast and directly near the lure, the chance of a line break is simply too high.
But especially when fishing for rubber fish, direct contact with the lure is extremely important.
A braided fishing line is also urgently needed for drop-shot fishing and pike-perch fishing with plugs.
The advantage is that the stretch is extremely small. Moreover, the action of the rod tip is passed on directly to the pike-perch hook.
The braided fishing line for zander fishing should be between 0.10 and 0.15 millimetres thick.
The fishing line should also have a load capacity of 10 kg.
Here are the most important details for you:
- Thickness: 0.12 mm to 0.15 mm
- Load capacity: 10 kg
- Type: braided
- Colours: red, pink, green or yellow
We can recommend the 0.15 mm display fishing line from Stork. It is ideal to avoid line breakage even with larger zander.
Steel leader for zander fishing
You should also choose a steel leader. This is because pike is often found in the zander area.
Pike also bite at times when the pike-perch is active (especially at night). And if by chance a pike has bitten, then it would be a real pity if he bites off the entire pike-perch leader. We recommend a 7 kg steel leader (7 x 7 is best) with a twin hook and a length of approx. 60 centimetres (especially if you fish with larger bait fish).
We can recommend this steel leader from Comroran.
If you don’t want to put together your own Zander gear, you can simply use a complete set. Especially for beginners such a set is usually highly recommended.
A high quality complete set is for example the AnzeigeBalzer/Cormoran complete fishing set (with rod for zander).
With this you can start fishing for pike-perch directly.
What bait do you need for zander fishing?
The standard bait used is mainly natural bait or bait fish. Tatters of dead fish have also proved to be excellent. Now you may ask yourself why this kind of bait is better than rubber fish?
This is because the natural bait still emits some scents that attract the predator fish, which makes pike-perch fishing much easier.
But in the following we will introduce you to the most catching pike-perch lures in more detail.
Zander fishing with bait fish
If you fish with bait fish, your chances of catching zander increase enormously. Especially in waters that are frequently fished, bait fish have proved to be very successful. Bait fish are particularly popular with pike-perch because of their “exhalations”.
In the following you will find some important tips from us that you should definitely take into account when fishing for bait fish.
The right place & the right time
Of course the right place and the right time always play a decisive role:
- To further increase your chances of catching a fish
- If the sky is slightly overcast your chances of catching a fish are also increased (avoid direct sunlight)
- Choose the bait fish according to the season. In June / July use small fishing baits of 8 to 10 cm length. end of August to beginning of October 5 to 7 cmOctober to November 10 to 12 cm
- Set up second rod with fish shreds
- Be on the water at dusk or before sunrise
- In the evening, fishing for bait fish near the shore, on water lilies and reed edges is ideal
- During the day you should fish for edges and headlands
Baitfish gear for zander fishing
Choose your gear carefully if you want to chase zander with a bait fish.
- Places with white fish are ideal (e.g.
- After a bite, set up a second rod at the bite site
- Telescopic rods with a length of 2.50 m to 3.50 m are ideal (casting weight: 10 to 50 g)
- Use stationary reels (2500 to 4000)
- Lead assemblies are ideal for bait fish (work with a light lead if possible)
- Use pose assemblies in still waters (this allows the bait to be offered just above the bottom – use stoppers, wagglers, shot lead swivels and 4-point leader hooks)
- if necessary use only light poses or use slim waggler / loafer poses (3 to 10 g)
- braided 0.15 mm to 0.22 thick braided fishing lines are ideal
Selection of bait fish
The following bait fish have proven to be particularly suitable and very efficient for successful fishing for zander
Extra tip: Sardines are an insider tip when fishing for pike-perch (probably because of the salt content from the sea).
The bait fish can be up to 12 cm long, depending on the season, as especially large pike-perch fish eat even such larger specimens.
Increasing your chances of catching
There are many little tricks that can be used to increase your chances of catching bait fish.
- Use small baitfish (the mouth of the pikeperch is nowhere near as big as the mouth of the pike)
- If possible take several different baitfish directly with you (so you can vary between them)
- Also offer several different bait fish at once
- Aim at the same spot again and again
- if there is a small pluck,
- The resistance during mounting and biting should be kept as low as possible
- Make sure that the bait is quickly returned to the water when a bite has been taken (often other zander in the vicinity are also on
If you have followed all the tips, there should not be much in the way of a good zander.
If you follow the above tips, you will soon be able to take your first zander home.
Zander fishing with rubber fish
Which lure has sometimes proved to be very good is the rubber fish when fishing for zander. This is available in many different designs, shapes, colours and sizes.
Rubber fish have often proved to be very good and catchy when fishing for pike-perch. They are a good alternative to bait fish (especially if you don’t have a bait fish at hand).
