Fishing for zander when rivers are in flood is usually the key to a successful session, well that is if you can actually manage to fish. If the water gets too high, in that case there is only one thing left to do: wait until things start to calm and then go fishing!

The river Seine in full flood at 1500m3/s.

A flood is going to fundamentally change the natural habitat, modify the usual hot spots, redirect currents and basically change your playground. The upside is that, due to the speed of the current, the fish will no longer have a choice of where to hide and will be found where the flow is the slowest. This will be a real help when looking for them but, sadly, everything else will tend to be more complicated!

Let’s start by the gear, as you’ll be facing fast flowing water, you’ll be potentially using heavier jig heads and therefore a more powerful rod. When fishing in these conditions, the most adequate technique is vertical style from a boat and for that, the GUNKI SHIGEKI S-190 MH is just perfect. Even though it is ultra light weight, transmits the slightest knock from down below, it has an awesome back bone and packs tons of power! Even though these conditions dictate the use of heavier gear, there’s one thing you’re going to have to reduce: the diameter of your braid. It is the element that will be directly in contact with the current and, because of the conditions, will be subject to even more pressure than usual. This will induce 2 major effects; it will generate greater vibrations and delay information transmission, due to the “belly” that will appear. In order to reduce these side effects you need to use the slickest, roundest braid possible and for that you can count on the SLIDE BRAID. As for the terminal leader, like for the rest of the gear, you’ll need to increase its diameter in order to withstand abrasion and the new snags that will litter your spots.

The GUNKI SHIGEKI S-190 MH, perfect for power vertical fishing.

The fish will be holding in different zones depending on their activity. Let’s say that when the fish are active they will be closer to the current and when they’re not active they will be more in the calmer areas. So, depending on how they react, you’ll have to fish the spot regarding their level of activity and some days, you’ll find active and dormant fish on the same hot spot!

2 zander caught on an « active » spot.

In the areas where you find feeding fish, you must use the flow of the water to your advantage. Forget the classical “vertical” presentation of your lure and use the current to carry it. You don’t fish by releasing line but, rather by raising the rod tip so that your lure lifts off the bottom and then guide it until you make contact with the bottom. The shape of the jig head is essential to help the lure “float” and for that the G’VERTI and G’SLIDE jig head are great, I’ll use either one depending on the strength of the flow and the dynamics of my lure.

« Dormant » caught zander during flood conditions.

Rest zones can often be found near active zones but will be located in the calmer parts. Here boating skills are a key factor and with a bit of experience you can actually decide whether the bite will occur at the front or the rear of the boat! The take is often ultra violent and can happen after several drifts over exactly the same spot. You really have to go and get the fish where they are hiding and provoke them until they react. Most of the time you will not be able to see them on the fish finder as they are laying on the bottom so you really have trust your instinct to find those sweet hot spots where they rest!

The right presentation = a perfect take !

Regardless of the spot, you have to insist, change lure, change colour until you find THE right combination and then the fishing almost becomes easy! Even on the same boat, the number of bites can greatly vary just because of a slight detail: shape of the jig head, colour of the lure... but isn’t that what makes our sport so enthralling?

No Release, No Glory!

See you soon on, in or beside the water. if ever you any questions, contact me via the official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/gunki.home

Tight lines

Yannick Line

Fishing guide in Brittany, France.