Fishing for zander on soft lures is one of the best ways to catch these fabulous fish. You can go for hours without a bite, but if you find the right lure, hold on to your rod as these crazy predators can literally rip a rod out your hands!
Not so long ago I was on the water with a kid from my fishing association (Carnaclub79). We regularly organize sessions to enable the younger members to fish on our boats and discover new techniques. The theme of the session was linear fishing, so we started fishing with the 10.5cm G'BUMP in the "Holo Grey Shiner" colour. Once at the first spot I wanted to fish, I briefly explained to Louis how to fish the zone. Just as he was nearing the end of his first cast, 3 magnificent fish appeared on the screen of my HUMMINBIRD fish finder. He stopped reeling and positioned his lure vertically under the boat. The result was immediate and a nice sized zander hammered his G'BUMP.
Ok, so much for linear technique! We both switched to vertical gear and thanks to the G'BUMP rigged on the G'VERTI "Brown & white" 14g head, caught a few other nice zander. It's not the first time that I have caught fish like that, by letting my lure "hang" after a linear style retrieve. If you get a couple of bites or even catch a fish like that, then it's time to start fishing vertically.
A few days later I was back on the same lake with Louis and of course we started fishing vertically with the G'BUMP in the "Holo Grey Shiner" colour. The fish were there, but unlike the previous session, only on the fish finder. There's only one thing to do in that type of situation: swap lures until you find the one that works! It's a multiple equation: size, colour, vibration, jig head weight and animation but, when you've solved it, the fish just roll in. The solution for that session was the "Motor Oil" 11cm CLIPPER rigged on a G'VERTI " Fluo Orange & Yellow " 14g head. First cast with it = first fish of the day!
Louis tied on the same combination and a few hours later we had caught 7 beautiful zander. Needless to say that the "Motor Oil" 11cm CLIPPER saved the day, the trick is to simply keep trying until you find the answer: just never give up!
The next day Damien, my competition partner arrived and for once we were able to spend on day fishing just for fun. Not that competition fishing is not fun, but to have a pressure free session every now and then is great. The fish where still on the same spot, but as you've already guessed, didn't respond to the 10.5cm G'BUMP or the 11cm CLIPPER! Ok, time to search again... and this time the key was size. It wasn't really a colour issue but the only lures we managed to catch fish on where the 14cm G'BUMP and the 18 cm V2 RIGGLE rigged on a 28g G'VERTI head.
The obvious things to change when fishing gets slow are colour and vibration, but the size of your lure can sometimes be the answer. A lure that may seem big for us won't be for the fish so don't hesitate to offer a super size menu!
Fishing is a great sport as you constantly have to be reassessing the situation and working out what to do to get fish in the boat. All you need is a selection of lures, a lot of patience and some good friends and believe me, you'll spend some unforgettable time on the water.