Predatory fish in Holland

The Netherlands is a predatory fish country par excellence. If you’re fishing for predatory fish, then there’s no better spot than the Netherlands. The large cities are perfect for what they call street fishing, which is booming at the moment. 

Streetfishing in Utrecht


Whether you’re going to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht or Groningen: you’ll catch some beautiful perch and zanders bringing only some light gear such as small shads and drop shots, all the way up to the city centre. Also, don’t be surprised by the occasional pike taking your bait while street fishing.

Zander caught on a small softbait


Pikes are present in all waters in the Netherlands (see ‘fishing for pike’). No matter where you are, whether it’s a vast lake or just a ditch, whether you’re in the great outdoors or in a city centre: there are pikes everywhere, including specimen fish. And you can hook them using both small and large lures, as well as a dead bait fish or a streamer.

But there are many other possibilities. For instance, vertical jigging or casting from a boat, fishing for zander with a fishing guide. There are expert zander guides throughout the Netherlands who will take you to the best spots, where you’ll have plenty of ferocious takes using only light shads. The trick is to repeatedly lift the shad about 30 to 40 cm from the bottom and to let it sink back to the bottom while keeping your line taut. Most takes will happen when the bait is slowly gliding back to the bottom. It’s quite spectacular and there’s a chance of catching specimen fish of up to a metre!

Zander fishing from a boat

Shore fishing

By the way, it’s definitely not a requirement to hire a fishing boat or a fishing guide in order to have some good fishing adventures. In the Netherlands fishing from the shoreline is possible pretty much everywhere. Whether you’re fishing for pike, perch, zander, asp, catfish or seabass. For instance, the go-to method for catching asp on big rivers is to quickly reel in a lure from a groyne. In summer you are pretty much ensured of a great catch, especially on large rivers like the Lek, the Waal, the Ijssel and the Maas. The seabass is yet another of those absolute summer fish, which you will have no problem reeling in from the water’s edge using plugs and shads.

Trailering a boat

Major rivers

And to top it off, our major rivers also have a unique stock of trophy perch. There are more and more anglers aiming specifically at catching these beautiful specimen fish – in summer on the river itself, in winter on the lakes that are connected to the river. Especially the Lek, the Nether Rhine and the Maas are famous for their many perch of over 50 cm. Cast a rattle plug or a shad into the river from the side and reel it in with small pulls. Or comb out the shallower parts with small plugs. Perch may hit on your lures both in the deeper parts of the river and right beneath your feet! They are truly stunning fish and in the Netherlands we have an exceptionally large stock of specimens over 45 cm. You’ll find nothing like it anywhere in the world. They might well be the most beautiful predatory fish in our fresh waters!

Belly boat fishing on a big river

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