Zander Bait size

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Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Tue Oct 06 2020 12:24

Just wondering what people’s preference is for bait size. Also interested in the biggest and smallest bait you’ve caught a Zander on. Indulge me

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Sebas » Tue Oct 06 2020 12:41

Not caught loads of Zander, only started targeting them recently but I've had one about 6lb on a big Smelt (about 8 inch) but no other runs after that. most of the Zeds I've had were on Gudgeon or Sprat.

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Jason Skilton » Tue Oct 06 2020 13:00

3" or 4" roach would be my preference.....but my largest zed took half a bluey
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Tue Oct 06 2020 14:30

Never had a Zander on a sea bait myself. Took my brother for the first time and he had a 9 on half a Herring

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Steve C » Tue Oct 06 2020 18:03

My deadbaits are 5"-6" and I don't use anything smaller - A decent Zed can wolf a bait down quite quickly at times and a small bait always carries the risk of a deep hooked fish. I witnessed a guy catch a Zed of 15.11 on a 2" Bleak and single treble - bait & fish were out of sight and the fish could not be saved . I'd rather not go there. My target is always of the larger size & I'm happy to blank than catch little ones (That's not to say I don't have a fair share of smaller fish). :laughs:

Never used a sea bait - I've always freshwaters stocked in the freezer (mainly Roach, Rudd or Chub) These are rigged head up the trace for a better hook hold / reduced casting losses (Zeds are happy to swallow baits tail first) and the lower treble at half way on the bait . A Zed has to get half of the bait fish past the throat opening before the first hook arrives which reduces the deep hooking risk. Strike is instant / no waiting around . If I miss a fish I put it down to being a little un

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Kev Berry » Tue Oct 06 2020 22:09

My 14.6 zander took a 12oz legerd live roach.
Went through a season a few years back where small 3" zander baits were picking up 20lb plus pike and proper pike baits over 8" were being picked up by 10 lb plus zeds.
Small silver bream dead or alive about 5..7 inch are my go to zed bait, had some really good days with them

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Tue Oct 06 2020 22:37

Kev Berry wrote:
My 14.6 zander took a 12oz legerd live roach.
Went through a season a few years back where small 3" zander baits were picking up 20lb plus pike and proper pike baits over 8" were being picked up by 10 lb plus zeds.
Small silver bream dead or alive about 5..7 inch are my go to zed bait, had some really good days with them
Whilst doing a night on a ‘large’ fen drain once I had a 3am run on a BIG live roach. Fought like hell and I thought I’d broken the record. 15 pound pike!

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by dropped_run » Wed Oct 07 2020 12:13

I'll use lures up to about 28cm in total. They dont mess about if they are in the mood
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Mark Phillips » Wed Oct 07 2020 13:13

The great Gavino wrote:
Just wondering what people’s preference is for bait size. Also interested in the biggest and smallest bait you’ve caught a Zander on. Indulge me
If it was lures, then from just under half an inch right up to 14 inch jerk baits... generally thought it's something in between with lures, 4 to 6 inches I would say. Having said that, my 3 biggest to lures (two 15's and a 17.08) did come on very small jigs. When it comes to baits... I'll happily use small bleak around 3 or 4 inches, but they will take much bigger, right up to big baits intended for pike, they all catch. I have had zander (one went 16.04) on whole herrings, so they do like a meal now and again.My preferred bait size is however around 5 inch mark, a live or very freshly killed roach or chub generally, but a decent sized gudgeon would be my number one choice... don't know why, but zander love the buggers.
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by andrew_nagel » Wed Oct 07 2020 16:12

I find bait size roughly follows the same yearly pattern as pike baits tend to. Just after spawning the zeds will feed hard and take bigger baits/lures without hesitation. All sizes of baits seem to score until the water cools late in the year then medium baits seem more productive. In spring pre-spawn they take small baits more confidently in my experience.

