The Zander,This large mouthed, boldly striped, spiked dorsal finned, big eyed, pack hunting predator in our waters Is a shoaling fish that is highly adaptable.
The Vital statistics
Scientific name – Stizostedion lucioperca
Maximum Weight – 35lb (15.9kg)
Maximum Length – 40in (1m)
Distribution – See map on right. It thrives in large, slow-flowing fen drains and rivers, coloured waters and even tidal river stretches (where the salinity is high). It doesn’t do well where the oxygen content is low such as fast- flowing clear rivers or shallow waters
Season – June to March in rivers, all year in still waters.
Natural Diet – Coarse fish (dead or alive), one of the best baits for them is a section of eel.
Did You Know
While other Species freshwater predators struggle to see at night or in murky-coloured water, the zander excellent vision giving it a distinct advantage. This excellent vision is a result of its large eyes which have layer of pigment (called the tapetum lucidum) in the retina which helps it absorb light.
Where do they hang out?
It is all very well knowing the methods for catching the fish but if you don’t know where they are, then the method is no good to you.
Where will you find them ? – The pack will be where the bait fish are. This is usually around bridges, snaggy margins, reed beds and sometimes under over hanging foliage.The best times are usually at dawn, dusk and during the night. When hunting in packs they will chase after the fish, grabbing them from behind and swallowing them.
There are several methods for catching them. These include dead baiting or live baiting and sometimes legering with worms. If you are live or dead baiting always remember to use fresh (not frozen) natural coarse fish baits dead or alive are best. A good way to fish them is to fish small, freshly killed bait on the bottom or if fishing a live bait popped-up off the bottom.
The first thing to remember is zander have fang like inward pointing teeth, and a wire trace is a must, this is especially true if there are pike in the water as well.