May 1st marks the opening of the season in many parts of Germany and everyone is waiting impatiently for this day to finally be able to fish for pike, zander and perch. While the closed season on my favorite river goes from January 1st to June 1st, you can fish longer in winter or start earlier in spring in other federal states in Germany or in neighboring countries such as the Netherlands. There is a complete ban on artificial lures during the closed season.
It was a short night and I jumped out of bed at 4am in the morning of May 1st and drove to a lake not too far away where I wanted to try my luck. My fishing gear had been prepared for a long time and the weather was perfect for predator fishing. Lots of clouds, some wind and a few raindrops.
I chose the 12 cm long Westin Shadteez, which is one of my favorite baits. I personally fish especially in spring with smaller baits, the larger ones are only used in autumn. After a short drive I reached the lake in time for the first daylight. My kayak was quickly ready to go and 20 minutes later the first hard bite came very close to the shore and I was able to net a nice zander. The beginning was made!
I didn’t have to look far for the next fish, in total I caught six zander in the following hours, but was still looking for pike. I headed for the flat areas with my kayak and patiently fished them out. Then the long-awaited medium-sized pike finally pounced on my bait and a short time later a second one. Mission accomplished! A really great start to the season.
Two days later I was back on the water, but the weather was completely different. The wind came from the opposite direction and was very weak, the clouds were mostly gone and the sun was shining. Not perfect for fishing for pike. But giving up before trying for a long time is not an option. I was right, the cards were completely mixed due to the new weather conditions and the fish were not as aggressive as two days ago. A couple of very careful bites gave some hope that a bite window will open soon and maybe a nice fish will land in my net. Time was running and the sun was slowly setting when a big zander was finally on my kayak for a short photo shoot.
The next few days in May were sometimes very good and sometimes really difficult. Many changes in the weather did not make it easy for me and the fish changed their places every time. But mostly it worked and I could catch a good number of fish.
All in all a really great start to the season and I am looking forward to many great kayak fishing adventures this year in my home country and neighboring countries!