Coarse Fishing


Our brief, plain speaking guide to zander. You wouldn't want one as a neighbour.

Zander are occasionally called pike-perch, as they bear traits from both the other coarse fishing favourites. They have long bodies and a large pointed head, with large eyes and sharp teeth, with a pair of quite large and high-fanning spined dorsal fins. The colour is predominantly silvery, but with the upper third of the back being a deep green or brown – a proper two-tone paintjob!
Finding them
Zander are keen on lowland rivers, canals, and some large still waters, completely at ease in muddy and low-visibility waters – as long as these coarse fishing habitats have good oxygenation (so lush waters crammed with vegetation and blooms are not favoured). If the waters are clear it’s more likely pike will be the ones doing the local eating, and the two tend not to be found in common waters that often. If they meet, one will quite happily try and have a bite out of the other (we’d put our money on the pike…). Low light is their preferred hunting time, stalking the deeper reaches and using their good vision to creep up on unsuspecting tiddlers.
Food and bait
Young zander will eat larvae and small fry, before moving up the food chain to other fish in adulthood, making evenings and nights a fraught time for the less wary of their little aquatic cousins. That’s not to say it won’t muster the courage to go after perch, bleak, roach, and so forth – and other zander. When coarse fishing for zander livebaiting, deadbaiting, lures, and trolling work well.
Zander spawn late spring to early summer; seeking out stone- or sand-covered waterbeds, or heavy roots.
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