Predators feeding activity peeks during the spring time and early summer. All that energy, burnt up during mating, spawning and protecting the spawn, especially for zander, means that there some very hungry fish swimming around!
On big deep waters, the predators can be found next to small inlets and tributaries, ever ready to hunt in the shoals of fry and bait fish that mass in these areas. Now is the time to fish with small light soft baits.
When I’m fishing like this, I use the Gunki Shigeki S198 ML 3-12g rod, the Bushi FV reel spooled with a 0.08mm Slide Braid and at least 2m of 0.20mm ICE Fluorocarbon leader.
I can’t really say that there is just one lure that you must have; zander can be so choosy that what may seem a miracle lure one day will not catch a fish the next day! The key is to keep changing until you find the right one.
I like to use 8 to 10cm lures in a variety of different natural colours (smelt, ghost red, grey fish...) and complementary vibrations:
The speed gun is great when you have to fish fast, the high speed vibrations of its tail are magic.
The grubby shad is perfect when you have to slow things down, thanks to its large body and mobile tail it really shifts water and produces tons of vibrations.
I use the roller gun when I'm going to have to switch rapidly from a fast to a slow retrieval and vice versa, true to its name, this lure has a really strong rolling action.
Depending on the depth, I mainly use 2 different types of jig heads ranging from 7 to 12g:
The G-Slide is great for fast linear retrievals as its sharp shape easily penetrates the water.
The G-fish has a more natural shape which is perfect for slower fishing.
I always cut off the head of the lure so that it fits perfectly on the jig head, it also gives it better presentation and greater water penetration.
Next important step is to find the fish and that is when the sonar becomes your best friend!
I really love fishing like this as at this time of the year as the fish really hit the lure like there is no tomorrow! So, if you're in need of an adrenaline fix, now is the time to go out on the water with some light gear and let the zander do the rest.
Jean-mi, Pro fishing guide in Aveyron, France: 0033 (0)6 76 41 29 54