The closed season for zander is over and, as the water temperature slowly rises, the fish are starting to feed again, but big fish are not always after big mouthfuls! The lower layers of the water are saturated by spawn and small fry which means we have to match the size of the lures. At this time of the season I mainly use baits that are less than 10 cm long.
As the water is very murky in the zander abundant areas of my home waters (Bodden around the isle of Rügen), it is very important to choose a lure that, thanks to its colour and the vibrations produced, will contrast with its surroundings.
I have three utmost favourites: the Sweep Gun, the Grubby Shad and the Grubby Frog. The Sweep Gun and Grubby Shad both have paddle tails and the Grubby Frog is fitted with 2 twister type tails. These baits produce strong pressure waves under water and are therefore easily spotted by the fish even in murky water. I like to use them with very light jig heads.
My choice rod is the GUNKI Bushi S-240-H. This rod is very powerful and may seem to be a bit too strong for the small and light baits, but when fishing for big zander I think it is important to choose a rod that has what it takes to land those trophy fish! The Bushi has enough power to hook big fish even at great distances and yet remains sufficiently sensitive to detect the bottom or the slightest nibble. A 2500 size reel fits this rod perfectly, reel that I spool with a 0.13mm Slide Braid and a 0.34mm ICE Fluorocarbon leader. The chance to hook a pike on my home water is rather low, but if it’s a pike day, then I will add a thin steel wire trace!
Small lure do not only work wonders when the zander season starts, they can really surprise you all year round and nice perch can be the cherry on the cake. So, get outside and enjoy your time on the water!