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Well, I've never caught a zander and I've heard that they are spreading through the Lea Navigation Canal. (Although I've never seen one caught either). Is there any truth in this? If so is there any major differences that I should make to the piking set up that I use? I've heard that they are mainly nocturnal predators but as I usually fish at night this shouldn't make any difference to me. Also is there any particular areas/depths that I should look for in trying to target them? Do they prefer deep slow water, mouths of locks, shallow weedy areas etc?

 

All help much appreciated.

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I have fished the Lea for more years than I can remember and have only seen one that was more than ten years ago and less than four inches long.

 

There are lots in Stanborough lakes adjacent to the Lea but you are not allowed to fish for them.

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Anderoo, Im sure there are zander in the oxford canal, but do not know of population size.

 

RE the lea zander, try and deeper holes or areas next to structures, as for takle, pike gear will do but scale it down and go for low resistance rigs and small to medium baits.

 

Look at www.pikezander.co.uk for good beginners info on zander fishing and rigs.

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Many thanks Zedhead, scaling down probably isn't an option as I think I'm more than likely to get pike taking the bait and I wouldn't want to risk a snap. Deep hole at the lock gates? Or should I be more looking at holes on a bend in the canal - I know it will be very difficult to comment unless you know the area but even general advice will be a help.

 

As for size of baits, I usually live bait with small roach, bleak, dace, etc of about 4 inches long - too big still?

 

Will check out the aforementioned site too.

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Maybe try lures. Scale down from the pike lure sizes to the smaller end of the US bass lures or even the ones designed to target walleye.

 

At night go with very dark ones (black is good) and in daylight, lighten up (colours) if the water is fairly clear. Mepps are good as are lipped and lipless crankbaits in 4-6 cm sizes.

" My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" - Harry Truman, 33rd US President

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It can be fun and with the right lures, not even as expensive as live baiting but it does need someone to show you how.

 

I can understand that lure fishing with no catching would get old pretty quickly.

 

If you ever decide to give it another go I'll be happy to try some written how-to with photos but it would certainly be good if one of our members who does a bit of lure catching lived near enough to work with you.

" My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" - Harry Truman, 33rd US President

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It can be fun and with the right lures, not even as expensive as live baiting but it does need someone to show you how.

 

I can understand that lure fishing with no catching would get old pretty quickly.

 

If you ever decide to give it another go I'll be happy to try some written how-to with photos but it would certainly be good if one of our members who does a bit of lure catching lived near enough to work with you.

 

keep the same gear as you use for pike mate, but I wouldnt by choice use hooks bigger than a size 6 (though I have caught loads on size 4's) forget the scaling down to tiny baits and hooks. thats usually suggested by anglers that have read too much crap from angling writers that have been once or twice and gone for schoolies. Your average zed 3-5lb will easily fit a standard snap tackle in its mouth.

For me the secret to success is using lives. Zeds are nocturnal feeders, making use of their superior eyesight to track down LIVE prey. Deads just dont do it often enough for me, though there are times when they work well. In reality i would use 3-4 rods 2 or 3 with lives and one with a big dead.

 

Dont get too hung up on bait size either. i have had a 7lb zander on a 12oz dead roach, and frequently get smaller zeds on 6-8oz livebaits. the only time that I would use small baits is for daylight wandering, when the fish aint really having it (usually) or if they were gudgeon, which Zander absolutely adore.

Mark Barrett

 

buy the PAC30 book at www.pacshop.co.uk

 

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Mark, thats an interesting suggestion for him not to scale down from pike gear as this is usually a factor of people reading too much crap by people who only chase schoolies. I know of your zander credentials and I think your a good all rounder, but for someone fishing a venue with an unknown head of zander, wouldnt you think it wise to scale down? add to this the sporting aspect of zander fishing, Ive had doubles on my pike gear and its hardly been sporting, I would go for 2lb rods, 10-20lb braid free running rigs with size 8 semibarbed trebles or size 6 doubles coupled with with 4 oz liveys and deads. This way if he doesnt land on the zander, hes got a chance of both pike and perch as bonus fish.

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