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Wed Oct 07 2020 17:03

Mark Phillips wrote:
The great Gavino wrote:
Just wondering what people’s preference is for bait size. Also interested in the biggest and smallest bait you’ve caught a Zander on. Indulge me
If it was lures, then from just under half an inch right up to 14 inch jerk baits... generally thought it's something in between with lures, 4 to 6 inches I would say. Having said that, my 3 biggest to lures (two 15's and a 17.08) did come on very small jigs. When it comes to baits... I'll happily use small bleak around 3 or 4 inches, but they will take much bigger, right up to big baits intended for pike, they all catch. I have had zander (one went 16.04) on whole herrings, so they do like a meal now and again.My preferred bait size is however around 5 inch mark, a live or very freshly killed roach or chub generally, but a decent sized gudgeon would be my number one choice... don't know why, but zander love the buggers.
Very interesting. You've amassed a fair few lumps! Hopefully get a few this season as there is nothing quite like big Zander IMO

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Wed Oct 07 2020 21:15

Livebait for me would be a paternostered 2 - 4oz Roach, as good as anything. Deadbait of choice would be a decent sized Bleak, one of those bigguns that are getting more & more common and look like mini-Herring. I used to use Gudgeon way, way back in the day but if I'm fortunate enough to catch one of those increasingly rare little fella's nowadays (my kids have caught two during our trips this summer), I could never bring myself to use it as bait. They were superb though, single size 2/0 through the tail and a bit of rig foam on the trace to pop them up.....

20yrs ago I had a 5lb Zed on the most Holy of Fenland waters on an 8oz Perch livebait - bit of a meal for him I thought at the time, however my current PB took a tiny 1oz Chub deadbait! A very sensitive knock on the rod-tip followed by a quick check on the line and bang, solidly hooked by one treble in the top lip.

Lure fishing on 'normal' waters I like to fish shads up to about 4-6in. However when lure fishing shallow Midland canals, I found you just wouldn't get hits unless you scaled down to lures of 2-2.5in or less, on really quite fine tackle (3g-5g jigheads etc). I've also had them on tiny Salmo crankbaits on these venues. Bigger shads / cranks produced nothing for me on those shallow canals, despite the fact I've caught plenty of Zeds there which could easily tackle a 4in lure.

In fairness most of my Zander baitfishing choice has been dictated by the quality of baits I could catch. Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! I did have a little dabble 15 or 16 years ago with seabaits [Herring] and caught one or two, mostly larger battle scarred warrior types [maybe old males?] but I have had a good few into double figures on 6-8in sections of Lamprey.

Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Duncan Holmes » Wed Oct 07 2020 22:43

Fentiger01 wrote:
Livebait for me would be a paternostered 2 - 4oz Roach, as good as anything. Deadbait of choice would be a decent sized Bleak, one of those bigguns that are getting more & more common and look like mini-Herring. I used to use Gudgeon way, way back in the day but if I'm fortunate enough to catch one of those increasingly rare little fella's nowadays (my kids have caught two during our trips this summer), I could never bring myself to use it as bait. They were superb though, single size 2/0 through the tail and a bit of rig foam on the trace to pop them up.....

20yrs ago I had a 5lb Zed on the most Holy of Fenland waters on an 8oz Perch livebait - bit of a meal for him I thought at the time, however my current PB took a tiny 1oz Chub deadbait! A very sensitive knock on the rod-tip followed by a quick check on the line and bang, solidly hooked by one treble in the top lip.

Lure fishing on 'normal' waters I like to fish shads up to about 4-6in. However when lure fishing shallow Midland canals, I found you just wouldn't get hits unless you scaled down to lures of 2-2.5in or less, on really quite fine tackle (3g-5g jigheads etc). I've also had them on tiny Salmo crankbaits on these venues. Bigger shads / cranks produced nothing for me on those shallow canals, despite the fact I've caught plenty of Zeds there which could easily tackle a 4in lure.

In fairness most of my Zander baitfishing choice has been dictated by the quality of baits I could catch. Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! I did have a little dabble 15 or 16 years ago with seabaits [Herring] and caught one or two, mostly larger battle scarred warrior types [maybe old males?] but I have had a good few into double figures on 6-8in sections of Lamprey.

Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:
"Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! "

:thumbs:

"Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:"

No flies on Disco when it comes to Zander :thumbs:
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fish on.... » Thu Oct 08 2020 10:24

Fentiger01 wrote:
Livebait for me would be a paternostered 2 - 4oz Roach, as good as anything. Deadbait of choice would be a decent sized Bleak, one of those bigguns that are getting more & more common and look like mini-Herring. I used to use Gudgeon way, way back in the day but if I'm fortunate enough to catch one of those increasingly rare little fella's nowadays (my kids have caught two during our trips this summer), I could never bring myself to use it as bait. They were superb though, single size 2/0 through the tail and a bit of rig foam on the trace to pop them up.....

20yrs ago I had a 5lb Zed on the most Holy of Fenland waters on an 8oz Perch livebait - bit of a meal for him I thought at the time, however my current PB took a tiny 1oz Chub deadbait! A very sensitive knock on the rod-tip followed by a quick check on the line and bang, solidly hooked by one treble in the top lip.

Lure fishing on 'normal' waters I like to fish shads up to about 4-6in. However when lure fishing shallow Midland canals, I found you just wouldn't get hits unless you scaled down to lures of 2-2.5in or less, on really quite fine tackle (3g-5g jigheads etc). I've also had them on tiny Salmo crankbaits on these venues. Bigger shads / cranks produced nothing for me on those shallow canals, despite the fact I've caught plenty of Zeds there which could easily tackle a 4in lure.

In fairness most of my Zander baitfishing choice has been dictated by the quality of baits I could catch. Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! I did have a little dabble 15 or 16 years ago with seabaits [Herring] and caught one or two, mostly larger battle scarred warrior types [maybe old males?] but I have had a good few into double figures on 6-8in sections of Lamprey.

Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:
I’m like that with gudgeon too, far to rare and handsome to be used as bait! Catching one is always the highlight of the day :thumbs:


On another note, I went through a stage of filleting roach and that worked really well, plus you got two baits from one decent sized roach.
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Fri Oct 09 2020 20:24

Duncan Holmes wrote:

"Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! "

:thumbs:

"Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:"

No flies on Disco when it comes to Zander :thumbs:
Very kind words Duncan mate. 👍
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by seanyboy » Sun Oct 11 2020 09:06

Anyone do any good on eel section,I've found them to be pretty useless so far

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Sun Oct 11 2020 11:33

seanyboy wrote:
Anyone do any good on eel section,I've found them to be pretty useless so far
Loads of Zander on them in the 90’s. Mostly doubles strangely enough. Got one on as I type and it’s not moved in 3 hours

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Mark Phillips » Sun Oct 18 2020 20:28

Fish on.... wrote:
Fentiger01 wrote:
Livebait for me would be a paternostered 2 - 4oz Roach, as good as anything. Deadbait of choice would be a decent sized Bleak, one of those bigguns that are getting more & more common and look like mini-Herring. I used to use Gudgeon way, way back in the day but if I'm fortunate enough to catch one of those increasingly rare little fella's nowadays (my kids have caught two during our trips this summer), I could never bring myself to use it as bait. They were superb though, single size 2/0 through the tail and a bit of rig foam on the trace to pop them up.....

20yrs ago I had a 5lb Zed on the most Holy of Fenland waters on an 8oz Perch livebait - bit of a meal for him I thought at the time, however my current PB took a tiny 1oz Chub deadbait! A very sensitive knock on the rod-tip followed by a quick check on the line and bang, solidly hooked by one treble in the top lip.

Lure fishing on 'normal' waters I like to fish shads up to about 4-6in. However when lure fishing shallow Midland canals, I found you just wouldn't get hits unless you scaled down to lures of 2-2.5in or less, on really quite fine tackle (3g-5g jigheads etc). I've also had them on tiny Salmo crankbaits on these venues. Bigger shads / cranks produced nothing for me on those shallow canals, despite the fact I've caught plenty of Zeds there which could easily tackle a 4in lure.

In fairness most of my Zander baitfishing choice has been dictated by the quality of baits I could catch. Deadbaiting, I'd say freshness was absolutely key! I did have a little dabble 15 or 16 years ago with seabaits [Herring] and caught one or two, mostly larger battle scarred warrior types [maybe old males?] but I have had a good few into double figures on 6-8in sections of Lamprey.

