Zanders always approach my lures with extreme suspicion. That’s why I try to focus mostly on the most natural and appropriate way of presenting them. In order to find out what the presentation should look like and understand how to do that I needed a solid analysis and some research. So I assumed that only careful research would let me answer, among others, this question: what is the effect of the elements of my set on the speed of the falling lure. I focused my attention on the speed because earlier observations clearly suggested that zanders catch lures most quickly and most often not while they’re being jerked up but while they are falling.
High water density results in resistance, the set immersed in the water, and consequently the slowing down of the speed with which the lure falls. The longer the section of the set immersed in the water and the larger its diameter, the more it slows down. The smoothness of the set also matters (braided line – monofilament).
To explain it simply: when we come to a body of water where the average depth is about 6 m and we want to reach the same speed as at the Zembrzycki Reservoir (average depth 2 m), we have to use jig heads with weights at least twice heavier. What’s more, if I change a rod during fishing and the set has a larger diameter – even three times heavier.
As I have mentioned earlier, my fishing at this reservoir resembles combing the water, and the direction of the casts can be compared with the positions of the arms of a clock, only it takes place around my boat. It’s also worth underscoring that with such small depth the most part of my set is above the water surface. As a result, it’s inevitably exposed to strong, sideways blows of the wind. Therefore, after jerking up a lure armed with a light jig head (maximum weight I use at the reservoir is just 10 gram), instead of falling it goes sideways. To avoid this extremely disadvantageous phenomenon I have to use a thinner braided line or simply a monofilament.
Many conversations about zander fishing suggested that the main feature of this fish is a very hard mouth which means that a strong hook up is necessary. I knew that to get the desired falling effect I will use a monofilament, but I found it hard to imagine a strong hook up considering the monofilament’s elasticity. Despite this worry I started to try my luck in the real world, at a fishery. Today I can say that at least 2/3 of my zander specimens were caught and hauled out using a monofilament with the diameter of Ø 16- Ø 20.
I also have concrete arguments explaining this situation, which I want to share with you. This can become even more interesting when I say that in addition to the elastic monofilament I use a soft, bendy rod. I probably don’t need to explain that with the monofilament’s characteristics and my rod’s parameters the feeling of the lure touching the bottom and shuffling along it are practically non-existent. My fishing is mainly BASED ON observing the monofilament over the water, while I can only try to imagine the lure’s behavior.
The situation is similar when the lure is caught by the fish. This is when a slight tension appears or the monofilament moves a bit to the side. I am convinced that zanders themselves don’t see anything unnatural in such slight tensions. On the contrary, they treat them as a signal confirming that what they’ve just attacked is very much alive and it should be nailed down fast with one short movement of the head and then consumed. I call it “continuation of biting.” In such situations I try to stay passive and delay the very moment of the hook up. I focus on those two aims because it’s only after nailing the lure that the hook of the jig head finds a bit of give so I have the opportunity to move it in the zander’s mouth and consequently hook up effectively. It’s also worth remembering how much easier and more comfortable it is to haul a fish out with the help of a monofilament and working rod, from which the fish simply don’t fall off.
Similarly I will now look at using non-elastic braided line and a stiff rod. Firstly, every small movement of the lure, it touching the bottom or shuffling over it, is felt perfectly. Secondly, when the head hits a hard spot and the fish nails it, this is the kind of bump to which you should immediately react with a hook up. Zander has a short, very strong mouth. In order to hook up effectively it’s necessary to shift the jig head in it. That is why I think that even after hooking up quickly and strongly we can often move the whole fish in the water and not the lure itself in the mouth considering the strength of the squeeze. I will also add that just as I can clearly feel the moment of the bite, so can the zander. Fish treat this phenomenon as something unnatural and don’t continue to bite and all they need to do to get rid of the lure is open the mouth.
The reason why it’s necessary to control the fall of the lure and not only get rid of the give is the fact that the Lubellian zanders change their preferences about the height at which they like to attack the lure after making a jump as often as the weather. To be able to find a trustworthy answer to the question, in which phase of the fall the bite took place, I am forced to fish from a standing position.
When I hunt them, I am equipped with at least two lengths of rods. The higher the jerk up, especially with a longer fall route, the longer the rod, e.g. NSC MEDIUM LIGHT SPIN 260. With such an elongated fall, the aggressive work of FISHNUTER proved to be most helpful.
On the other hand, when zanders are interested in a low and almost vertical jump, I use one-piece rods whose length is no greater than 2 m such as INAZUMA X-PLODE ZANDER 198. In the case of more vertical falls it would be hard not to notice the advantages of the heavy body of a TWISTER. I often use the movement of its tail, even with the slowest movement, to shuffle the head over the bottom purposefully.
Moreover, the range of colors offered by Mikado in the case of FISHUNTER and TWISTER will definitely satisfy even the most discerning anglers.
The topic about where and how to catch zanders is, in my opinion, endless. And the overwhelming amount of the information on this topic can only give you a headache. I was trying to provide reasons and arguments as to why I fish in this way as clearly and understandably as possible. It would give me great satisfaction if, after you’ve identified similar conditions on your fisheries and then adopted some of the elements described above, you would be able to find zanders and catch them, and then finally raise the records.
There are too many problems I wasn’t able to mention, but I definitely won’t forget them
– Autumn chubs, watch out.