Perhaps summer is the most difficult time for catching zander. In hot weather, even on such a fish river as the Oka, it is possible to catch it only in the early morning or in the evening twilight. At reservoirs, he sometimes takes it to the track during the day, but in general, the period of its activity is shifted to the dark. Moreover, with weather changes that are not uncommon this summer, both morning and evening nibble become unstable. In the dark, biting is more permanent. Only a sharp change in the weather can “cancel” it, but this still rarely happens. Therefore, more and more spinningists are also switching to a nocturnal lifestyle.
For night fishing of zander, you can use various methods: jig, snap with a retractable leash, even a scorer in combination with fine rubber. However, lure fishing has recently gained the most popularity. Today it is perhaps the most effective way. At first glance, this is due to the fact that zander in the dark comes close to the coast, where it is convenient to catch it on wobblers – the baits are catchy, but short-range. Actually this is not true. In my opinion, the main advantage of the wobbler is the ability to use a variety of wiring, including the slowest. Moreover, the wobbler continues to work on the pause during the course, which no other bait can. In addition, wobblers allow you to catch a wide range of depths from the surface to five to six or more meters. As for the casting distance, even when fishing from the shore, it can be quite large.
Where to catch?
In the summer, zander in the dark goes to feed for fry, which is kept in the coastal zone. However, attempts to walk along the coast with a spinning rod equipped with even the “coolest” wobbler, as a rule, end in nothing. It seems that there is a lot of fry, and the depth is shallow, but there is no pike perch. What is the matter? And the fact that the output of zander can be expected where there are at least two additional conditions. The first is the proximity of the place where he constantly holds: a hole or a deep edge. The second is the presence of a strong current, a jet. Sudak, as I noticed, is usually very attached to the place of its permanent residence and even at night does not go far. A jet is necessary, since the pike perch is very sensitive to the oxygen content in the water, and in the summer, in the heat, it drops markedly. Finally, also a very important condition – a hard bottom.
As a result, it turns out that the best places for night fishing for pikeperch are clay or rocky shallow rifts with a strong current, located next to the pits. Although you can successfully hunt for zander at night not only here: fishing on deep rifts up to 4-5 meters also gives very good results. In the latter case, we are talking about places where there is an extensive elevation at the bottom, over which the depth is noticeably less than in neighboring areas. As a rule, such an elevation is formed by the exit of layers of clay or pebbles. The strength of the current is higher, therefore, behind the rupture, water usually leaches sand, forming a pit. It can be relatively small and only slightly deeper than the roll itself, but it can extend to tens, or even a hundred meters, and have a very significant intrinsic depth. In principle, a similar situation, but on a smaller scale, also arises on various braids coming from the coast.
In addition to various rapids, zander can be successfully caught in coastal pits with a reverse course. They occur at the convergence of jets with different speeds, or where there is an obstacle at the bottom. Often, a return pit is formed near small clay capes. Reflecting from the cape, the jet departs from the coast, and a section with a reverse flow forms near it. Floating twigs and trunks, which, once at the bottom, often serve as a good refuge for pike perch, are often drawn into it. Finally, cool places are good places for night fishing: sites with steep, usually clayey shores and a steep dump starting almost from the edge of the water. The current here is always powerful, and the dumps and edges are very often shorted.
On rifts and braids
The main places of night fishing for pike perch vary greatly in terms of conditions, which requires both different lures and different equipment. Let's start with the rifts and various braids. There are a lot of such places on the Oka. On some you can catch in the wild, sometimes going quite far, on others you have to throw only from the shore. However, there is a common feature of such places: the fish is located extremely unevenly. As a rule, zander takes only at one point, which must be caught very carefully. Sometimes such points can be determined visually. The fact is that the jets wash the soil unevenly and the bottom on the slope is always uneven: with an average depth of, say, 3-3.5 m, there can be two and a half meters somewhere. Above these points there are swirls of water that are clearly visible during the day. It’s worth starting the search for zander with their fishing. Having caught on the roll several times, you begin to understand where the pike perch fits, so you do not need to waste time searching.
