As spring arrives and the temperatures start to rise, pike, perch and zander are spawning or getting ready to spawn so now is the perfect time to fish for asp. You don’t need tons of lures but ones that will enable you to cast really far and cover a large surface of water. The Gunki Jigger 42S and 55S are perfect for that but I’ll use them later on in the season. The new Gunki Whiz in 7.6 and 10cm sizes are the perfect option for the spring as they are exactly the same shape and size of the prey that the asp usually hunt.
You’ll also need to take some hard mono, fluorocarbone, snaps and a good pair of pliers which will all pack into the Gunki Walk-Bag with loads of room to spare. Forget anything under 0.25 for your terminal leader as a reasonable size asp will break it. I usually use Ice Fluorocarbone ranging from 0.26 to 0.29 but, if where I am fishing there are mussel beds, in that case I switch to 0.30 Specialist Hard Mono, which is slightly more resistant to abrasion.
The lures that I use the most at this time of the year are soft ones and the new Gunki Whiz 76 & 100 from the Think Finesse Range are just perfect. I rig them on 17 to 21gr jig heads which may seem heavy but necessary to be able to cast the 70-80m to where the fish are holding. I fish for asp in the Rhine and at the beginning of the season you need to fish for them as close as possible to the main flow of the river.
To be able to achieve such distances you need a rod capable of casting lures that far and for that I use the new Gunki Yurai S270-XH. 2m70 long and an optimal casting range of 14 to 55g. It is the ideal rod for the job. Thanks to its’ length and impressive reserve, you will not have any issues casting extra long distances and fighting those sliver devils when they take to the current.
The low water temperatures mean that the fish will not be that active and therefore will not really be responding to fast fished hard baits like the excellent Gunki Jigger 42S and 55S. What you need to do is to cast as far as possible towards the middle of the river, let the soft bait sink to the bottom and as soon as you make contact, start retrieving at a constant speed as close as possible to the river bed. In order to find the correct speed that the fish will respond to, try different ones until the asp start hammering your lure!
At this time of the year I fish mainly with soft baits as I cannot reach the same casting distances with hard ones. But as the water warms and the fish start moving and getting more active, it will be time to start using them, but that will be for another review!
If you’ve never fished for asp, try it because it’s really fun and addictive!