If you want to use rubber fish, you should follow the rules below. As a rule you can’t do much wrong with them.
If the water is clear, a natural rubber fish is the best alternative. It should “blend in” with the appearance of the surroundings and be in harmony with the natural conditions.
Otherwise the pike-perch will quickly notice that something is not right. They then sense that something is rotten, and they then forgo a bite.
When it’s cloudy and the water looks cloudy, bright rubber fish make the most sense.
Because bright colors are usually best perceived by pike-perch. Especially in cloudy and deep waters they have proved to be more catchable in the past.
If you’re planning a night fishing trip, you should use the darkest possible zander bait. The following illustration shows a dark perch rubber fish:
The reason is very simple. Zander can perceive the fishing lures better. This is because the contrast between the water surface and the differently coloured sky is generally higher.
Rubber fish in practice
Below is a typical version for fishing for zander in slightly brighter colours.
This one is particularly suitable for cloudy waters and on rather cloudy days. The particularly bright tail tip is also noticeable here.
By the way, you can easily strike the following rubber zander lures:
- 15 cm Renosky perch
- Zander Shad (17 pieces artificial bait set see here)
- Laminated rubber fish
- long rubber fish (22 cm like this one from AnzeigeWestin)
For those who want to buy a big bait set directly, we recommend this surprise box with all the important baits for zander fishing.
At this point we can also recommend the book 10 mysterious bait tricks. This will make your expensive rubber fish even more catchy. Because you have certainly never heard of these tricks.
Pike-perch fishing with plugs
Plugs and hardbaits are especially catchy at night. This is because at night the pike-perch stick mainly to the shore and are therefore particularly easy to catch.
As they stay close to the water surface at night, it can even become a very lively affair, which can provide some real action on the water.
Good plugs are about 10 cm long and have a special UV coating to prevent the bright colors from fading so quickly. In addition, a good wobbler should always have 2 triplets. This prevents annoying false bites. The two triplets grip securely in the pikeperch mouth and will settle there securely when you strike the pikeperch properly.
Of course you can also use a plugs for pike-perch fishing during the day.
A wobbler generally fakes an injured fish in the water and thus represents a particularly attractive prey for many predatory fish. And with the wobbler you fake this fish perfectly.
How do you offer the plugs?
Let the pike-perch plugs sink to about 1.50 to 2 m and then slowly pull them in. Especially at night the zander come very close to the shore and sometimes even to the tip of the rod before they bite.
Place your plugs on the edge of the current if possible. This is because this is often where peaceful fish like bleak seek shelter. As the arbours are in shoals (schooling fish), they are a favourite food for the zander. And if there is a plugs in between, the chance of a bite is very high.
Which zander rod is suitable for plugs?
If you fish with a plugs, you should choose a rod with semi-parabolic action. This makes the first third of the zander rod flexible. This makes the lure look more “alive” and the lure can be presented better.
Because the other 2 thirds are “rigid”, you can also tackle bigger zander without any problems.
If your fishing spot has plenty of room, you can also use a pikeperch rod for the pikeperch from 2.60 m to 3 m. If you have less space, e.g. due to trees or bushes standing around or even want to fish for zander from a boat, you should choose a smaller rod of 1.80 m and 2.20 m.
The Jenzi Ground Contact C 1 with a total length of 3 metres has such a semi-parabolic action that you can also use it to fish for zander.
Which wobbler is the right one?
We have had very good experience with the Rapal X-Rap. It is 10 cm long and has the UV coating mentioned above. It is also equipped with two sharp triplets – just as you need them.
Following is a video about pike-perch fishing on plugs. It goes just 3 minutes.
What kind of zander rig do you need for zander fishing?
In the following we would like to introduce you to 6 different Zander mounts that have proven to be especially useful for zander fishing. The individual mounts have different areas of application and are therefore used differently. The Zander montages we would like to present to you are
- Sbirolino Mount
- Running Lead Mount
- Pose Mount
- Drachkovitch System
- Basic Mount
- Jig Mount
Each Zander Mount is described in detail below.
In order to always have the right assembly with you, we also recommend our book “The best fishing assemblies”.
The Sbirolino montage has proved to be the best for zander fishing. It is also used for pike or trout. It comes from fly fishing, is really easy to use and very effective.
That’s probably why it has often proved to be very good at zander fishing. The point of sbirolino fishing is that the bait is not pulled over the bottom when you reel it in, but “floats” over the bottom by the sbirolino.
These are separate fishing poses that are usually a bit heavier. This means that they can also be cast over longer distances without any problems.
The sbirolino is retrieved after casting (including the zander bait), as usual in spinning fishing. Sbirolinos (also called sbirulinos), therefore also fall under the term “trolling poses”.