For catching pike perch in shallow rifts, you have to use floating mine-type models 9-11 cm long with a depth of about 0.5 to 2.5 m. The number of such models on store shelves is simply huge, but it is certain to say that one wobbler will catch in specific conditions better than the other, it’s impossible, so the choice largely depends on the taste of the angler. For example, I most often use the Rapalovsky X-Rap, ZipBaits Orbit, Crystal Minnow from Yo-Zuri – models with a depth of up to 2.5 m in these conditions.
Wiring can be very different. A classic is considered demolition wiring with a very slow winding. Casting is performed a little higher upstream. After splashing, the slack is exhausted, and then a very slow winding follows, while the bait goes in a semicircle. It works well in shallow water itself. But I often use jerk wiring with stops. It is similar to that used with a retractable lead: stop – rewind – stop again. This method allows you to carefully catch the desired point. If you know the exit point of the pike perch, throw the wobbler upstream and let the stream pull the fishing line so that when winding, the bait passes precisely through the point. When fishing on braids, the bait is also thrown slightly higher, but after exhausting the slack, the wiring is stopped until the bait reaches a certain point above the scythe, after which energetic wiring begins. This method allows you to catch the dump from the scythe in depth, where the zander is usually fed.
Often, bites stop after a while. In this case, do not rush to change the bait, it is better to start with the wiring: say, switch from uniform to jerk or vice versa. If this does not help, you must stop fishing and give the place a rest. As a rule, the fish does not go far, but it needs to calm down. When fishing at night, the wobbler can go both above the bottom and much higher – the zander is active and will rise behind the bait. In general, at night, he often hunts from above, regardless of depth, so sometimes it even seems like an asp: the clumsy bursts are just as strong. Pike perch can easily rise up for prey, but will never go down. Therefore, even at deep rifts, it is better to start fishing with baits having a depth of up to a meter. If there are no bites, you can switch to deeper ones.
At the pits and cool
If at the beginning of the pit there is a cape, it is more convenient to catch from it. The bait is thrown onto the stream and released at such a distance that, after stopping, the current blows it to the boundary between the stream and the return. Often it is here that zander hunts. However, unlike rifts, here it does not rise to the surface, but keeps near the bottom. Therefore, under these conditions, preference should be given to rolls with a depth of 5-6 m, although they are usually not considered pike perches. Mann's wobblers work very well, in particular the Stretch Plus15 +, 20+ series, even 30+ lures are suitable. Although in the latter the working horizon may exceed the depth at the place of fishing, their depth can be controlled by the winding speed.
Fishing from the shore in pits and under steep yards is often difficult, and in many places impossible, as, for example, on the Oka River in the Ryazan Region. Then you have to use a boat. Better to get up on the rapids itself above the return and let the bait along the coast. Under the yarns, the predator prefers to stay not at maximum depth, but on the dump. I often put the boat 10-15 m from the cliff and start the wobbler with a depth of 3-4 m. It goes along the edge and lures the pike perch, standing in snags.
Components of success
Night fishing is quite complicated, everything should be calculated to the smallest detail. Up to the point that you need to remember exactly in which pocket the knife lies, and in which spare lamp. However, everything pays off with the beauty of fishing and trophies. I have been convinced many times that at night the largest zander is caught, which you can only dream of at other times. In any case, specimens of 2, 3 and even 5 kg on the Oka are not uncommon – in the afternoon in the same places zander, if it comes across, is much smaller. The success of night fishing on wobblers largely depends on the ability to adapt to a predator, but not at random, but according to your feelings. But this is not enough. Another component of success is patience. You have to watch a lot, wait, analyze and constantly search, each time choosing bait, wiring. Perhaps this is what makes night fishing so attractive.
Night fishing at rifts is becoming increasingly popular, and too many people gather in well-known places. And this fishing, especially at a shallow depth, requires silence, otherwise the fish does not take. Therefore, I prefer to catch alone. There are enough good places, but you have to keep them secret – there is nothing to be done.
author Oleg KAPITANOV