Zandering - The sport of champions! :laughs: :laughs: :laughs: :thumbs:
I’m like that with gudgeon too, far to rare and handsome to be used as bait! Catching one is always the highlight of the day :thumbs:


On another note, I went through a stage of filleting roach and that worked really well, plus you got two baits from one decent sized roach.
I have a water up my sleeve that is stuffed with gudgeon, it's a lake BTW. A couple of hours on there and I usually get a good supply for the freezer. Wouldn't take them from rivers where they are getting a little thin on the ground though, not what you would classify as 'rare' yet though, round my way at least. Oddly, there's another lake I was fishing for cats a few years back and that had a very healthy gudgeon population as well. I used to catch them on a whip and use them live for the cats. Super zed baits and the only baits that ever got me runs on the Relief Channel and we all know how hard that place can be...
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Mon Oct 19 2020 18:02

Interesting ref the big water Mark, I dont think I ever used a Gudgeon on it. For me the best bait on there by a long way, was a freshly killed Bleak. One of those bigguns that looked like a mini-Tarpon. Runs on those badboys were violent. :cool: :cool: :cool:
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Emma Hamilton » Mon Oct 19 2020 22:08

Fentiger01 wrote:
Runs on those badboys
:lies: :laughs:

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Mon Oct 19 2020 22:35

Emma Hamilton wrote:
Fentiger01 wrote:
Runs on those badboys
:lies: :laughs:

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Mini-Tarpon.... :laughs: :laughs: :laughs:
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by The great Gavino » Mon Oct 19 2020 22:53

Done well on Rudd on that venue years back but found they’d take anything if you could find them. Extremely difficult and not much has changed 😬

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Duncan Holmes » Tue Oct 20 2020 07:05

seanyboy wrote:
Anyone do any good on eel section,I've found them to be pretty useless so far
Done ok with them, but found Lamprey far superior for zeds.

(After roach of course)
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by seanyboy » Tue Oct 20 2020 10:26

I will have to try lamprey I can understand why they work as they leak of a lot of blood,but eel section seems to have not much smell or blood leakage (frozen packs) perhaps that's why I haven't had much confidence in it

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Duncan Holmes » Tue Oct 20 2020 11:32

seanyboy wrote:
I will have to try lamprey I can understand why they work as they leak of a lot of blood,but eel section seems to have not much smell or blood leakage (frozen packs) perhaps that's why I haven't had much confidence in it
If you cant source eels with a good coating of slime on the outside I wouldn't bother, IMO its the slime that makes them effective.
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by DJM » Wed Oct 21 2020 16:24

I first used eel sections in the early 70s when I ran out of bait and had 10 runs in 2 hours, initially kept it 'quiet' and wrote it up in AT in 1976. Dave Litton used to fillet 2 inch roach and caught fish to 17!

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Wed Oct 21 2020 17:51

I used to use it in the 90's on the rare occasions bait proved hard to catch, very easy to catch small ones back then and used them fresh. Great bait.

Are you the guy who was in the next swim to Dave Litton when he caught his 30lb Pike and who made sure it was put back alive?
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by DJM » Wed Oct 21 2020 19:29

Yes - Dave Litton was just downstream of me and packing up, 10 minutes later and it might have been mine! I netted it, unhooked it and returned it, if my memory serves me correctly, he was scared to handle it.

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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by Fentiger01 » Wed Oct 21 2020 21:27

All credit to you for ensuring the fish was well handled and looked after, unlike his big Zed. :thumbs:

I remember reading Nev's account of it all a while back. Nice to swap a couple of posts with you btw. :thumbs:
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Re: Zander Bait size

Post by micky dolan » Tue Oct 27 2020 20:09

Popped up 7" Smelt have been good to me over the years .
I have used two 18 mm popup boilies with a single hook , but was having trouble with the hook laying flat against the smelt.
Don't think this mattered much with smelt being soft , just more of a confidence thing wanting the hook to be well presented ...
Sea deads have worked very well for me .

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