If in spring only fishermen can be found on the shores of pike-perch reservoirs, then in summer there are a lot of tourists. Bathing, music, loud screams – all this negates your attempts to fight the fanged one. In such a situation, in my opinion, there are three ways out: to fish where there are no vacationers, to try to get to the fishing spot before sunrise, to master night fishing.
Let’s start with the fact that there are no tourists on the reservoir. As a rule, these are sections of rivers located far enough from cities. On reservoirs there are places remote from recreation centers, boarding houses, sanatoriums, etc. But even where there are a lot of people during the day, there is a way out – to catch pike perch in the early morning, until vacationers appeared on the water. On vast reservoirs, you can always find a section of the water area where you will not be disturbed by fans of diving, high-speed planes, sailboats and other floating equipment.
The behavior of pike-perch in the summer depends on many factors. So, he feels most comfortable at a water temperature of 11-22 ° C. When it rises, the fanged loses its appetite. It is also necessary to take into account the nature of the reservoir – a river, a flowing lake, a reservoir, a navigable canal. In rivers, pike perch prefers to keep on a fast current or not far from it. In reservoirs in summer, it should be looked for with regard to water stratification (temperature stratification). In general, I noticed that where the current is very weak or absent, with the establishment of hot weather, pike perch leave their favorite places, and it becomes more difficult to find predators. Scientists classify pike perch as crepuscular and nocturnal fish. His eyes are arranged in such a way that he sees as well at night as during the day. In this he is somewhat akin to a cat.
If you had to spend the night by a fire on the bank of a river, you probably noticed that after sunset, fish trifles – underyearlings of roach, dace, chub, as well as flocks of bleak literally “snuggle” to the shore, here they finish the day’s meal in the hunt for insects, here they remain at night. On coastal shoals, where the depth is only 10-30 cm, small fish instinctively escape from the sharp teeth of predators. But if the pike perch went into the “battle”, the picture is impressive: here and there gurgling bursts appear. These small fangs began their night feast, which, with interruptions, can last until 2-3 o’clock in the morning. And at the first drop into the depths of the fish frightened to death, larger pike perch await. They, unlike their younger relatives, are extremely cautious and go to the shallows when they are completely hungry. On the Oka, in the Sokolovaya Pustyn area, my friend and I once, at the end of August, literally caught a hurricane bite of a night pike perch. He took from about 10 pm to 1 am. For two we caught 12 pike perch, not counting half a dozen undersized, which had to be released.
At night, pike perch is caught from the shore, into the wading, from pontoon piers. And, of course, from the boat. The good thing about coastal fishing is that with a relatively clean coastline, you can change fishing spots until you find a fattening pike perch. When wading or fishing from the dock, the advantage is that light lures (such as wobblers) are floated downstream and then guided. With heavily overgrown shores or inconvenient approaches to the water’s edge, a night walleye hunter cannot do without a boat. However, fishing from a boat will be effective only if you know well the places where fangs come out at night. And they change, and quite often. In addition, pike perch do not rise to the surface every night and arrange their famous “fight”.
Like pike, pike perch, having filled its stomach with food, settles in “strong” places, digesting food. And the colder the water, the slower the digestion process. You will have a better chance of finding such places if you focus on accumulations of bleak, roach, verkhovka and other small “whites”. For night fishing you need reliable gear. Personally, I opted for the following gear. Rods. Master (South Korea). Length 2.7 m. Test 10-40 g. Sabaneev. Length 2.7 m. Test 5-19 g. Build fast, rigid or semi-rigid. Fishing with a soft rod means knowingly condemning yourself to empty hooks, since the zander has a rather stiff mouth, and it is not so easy to pierce it even with perfectly sharpened hooks.
Coils. “Cardinal” (“Abu Garcia”) 2000, “Daiva” 1500. The reel should have a soft stroke, an easily adjustable brake. Fishing lines. I use both braided lines and mono lines. Their diameter depends on the size of the expected trophies. But I do not advise you to get involved in especially thick, because, as we have already said, the pike perch has very good night vision. The exception is when you are fishing near or among obstacles, especially in a snag. In this situation, after hooking the pike perch, most often it is necessary to fish out without much delay. The best option: braid with a diameter of 0.12 mm, mono line – 0.22-0.25 mm. The latter is preferable in a rigid design. Of the braids, my favorite is the Berkley Whiplash pro. With a section of 0.10 mm, it holds 14 kg of weight.
Bait. The choice of bait is 100% determined by the fishing conditions. If you fish from a pontoon or from a boat, and the pike perch goes out behind bleak or other small fish into the upper layers of the water, it is best to use a small wobbler. Usually I use floating wobblers 50-65 mm long with a depth of up to 1.5 m. The color is silver, gold, flashy bright. At a depth of more than three meters, wobblers with appropriate depth will be needed, and jig lures are also very effective. However, with a light jig, the same vibrotail on a weight-head or a jig-head weighing 4-5 g, you can successfully fish in coastal shallow waters. In short, the choice of bait is a purely personal matter.
Accessories. Headlamp, Bat-type lantern (if fishing is from a boat). And, of course, a lightweight reliable landing net, preferably with a net woven from monofilament with a diameter of 0.3-0.5 mm. For such a net, you will not tightly cling to free hooks of the bait, which are outside the zander’s mouth.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)