How to Catch an Asp

How to Catch an Asp

The asp is a European freshwater fish. Normally they reach lengths of four feet, although there are some that have reached 120 cm. They can weigh as much as 25 pounds. The asp is notorious for their furious attacks. They are a relative of Carp and are a freshwater favorite in many parts of Europe. 

Where to Find an Asp

You will find the asp fish in the lower reaches of estuaries and rivers and lakes. You will find asps in:

  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Estonia
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • The Czech Republic
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia

How to Catch an Asp

When you fish for asp, you will find them all the way from Norway to the southern part of the Danube. You will most likely find them in the lower parts of a river but they have also been caught in lakes and their tributaries. You may also find them around bridge pilings as they look for prey. The best time to catch an asp is in the evening. They normally feed around sunset so you can try to catch them as they are hunting for small fish. When you are ready to fish for asps, you can use the casting, trolling, or drifting method.

In addition to fishing at night for asp, you can also catch them easier right after they spawn and in the full moon phrase. During these times is when the asp is actively feeding. When you are chasing or trying to catch asp, the level of the water plays an important role in whether or not you catch them. The best water conditions would be a level that is rising or constant. You may also find asp around fallen trees in the river that meet the current, white waters, at the edges of sandbanks, waterfalls, at the mouths of rivers, or spots with a reverse flow.

When trying to catch the asp, make short pauses while reeling so that the lure will show on the surface before it dives again. This is the technique that mimics small fish feeding on the surface of the water. In a slow current you should use a fast speed to reel it in but go at slow to moderate speed in a fast current.

  • Spinning — before you can use this method you need to decide on the rod you are going to use. For example, from the shore you will need one at is at least 2.7 to 3.6 m. The exact size depends on your physical strength, size of the body of water where you are fishing, and the casting distance you want to achieve. If you love excitement, this is the way to fish for asp. You also want to look at the weight of the bait, which should be between 10 to 40 grams. For late fall, the best bait is a jig with a bottom step wiring.
  • Boat fishing — this is the method that is typically used on large bodies of water where you can cast a lure at the distance of at least 30 m from the boat. 
  • Float and bottom fishing rods — this type of rod is used at night or dusk in shallow places. 

Best Bait, Lures, and Tackle for Asp

To catch an asp, you can use either live or dead bait. They are also partial to spoon lures. You can use good top water lures during the warmer months. The best fishing line to use is the 0.10-0.15 mm braided line. If the water is clear you can use 0.22mm/0.008 inches fluorocarbon line. The best live bait to use is large grasshoppers or May beetles.

Tips and Tactics

  • Using bait fish, you can feed a spot to attract the asp. You need to find a spot that has slow running water, preferably behind a tree that has fallen down, and is quiet. All you need to do is feed the spot until a school of asps show up.
  • To learn more tips & tricks, visit Real Wobbler.

Asp Reproduction

In the spring, between April and June, these fish migrate from their natural habitat to streams to spawn. The spawning is triggered by the rise in temperature. It generally starts at six degrees Celsius. The eggs will attach to gravel, water plants, and rock. After about fourteen days, they will hatch and the little ones known as fry will drift downstream to waters that are calmer. Depending on the asp’s fertility, and their habitat, they can lay between 40 and 500 thousand eggs.

Predators of the Asp

As with most fish, the most dangerous predator is humans. 

Fun Facts about an Asp

  • The asp fish may look like a delicate fish but when you hook it using light tackle, it will give you a run for your money.
  • You can eat an asp fish but they are not really considered a fish that most people eat. The reason is that they have a boney flesh so they are better as a catch and release fish.
  • Most asps lead a solitary lifestyle and only get together when it is spawning time or when they lay in pits during the winter season.
  • The asp will search for fry to eat and when they find them, they will stun them with a blow using their tail or entire body to the water. Then they quickly eat their prey.


In order to fish for asp, you will need to live somewhere on the European continent where they are found or when you take a vacation there, make a fishing trip part of your itinerary. As mentioned, they are more of a catch and release fish so you do not have to worry about what to do with it if you catch one. Just get a picture of yourself with it and then release it back into the water.

You may also enjoy our article, How to Catch a Wolffish.

More To Explore