To build a sbirolino assembly for zander fishing you need the following materials:
- Stopper bead
- Triple swivel
- Leader hook for a long leader
For this you first thread the sbirolino on the main line and then tie the leader to the main line via the triple swivel.
This allows the sbirolino to glide freely up to the main line. The stopper bead is necessary to avoid breaking the line. This “cushions” the impact. At the end you have to hook in the leader including the bait.
Make sure that the zander leader with the Sbirulino assembly is about 1.5 to 2.5 m long. The triple wrap ensures that the fishing line does not get knotted.
The following picture illustrates the assembly:
How you assemble the Sbirolino assembly, you can see very clearly in the following video:
3 Sbirolino types
There are 3 different types of Sbirolino. Below are all 3 types with their Italian names (you will find these often printed on the packaging):
- slowly sinking (mezzofondo)
- fast sinking (superfondo)
- floating (superficie)
Due to the different types, the Sbirolino assembly can offer in different depths in the water. Thus you have a large number of possible applications to increase your chances of success. Because especially on cold days the zander tend to stay on the bottom. On warmer days, on the other hand, they sometimes come up to the surface.
For pike-perch fishing we recommend slow and fast sinking rigs.
We recently wrote an article about zander fishing. Have a look at it.
Running lead assembly
If you choose a running lead assembly when fishing for zander, the lure is offered directly on the bottom for the zander.
A so-called running lead, ensures that the lure stays on the bottom and is not simply washed away.
You can only see the bite when the lead is free to move (so a running lead is advisable).
If the zander now pulls on the lure it will not get any resistance and will not “swim away”.
As soon as you notice it, you should set the stop.
You will need the following tools:
- Fluorocarbon leader
- Carabiner swivel
To set up the running lead assembly, first the running lead is “threaded” onto the main line and fixed with a bead and a swivel. Additionally the bead provides a “spring-loaded” impact during ejection.
Now you “only” have to tie the leader to the swivel. This is where the actual bait is now.
If you do it right you have a really promising Zander assembly.
Zander fishing with a pose: the pose assembly
If you want to fish for zander in a pose, you first have to thread a rubber stopper onto the main line. With this you set the necessary depth where the lure should be later (see illustration below).
Then the bead is placed. This prevents the pose from “slipping through” and we “stop” at the right place. Now we have to place the 8 g walking pose.
Now you should place the swivel and some lead shot. These will keep the lure down as long as possible (because the current can sometimes be stronger). Now you have to fix the swivel. The 60 cm long leader (22 fluocarbon) is attached to this.
You can now choose between triple and single hooks to do justice to the zander. As a rule we always use triplets to bring the target fish “safely” ashore. Sometimes we also include an additional triplet.
On the following picture the pose mounting is illustrated:
You need the following materials:
- Main string (14-plait braid)
- Running pose (8 g)
- Lead shot
- 60 cm Leader (22er Fluorocarbon)
- Hook size 2 / optional triplets
Now not much should go wrong if you decide to use a pose when fishing for pike-perch.
The Drachkovitch system is ideal for zander fishing. A bait fish for pike-perch fishing is attached to the lead head and guided over the bottom in “jumps”. Alternatively you can of course use a rubber fish.
On the following diagram you can see how the drachkovitch system works:
You will need the following materials:
- 2 x triplets
- 1 x leader
- 4 x clamping sleeves (for the two leaders)
- 1 x Lead head with two eyelets
- Copper wire
- 1 x Steel wire
First you should build two leaders. Make sure that the first leader takes up about three quarters of the length of the bait fish.
Now you have to build the steel wire. Bend one side to the eye and the other to a clamp. Make sure that the springy outer part is about 2 cm shorter than the total length.
Now the two leaders, the wire hanger and the copper wire must be attached to the bottom jig.
Now insert the complete wire hanger into the bait fish. Now you have to fix the triplets on both sides and then push the copper wire through the head.
At the end you “only” have to wrap the copper wire around the copper area.
In the following video it will be explained again in detail. It takes only 2 minutes and 44 seconds. So have a look:
Ground zander fishing with basic assembly
If you want to fish on ground, then a basic assembly is the right choice. It will help you to offer your lure directly at the bottom of the lake or river to outwit the zander.
Pay attention to the following in the basic assembly:
- Use a bait fish that comes directly from the water to be fished
- Place the bait at the bottom of the river (near the current edge)
- The bait fish should move slightly
Use a 0.14 or 0.15 mm thick braided fishing line to hook an anti-tangle boom on it.
This will protect your fishing line from unnecessary knots at the bottom. Then you place a bead + swivel and a fluorocarbon leader including the hooks.
