For the first session of the year I had decided to go boat fishing with my friend Klaus. Sadly the weather forecast wasn’t very optimistic, strong winds and storm showers weren’t going to make fishing easy. Whatever, we were determined to go fishing and vertical would be the technique of the day.

The water was murky and with a visibility of under 50cm, I chose a 5.1’’ Lemon Ice Grubby Shad that I rigged on a 28g jig head, the inertia of the lure plus the overall weight will enable me to keep contact regardless of the harsh conditions; Combined with the Shigeki S 190MH rod, I wasn’t going to give the fish the slightest chance! Thanks to the wind we drifted to a drop off that ranged from 9 to 11m deep; I let my lure sink to the bottom were I rapidly detected a pile of dead wood, the ideal hiding place for Mr Pike. In the middle of this “underwater lure cemetery”, a fish slammed into my rig and after a short fight the 1st zander of the year was in the boat!


He had literally swallowed the 5.1’’ Grubby Shad, a 3-4 second pause at the apex of the lures’ animation was sufficient to trigger the bite.
As the wind got stronger, we used 1 to 3 buckets as floating anchors to slow the boats drift. The increase in the drifts’ speed plus a gravel bar that went from 11 to 7m and then dropped slowly back to 9-10m, made the fishing difficult.  As I reached the deepest part, a sledgehammer bite and strong head butts left no doubt that a really nice zander was at the other end of my line!

Well what a way to start the year! The key to success today: the right choice of the lure colour (neon yellow - white) regarding the water conditions, the anise attractant and  the very slow animation, just a slight raise of the wrist; the other colors and faster style animations were to no avail that day. With a mild 10°C and light drizzle the fishing could have been great but sadly the wind had decided it would not be so! After a few more casts the weather had the better of us and we called it a day.

Until next time!