Pelagic Fishing 2.0
Pelagic fishing for zander and pike
With this technique you use high-end fish finders to track down the largest specimens of these predators. You work together with fishing guide Goran Krnjic - 'Mr. Pelagic Fantastic' - who manoeuvres the boat over the fish and instructs you on how to best present the bait. On your screen you can see exactly how the fish reacts and, if all goes well, hits your bait. It doesn't get any more exciting! This is not about quantity, but about quality, with is a good chance that you will shatter your personal record.
Note: Goran also guides for catfish ‘pelagic style’. Read more about the possibilities here!
The river delta of The Netherlands is a mecca for those who are in pursuit of large zander and pike. Goran fishing area covers, among others, the Hollands Diep, the Haringvliet and the Volkerak. These are all great large bodies of water, each with their own character.
The Hollands Diep and Haringvliet are excellent for fishing both during the day and at night, while the crystal clear Volkerak reveals its secrets especially during the dark hours. Which water he chooses for your pelagic fishing adventure, he mainly depends on the time of year, catches and the preferences of the guest. Because the current also plays an important role – rising and high water are simply better – the fishing time can be determined in consultation. We do everything we can to maximize the chance of success and go fishing just as easily in the evening or at night.
How to fish for pike and zander pelagic style.
Sharp shooting, that is perhaps the best term to describe this fishing technique. The fishing guide determines the most promising stretches of water to search for individual large fish with the help of his Garmin fish finders with Livescope and PS30 transducers. These fish are generally found far off the bank on half water, hence the term pelagic. That means 'removed from the bottom and coast or shore'.
Once he has found such a signal, he will position the boat in such a way so that you can offer your bait as attractively as possible. Follow the guide's instructions and subtly bring the bait above the fish, without spooking it. On your screen you can see live how the fish reacts to your actions. Ideally, the predator will respond immediately by swimming toward the bait with a firm tail stroke and swallow it at once. But much more often you will have to use the art of seduction to win over the fish. This is a fascinating game where your guide's tips will prove invaluable.
There's nothing more nerve-wracking than seeing an 80cm+ zander or a big meter pike looking at your bait, like a stare-down at a boxing match. One subtle flick of your rod tip can be enough to provoke the fish, but sometimes you'll be chasing your prey for several minutes before she strikes. Or not, because that is also possible of course… In that case she swims away, leaving you empty-handed, but with a big grin on your face.
Whatever happens, we promise a unique experience that will put your nerves and self-control to the test. And just as important: an experience where the chance of the catch of a lifetime is greater than ever.
The special thing about this fishing is that you can catch both zander and pike with the same technique. Even if you've caught several nice zander on one spot, a big pike can always show up - and vice versa.
Only one person can fish
As you understand by now, pelagic fishing is an extremely subtle game. You are targeting one fish at a time and will have to go to great lengths to entice these capital fish. A second rod in the water is disruptive and dramatically reduces the chances of success. That means only one angler can hold a rod at a time. If you board with two guests, you will have to decide for yourself when you change. In practice, it appears that changing after each fish works best.
Tackle for pelagic fishing
You will use special pelagic fishing tackle. As bait you will either use big fat worms, or softbaits of 15 to 25 cm on a relatively heavy jig head of 80 to 90 grams. This is needed in order to keep the lure in the beam of the fish finder. This way you can always see exactly where your bait is in relation to the fish. The rod - always a baitcaster with reel - is short, sensitive and has a fast action. And above all, it has a lot of backbone to be able to set the hook accurately and to be able to absorb the extreme forces of the attack and the fight. We assume that every subsequent fish can be a record fish, so we leave nothing to chance!
Big, bigger, biggest
We fish in the area where the largest pike and zander roam. The current Dutch record for zander, for example, was caught on the Hollands Diep: a leviathan of no less than 106 cm, also seduced pelagic style. This record fish was not caught with UFX, but with a 101cm monster pike perch, our guide Goran is definitely in the premier league of great predators. Of course specimens above the meter are rare, but you always have a chance to encounter one.
What can I realistically expect during a fishing day, you may ask. The average length for zander in this fishery is 70 cm, 80-cm fish are no exception and specimens well into the 90 cm are caught every year. Big, bigger, biggest.
We set the bar a little higher for pike. On average, the pike you catch pelagically are about 80 cm, and meter pike are far from exceptional. And regularly fish longer than 110 cm come on board and sometimes even 120 cm+. The largest pike Goran caught was a whopping 128 cm long.
Best time for pelagic fishing
In principle, you can fish for pike and zander all year round, with the exception of the closed period (April to the last weekend in May). The best time, however, is from October to March when the predatory fish concentrate on particular swims close to the baitfish. In the fall they begin to eat to get ready for the winter. That is also the reason that they then become very fat and strong, and that is how we prefer to see them. As spring approaches, the females produce eggs, making them extra heavy and fat. It is for this reason that winter is the best time if you really want to catch a top fish.