Aug 12, 2019Latest news

Winter spinning fishing for zander

Winter spinning fishing for zanderEveryone is looking for – and finds – in fishing something of their own, but I’m unlikely to be mistaken if I say that for very many, and especially for residents of big cities, fishing is, among other things, a way to get away from fuss, from problems, from the daily race. Many go fishing not even so much for the sake of fish, but just to briefly find themselves in another world where there is only you and the river. But today, solitude on the shore, even in winter, has become a problem. More recently, a fascination with winter spinning provided such an opportunity – there were few lovers of such fishing. But now, for example, on the banks of the Moscow River in January there are often more spinning players than in July. Perhaps this is not the last reason why more and more anglers are switching not just to winter spinning, but to winter night spinning. I must say right away: this is extreme fishing, but in complete darkness on the river bank all the problems that do not give rest during the day go somewhere very far away. And at the same time, night fishing often brings very good results, and if we talk about zander, then much larger specimens are often caught at night than during the day.

Seat selection

Night fishing is always a serious matter, and winter is even more so. Before you go fishing, you need to conduct a thorough preparation and how to familiarize yourself with the place of intended fishing. You need to make sure that it is convenient to fish here, and most importantly – that there is more pikeperch than in other places. On the Moscow River there are many areas where zander is present, but its concentration is extremely low. Catching it in areas where only a couple of zander is held per square kilometer is pointless. The main thing, perhaps, is to determine the points where zander feeds at night. After all, day and night parking of pike perch practically do not coincide. A point that seems completely unpromising during the day can turn out to be unexpectedly fruitful at night. On shallow irrigation near the coast, where you can’t always catch a snack during the day, 3-4 kg of zander can be caught at night, and this is by no means an exaggeration. By the way, the standard Moskvoretsky zander weighs 1-2 kg.

There are areas where mostly small zander occurs, there are points with large. It has long been observed that individuals of different sizes are most often kept separately, but at night they go to feed at the same points where the fry gather. In one specific place, both seasoned perchs and very young ones can be caught, but usually they go to feed at different hours. During the hunt, a large pike perch drives away a trifle, and young people begin to feed only after a seasoned mother is fed up. However, finding the right site is half the battle. It is necessary to “grope” the hunting routes of zander or directly the hunting zone. It is usually very compact, somewhere up to five meters. It happens that you move a little further, and the bites immediately stop.

It is possible to find such points practically only experimentally. The only clue is the fry. He can stand at the very shore, and at a fairly large distance from it. The presence of fry can sometimes be seen by light bursts on the surface. But this happens only with slight frosts or during the thaw. The classic parking of pike perch is pit under the rifts, tables with a weak course and with tubercles, behind which lulls form and the fry gather. There are places on the Moskva River where such tables only 10-15 m wide stretch along the shore for tens of meters. But over this length, the fish will be located very unevenly. It is easier to find it on small spots separating the roll and the pit located below. The pit itself serves as a daytime parking place for pike perch, and the area below the rift is a night canteen.

The optimum for night fishing of zander can be considered a depth of 1-2 m. Although there are exceptions. In one of my favorite places, the depth at the very shore is immediately 3 m, and then a gently sloping dump begins. Nevertheless, pikeperch appears here very often, but it hunts not at the bottom, but at the surface itself. Immediately determine how promising this point is for night fishing is quite difficult. Usually you have to come for reconnaissance several times. It happens that a good place suddenly stops working. The reason most often is the breaking of the weather.

Often during night fishing, in addition to zander, another predator can also be caught – perch and pike, occasionally chub and very rarely – asp. Where there is no artificial lighting, zander dominates, perch is often found on illuminated areas, and pike flies from time to time. Already this year, at the same point, the pike cut two wobblers from me. It is noteworthy that my friend in the same place lost two expensive baits because of her. You have to put up with such things, because if you put a metal leash in front of the wobbler, you can get only a pike – no other fish will be taken.


The choice of gear for night fishing depends on the lures. On such fishing, in fact, only two options are used: either wobblers, or a retractable leash. Jig is practically not used due to the fact that it involves quite energetic wiring, and at night the movement of the bait should be as slow as possible. A diverting leash allows this, but when fishing on a trashy bottom, hooks occur too often, and throwing this equipment in the dark is not always convenient. I personally prefer wobblers. They go higher, but pike perch still gravitates to the surface at night. Although it is still not possible to completely avoid the hooked wobblers, nevertheless.