The following picture shows you the complete structure of the basic assembly for pike-perch fishing:
Also make sure that your basic assembly has a very low resistance. If the zander “sips” at the lure it should not feel the resistance immediately. Otherwise it can also quickly come to a false bite “because it smells the roast”.
The lure is only really swallowed after some time (unlike pike fishing). In addition, a ground lead must be attached to the indicatorAnti-Tangle-Boom. This way the line slides easily through when the zander tries to swim away with the bait.
As soon as this is the case, you should set the “stop”.
Zander fishing Rubber fish assembly / jig assembly
Another method of successful zander fishing is to use a jig assembly or rubber fish assembly.
This is one of the few mounts that have been specially developed for this purpose.
You use a simple rubber fish. The rubber fish is mounted on the jig head. The rubber fish falls to the ground as soon as it reaches the water. The jig head is made of lead which makes the rubber fish even heavier.
You need the following materials to build a jig assembly for zander fishing
- Rubber fish (between 12 and 16 cm)
- Jig head (round)
- Stinger with triplet
- Fluorocarbon leader (0.22 mm thickness)
And this is how it is constructed:
The special thing about the jig assembly or rubber fish assembly is that fish that are a bit more “timid” in trying to find something to eat (and only bite the lure briefly) can be caught without any problems.
Again, make sure you use a line thickness of 0.14 and 0.16 mm.
The different waters (lake, river & canal)
To be successful at zander fishing you need to know where the predator prefers to be. The pikeperch stays mainly in deep lakes, rivers or canals. In Germany the zander is mostly found in deep ditches.
Often it lurks on the bottom to swim for prey. During the spawning season the zander is usually found in shallow waters. Here they stay for a maximum of only 2 weeks and then disappear to their preferred locations.
In addition, the zander is preferably active in the evening, at night and in the early morning hours.
What you need to pay special attention to in each water body is explained below.
Lake zander fishing
If you want to be successful in zander fishing on a fishing lake, the main challenge is to find the zander. Because this is usually not so easy.
We have put together some important points to help you find the zander and increase your success in catching them.
Unfortunately, as with river fishing, it is not so easy to be successful when fishing for zander. You can’t just fish the current edge and then hope for success. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy on the lake.
Success depends largely on the depth, the lake bottom and the general structure.
It is important that you have stamina, because the fishing lake is generally a popular place – also with other zander anglers.
This is how you increase your chances of success
You can achieve the greatest successes by trolling or vertically from the boat. This way you can reach places that many other anglers cannot reach.
Therefore you should get a cheap boat. A so-called catfish boat (also very popular for catfish fishing) can be very helpful. We recommend the AnzeigeWallerboot by Zeck Hopper.
Most lakes are very confusing and large. Therefore you should get yourself a fishfinder or an echo sounder. With this you can find the robbers much better.
If you fish in summer you should fish in the upper part of the water. In winter the opposite is true, because there the pike-perch are more likely to be found in deeper waters.
So make sure you adjust your fishing to the season.
In addition to the season, you should also pay attention to bridges, inlets or tributaries on the lake. But you can also successfully fish for zander at weirs.
Zander also love oxygen-rich waters. This is especially the case where a lot of light falls into the water. This is where oxygen-producing plants can develop best. Try a few litters where you notice that the vegetation is particularly good.
You should also pay attention to the wind Zander are often driven “where the wind drives them”. This is where they have the least resistance and use the least energy.
Banks to which the wind is blowing are therefore particularly popular.
If you follow these tips you can’t really go wrong with pike-perch fishing in a lake.
Zander fishing in the river as a fishing technique
If you want to practice zander fishing in the river, there are a few things you should consider. The water level, turbidity and the current are crucial for your fishing success.
But of course you should also have a look at the main food fish first. In the Rhine, for example, the Gundel is very popular whereas in the Elbe many smelts swim.
So if you want to fish for zander on rubber fish, you should adjust the colour of the lure to the colour and shape of the food fish if possible.
We will go into more detail about the most important tips in this regard.
Note the season
Similar to the lake, you should also take the season into account here. Because in summer the waters are usually much warmer than in winter. This means that the predators slowly start looking for food and become more active again in spring.
As a result the pike-perch can now also be found in shallower waters in order to get the fish back on their feet. But you can also find them in main currents, because the oxygen content is higher here.
In winter, on the other hand, they slowly cease their predation. As a result, they can no longer be found in shallow waters. They tend to retreat into the deeper areas to save energy.
So if you want to fish for zander in winter, you should concentrate on the deeper areas.
In summer, on the other hand, you can also position your lures in the shallow areas of rivers.
Basically there are 3 different types of water structures. These are:
- Inlets of tributaries
- Aquatic plants in the river area
- Natural obstacles such as groynes or sandbanks
The following view illustrates all 3 types of water body structure.
