Traditionally, vertical fishing and dropshotting are the most popular ways to catch zander in Amsterdam. In recent years I have found that casting with softbaits (also known as ‘diagonal fishing’) is at least as effective in many cases. Not only in terms of numbers, but also the size of the fish you will catch is often better. There are several explanations for this.
How to cast soft baits
Before we proceed, let me tell you what casting soft baits is all about. At least, when fishing for zander in Amsterdam. The principle is simple. You cast your soft bait away from the boat, let it drop to the bottom, and then fish it back over the bottom in leaps. So you do not fish directly under the boat, but from it. The line is not vertical in the water, but diagonal; hence the term ‘diagonal fishing’. The power of this technique lies in the ‘moment of suspension’: the moment when the bait drops down. The longer this moment, the more realistic it looks and the more likely a zander will strike. That is why I use the lightest possible jig heads, usually 5 or 7 grams.
No boat, no fishfinder, no trolling motor: no stress
The big difference with vertical fishing (and drop-shotting) under the boat, is that the fish you target cannot perceive a fishing boat above them. Also, the fish not notice the signals from the depth sounder and the sound of the electric trolling motor less quickly. By casting away from the boat, you simply make the fish much less aware of your presence. Certainly, the more boats hit the water, the more often fish will associate a boat with ‘danger.’ You solve that problem by fishing diagonally instead of vertically. Especially during the summer months, when the fish are found on shallow waters, it can be very effective to cast instead of jigging vertically.
Active fishing is more fun
In addition, I personally find it more fun to cast fish because you are more active and the bites are often slightly harder. The latter is also because the walleye are less shy. They don’t expect anything wrong with that crazy fish they want to eat. That said, it doesn’t mean that vertical and dropshotting under the boat can’t be good ways to catch lots of beautiful fish. But on some days you will notice a clear difference. Ultimately, it is of course up to you as a guest to decide whether you want to vertical, dropshot or cast. I would like to show you the differences!