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ZANDER
COARSE  FISHING  WITH  THE  ESSEX  ANGLER


(Stizostedion lucioperca)

zander

DISCRIPTION
A very distinctive fish in the fact that it has two dorsal fins.
Its long slender body and most of the head are covered with scales.
The dorsal fins are long based and high but defer in the fact that the first has 13-15 long spines compared to the second which has 2 spines and 19-24 branched rays.
The head is pointed and its large eyes provide excellant vision for seeing in the dark.This contributes to it being mainly a nocturnal feeder although can be caught during daylight hours.
Its large mouth has many small sharp teeth which include two fang like teeth top and bottom which interlock somewhat like a crocodile.There is also pads at the back of the throat which also contain lots of tiny teeth to help push the food down the throat.
The other distinctive thing about the zander is that it has two gill plates on each side, one with a point although not sharp, but the other is razor sharpe.
HABITAT
Mostly found in rivers and some large still waters.They tend to congregate in and around holes in the river bed and sandy or gravel bottoms.In fact anywhere there is less light you are likely to find them.
FEEDING HABITS
The young eat insect larvea and young fish before moving on later in life to become entirely fish eaters.
They hunt in packs, however the smaller the school the larger the fish although the large zander can still be found lurking about with the small ones so as to mop up or even steal any prey from them.
The kind of fish they hunt are Roach, skimmers, perch & rudd so bear this in mind when deciding what bait to use.
STATS
British record - 19lb 5oz
Life span -20 Years
NATURAL FOOD SOURCE
Small Fish
LIFE CYCLE
Females lay upto 200,000 eggs per kg of body weight sticking to the bottom and on to the roots of plants.
The male guards the eggs until the fry hatch after 5-10 days.
As soon as they can swim they feed on plankton until they grow to about 3-5 cm then they move on to hunt fry and then small fish.





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