Natural obstacles such as groynes, sandbanks or river bends have different depths because of the different erosion of the earth layers at these places. In addition, there are many edges here which Zander like to use as hiding places.
The basic idea is that here they usually need much less power / energy to outwit their prey. That’s why they are particularly common here.
In addition, pike-perch can also be found on water plants along rivers. These give them protection so that they are not immediately recognized by their prey. In addition, it is a bit cooler for zander here in summer because the sun’s rays cannot penetrate the water completely. Therefore, you should definitely visit sections of water where there are more water plants.
Another very important place to look for are influences and tributaries. Here, many fish change the water sections. In addition, many insects, which serve for the fresh brood, collect here. Therefore zander can also be found here.
Pike perch Fishing at low water & high water: Watch the water level
Especially in summer, rivers can have very low water levels. This is called low water when fishing for zander. Here the chance of catching a capital zander is rather low.
On the other hand, if there’s a flood, your chances are even lower. This is because the groynes on the Rhine are completely under water from a level of 4 m. This makes fishing in these stretches of water almost impossible.
We therefore recommend that you do not go fishing for zander on days with low and high water. By the way, you can get the current water levels of German rivers on elwis.de.
The best spots
Below you will find an overview of the best spots:
- Outside areas of river bends
- Ferry landing places
- Large stones on the shore
- Entrances from a port
We have personally had the best experiences on groynes. By the way, groynes are dams built across the river to protect the bank.
Here there are many small fish that quickly become prey for the zander.
Bait fish on the river
Besides rubber fish and plugs you should definitely try bait fish. Because the scents emitted usually attract some zander. This of course also increases the chance of a good catch.
Similar to the rubber fish, you should also stick to the main fish in the respective river (in the Rhine it is the gundel).
But in principle the following bait fish work especially well
With these bait fish you can’t go wrong with river fishing for zander.
Zander channel fishing
When fishing for zander on a channel it is most important that you “interpret” the channel correctly.
Because you can learn a lot about the structure of the canal, the composition of the ground and the water.
Below you will find our best tips.
The right location
The right location for zander fishing on the canal is also crucial. And the only way to find this out is to “walk” through many different places.
So it can happen that the best “hotspots” are very far apart. Therefore, you should be prepared to walk or drive along the channel (if you are travelling by car).
As a rough guideline you should stay at one spot for a maximum of 30 minutes (better 20). If no bite has been taken by then, you should move on.
And this is how you approach a good location step by step.
Ships in the canal
That there are ships in the canal and it is a shipping route is not bad in principle.
Because the pike-perch and perch are “roused” by this and suddenly get hungry or have real “eating attacks”.
Because many ships whirl up particles, algae and micro-organisms that are very suitable as prey for peaceful fish. Therefore, the predatory fish also get hungry and strike suddenly and unexpectedly.
The edges of the current are particularly suitable for this.
The best hotspots
Finding the right hotspot in the channel is so difficult because the pike-perch either spread out in the water or gather at a certain spot. This is why fishing in a canal is more difficult than in a normal river, for example.
To find the best hotspots, you should pay attention to structural differences in the water. This includes, for example, signs for navigation.
The best hotspots are listed below:
- Inlets of tributaries and/or canals
- Curves in the canal
- Widening or narrowing of the fairway for shipping
- Entrances to the port
- Transitions from sheet piling to stone packs
And here is an extra tip: Pay particular attention to currents and where there is movement in the water. Here it is always worth casting out the rod for zander fishing.
Often you will suddenly and unexpectedly get the long awaited bite.
When is the best time to fish for zander? during the day? at night? at full moon?
Of course there are different times when you can theoretically fish for zander. But which time is really the best? In the following we would like to shed some light on this.
Daytime zander fishing
Is daytime zander fishing optimal? Or are there perhaps better times? Because many zander anglers still believe that zander do not bite during daytime, heat and high temperatures.
But it looks quite different: Zander also bite during the day. We have seen this again and again on various waters such as rivers, lakes and canals. And depending on where you are, they can even attack the bait.
Therefore it’s worth trying your luck during the day – although they are actually nocturnal predatory fish.
Visit deep waters
You should definitely visit deep waters during the day. This is where it often has its location and waits for nightfall (to start hunting).
Because they come much less near the shore during the day. Therefore you should avoid the banks during the day in particular.
You should also try your “luck” on edges. In other words, where the bottom of the water “breaks up”, from the shallow to the deeper sections of the water. This is also where they sometimes stand.
Try different lures
Also try different zander lures Because as already written, they prefer to stay on the bottom. So it makes sense to use bait fish in addition to rubber fish and plugs.
Guide the bait in small “jumps” over the bottom to imitate a living fish.
