Hot summers are ideal for zander anglers
By Petri Ristiniemi
|The principle of sustainable use should be taken into account when fishing for zander. Fishing must not endanger the reproduction of fish stocks and it must be sensible. Anglers should avoid catching zander during the spawning season and adopt a minimum size of at least 40 cm. Please also forget about any overkill. It is best to catch what you can eat and maybe one extra, but the wild stories one hears about catching 30 zander in a day are enough to enrage conscientious anglers.|
|Jigger’s casting tackle|
|The rod should definitely be a sturdy class 1 or UL pole measuring about 180
cm. When fishing at a depth, in particular, you need to get a good feel for
the jig, which means that the rod must be sturdy. Zander bite cautiously, so
your counterstrike must not come too late. Fishing with a slack rod is sheer
agony. The reel should be a class 1 open-face spinning reel.
The line varies from a 0.22 mm monofilament to a braided 0.10 mm line. Both have their advantages. With a braided line, the feel for the fish is second to none due to its inelasticity. A tungsten leader is essential when jigging zander, in particular with a braided line, because it is like gossamer to a zander’s sharp teeth. Conversely, normal monofilament lines can withstand some abrasion.
|Big jigs for zander|
|An effective jig is a relatively substantial worm jig of about 4 inches. The
ball head may weigh between 7 and 18 grams, depending on the depth. The best
way to hook zander is to use chemically sharpened hooks with sufficiently
You can find out the best jig colours by trial and error, but as a general rule, pale oil with yellow glitter works almost every time. Every lake has its own top colours.
|Torrent banks as hot spots|
|After spawning, female zander move quickly to the steep banks of torrents,
while males stay to guard the spawn. An example of a jigging spot is a
torrent, where you can drop your anchor at four metres and where the jig
will reach a spot with as much as 18 metres of water. In a strong current,
the jig head should be robust, with a range of about 20 grams.
The best jigging season lasts about a week in early June, at which point male fish start to arrive. The best fishing days become less frequent, and as the summer progresses, you’re likely to find smaller zander. The best bite time is between 4 and 7 p.m. As the clock approaches nine in the evening, jigging is no longer worthwhile, because fish will start to come to the surface.
You can catch zander from torrents all through the summer, until the waters become cooler in the autumn. The daily feeding activity varies. When the weather is hot and the wind is blowing from the south or south-west, it’s time to head for a torrent.
|Cast the jig, release the bail arm and raise the rod up. Keep the line tight
and wait until the jig hits the bottom. In windy weather, it can be quite
difficult to notice the bottom contact, but you will definitely see it if
you use a heavy jig head. A braided line will also help here. Sometimes fish
bite while the jig is still sinking, so you should keep your eye on the line
the whole time. When the lure reaches the bottom, lower the rod and reel in
any slack line. Retain the feel for the jig all the time. Bring the rod up
slowly and again watch how the jig behaves.
You should select the correct size sinker, depending on the current. If the sinker is too lightweight, it will not reach the bottom quickly enough, which makes fishing agonisingly slow. Conversely, if there is too much weight, the jig will not have enough time in ‘free’ water. This style is slightly different from normal jigging, but it has proven to be extremely efficient. You will usually get a bite as the jig sinks towards the bottom, but fish will even take it from the bottom sometimes.