Vertical Zander

With dropping water temperatures, the hunger of the zander increases proportionally, and you can experience great fishing days.

The Elbe is a very special river in the area around Hamburg because everything here depends on the tides. The water level fluctuates several times a day, so there are big differences. Between the lowest water level and the highest water level that can be up to 4 meters difference. This means that the zander are constantly in motion because the spots change.

If you want to catch them now, you must adapt, which is why I have to change the spot several times a day. My preferred method from the boat is vertical fishing. Zander are not as aggressive as pike and will take much longer to decide to attack. The longer the bait stays in the field of vision, the higher the probability of an attack.

With vertical fishing I can present my bait a long time on the spot if I want to. Most anglers use an electric motor to steer the boat along the structure, that's what I do, but I also use a small petrol engine. When the water comes up the Elbe has a very strong current. The battery is quickly empty, but with a small petrol engine I have a better range.

What's more, a petrol engine doesn't produce as high a noise frequency as an electric motor. The colder the water, the slower I drive. Vertical fishing is often associated with V-tails, but in the river, I’ve had better experiences with action shads. The flow pressure makes the paddle work nicely and causes turbulence. The water of the Elbe is very turbid, so the visibility is almost zero. Movement brings more fish here! 


Added attraction. Glass rattles imitates fish along the riverbed, which in Elbe imitates the goby

The zander feel the movements over the side line and can stalk themselves beautifully. In order to make it easier for the zander to locate the prey, I additionally press a glass rattle into the rubber. So, there are small clicking noises when I lift and drop down the shad. The sound is loud enough to attract attention, but not too loud to act as a deterrent. My favourite shads are the Fat Tail Minnow and the Cannibal Shad. With both lures the paddle already works at low speeds so they are ideal for this slow presentation. When the zander leaves the areas with current and pulls into the calm harbour basins, I use the Cannibal Curltail. The sickle tail works at minimum speed making it the perfect bait for the calm area. I also like to use it on the dead rod.

So, a rod that I simply put into the rod holder and the action only arises from the ride of the boat. The Cannibal Curltail is just right for this presentation. As rod I put on the Okuma One Rod. It doesn't weigh a hundred grams and still has enough power in the blank to put the hook in the mouth even with big zander. Due to the strong current I need 40-gram heavy jig heads to hold the lure at the bottom. You normally feel this weight in your wrist during the day, but with the Okuma One this is no problem. In order to keep the set-up light as well, the Okuma Helios SX Baitcasting is the perfect reel. This reel extremely chic, but also very handy.

Thanks to this combination I can fish all day relaxed and concentrate on the hard bites of the zander.


Paddle or curltail. Paddletails is perfect for a river with stronger currents and curltails works better for calm water