This increases your chances of success during the day.
Try out many places
As in the canal, you should run and try out many places during the day. Stay for 20 to 30 minutes at the respective place. If there is no bite after that, just keep pulling. You can orientate yourself on fishing spots that are particularly flooded with light. Sometimes you even have the chance to see them through the water.
Vary the spot with regard to the shadows and turbidity of the water. If the water is very shady or cloudy, you should definitely try it out.
You should also try your luck in places where water is stirred up.
The right assembly for the day
If you want to fish for zander with a bait fish during the day, you should choose a basic assembly (see above how it is set up). As soon as it starts to dawn you can use a pose mount (this is also explained in detail above).
However, if you don’t want to choose a basic assembly, rubber fish with a pose assembly in a natural colour are the better choice.
Zander react curiously to the rubber fish and therefore like to bite.
The best lure on the day for zander fishing
Rubber fish are indeed one of the most catching zander lures on the day. Make sure that they have a natural colour. Because the higher incidence of light also makes the lure “better presented”.
If it’s rather gloomy and the water is murky, you should use a striking bright colour. These are better perceived by the zander.
We have had very good experience with red and orange.
We can recommend this rubber fish set for display.
Fishing for zander at night
If you want to fish for zander at night you are usually better off with it than during the day. This is because pike-perch usually prefer to go on a raid at night.
Here they are much more active and are constantly looking for new prey. You therefore tend to have better chances of outwitting a capital zander than during the day.
When is the best time at night?
If you want to fish for zander at night, you can start in the evening. Especially when it slowly begins to dawn, many zander become active and start looking for food. Therefore you should plan your hide in the evening.
The following rule has proved to be very good in the past
“2 to 3 hours after the sun has gone down your chances are highest”
Especially if you have chosen a lake, river or canal that tends to be well frequented, the spiny knights can almost only be outwitted in the evening or at night.
As soon as it gets darker, the zander dare to come very close to the shore. So you should definitely be calm. Because zander can perceive the sound waves through their sense organ, the lateral line.
So it can happen that the zander feel disturbed when you’re loud and therefore seek to get away.
So make sure that it’s very quiet if you want to be successful on Zander.
Go for bright spots
Zander also want to see something in the dark. That’s why they tend to stay where the light comes in easily – from the moon or an adjacent lantern, for example.
So choose a place that is a little brighter and is not darkened by trees, branches or bushes.
Avoid strong light exposure
However, if the light exposure is too strong, the zander may flee. Because, similar to noise, they also feel disturbed by too much light.
Therefore, it is important to avoid the direct incidence of flashlights into the water. If possible, it is best not to use any light sources at all.
Pikeperch pitch at night
The darker it gets the closer the pikeperch usually come to shore. They stay close to the surface and are very close to the shore. This is especially true on summer nights.
In winter, however, things can look different. Because in winter you will find them mainly in deeper, warmer waters. This is where they usually stand and take what they can get when they are offered bait.
Which bait is best at night?
Use a flat-running thin plugs that does not attract as much attention. We recommend the AnzeigeMad Grizzly, which has been used successfully by many anglers for pike-perch fishing.
It is much more catchy on the surface in summer than the well-known rubber fish. However, at night in winter you should use a rubber fish on the bottom.
If you choose a rubber fish, use natural, slightly darker zander lures. UV-enhanced rubber fish have also proven to be catchable.
The aim is that the rubber fish has a good contrast between sky and water. At night, the indicator rubberfish night owl has proven to be particularly promising. It is not for nothing that it is called Night Fish.
The best spots at night
The following spots are best suited for pike-perch fishing at night:
- Stone packs
- Flat groyne areas
- Places with light incident light (through the moon, lanterns, light sources) if necessary.
- shore area
If necessary you have to test the places where they are located regarding the depth to find the optimal place.
Heat zander fishing
The fact is that zander usually prefer warm water.
The following 14 tips have proven to be good for us to be successful on zander even in hot weather:
- The months of July to September have always been the months with the most catches of the spiny knights
- Go on hot days from 20:
- Look for fresh water inlets through adjacent rivers
- Illuminated bridges or harbour basins (small fish are attracted by them and they attract the pike-perch) are ideal at night
- Look for groyne fields on
- Deeper places can be very successful in pike-perch fishing because the pike-perch “cool down”
- Use bait fish when you are fishing on the bottom (bait fish that are naturally present in the water)
- Use the John Sidley assembly when hot
- Use wobblers at night in heat (shallow running models on shore)
- Use small lures (6 to 12 cm)
- Rubber fish, plugs and bait fish are usually best
- Use heavy bleach
- Watch out for a slow speed when guiding the lure
- Avoid “jerky” movements when guiding the lure
Many people think that you can’t successfully fish for zander in hotter conditions (25 degrees and above). But in our experience this is far from the case.
