Zander – Sweet Zander

Well Finally !

Was trying to catch a Zander for 6 months and was failing each and every time… turns out I was piking with zander lures hence all I caught were pike.  Anyway on a walk home from the pub I spotted, a boat liveried up with  the logo on the side. Anyway to cut a long story short I mailed them and got a date sorted out. The price was reasonable at about 110 per person for a days fishing where whilst Zander could not be guaranteed ( no fishing place can guarantee fish) that there would be a very strong possibility of fish. Anyway after a lot of anticipation the day came around, Juul called me the night before just to do a final confirmation of location and pickup time.

The next day at the alloted time we were on the pier, and the boat that I had spotted the weeks before was there with out captain and guide Juul.

JuulJuul, is an incredibly experienced fisherman not just for Zander but for ( it seems) most other species of game fish world wide and soon made us feel at home on his boat.  Just a few words about his boat, it is exactly like mine… however it beats it in almost every way possible 🙂 The boat is exactly what you would have in mind if you told someone that money was not an issue, just put me together the best boat you could to fish off of the back of. He has dual echo sounder displays, a front mounted, remote controlled trolling motor, proper seats and some funky rear thrusters. Couple this with a massive cool box filled to the brim with goodies and you know you are on for a good day.

After orientating us with where we would be fishing and the target species, we started to tackle up. Normally I do not like to use hire gear as mine is normally far superior ( I am an unashamed tackle tart) however I was blown away by the rods that we were directed to use ( well actually I was blown away when I caught a fish on them). They were 1 piece Spro “Godfather” rods designed for vertical jigging combined with small spro reels. The action on these rods had to be seen to be believed, on Tuesday I will be calling my local tackle shop to make an order as small fish were fun to play, however even with the day’s biggest fish ( 4lb’s 4 oz more on that later) there was loads in reserve and I felt in complete control.

As we started fishing it quickly became evident that we had been wasting our time in our previous efforts to bank a zander. We had thought it sufficient to merely use Zander lures in the same way we fished for pike, not surprisingly all we had caught were pike. Turns out we should have been vertical jigging and after a small piece of instruction we were off.

MickActually Mick was off a little more literally and I think the grin says it all. His 1st proper Zander and the 1st one I had seen up close. I was amazed by their beauty and grace and also by the teeth.

I wasn’t too far behind but this time with a decent perch

PerchIt was a really old perch, faded stripes, damaged dorsal fin, split fins the whole lot and whilst it doesn’t look bit is a PB as far as I can remember. Anyway a couple more perch followed but they were not Zander so it was time to move on. Juul had a rule that if we had not caught or had a bite in 15 mins then it was time to move and this seemed to work well on what was probably a very challenging day for zander as it was everything that they hate, bright, hot and sunny. One aspect of the trip that I liked was that whilst Juul was fishing as well almost anything that he hooked was immediately handed over to one of us. This was a real confidence boost and got us used to Zander on the rods. This then led to my 1st Zander, not big but it was a zander non the least1stzanderThis pattern was repeated with the odd smallish zander coming into the boat, until finally I got the largest Zander bite so far.  All the bites previously felt like someone “pinging” the bait or just plucking at it and were damn hard to hit. This later bit was a little firmer and really indicated a different kettle of fish. The bait was hit really savagely with the rod almost torn from my hands, which tends t happen if you are expecting a really wimpy bite and something big decides to snaffle the bait.

bigoneThe fish eventually when netted was 62Cm long and was 4lb’s 4 oz and was certainly the largest of the day and was a vindication of the species. The spro “Godfather” rods that I mentioned earlier were more than up to the task and made playing the fish a real pleasure.  Not only had we done what we set out to do but we had over achieved it. After months of trying I had finally beaten the duck and had managed to bank a super specimen which wont stand too long as my PB ( I hope)

Juul was also in on the action and what was amusing was when he too a lure that had been dismissed by one of us as never able to catch a fish and used it to bank this beauty

juul2Not sure  of the weight or length but when they are that perfect who cares ?

Anyway the day was a superb day and I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone. we found them professional in the extreme and Juul did his best to make sure that we, the paying client, had the best day possible. Fish were caught (double figures of Zander between all of us – not all shown here) and a superb time was had. I can not recommend them highly enough and it was the little touches (such as sunblock) that really made the day from a merely “good” day to a superb day. To all those who say that you can not catch Zander in the middle of the summer I say look at the pics above, they don’t lie.

we booked direct on the website as as we live here it was just a matter of turning up. If you don’t live in Amsterdam it should just be a case of arranging a cheap flight, a hotel and booking on line, and as all tackle is provided you don’t need to worry about cabin baggage for your tackle.

Why not pop over to Amsterdam for a weekend, enjoy the sights on 1 day and go fishing on the next ? I am sure you wont be dissapointed.

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