Different times of the year suit different fishing styles. Right now in the UK, it’s the ideal time for lure fishing. That’s largely because freshwater predators are feeding and gaining weight. This means they’re more likely to bite and you stand a better chance of catching a more sizeable fish.
As you might know, open season for coarse fish started in mid-June. However, pike and perch are at their heaviest in the winter before spawning in the spring. Perch especially love to feed when the temperatures drop and the days get shorter.
September and October is a good in-between period. In the summer, predatory fish move into shallower water, so they’re in a better range for anglers. Right now, it’s still warm enough to take advantage of that, but these fish are gaining weight and looking to feed.
Also, in peak summer, dissolved oxygen levels are lower, and the pike tend to really suffer for it. That’s one of the main reasons why a lot of anglers hold off on catching pike until this time of year.
It’s also good to practise a self-enforced closed season when pike are the most threatened, which is in the hottest months. Lure fishing now rather than in the summer helps protect fish stocks.
Some of the most popular pike lures come from Heddon and Savage Gear. You can find out more about pike fishing and how you can use lures to catch them here.
The perch is definitely one of the most soughtafter fish in our waters. But they can prove tricky to land.
Using a lure at this time of year gives you the best chance. Smaller spinnerbaits are ideal for fishing in weedy and cluttered spots. A spinner is a multipurpose lure suitable for all situations. You can also get plugs like the Shakespeare Big S or Arbogast Buzz. Their lifelike swimming action is very attractive to perch. Surface lures may be effective, but perch like to swim deeper when the water temperature drops at this time of year. You can find out more about perch fishing and how to catch them here.
To catch zander, you should use lures in a very similar way to how you would use a jig. That means very little movement is needed and takes can be pretty aggressive.
As you’re targeting larger fish, you should use a larger lure. Zander also have giant eyes for hunting in the dark. So consider a fast-sinking rig, fishing in the dark or targeting heavily coloured waters. But remember that it can be hard to tell the difference between the larger sized zanders and pikes, so don’t be surprised if you catch one of those instead.
If lure fishing is your thing, or you’re simply curious to find out more, then this is very much the time of year to do it.