If you follow these tips, not much can go wrong.
Fishing for zander in the wind
Fishing for zander in the wind is a no-go for many anglers. Because the wind is very disturbing for many and takes away the fun of fishing.
But the wind can also have advantages. Because the wind ensures a strong circulation of the water. As a rule, the oxygen content is also simply better, which in turn stimulates the production of nutrients.
The oxygen content is especially better where the wind drives the water. Insects are also blown to the surface of the water, which in turn are washed ashore.
It is logical that there are more fish like pike perch. And logically that the activity of the fish is higher in the respective water body.
A less suitable method of fishing for zander with the wind is jigging. That is, guiding the rubber bait over the bottom.
Because when jigging the line must always be taut to maintain contact with the lure.
Because the wind causes alelrdings very often, big line arcs, the distance to the lure is also bigger and the tension can’t be kept constantly.
This makes it more difficult to detect the bite of a zander.
Use display crank wobblers instead. They have a greater self play. Here is an example:
You have more control over the lure even in stronger winds.
Zander fishing at full moon
Many pike-perch anglers generally only go out during full moon because this is when they have had the most success in the past. But does the full moon really increase your chances of success?
There’s nothing wrong with fishing for zander during a full moon. But it may well be that the zander are simply too bright at night and they spend less time in places that are flooded with light.
So it’s possible that they only bite when the full moon disappears behind the clouds.
But in principle pike-perch can perceive their prey better because of the contrast to the sky. This of course also increases the chances of catching them in your hide.
At full moon they are usually found further up (1 m below the surface) in the respective water. Here too, they stay close to the bank.
So a bait fish mount (we explained above) is suitable to increase your chances of catching them.
Of course the higher chance of success can also be due to the fact that the angler does not need a flashlight because he can see better on the lake. The pikeperch does not perceive any unnatural light sources that might scare it off
Here you should simply test what works best for you on the respective water body (river, channel & lake). Usually your own experiences are the best.
Of course your success in catching zander also depends on the season. It doesn’t matter whether it’s spring / spring, summer, autumn or winter.
Because in general every season has its charm somewhere. But in the following we will go into more detail about the times so that you can get a better overview.
Spring (March, April, May)
Many people don’t believe it, but even in spring there are opportunities to fish for zander successfully. Because in spring the temperatures rise again and the warmer waters make the zander more active.
Because most of the pike-perch and predatory fish slowly leave their winter habitats and actively seek food.
Especially at the beginning (i.e. in March), however, the pikeperch is still relatively sluggish and due to the winter phase much more tired than at the end of spring or in summer.
The pikeperch is now slowly shifting its location to shallower waters. Especially in spring, you need a lot of patience until you find the perfect spot. But we will show you below what you should pay attention to.
Observe spawning season
For many zander, spring is a closed season. This is usually from April to June, but varies from state to state and must be observed. Otherwise there is the threat of severe penalties. Below you will find the current closed seasons and minimum sizes for zander.
The zander spawn at a water temperature of approx. 10 to 15 degrees Celsius and spend most of their time in shallow waters. They spawn near the shore and form a spawning pit.
They lay 100,000 to 200,000 eggs per kilogram of their own body weight. The eggs then stick to the plants and stones of the respective water body.
The males guard the eggs from other predatory fish. For many predatory fish, the pike-perch spawn is at the top of the bag list.
After the spawning period comes the big hunger.
Now there is a good chance of catching zander near the shore. Here many anglers rave about the best time of the year to be successful on zander.
Which lure is suitable in spring?
For us, rubber fish in small and medium size have proved to be the best lures in spring. These are then 5 to 10 cm in size. We can recommend the bait fish from Lieblingsköder in the version “AnzeigePlankton” in the 7.5 cm version.
This is a soft rubber mixture with relatively large eyes and a very flexible tail end.
Even if you do not pull it so hard, it can be guided cleanly in the water. With light plucking, on the other hand, the rubber fish “flanks” and thus sends out additional stimuli.
For us the preferred variant and the rubber fish in spring.
In spring first the lakes and then the rivers get warmer. Therefore you should first go fishing for zander in lakes to increase your chances of success.
Watch out for edges in the lake. Most of the time the zander stay where the shallow water runs into the deep water.
They will then lie in wait for pike-perch that are just in the shallow area and looking for food.
But it gets even better in the middle to end of May. This is where the pike-perch are now right after the spawning season to recover. The reason is the following: After the pikeperch has spawned, many whitefish also spawn in the shore area and thus quickly become the prey of the pikeperch.
To increase your chances in spring you should also let the shore run down for a while. Often you will find the best places.