For fishing on wobblers, all the more well balanced, you have to choose the gear you need. The rod must necessarily have high sensitivity, since it is required to transmit not only the bite, but also the game of the bait on the slowest wiring. The length of the spinning rods usually does not exceed 2.4-2.5 m, the test is up to 20 g. It is difficult to throw longer ones in the dark, but most importantly, sensitivity increases “in the arm” with increasing length, and in the dark it is simply impossible to navigate the tip of the rod. The fishing rod requirements are very high, but the choice of a specific model is up to the angler. Here the main role is played by the subjective factor – it all depends on what is more comfortable for you to catch. And practically all major manufacturers, both Japanese and American, have suitable models.

As for the choice of reel, here are the prerequisites – high quality stacking fishing line and reliability. Everything else also depends on the angler. To ensure high sensitivity gear you have to use exclusively braided cords. Basically it is either tough "Americans" like Spiderwire or Japanese PE. I prefer the former. Dense cords with high-quality impregnation absorb little water and, accordingly, freeze less. In addition, they are not so prone to the formation of loops, which in the cold instantly seize. When fishing on wobblers, unlike a jig, the cord often gets slack, and if the loops freeze, beards immediately appear – the good cord comes to an end. Lovers of Japanese PE do not part with them in the winter, but they have to handle the cords with various antifreezes more often.

One way or another, but if the temperature drops below zero, everyone has to handle the cords. Moreover, at a temperature of -1-3 degrees and high humidity, the cord freezes much faster than at -15. As a means of freezing, silicone sprays are most often used.


The selection of wobblers has to be approached especially carefully. It would seem that the night, nothing is visible, the pike perch seems to be missing everything that looks like a fry, but in reality everything happens the other way around. Cheap models and even products of average Japanese firms like Yo-Zuri very rarely provoke zander. No matter how I drove, for example, “Dive” and most Americans, bites were very rare. As practice has shown, expensive lures of Japanese firms, such as Zip Baits or Megabass, are almost an order of magnitude more effective than others. For night fishing, a minnow with a small, up to 1.5 m, deepening and only natural colors is better suited. It is noteworthy that a few years ago, more precisely, winters ago, acid workers worked perfectly, but now it is useless to catch them. The same applies to models with rattles – noisy balls. The reason for the change in the taste of pike perch, apparently, is that the number of nocturnal spinningists has increased dramatically, and the number of pike perch is vice versa. As a result, only the most cautious survived, who shun everything unnatural.


The wiring should be extremely slow, literally on the verge of surfacing for floating models or hovering for suspendres. Sometimes complete stops are necessary; they help to lure a pike perch, who is ambushed in shallow water behind some tubercle. As a rule, the wiring is uniform, but sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you have to apply twitching, but it is very soft. It should not even be jerks, but the movements of a wobbler. Most often, demolition fishing is the best option. The most important thing here is to accurately calculate at what point the bait will go. A mistake of just a few meters will nullify all efforts, even in a good place. If the wobbler passes even a meter behind the pike perch, that one, most likely, will not react. During the day – perhaps at night – no. In the dark, the area within which the pike perch responds to the bait is significantly reduced.

Bite time

Just like day and night, pike perch takes outs, and their time changes. There are certain patterns, but they are very different at specific points. Perhaps the only thing that manifests itself almost everywhere is the cyclical nature of the outputs. Usually, after zander actively took for half an hour, there comes complete lack of bite, which lasts an hour and a half. It all depends on the specific location and concentration of the predator. Perhaps the termination of the bite is due to the fact that the flocks move along the slope and return to their original place only after a certain time.

Bites usually begin in complete darkness and last up to two hours. But this is not a general rule. It happens that in the middle of the night, at 3-4 o'clock, a real zhor begins, but this rarely happens. But the predawn exit in zander is almost always observed. Another thing is that few of the fishermen have the patience and strength to wait for him. Most often, after one in the morning, most anglers leave. Pike perches are different – from soft hanging to a sharp blow. Especially with this, at night, copies from 2 kg sin, their bites are given not only to the hand, but literally to the whole body.


It should be light, comfortable and warm. Be sure to wear a good warm thermal underwear. Choosing such a kit is now easy. Unfortunately, it will cost not at all cheaply, but you should not save on thermal underwear. When preparing for a night fishing trip, it is best to follow the old rule: clothes should be designed for a temperature 5-10 degrees lower than expected. In conclusion, some tips for those who are just going to master night spinning. Be sure to go fishing several times in the selected place during the day and clearly work out the wiring routes of the wobbler. Fish at night is very shy, and you must be extremely careful moving along the shore. The lights should be turned off immediately during fishing. It’s worth changing the bait only by moving away from the water, without directing the beam of the flashlight to the water. You must take a set of lures with you, a headlamp with a set of spare batteries, a small set of tools.

And the last: do not immediately go fishing alone at night. This can be done, but only with at least minimal experience.

author Sergey CHOKALO


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