Catching pike perch in winter – all means are good

Pike perch is a tasty, low-fat and almost boneless fish, but this is not what makes winter fishing fans go in search of it in any weather.

Neither snow nor wind can stop inveterate goosebumps, who are ready to endure anything for the sake of a bite of a fanged predator. Still, after all, catching zander in winter promises an exciting game, an adrenaline rush and a lot of positive emotions after the catch is on the ice. Here it is, the moment of truth! Experience, patience and diligence won. Of course, it was not without fortune either.

Not all anglers return from such fishing with a sense of accomplishment and a good mood. In order for zander fishing in winter to be successful, you need to at least study the habits of this fish in the cold season, thoroughly know the reservoir and correctly assemble the tackle. Without this, the chances of catching a predator will be zero.

Where to look for walleye in winter

In contrast to the warm season, when the zander are looking for promising places with a raised bottom and snags, in winter they have to look for the fish itself. If you wait for it at one point, you can not hope for the result. Pike perch is not some kind of roach, you can’t lure him with bait under the hole.

Fisherman in winterIn winter, representatives of this species can be conditionally divided into two groups. The first includes individuals that have fallen into a semi-anabiotic state. Such a flock “slumbers” peacefully at the bottom of a deep hole and does not show any interest in food. Other pike perch, also huddled in flocks, do not stop for a minute, they scour the reservoir in search of food. Here you will have to run after them. The good news is that active predators never change their route, they always move along the same underwater paths. If there were gossip bites in some area, there is no doubt that after a certain time the flock will visit it again. It is these feeding places that experienced fishermen catch in the first place.

Generally speaking, there are some regularities in the behavior of the object of fishing. For example, at the very beginning of winter, he quite often goes out into shallow water to drive a small fish with a fish. Later, when frosts begin to rage, the pike perch moves to great depths, where the temperature is 2-3 degrees higher than at the surface. At this time, he is caught extremely badly. Towards the end of the winter season, it becomes active again and chases the fry. At moments of activity, it should be sought in places with various bottom anomalies (ridges, hills, sharp drops, boulders), as well as in snags and on old river beds.

General characteristics of tackle for fishing zander from ice

Most of the predators offer serious resistance when playing, and pike perch is far from the weakest among them. He fights to the last, so the tackle, regardless of the method of fishing, must have a certain margin of safety. It usually consists of:

  • Fishing rod for zanderhard rods 0.4-1 m long;
  • a sensitive nod in the form of a spring or made of a metal plate;
  • high-quality reel with easy running;
  • a transparent fishing line with a section of 0.18-0.3 mm or a braided cord 0.14-0.2 mm.
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The tackle must be adjusted to see and feel any contact of the fish with the bait, even the lightest. With its formidable appearance, pike perch has a habit of first gently touching food, especially if it alerted him to something.

Fishing methods and lures

Practically all existing methods of winter fishing are used to catch pike perch from ice.

A jig, a spoon, a balancer or a small fish as live bait can be effective in hunting this predator.

All of these options have their own characteristics and nuances, without the knowledge of which you cannot expect a catch. Let’s try to figure out which ones.


Since pike perch is a rather large fish, which differs from the same perch by its impressive mouth, the jig should be chosen of a suitable size. It can be a devil, a droplet, an ant, or an ordinary pellet up to 10 or even 15 mm long. It all depends on what kind of prey the angler is counting on. If you plan to catch pike perch with a jig at great depths and bites of trophy specimens are possible, then it is better to use heavier baits.

Red jigResourceful lovers of ice fishing for pike perch weight the jigs on their own by soldering tin or lead on store products. After that, they are coated with silver paint to remove the smell of fused metal. The attachment is usually a bunch of bloodworms or a piece of fresh fish. With a high activity of the object of fishing on the hook of the jig, you can impose bright red threads or attach a thin strip of rubber from an inflatable ball to it. The result will be no worse than when fishing with live larvae.

To seduce pike perch with a jig, you need to serve it smoothly, slowly swinging in the bottom horizon. A great way to get the attention of a predator is to knock it on the bottom, wait a short pause (a few seconds) and repeat this trick again. As a result, a cloudy cloud forms above the bottom surface, which is usually raised by fry swarming in the silt. Zander is often fooled by this trick.

Such a technique as drawing a bait works well, but it can only be used on a current. First, the jig should be raised above the bottom to a height of 30-40 cm, and then loosen the fishing line so that the stream carries it a little to the side. When it touches the bottom surface, you can begin to pull up to the fishing point. The bite most often occurs when it comes off the ground.


A balda fishermen-winter roads call a weight suspended on a loop in the form of a truncated cylinder, on both sides of which single hooks also hang freely. This is a classic version, but there are also variations. By itself, such a design is not very attractive for fish, therefore the forend of the hooks is wrapped with fluffy red thread or beads of any bright color are strung.

