The most popular predatory fish that we try to catch are the pike, zander, perch and asp. Below is a brief description of these fish and how we can catch them.
The Latin name for northern pike or simply pike is “Esox Lucius”. Pikes have a slim, pole-weapon like build and the characteristic pointed beak with, on the upper jaw, as many as 700 small teeth. The lower jaw is bigger than the upper jaw and protrudes further to the front. According to biologist the female pikes can become as big as 1.50 metres. Pikes mainly love clear water overgrown with plants and such, that serve as shelter and attack place.
A pike is not picky in terms of bait and will eat almost anything, from small ducklings to water rats and everything in between. Even their own species are not always safe for this omnivore. This allows us to catch pike with different lures and deadbaits depending on the season.
The Zander (Sander Lucioperca) belongs to the perch family and can be recognized by the large catch teeth, glowing eyes glazed with reflective retina (because of this the zander is also called “glass eye”) and the two separated dorsal fins from which the front contains spines. Zander prefers turbid water, but is also found in clear deeper waters such as excavations and gravel holes. Although zander has a preference for relatively smaller fish, in the colder months, a larger dead bait fish or swimbait is definitely worth trying.
We can catch zander both fishing vertically or casting with a fish bait. Also droplining with fish bait or dead bait fish attached to a lead head jig can give good results. In summer, when the zander is widespread a good approach is trolling with deep running, slim lures.
The Perca fluviatillis or the perch is a small, very brave predator and can be recognized by the distinctive red tail and fins. The black spot on the back of the front fin and the dark stripes on the wing are also and its recognition points of the perch. Because of the type of scales and the small amount of mucus, the skin of the perch feels rough. Perch is undemanding and adapts easily. Big perches are predatory and eat mainly small fish, even their own species (cannibalism). As mentioned before, the perch is a very brave predator who diligently attacks (artificial) bait which is sometimes much larger than himself. Because the perch is widespread through different waters it can be captured almost everywhere from small polder ditches to city water and big rivers. We use a light spinning rod with a small spinner or artificial fish bait. Trolling with deep-running plugs is an effective way to catch perch.
The asp, which Latin name is Aspius aspius, originates from the "Eastern bloc" and belongs to the carp family. Typically, this predatory fish does not have any teeth. Asp is also called "silver arrow" and owes this name to his shiny, silvery scales and his way of hunting, namely at full speed. This speed is created by the pointed fins and large, powerful tail. Asp therefore prefers hunting (especially in summer) on the surface in fast-flowing rivers such as the Waal. To achieve the best results we need to fish around the cribs, where lures are reeled in as fast as possible.
The asp has special eyes which sight improves as soon as their speed picks up.
This way of fishing (high in reel speed), along with the asp’s high-speed swimming underneath the prey fish (and then attacking from the front) will result in heart sagging, fierce bites!