The pike perch living in reservoirs never enters shallow tributaries, where it would seem that there is enough food for it. However, at the beginning of autumn, large pike perch are often “on duty” at the outlet of such tributaries, waiting for the fry that slide down. Such “points” can be said to be a kind of “McDonald’s” for zander. The only condition is a suitable depth (at least 4-5 m) and a shelter. In this case, fishing is best from a boat. And it should be placed 30-40 m downstream from the supposed parking of the predator.
Trolling takes a special place in the autumn fishing for zander in reservoirs. Fishing in this way is most effective in the evening and morning twilight. However, pike perch often takes well during the day. Forage fish does not stand in one place, it constantly or from time to time moves in search of food, followed by pike perch. When trolling, if you hit a pike perch, you should stay at this place and carefully round the point at which the bite occurred. Zander rarely hunts alone, except perhaps for the largest individuals. For trolling, the most suitable would be a boat equipped with a conventional electric motor, since pike perch can hunt in the upper layers of the water and go out into shallow waters (especially at dusk and at night), which means that with a gasoline engine, you will simply scare away fanged ones.
In short, trolling in this case is mainly used to search for active pike perch. And it allows you to comb large areas of the water area. I consider a wobbler as bait number 1 for this method of fishing. But what it will be – floating, sinking or suspender, depends on the situation and fishing conditions. If you find a flock of fattening pike perch, it is better to catch a cast. Lures: jig, wobbler, spoon, tackle. Fishing tactics are different on large and medium rivers. Here, as a rule, you have to fish in a rather strong current. Therefore, the weight of jig heads and weight heads must be selected depending on the strength of the flow. On the lower Volga, for example, I equip soft baits with weights from 25 to 50 grams. In the fall, the wiring should be done in slow motion.
PS In my opinion, when mastering fishing for such a difficult fish as pike perch, it is important to start following three basic commandments:
1. Do not try to catch walleye where there is none. On any body of water, you need to know the areas where a meeting with a fanged predator is presumably possible.
2. Day sites of pike perch may seem “uninhabited” when caught. Do not forget that a well-fed pike perch reacts to the bait only if the spawning nest is protected or when the bait acts annoyingly on it. Consequently, you will have to study the opening hours of pike perch to feed. In this case, the activity of predators will depend on both the state of the food supply and the temperature of the water. The colder it is, the slower the metabolism in the body of the fish.
3. Before going fishing, make sure that every piece of your tackle is reliable. On the other hand, trophy pike perch weighing up to 10 kg is a rarity these days. Most often, you have to deal with individuals up to 5 kg. Therefore, too much safety margin leads to coarsening of the gear and a significant reduction in bites.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)