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Winter bait with hooksIn addition, it is important to observe symmetry, that is, you cannot put a hook of the 6th number on one side of the load, and on the other 10th. If you break the symmetry, the bait will not play properly.

Catching pike perch on a noodle in winter involves the game of the bait sweepingly, but smoothly, with tosses the nod moves along an oval trajectory. The hooks then meet the resistance of water, which sets them in motion. In general, the bait resembles a crustacean or a bug waving its legs. Periodically, you should tap it on the bottom and raise the dregs, so the artificial beetle will become even more attractive.


Many spinning anglers, whose main tool is covered until spring, prefer trolling for walleye in winter. Of course, such fishing has nothing to do with summer lure, but it is no less interesting and reckless. In ice fishing for fanged predators, narrow elongated spoons of red, yellow and silver have proven themselves in the best way. According to the assurances of many anglers, lures coated with fluorescent paint work well in bad weather. Depending on the size of the object of fishing, the length of the bait can vary within 4-12 cm. The weight is selected taking into account the conditions: in still water up to 10 g, in the course of 20-50 g.
Winter lures
The technique of fishing for walleye in winter with a spoon is very simple. First, the bait is lowered to the bottom, then, with a short stroke of the rod, it is thrown up 40-50 cm and released into free fall. After a 10 second pause, swing again. You need to play with a metal fish evenly, without interruptions and too long stops. If on the first 10-15 tosses the predator did not respond and did not show itself in any way, we can confidently state its absence under the hole and move on to another.


This artificial fish appeared in the boxes of winter fishermen relatively recently, but has already become popular. The balancer works in an upright position and very accurately mimics the behavior of the fry. The lure is equipped with two single hooks (one on each side), some models have an additional tee on the belly. If the pike perch is interested in the balancer, with such an arsenal it will not go anywhere and will be safely caught.
Balance weights for pike perch
Catching pike perch on a balancer in winter does not require special skills; even a beginner can master the technique. Here everything is about the same as with the lure: lowering the bait to the bottom, raising it by 10 cm, a sharp swing of the rod so that it rises another 40-50 cm, free fall and a pause for up to 20 seconds. Due to its geometry, the balancer, after swinging, goes not only up, but also to the side, then turns around and returns to its original position. In other words, it behaves like a real fry. In most cases, the bite occurs at the second when the fish gliding in the water stops. If the pike perch is sluggish and reluctant to bite, you can tap on the bottom with the bait. Sometimes it helps to stir him up.

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Catching pike perch in winter on zerlitsy practically does not differ from pike. This tackle works great, and any of its varieties are applicable. True, for such fishing it will have to be altered a little: take more fishing line on the reel and leave only one hook. What for? A supply of fishing line is necessary because the pike perch does not swallow its prey in the place where it overtook it. After the grip, he will swim with live bait in his teeth for several tens of meters. Well, it is better to remove the extra hooks so as not to alarm the predator. As for live bait, bleaks, ruffs, small perches, roach and crucian carp will fit for this role.

Sprat fishing

Of all the ways of tusk fishing, fishing for pike perch on sprat in winter is perhaps the easiest. What gear to use? You will need a strong rod, a regular inertia reel, a 0.35 mm mono line (or a smaller diameter braid), a lead and a tee. The elements of the rig are arranged in the following order: a weight is knitted at the end of the main line, and above it a 5-cm leash with a tee. The material for the leash is a piece of the same line, there is no need to put a thinner one. When the tackle is ready, you can go to the pond, stopping at the store for tulka on the way. Only fresh-frozen tulka is suitable for use as a nozzle; pike perch will not even come close to a salty product. You can put the tulka on the tee as you like, but experienced fishermen advise you to fasten it across.
Ways to attach live bait to a hook
There are three options for filing this bait:

  1. she lies motionless at the bottom and waits for the predator to approach;
  2. methodically thrown up 20-25 cm with pauses of one minute;
  3. constantly plays (in this case, instead of a tee, it is better to use a jig).

Some helpful tips

Catching pike perch in winter will bring a lot of positive emotions, if you properly prepare for fishing, use some tips:

  • Fish with a fishing rod on iceThe usual winter balalaika fishing rod is not suitable for angling zander. It’s too soft and too short for a good strike.
  • Do not use long leashes, otherwise the predator will have the opportunity to spit out the bait. In addition, it reduces the sensitivity of the gear.
  • Successful winter zander fishing depends largely on the behavior of the angler on the ice. Loud conversations with colleagues, tap-dancing to warm the legs and other noise will drive him away from the hole.
  • On such a fishing, a hook does not interfere, which greatly facilitates the final stage of fishing.

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