ZANDER, HARD BUT FUN

After a few years hunting for giant Irish pike, I am coming back to France for a new project. It is also a great opportunity for me to catch up with my friends that I have lost touch with. The other great fact of coming back is that at last I will be able to fish for zander again! I just love to fish for this crazy predator with soft lures in fast flowing rivers, a guaranteed adrenaline shot!

So cool to be back on the Seine fishing for zander.

Zander can be really fickle and I knew that starting to fish for them again was not going to be easy. And what to say about swapping my IRON-T XXL for the new hyper light, sensitive and short rods from the Chooten range! Well, it definitely turned out to be an instructive session, thanks to Jérôme, our brand manger's expert boating skills and advice. With Rické and Jérôme we alternated between PEPS fished vertically and TIPSY-S XL on 3.5 to 5 grams jig heads fish cast and retrieve style.

Jérôme, Gunki brand manager, expert boat pilot and zander angler!

The fish were active, but despite countless bites we miss almost all of them. The venue having been heavily fished recently, the zeds were playing shy. When fishing cast & retrieve style, the trick was to cast as close as possible to the shore, at a right angle to the boat, and let the lure be carried by the flow of the current keeping the line slightly taunt. Not easy to start, but like riding a bike, you never really forget how to do it, you just need brush the dust off.

A nice Seine perch for my mate Rické.

The murky water and strong flow are just perfect for the Tispy-S XL. Its large flatten profile helps it remain stable in the current and produce powerful vibrations. As the flow had increased we too had to increase the weight of our jig head, 10 grams was just perfect. The fish only seemed to respond to impacting vibrations of the Tipsy-S XL in dark and brown colours like the Gremille or the Brown Sugar. Luckily for us, we had boxes full !

The best place for a Tipsy-S XL, deep in the mouth of a fish.

But as always with fishing, things change and as the day passed, we started missing bites again. Obviously our jig heads have become too heavy. After a few adjustments, 7 grams did the trick even if it was a bit light to maintain optimal control on our lines. But that is the game, it is always the fish that write the rules!

So great to be fishing these toothy zeds again.

Well, at least some things never change, fishing for zander is still so unpredictable ! You might have the right lure, vibration and colour at a certain moment, but if we had adapted the weight of our jig heads to the way the fish reacted, we would have caught a lot less fish.

So if ever you are in the same situation and you know you have the right lure, try using a lighter jig head and who knows, what started as a good session could turn into a brilliant one!

 

Guillaume LE GARREC

www.guidepechenormandiebretagne.com