Pike-perch fishing in summer (June, July August)
As we all know, summer comes after spring. The pike-perch spread slowly and are therefore in different places.
Because the zander is now much more active. You should therefore also adjust the baits and your catching behaviour.
Choosing the right lures in summer
You don’t need the huge lures of 15 cm or more in summer (as you need them in autumn and winter, for example).
But also the small baits of 7,5 cm are no longer suitable. After all, the zander have slowly acquired a taste for it and now want something nutritious to eat. Therefore, 10 to 12.5 cm rubber fish are often ideal to be successful in summer.
For example, the zander bait “AnzeigeSunny” from Lieblingsköder is suitable for this. But you can also be successful with classic plugs. Guide it slowly just below the surface. This is often the location of many breeding fish: flat banks.
As soon as you notice that the zander are more active than usual, you should also fish actively and use the lure more aggressively.
This will increase your chances of catching them.
The best places to fish in summer
When it’s really hot in summer you’ll find most of the zander deep down in the water.
Because deep down, the spiny knights find the following characteristics that are especially good for them:
- high oxygen content
- less light
- lower temperatures
Especially in rivers used by shipping, pike-perch stay in the middle of the fairway in summer, i.e. in the middle of the current.
When you go fishing on a lake, you should aim for the middle of the lake and look for the deepest spots.
If you want to fish at night in summer, you should fish near the shore. Here they will be active as soon as the temperature drops further in the evening.
The following areas have proven to be particularly lucrative in the lake:
- Reed edges
- Stone packs
- Water plants
You can’t really go wrong with that.
Pike perch fishing in autumn (September, October, November)
In autumn the rules of the game are different from the rest of the year, such as winter, spring and summer. Because from now on the days become shorter and the nights longer.
As the temperatures fall, the pike-perch begin to prepare for the winter. They now want to strike again for real and so they start the big feeding.
How you can be successful on zander in the autumn too, you will find out below.
The best lure and the best bait in autumn
In autumn you should choose big rubber fish. This means that rubber fish in the size 12.5 cm to 15 cm are ideal. This allows you to adapt perfectly to the natural conditions.
Because now the young fish that hatched in the spring are similar in size. In addition, the pikeperch slowly reduces its metabolism. So hunting should also be worthwhile.
The bigger the bait, the better. We recommend the rubber fish of favourite bait in size 15 cm with the model “AnzeigeFlipper”.
Alternatively you can also work with bait fish.
Guide the bait as passively as possible to get a little bit closer to the lazy zander.
On the other hand, if they turn out to be rather active (this can happen in winter due to the higher oxygen content), jigging to outwit the zander is recommended.
Here you should simply pay more attention to the water and conditions and then adjust your baiting accordingly.
Winter pike-perch fishing (December, January, February)
Winter pike-perch fishing presents many people with special challenges. This is because most zander have completely shut down their metabolism at this time of year and are hardly ever active in the water.
The right places
In winter, zander spend most of their time at the bottom of the water. These include:
- Groyne heads
Because the pikeperch prefers places where it does not have to expend much energy to save energy. This means that they stay in one place for a longer period of time.
So you have to walk a lot to find the best places. Probably even more than in summer. In principle you can stop after each ejection.
The question is only how persistent you are.
Zander bait in winter
Similar to autumn we recommend you use big rubber fish (the effort should be worth it for the zander after all). Rubber fish from favourite lures in the size 15 cm with the model “AnzeigeFlipper” are ideal for example. Just like you use them in autumn.
The running behaviour of the rubber fish is very similar to small fish in water. Offer the bait directly at the bottom. Therefore keep the lure still or guide it very slowly. Because the winter zander really don’t feel like moving great.
In addition you should use a so-called indicator hook. This is to avoid bites on the rubber fish tail. Especially in winter many zander attack the tail first. The fear triplet is ideal for 15 cm rubber fish and is also considered an additional triplet.
An alternative is the bait fish. This can be detected by the zander via the sense of smell. We recommend the bait fish especially on cold days to really play it safe.
Pike-perch closed seasons & minimum sizes
Normally the pike-perch closed seasons are from April to May. However, there are some exceptions in various federal states. We have summarized everything clearly for you. In addition, you will find the current minimum sizes for the respective federal state and a major city such as Hamburg, Bremen or the city of Berlin.
In most cases the zander measure is between 40 and 50 cm. Make sure you don’t make any mistakes when fishing for zander and in any case throw zander that are too small back into the water.
Here is a very good, but longer video for zander fishing:
We hope you enjoyed our report for beginners / beginners and professionals about zander fishing. Because for many people the zander is a real dream fish. If you liked the article, please share it with your friends on Facebook or send it by e-mail.
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