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Zander trolling tips for Finland

A delicious zander is a desired catch and welcomed guest to the dinner table. Generally, zander can be found in all the Finnish waters all the way up to southern Lapland. We will now take a closer look at light trolling which can be easily done using a rowboat or motorboat and, for example, 1-4 rods. Rowing boat, a couple of rods, rod racks and a handful of lures will get you started and give you a taste for zander, and you are likely to catch perch and pike as well.

Light Trolling

A light trolling setup can allow the use of two or three rods on a rowboat without using ancillaries (downriggers, weights, etc.). Rods can be placed one on each side of the boat and one in the back of the boat. This is of course easier if there are rod racks fitted to the boat. If you want the lures to swim farther away, use one side planer per one side when using a rowboat or a motorboat with a small engine.

In the beginning of light trolling, it is advisable to adjust the lures for different depths. Without ancillaries, the lures can be selected to cover the depth of water from just under one meter, down to ten meters. If the bites start to come from one particular lure, i.e. from a certain depth, it is good to adjust the rest of your lure selection into this particular water layer. It is worth noting that, for example, at a depth of 2 meters, the lure attracts fish from a depth of 2 to 8 meters. The active fish instantly rises five meters if the prey seems appealing enough.

For trolling, you can use combinations of conventional trolling reels, spincast, and larger multiplier reels. As the angler’s experience grows, we tend to move to the conventional trolling reels.

By using the Rapala side planer, you can have the lure swimming farther away from the boat's side. When a fish strikes, the line is pulled free from the clip, and while tiring a fish, the boat usually slows down, and the planer loses its grip in the water, coming to the surface which makes for an easy retrieval. The Rapala side planer works particularly well in light trolling, as it stays stable even at low speed.

When trolling, it is advisable to use floating lures given that when the boat slows down the lure rises to the surface instead of sinking to the bottom where rocks and other snaggy obstacles lay in wait.

You can check the Rapala lures’ swimming depth from the packaging and whether the lure is floating, sinking or suspending. For example, the swimming depth of the Original Floater® 11 is 1.2 to 1.8 meters. The latter maximum depth has been measured with 30m of 0.30mm line behind the boat, with a pulling point of 1 m above the water surface at a speed of three knots (about 5.5 km / h).

Lures with floating bodies at various depths: Original Floater® 11, Scatter Rap® Husky 13, Shad Rap® 07, Shad Rap 09, Deep Tail Dancer® 09

Where can Zander be Found?

Zander hunt aggressively after prey in warm water. Sometimes they are found on the edge of the backwaters/eddies, while other times can be located on the windward shore to which the wind has transported heated surface water and small fish. The flowing water also attracts zander, whether it is a rapid or just water flowing through a lake.

Sonar is of great help when looking for zander because it also shows the depths of the fish or their forage.

In Finland, the minimum catch size for zander is 42 cm but may vary depending on fishing waters.

Remember to get your fishing license before you go to the water!