The asp is considered to be a daytime predator, but recently, at least in the Moscow region, the period of its hunting has moved to morning and evening twilight. Perhaps the reason for this was the powerful fishing pressure. One way or another, but this left a noticeable imprint on the choice of both fishing spots and lures.
The location of the places of predator hunting depends mainly on the distribution of its food objects. In the case of asp it is fry and small linen. At dusk, all this fish approaches the shore at 20-30 m and stays at the coastal brow, tongues, braids, pits. A predator is also gathering here. But the location is not the only difference between the “twilight” asp and the “day”. The behavior of the fry at dusk is different than during the day: it is less active, moves more slowly. Therefore, the bait, on which the asp takes well in daylight, practically does not work at dusk.
Just starting to master the twilight fishing of asp, my friends and I used pilkers, castmaster and other similar lures. It turned out that he does not respond to them, even if they are nearby and hunts. Probably all these baits are too fast: it is simply impossible to carry out a heavy pilker slowly, especially at a shallow depth. And we soon switched to other lures. The best were spinners and lures. At first it was assumed that turntables would be most effective. Indeed, they fly even worse than the castmaster, but it is quite acceptable, and they can be carried out at a minimum speed. However, asp still preferred wobblers. It can be seen, they were more like living prototypes.
In reservoirs where there is no dominance of fishermen, the asp usually adheres to permanent hunting sites. Most often, it can be found either at the junction itself, or immediately in front of it and slightly lower. On small rivers, the asp is often kept at shallow whales, but here the pike competes with it. However, large specimens of asp, weighing over 3 kg, displace competitors from their hunting grounds. During the day, the asp hunts without hiding, but at dusk its behavior is much more modest. If you do not know exactly where he usually hunts at this time, then you can pass by without suspecting anything. In the morning, asp can begin to be caught in the dark: at the very beginning of dawn, there is almost always a short burst of activity, lasting only 10-15 minutes. After this, the asp continues to hunt, but not so intensively. A similar exit happens in the evening, but its time is very dependent on the weather.
Coast pits and eyebrows are most attractive for asp. On rivers with a strong current, beating jets wash out recesses up to several tens of meters in length on the banks. In such places, a reverse flow section forms. An asp is most often standing at the entrance to the reverse flow zone and at the exit, and these places are loved by the largest specimens. As for the coastal brow, the asp most often runs along the second, which on most rivers runs 30–35 meters from the edge – at the maximum throw distance of the wobbler.
For asp fishing, minnows and cranks are mainly used. The fishing of the coastal outflow requires wobblers with a depth of 1.5–1.7 m. It is desirable that these be suspenders; floating models are also suitable, but with them it is somewhat more difficult to achieve the correct game. Where the bottom is clean, it’s worth using sinking wobblers: they have a longer casting distance, since with the same size they are always heavier. Posting when catching asp is generally uniform, periodically necessarily interrupted by pulls. Ideally, the wiring should simulate the movements of a fish stunned by a previous attack of the asp or just tired and trying to go into cover. To achieve such a posting is not easy, since the game of each bait has its own characteristics.
Mastering the fishing of the twilight asp, my friends and I experimented a lot with the coloring of lures. As a result, we divided into two camps: some believe that the color matters, others – that not. Personally, I prefer natural silver colors to gudgeon, bleak, roach, brighter when fishing in the thick twilight. We tried to catch the asp in the dark, but night fishing was ineffective, at least on the Moscow River and other nearby rivers. An asp came across at night, but all these were accidental captures when catching a pike perch. The size of the lures also matters. Normal – 65-90 mm, calculated on a large asp – from 80 to 120 mm, but this is the limit: the structure and size of the mouth does not allow grabbing a larger bait for this fish. At the same time, with high activity even bats are actively hit by baits 110-120 mm long.
Speaking about specific models of wobblers, it is worth highlighting the Duel Hardcore LB-90 with a depth of 1 m. It flies well and works very well on uniform wiring. It is very resistant to changes in flow velocity and does not require “spurring”, therefore it is suitable for wiring across the jet and return. On a 90-mm bait sit and perches of 500 grams, and trophy specimens. But tees must be changed. Once a 4 kg asp, caught on this wobbler with full-time tees, came ashore on one half-bent outboard, and the other two were fully unbent.
In general, tees have to be replaced on almost all wobblers, including even expensive series. And the point is not that the quality of the hooks is low – they just are not suitable for asp fishing, as they are made of not thick enough wire and often are unbent. Therefore, if the hunt is for copies of more than 2 kg, and it is these that are of the greatest interest, then the tees must be changed. In some cases, it is permissible to put a more powerful and heavier tee from below, since the axis of horizontal vibrations of the bait passes close to its attachment point, but the rear tee must be selected very accurately so as not to disturb the balance.
When fishing with Zip Baits Rigge 90F and Zip Baits Orbit 80SP wobblers, uniform wiring is not enough: after 5-6 slow revolutions of the coil, the rod accelerates smoothly, then a pause of 1-2 seconds and then a new cycle. Moreover, the rod does not jerk, namely a smooth pull. After pulling, you can move the rod forward a little while handing over the fishing line. At the same time, the game of the bait completely goes astray: at first it freezes, then the stream picks it up, the wobbler makes some kind of jerky movements, which, apparently, resemble a stunned fry, and at this moment the grip most often occurs. When catching the second coastal edge, it is necessary to use deeper models, first of all the Duel Hardcore LB-90 with a depth of 3.3 m. It flies well, and most importantly – has high working qualities. They can catch all the horizons, from the bottom to the surface, it all depends on the strength of the current and the speed of the winding.
Rapala X-Rap 8 and X-Rap 10 are “universal soldiers”: 8-centimeter for close combat, 10-centimeter for long-range combat. This series of baits was originally developed for salmon fishing in strong river flows, therefore these wobblers behave steadily, predictably and keep the game even on even wiring. The only thing you have to do is cut the fly or change the tee. Feathers, firstly, interfere with the flight, and secondly, small vests attack the feathers and pluck them. Among the relatively inexpensive wobblers are Strike Pro. There are several suitable mine models with lengths of 90, 95 and 100 mm with different blades and correspondingly greater or lesser depths. Flight qualities are not the best, but Strike Pro wobblers work quite acceptable, while they are several times cheaper than elite models.
Smith Jib 90 – a great bait; for catching asp at twilight it is better to use a floating model, rather than a suspender. The vibrant colors of these lures are well suited for deep dusk before dark. They work well with uniform wiring. Range is not required from a rod for catching an asp at dusk, so a length of 2.5–2.7 m is quite enough. Test 5–20. The main requirement is sensitivity in order to feel the game of the bait well, but you can’t miss the asp bite. Cords of 8–12 lb, thicker ones interfere with the flight of wobblers. Although it is believed that the color of the cords does not affect the number of bites, we still prefer green. Leashes should not be used, and the bait should not be tied with a knot, but with the help of a non-retractable Rapal loop – then it works much better.