Zander, scientifically known as Sander lucioperca, is a fascinating fish species that has captivated the interest of anglers and fish enthusiasts around the world. This freshwater predator belongs to the Percidae family and is often referred to by various names, including pikeperch, European pikeperch, or simply zander. Native to Europe and western Asia, the zander has become a popular game fish and a subject of ecological interest due to its unique characteristics and behavior.
One of the distinguishing features of the zander is its elongated body, which is sleek and slender, much like a pike. Its coloration varies, but it commonly sports a pale silvery-gray or greenish hue with darker stripes along its sides, making it an attractive fish to observe and pursue. Zander typically grow to lengths between 15 to 35 inches (38 to 90 centimeters) and can weigh anywhere from a few pounds to over 20 pounds (1 to 10 kilograms), depending on their age and habitat conditions.
Zander are known for their voracious predatory behavior. They are ambush predators, lurking in wait for smaller fish and prey to swim by, at which point they strike with remarkable speed and precision. This predatory nature makes them a challenging and rewarding catch for anglers who seek the thrill of the chase.
In terms of habitat, zander are primarily found in freshwater bodies such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. They tend to prefer clear waters with moderate temperatures and are often associated with structures like submerged rocks, fallen trees, or underwater vegetation, where they can hide and patiently hunt their prey.
How to catch Zander
Equipment and Gear:
A medium to medium-heavy spinning or baitcasting rod with a sensitive tip is recommended. Use a braided or monofilament line with a test strength of 10-20lb.
Lures and Bait:
Zander are known to be aggressive towards lures. Try using soft plastics like shads, jigs, or crankbaits. Choose colors that mimic the local baitfish. If allowed, using live baitfish like roach, perch, or small rudd can be very effective.
Zander are predatory fish that are often found near structures like rocks, submerged trees, and drop-offs.
Zander are more active in cooler water, so early spring and late autumn are usually good times to target them. They are most active during low-light periods (dawn, dusk, and night).
Cast your lure near structures where zander are likely to hide. Retrieve it slowly and vary your retrieval speed to mimic the movement of wounded prey. If using a jig, let it sink to the desired depth and then lift it up and let it fall in a rhythmic motion.