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Details of freshwater fish anglers might come across when fishing the waters of the UK and Ireland



Barbel  latin name: Barbus barbus



Bleak Alburnus alburnas fish species



bream  - latin name - Abramis Brama



Carp Cyprinidae  Cyprinus carpio



crucian carp

Crucian Carp


chub -  Leuciscus_cephalus



Dace - latin name - Leuciscus leuciscus



eel - latin name - Anguilla anguilla



grayling Latin name thymallus thymallus



Gudgeon Latin name Gobio gobio






pike latin name: esox lucius



Roach latin name: Rutilus Rutilus



Rudd - latin name- Scardinius erythrophthalmus






sliver bream

Silver Bream


Tench latin name: Tinca Tinca




Wels Catfish


Zander - latin name - Stizostedion lucioperca



Species of UK Coarse Fish



Zander - Stizostedion lucioperca - Description, baits and methods for catching Zander


Common name:   Zander
Latin name: 
Stizostedion lucioperca

zander stizostedion lucioperca


Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record   - this may be updated, read below!

ZANDER (Pikeperch) (Sander lucioperca) 21lb 5oz 2007 James Benfield


November 2009
Reading in the Angling Times the British Zander record has been broken with with a 22lb specimen caught from Grafham Water Park by Mick Dolan.
Mick is now in the process of submitting his claim to the British Record Fish Committee, and if accepted it will replace James Benfield’s record of 21lb 5oz caught from the River Severn in 2007.
This was the first Zander 52 year old Mick had ever caught and it was also the first time he had fished the 1,600-acre Cambridgeshire venue


Description and Habitat of Zander

Nickname  "Zeds"
Native of Eastern Europe the Zander is a member of the perch family (Percidae). Zander was introduced into the UK in the Fenland Drains of East Anglia in the early 1960's. (according to what I have read, 97 small Zander were controversially introduced into the Great Ouse Relief Channel in 1963 by the Great Ouse River Authority) Since their introduction Zander have spread quickly and can now be found in canals, stillwaters, drains and slow flowing rivers throughout East Anglia and the Midlands. The river Trent, river Severn and Warwickshire Avon are now habitat for the Zander as is (so I have read) Woburn and Old Bury Hill Lakes and the Gloucester Canals. Apparently none are found in Scotland, Wales or Ireland. Because of the similar features to the pike with their elongated body and head and the perch with their spiny dorsal fin some anglers believe the Zander to be a hybrid cross between a pike and a perch but this is not true.

The Zander has a long body with a small and narrow head with large dark glassy eyes. The eyes look glassy because they incorporate a reflective plate or tapetum which increases their sensitivity at night and in poor light. The mouth is large with prominent backward pointing teeth. Pairs of fang like teeth found on the front of the lower and upper jaws that fit into hollows in the opposite side of the jaws. These are used to inflict a fatal wound and then to hold their prey. The back is grey or brown in colour with black dappling occurring in vague stripes. These stripes are not as well defined as those of the perch but are clearer on young fish and sometimes completely disappearing in mature fish. The Zander has two dorsal fins, the first is spiny with about 14 hard rays and the second soft. These spines and others on the gill cover and anal fin mean that the fish must be handled very carefully. The sides of the young Zander are silvery, while those of an older Zander are a greenish yellow, The underside and lower fins are generally white although a hint of blue is sometimes noticeable. The dorsal fins, especially the spiny one carry black spots over a pale greyish yellow background. The tail is speckled grey with white lower lobe.
Zander spawn from the end of February onwards and the female Zander lay clusters of pale yellow eggs which adhere to plants or the sandy or stony bottom. The male guards the eggs and takes care of them until they hatch. The larvae hatch a few days later and then live off their yolk sacks as they develop. The fry feed on daphnia and planktonic organisms and turn predatory when they get to around 2 inches, feeding on small insect larvae and small fry, later feeding on small fish species such as bleak and roach.
Zander dislike waters with low oxygen content and prefer coloured waters. They are particularly well adapted to living in the slow flowing murky waters that make up much of the Fenland Drains and UK lowland rivers. They can usually be found where there is an abundance of small fish such as bleak.

The young Zander are an excellent example of predatory fish and will hunt in packs where they will surround a typical shoal of Roach or other small freshwater species and then attack. Any species of fish is fair game for the Zander. As they get older and attain weights of 10lb or more they become more solitary.

Fishing Methods for catching Zander
Zander can be caught using various methods including float, leger, spinning with lures, live baiting and dead baiting.
A favourite method with most Zander anglers is legering with a dead bait.
Fishing for Zander can be done with any strong rod and tackle but it is advisable to use tackle that you would use for pike fishing just in case you attract a pike. This would include a strong rod and line, with the addition of a wire trace. A good rod for Zander fishing should have a test curve of 2.5lb or more. Wire traces are not essential but if you do hook into a pike they have very sharp teeth and would almost certainly bite through ordinary line! Line of around 15lb with a wire trace of 20lb and 12 to 18 inches in length. Hooks are usually treble or double. Personally I prefer the use of barbless hooks. If you are using barbed hooks, consider crushing the barbs. This will aid in the removal of the hook and also less damage to the fish. Rigs used for Zander fishing should be free running because if the fish feels any pressure as it starts to take the bait it will let it go immediately.

Baits for catching Zander
Livebaits, deadbaits, spinners and plugs.

Freshwater fish deadbaits such as bleak, gudgeon, roach, rudd, dace are the preferred bait for catching Zander. Sea fish such as herring and mackerel are not generally as successful when used as bait. Zander can also be caught using a variety of lures including jigs, spoons, crankbaits and jerkbaits.





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