Pelagic fishing with UFX guide Juul Steyn

Pelagic fishing with UFX guide Juul Steyn

Pelagic fishing is an upcoming way of targeting big fish. Some people prefer fishing at night since the activity of big fish is often better than during the day. Juul Steyn is a very experienced guide based in Amsterdam who will show us the way pelagic fishing is done. 


First we explain a bit about pelagic fishing, a rather new way of fishing with (often) bigger baits, heavier weights and gear than the usual way of vertical jigging. Nowadays done with expensive sonars like the Humminbird, Lowrance and Garmin. Juul Steyn equipped his boat with the Livescope from Garmin, including several screens. Making it easy for both him and the client to see what’s lurking in the deep. 


Right down in the middle you see my lure on this Garmin sonar. 



All the sonar brands have different names for their ‘live’ imaging. But for those who are new to the sonars: It’s a fish finder with such a high frequency, making it able to see what the fish is doing underwater. You are even able to see your lure on the screen. And this is where it get’s interesting!


Because you can find the fish with your sonar/ fish finder you are able to find out at what depth the fish is, which direction they are going and often what the size can be! You can get after the fish with your lure, and even see the fish grab your lure when it strikes. This game of chasing can be very successful but also frustrating. I learned that 9 out of 10 fish is interested for a short period of time and then turns back to the deep or shoots off in an other direction. The percentage of fish that actually attacks is very small, making it a very addictive game!



So, let’s talk about our night! 


We started around 7 P.M. at waters near Amsterdam. This is Juul his territory and he knows his fishing spots all too well. We stepped on his Siegersma aluminum boat and off we went! He first showed us all the detail that you can spot with the Livescope, and we could see a bicycle and a sunken boat rather quick. Then we came to a spot where several fishes were laying around. Time to drop our lures and give it a try: I started off with a V-tail lure. The good thing about a V-Tail is that the water resistance is really low, so it’s way more easy to control your lure. 


Some perch followed and were really interested what was going on down there, but no bites. Juul told us that this usually happens, but this is not the fish we are after! We are targeting zander and pike. I think it was just 20 meters further away and a really big signal appeared. I got so excited I approached the signal with too much speed, making it disappear as fast as it showed up on the screen. Gone... And after some time searching, finding, and scaring off we decided it was time to move over to bigger water and try our luck there! 


Arrived at the first spot Silvian dropped a Dagshad in Green Mamba color, and within two seconds he got a strike! He wasn’t ready for it, and lost the fish! A good lesson to always keep your focus, because you never know when a fish grabs your lure. Juul navigated us with his front troller over some obstacles. 


Obstacles near the bottom on the right. 



Right near the obstacles is were we found some fish. It didn’t take long till a good signal appeared on my screen and I was able to tell that this was interested in my bait. STRIKE! As soon as I saw the fish grab my lure I felt my rod tip go down. I set the hook and managed to get my first Pelagic zander in Juul his boat. We unhooked the fish, made a picture and back it went. After all; I like to practice Catch & Release for fresh water species. 


The first fish of the night!



This was such a thrill! Searching, finding an stalking those fish! When you get them to bite it feels hugely rewarding. It seems so easy, but as I said before: 9 out of 10 fish turn away. So having an expensive sonar is not always paying off. Could you even imagine being out there without a sonar, and not knowing what has been behind your lure all day or night? It’s probably a whole lot of fish that you just had no idea off! This is also a point which is being argued about a lot, that these sonars kill the fishing vibe. I partly agree, since there is not much imagination left. The other side is that this sonar teaches you a lot about the fish, and the way you target your species.

I think we have to respect everyone and their way of fishing, because if you don't like the style; just don't do it! Or even better; try it out and find out how you think about it!


 Okay, back to fishing!


We got quite some zander from the bigger waters!



As the night went on we managed to catch quite some nice zanders. And even a really big perch on a Dagshad in 16cm with a 50 grams jighead, which in my opinion would be too big for the size of this perch! Apparently this perch was hungry enough!

What a fish!

(The Dagshad is available in the shop)



Just 10 minutes later Juul was explaining about the different types of lures he uses. Giving us a great insight of what we could design for this type of fishing. While listening to Juul his interesting experiences, Silvian his rod tip shot up by half a meter. He managed to set the hook and get a zander in the boat! This means the fish was lurking beneath his lure, and totally lifted the lure up when it attacked! These bites are quite rare and was very cool to witness.


Happy face!



We had a great night on the water and it was time to get back to shore. We laughed, learned, and fished a lot! Thank you again Juul, you are a one of a kind! 

See you again next time! 






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