Zander (Stizostedion lucioperca)
| Fact File: British Record 19lb 5oz (8.774kg)|
Captor: D. Lavender
Location: Fen Water, Cambridgeshire
The Zander also known as the Pike-Perch is a predator which caused a lot of controversy when it was first introduced into UK waters. The Zander is a cunning predator which hunts it's prey in packs. It is a member of the Perch family, not as is commonly believed a Pike - Perch hybrid. The Zander is more streamline than the Perch, it's two dorsal fins are spaced apart and it's mouth contains a formidable array of fang like teeth. These fit into hollows in the opposite side of the jaws and are used to stab the prey, inflicting a fatal wound, and then used to hold it. The Zander is mainly found in the Fenlands of East Anglia and extensively throughout Eastern Europe where it is used for food (check out the search results in Google). Zander generally prefer deep, quiet waters where it stays in hiding during the daytime, coming out to hunt in the evening and early morning. Unlike the Pike they chase and grasp their prey by the tail or any part of the body they can get hold of. They then swallow the fish tail or head first, not turning it in the way Pike do. Any fish they cannot swallow is ejected and then later picked up dead from the bottom.
Methods of Capture. Dead-baits about 7-10cm long have proved to be the number one Zander bait over the years, although there are occasions when live-baits of around 2oz do have the edge. Coarse fish, especially eel sections, are the better dead-baits. Zander usually ignore sea baits such as mackerel, herring and sardines, although smelt do pick up a few fish. Fresh and frozen baits are equally effective.
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