Zander (Sitzostedion lucioperca)

The Zander is Beautifully coloured with golden (and sometimes silver) flanks and a green-black back, the zander - a streamlined predator - is a member of the perch family. It has dark bars along its back, two dorsal fins and, like most freshwater fish, it has a white underside and two dorsal fins. The front fin, which the fish can raise at will, is spiny. A particular feature of the fish is its large eyes, adapted especially for seeing prey in coloured water or at night.


The zander thrives in large, slow-flowing fen drains and rivers. But it doesn’t seem to do well in fast-flowing, clear rivers or in shallow waters where the oxygen content is low. Coloured waters and even tidal river stretches (where the salinity is high) produce many zander. In still waters you can find it during the day near drop-offs or holes because it avoids intense light.

Feeding habits

zander are exceptionally efficient hunters because they sometimes gather in a pack to feed on small fish. The zander chase after the fish, grabbing them from behind (often by the tail) and swallowing them. Because other species cannot see as well in murky water or at night, the zander have a clear advantage. They feed on worms and leeches as well as small fish such as roach.

Fish facts

Weight: In UK up to 20lbs
Average Length: ?
Life-span: Up to 20 years
Favourite waters: Mainly large, slow-flowing fen drains and rivers.
Favourite baits: live / deadbaits, spinners, plugs, worms
UK Record: 19lbs 5oz 8drms (D Laender 1998)