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  • Writer's pictureThom Prüst

Long line zander

It's the time of year that zander fishing is The Bomb. The fish are slowing down, angling has to be precise and the reward comes with big fat zander.

First some non scientific, but only practise and personal belief based theory. Coming autumn/ early winter, I store my casting rods and dig up the vertical fishing stuf. When the water gets colder I find it harder and harder to catch zander "casting". I can't really explain why, because the way I lead my lure across the bottom is virtually the same as in the tecnnique I am about to discuss. When casting: I want to get my lure down asap (i.e. 15-20 grams jighead) and, while keeping my rod down (directed to the water), I try to keep my lure as long as possible about 3-5 cm lifted from the bottom while never losing contact with my softbait. Until early November for me this is the way to go to catch zander. However, as the water gets colder this technique becomes less and less successful. I always thought that due to a low temperatures the fish are getting slower and that 'casting' resulted in a too fast fished softbait. My guess now however is that the fish due to the dropping temperatures are more 'stationary' and that 'casting' simply doesn't cover enough water.

It's not the speed that's the problem early winter.

So, what technique makes the magic happen in winter? The answer is: long line jigging. Which is basically nothing more than dragging a softbait lifted about 3-5 cm from the ground across the bottom while holding it as still as possible. And the weird thing is, you can do this dragging pretty fast: 2-3 km/h is no problem for a zander. It's more a problem for the angler as the faster you go, the more difficult it is to keep your lure in the strike zone.

High speed is more an angler's problem than a fish's problem.

Long line jigging setup. For this technique I prefer to use a vertical rod of 2 meters with fast or extra fast action and a (max.) lure weight of something around 20 grams. For line I use a braided PE-line of 0.12 mm and a fluor carbon leader of 0.30-0.35 mm. We top this setup off with a 12-14 cm softbait rigged on a 28 grams 3/0 jighead and put a stinger, close to the main hook on it.