For once this year we have had a real winter! Negative temperatures for several weeks on the run and cold water around 2.5 to 5.5°C. Perfect conditions to use a "finesse" style lure like the GUNKI V2RIGGLE and, in the 18cm size, to get the bigger fish to react. This lure produces complex and unique vibrations due to its V style tail, sculpted body and soft yet reactive plastic. The trick being to generate minimal but deadly vibrations, even the laziest zander cannot resist!

Classic shad tend to produce too much vibrations in these conditions to get the zander to react. Of course, as the sun rises and the zander tend to have an activity high, it could be an idea to use the V2IB and its subtle vibrations. The unique shape of its small paddle tail generates a short but a high frequency movement and the fine membrane style dorsal fin moves continually even at slowest speeds.

But, as soon as the morning high is over, things tend to get complicated and the number of bites reduce drastically and, more than often, stop completely. It's then time to rig an 18cm V2RIGGLE to try and get a big zander to bite. You'll potentially have less bites on this version, well some days, but the average size will be worth it!

A nice zander that was holding near a structure and that took a "Apple Green" 18cm V2RIGGLE rigged on  10g neutral G'SKULL head.

But, before getting those wrist cracking bites, you have to solve the equation of the day: head shape / weight / colour / drift speed!

Ok how to work the lure then? Basically, in these conditions slowest is the best! It's the time of the year to try a "do-nothing" style animation. The drift and movement of the boat will do the rest. If it doesn't work, rather than crawling along, try to go a bit faster.

Colour wise, for where I fish, reservoirs, I mainly use:

For dirty water: White Flash, Orange Chart Belly and Contrast Pink.

For cloudy water: Apple Green and Contrast Chart.

For clear water: Brown Sugar and Light Minnow

An average size fish caught on a beach with a Brown Sugar 18cm V2RIGGLErigged on a 14g G'VERTI head.

Which jig head shape and weight to choose? As this finesse lure doesn't have a paddle style tail, it will offer very little resistance. This will enable you to use lighter heads than you would usually do with a soft bait of this size. I mainly use 10 to 12g in low wind conditions and water down to 12m of depth.

For rocky bottoms, I like to use the G'FOOT head as its shape makes the lure tip over when it comes in contact with the bottom. For faster and shallower (7-8m) applications, I like to use the G'SLIDE or the G'FISH as they offer less resistance. They are also perfect for zones with current. If I have to go deeper, then the G'VERTI will be my choice head as its shape tends "hug" the bottom, perfect for sandy zones. And, last but not least, the G'SKULL neutral! It has got natural GUNKI class but, even more importantly, its low centre of gravity makes it tip forward as soon as you slacken the line. To fish drop-offs or near obstacles, this tipping action is often the key to triggering reflex bites.

A good braid that really cuts through the water is paramount, it also must be as watertight as possible to prevent swelling and for that the SLIDE BRAID is the best I have used so far. Using the correct gear will enable you to catch more fish!

A nice size zander caught on a sandy zone on a Light Minnow 18cm V2RIGGLE rigged on a G'VERTI

So now next time it's cold and the fish seem asleep, you know what to try! One last tip: patience and dedication are the key. No matter the lure, jig head, there will be good days and bad days out on the water but, that's fishing. So next time the fishing's hard, rig an 18cm GUNKI V2RIGGLE and go and catch those big zander!

If you have any questions, contact us via the official GUNKI Facebook page:

Sylvain Giraud