Catching zander in spring – features of search and tackle
After the opening of reservoirs, predatory fish, including pike perch, are activated. However, not all anglers are in a hurry to catch it, considering this activity unpromising. The fanged is a really complex predator capable of showing character. This is especially evident when fishing for zander in spring, when summer tactics at great depths do not work at all. Without knowledge of the spring habits of this fish, its habitats, the ability to select the right bait, the chances of catching will be zero.
Like most other species, in spring this predator performs the function of procreation laid down by nature. In some reservoirs, he begins to spawn from mid-April, depending on the region, this process can continue until June. Of course, there will be a zhor in front of the spawn, which will last no more than two weeks. Therefore, you need to hurry, because then the exciting fishing for zander will have to be postponed until the summer due to the absolute barking and the ban on spinning.
Spring behavior of zander
The predator long and painfully comes to its senses after a cold winter, so in early spring it does not shine with activity. It gradually comes out of its apathetic state, starts to peck stably not earlier than the water warms up to 10-12 degrees. At the same time, pike perch gather in small schools and begin to migrate to spawning grounds. They move along certain routes, stopping at rifts, spits, curbs and dumps to a depth to feed themselves with fry. Experienced spinners quickly calculate these points and keep them secret from competitors. The predator is active only periodically, short-term bursts with a large number of powerful bites are replaced by long interruptions, during which it is impossible to provoke him to grasp. With this behavior, search tactics work poorly, where wait-and-see results bring better results.
On many rivers, zander activates in the late afternoon, after the sun warms up the water well, so fishermen continue to fish until dusk. It is at this time of day that the fanged takes on various lures, attacks them very confidently and almost never leaves the hook. Moreover, not only small and medium-sized individuals are caught, but also fairly large specimens.
Unfortunately, productive zander fishing in early spring ends too quickly. He goes to spawning grounds and stops pecking. With a certain diligence and patience, you can, of course, catch it, but you need to tune in to the fact that bites will be rare and uncertain. In late May, after the end of the spawn, catching this predator is much less effective than in early April. He switches to a summer diet, which negatively affects fishing, which is already complicated by high water levels and strong currents.
What else affects the biting of zander in spring
All underwater inhabitants react to the slightest weather changes, and zander is no exception. Some natural factors can also affect its bite. Deterioration is observed:
- with unstable atmospheric pressure, especially with a sharp decrease;
- with drops in water level;
- when its transparency changes for the worse;
- with strong winds, foreshadowing a change in weather.
Fans of spinning fishing are guided by these signs and make the right decision – go fishing or endure a couple of days and wait for more suitable conditions.
Search for a predator
Success in catching walleye in spring, especially during migration to spawning grounds, depends by 90% on how well the place is chosen. You can wield spinning all day long, fish a large area, try a lot of baits and not see a single bite. Where to find it?
In March, when the reservoirs are just beginning to open, the fanged canine can be caught in the gullies formed at the confluence of small rivulets, canals and streams. With the end of the freeze-up, small and medium-sized individuals move to the shallows, coastal shallow water and other areas where food fish concentrate.
In addition to the availability of food for pike-perch, a better oxygen regime and a higher water temperature are here. Gradually, as it warms, they disperse over the reservoir, occupy ever large territories, but continue to return to feed in the coastal zone, where by this moment there are already full of fry and small animals. That is why spring fishing for pike perch on spinning from the shore often gives good catches.
Perspective points during this period are:
- calm areas with moderate current;
- places where great depths border on shallow water;
- return flows, whirlpools;
- flooded snags;
- areas, the bottom of which is strewn with stones and boulders;
- pits under steep banks at river bends.
It should be noted that large zander weighing 2 kg or more rarely approach the coastline. Even during the pre-spawning zhora, they prefer to stay at great depths, so in the spring, catching a trophy predator from the shore is unlikely.
Tackle for catching walleye in spring
Since pike perch is caught mainly on jig throughout the year (including in early spring), the tackle is used the same as in summer. The only thing that may be required is a heavier weight of the silicone bait when fishing in a rapid flood stream. Due to spills, many vantage points can be far away from the shore, so it is important to choose a rod that provides long casting. In general, a spinning rod for spring fanged fishing looks like this:
- comfortable and sensitive rod up to 3 m long, medium-fast action, with test up to 40 g;
- spinning-free balanced with a rod, possessing the following characteristics: spool size – 3000, gear ratio – 1: 5, high-quality thread laying, no backlash;
- braided cord with a cross section of 0.16-0.22 mm, providing good control of the wiring;
- a leash made of inconspicuous fluorocarbon that can withstand contact with shells and stones (you can use metal twists or special store leads, but they scare the fish).
Pike perch does not belong to lovers of a clean and flat bottom, its elements are stones, driftwood, flooded branches and other bottom trash. The likelihood of getting caught in such places is too high to fish in a standard way, so spinning reels came up with a mounting with a retractable leader. Thanks to the spaced rig, in which the bait is not at the end of the main line, but above it on a separate leash, it became possible to fish in the most difficult places.
In the spring, however, as at any other time of the year, the jig method is considered the most effective in catching fanged. The weight of the jig head is selected taking into account the strength of the water flow and depth. For example, when fishing at a depth of 2.5-3 meters with an average current, the best option would be a head weighing 8-10 g. Accordingly, at a greater depth and strong current, the weight of the jig must be increased.
Anglers have a wide variety of opinions about the color of lures. Some are sure that coloring does not play any role in the spring, they say, hungry pike perch grabs everything. Others insist that it is impossible to use bright twisters and vibro-tails, since there is still no motley vegetation at the bottom, and against the background of dark soil, they look too unnatural. In any case, you should rely on your experience and fish on those silicones that were catchy in past seasons.
When choosing the size of the bait, you need to take into account the fact that the belly of the predator is filled with caviar, and there is no room for large prey in it. Before spawning, the larger fish is ignored by the zander at the reflex level, which means only one thing – the size of the bait should not exceed 5 cm.
In addition to silicone, the object of the catch reacts to some other types of lures. The elongated oscillating spoons show themselves well. The vibrators are so simple that even the Chinese cannot make a non-working model. A relatively new invention called mandula is also being used. It is made from Evoplast and Lurex. This is purely gossip bait, although other predators sometimes fall for it. Despite its catchiness, mandula has not found wide distribution for one simple reason – it collects all the debris from the bottom surface and often clings to driftwood.
In some reservoirs, foam-rubber fish show themselves perfectly. They are easy to make right on the shore by cutting the body out of an ordinary dishwashing sponge with scissors. Correctly and neatly made fish can compete with any rubber, even edible. Especially in early spring, when the predator is half asleep and moves little.
Pike perch is the record holder for the number of retirements. During fishing, you can feel more than a dozen bites, but in the end you won’t catch anything. Most often, the fisherman himself is to blame for this, or rather laziness, which prevented him from checking the sharpness of the hooks. If the bite occurs at a considerable distance from the shore, it is almost impossible to pierce the bony mouth of this fish with a blunt hook. That is why in the arsenal of an experienced zander there is always a fine-grained file for sharpening hooks. And it does not just lie in the box, but is actively used.