Two weeks without fishing – for a person sick with spinning sounds almost like a sentence. Especially when the last warm days of the Indian summer lost in autumn are leaving and you know that the time for autumn storms will soon come. With great difficulty I take time off at work. Let’s go! The Volga and Kama rivers have become shallow due to the efforts of the Russ-Hydra: more than two meters of water is not enough to reach the summer level! Extensive spits and flooded islands were exposed. The water is cold, the fish is in the riverbed. White fish and pike perch have gathered in large schools and are actively moving around. The pike habitually stays in the very shallow areas of the reservoir, and only a storm can force it to leave its summer pastures. Catching a gregarious predator carries a lottery element. It is difficult to look for fish, but whoever finds it receives a trophy fishing as a reward, which will be remembered for a long time.
Found – and lost
In the morning, when it gets dark, the coast is covered with a warm atmospheric front. Humid and windy. A sharp cold snap is expected in the evening. At the break in atmospheric pressure, the fish will probably be passive. Although all this is just reasoning, and on the water, the real situation with cool can be anything. This unpredictability of autumn fishing has its own appeal and intrigue. Late cloudy sunrise. We tack to the checked point, scanning the edge of the channel with an echo sounder. Here! Found a dense flock of bream at 12 meters. We go around it and sink the anchor 200 meters ahead. I put a weight of 44 g and a proven homemade bait made of white polyurethane foam. It has many names, we call it “slipper”: for its manufacture, polyurethane foam from the sole of Chinese slippers is used. A drop of “Megastrike” should make it irresistible for a predator. The comrade opts for a large white twister. We throw almost at one point under the base of the dump and immediately, simultaneously, catch a decent pike perch.
The mood rises: found! The second cast, five meters of wiring – and a hook for something low-lift. Sorry for a proven bait! Having suffered a little, we take out the “gift” – this is an old anchor overgrown with shells with a piece of rope. Two dozen casts, but no more bites. It seems that they did not guess the direction of the bream flock and put the boat not in front of it, but already behind it. Search again. The echo sounder sadly scans the bottom with rare silhouettes of small fish at different levels. There is no bream, the dumps are empty. The next three hours until noon are spent in uninterrupted search through proven ditches and holes. Not a poke! It’s sad. A boat arrives with familiar jig wheels. “How are you? Bad too? Fate!”
Perch or asp?
Oh, how short is the day in late autumn! According to the guys, there was a good fight of a seagull in a couple of kilometers. And what, the autumn asp is a topic! I take out a “cloudy eye” from my backpack – a poor but unpretentious Chinese binoculars. I look around: indeed, a couple of kilometers behind my back is a serious seagull fight. Perch or asp? More than a hundred large seagulls rage and fall frantically into the water. The only strange thing is that this happens not near shallow water, but along the bed of the Kama. For a perch, this is very deep. It’s already chilly for asp: the water is only 7 degrees. There are no asp gear with you. We carry out an audit of the baits. I find a couple of three-quarter-ounce castmasters, true original ones. There is an ounce tail spinner and a pair of rootless jigs of 22 g each. Sparsely, and an evil and powerful jig stick with a dough up to 56 g and a heavy classic cartoon are not adapted for long-distance casting. Eh, I would have a piece of iron 40-50 grams! It’s easier for a friend: he has a slippery expensive Japanese super-RE wound on his “twin”, there is also an ounce castmaster, only the experience of catching asp is missing. It is fixable – now it will learn!
We go by boat from the leeward side, the engine is turned off. Slowly drifting downwind towards the vast cauldron. I give a short instruction: loosen the coil friction as much as possible, do not make noise in the boat, do not get up tall, throw with all the dope and as far as possible, wind the thread as quickly as possible, but with short, second, pauses after 5-6 turns. Excitement of waiting! Anchor? No, too far, not kind! Now it’s time! The anchor smoothly goes to a depth, under us is almost 25 meters of water – a channel.
I attach the jig. Small, of course. With a heavy stick, you have to throw a light piece of iron with all your might. On the multiplier I turn off all the weights of the centrifugal brake – now wait for the “beard”, but you need to win at least a dozen additional meters. I relax the clutch. Go! The first cast about 50 meters, under a seagull, one of them dives for a falling spoon, but manages to turn away at the last moment. The splash of the fall and immediately a furious burst of asp. There is! I quickly unscrew the fish to the boat with the reel – for a cartoon it’s a child’s load. A few last desperate dashes of fish at the boat. The piece of iron has been eaten, there is no chance of retirement. The fish in the boat, not large, about a kilogram, but so desirable! There is a smile on my face: sweet revenge for the morning barking took place.
I catch from almost every wire, a lot of misses and sketches. The friend, too, is all right, the excitement of catching overwhelms him. The seagull is constantly shifting, sometimes moving 300 meters away from us, but the asp remains in place. It only periodically descends to the horizon of 3-4 meters, and the spoon has to be buried. I have a spinner and a “beard” on the spool of the cartoon when casting. Got it! The rush is to blame! I light a cigarette and begin to untangle the cord. The partner continues to gamble at the maximum pace, he comes across a couple of fish under two kilograms. Well, I’m already not interested in this kind of fishing, it really looks like fishing. If you fish at this rate, then in a couple of hours we will have a centner of asp in our boat. It is useless to release it – most fish are badly injured by hooks. Enough.
– Let’s have dinner!
Comrade took with him a whole thermos of soup, I have coffee and sandwiches with me. Hot homemade food tastes especially good in the cold.
And there was still about three hours of fishing ahead – we decided to start looking for the fanged one again. It is necessary to check the points at the lighthouse, and to it on the navigator 12 km. Far away, of course, there are points and closer, but intuition tells: forward! Let’s take revenge on zander! We drive for a long time, about forty minutes, the oncoming wave does not allow us to accelerate well on a flat-bottomed inflatable boat. We got there, we go on the navigator to the border of the channel dump and on the echo sounder we find the familiar one and a half meter step. And here are the long-awaited silhouettes of fish standing close to its upper edge. This pike perch is waiting for the victim at the post. We get up in a classic way: the wiring goes from shallow to depth with a significant lateral displacement of the bait along the thrust. Here it is, a step, but there are no bites – the zander is passive and does not want to chase our rubber.
Let’s try it differently! On the third attempt, the boat gets up correctly: half a meter from the side is the same step and dump into the channel. A short cast to a depth of foam with a weight of 50 g, long seconds of falling. The step is very short, you need to get almost under the nose of a lazy predator. Now the sole of the step. The ground is very hard, every touch of the bottom is perceived as a mini-bite. I slowly raise the rod end a meter. No? And a little higher? Play along with the bait a little? The line is already at the very side. The most severe gossip short-cut bends the end of the rod to the water itself! I was even scared a little. After all, I was waiting, and still so unexpected! I pump out pike perch for three rubles. Offset!
I repeat the cast and wiring – and again a sharp bite. Six zander in a row from one point and on each cast! Fanged all as in the ranking: each next one is 200-300 grams less than the previous one. The comrade also manages to take a couple of pike perch. There are no more bites. We carefully move ten meters along the edge, and the picture repeats: we catch four more. Attractants work very well: cold water is their time. No, there are no more bites, but one drop of Megastrike smeared on foam rubber, and instead of a short poke, an aggressive confident blow follows. I tried to soak the foam rubber with fish blood and asp mucus – it really works, but such a natural attractant is enough for just a couple of wires.
The nibble ended as unexpectedly as it had begun: the pike-perch had gone somewhere or it was not enough and it simply ended. There is no desire to search again. It’s time for the shore. We slowly put the tackle, drink tea. Fishing took place!