Catching the last ice bleak

Catching the last ice bleak

Most people associate bleak with childhood. A small rivulet, a bamboo fishing rod, a piece of bread – and the joy of the first fish caught. Later, the attitude towards this small fish changes, many begin to relate to it with a share of irony: also, of course, fish, but whether it is roach or rudd! Such an easy neglect often hides a simple inability to catch it.


Even by sporting standards, this is a very serious fish, which, unlike, say, roaches, requires the right choice of fishing location and special equipment. High-speed fishing is much more difficult than any other fish, even for a summer fishing rod. Perhaps for this reason in the summer very few fishermen purposefully catch it. Another thing in the spring.

Mass fishing of this fish begins when the first melt water rich in oxygen enters the ice. On the last ice, bleak is already actively caught in almost all reservoirs, and the places of release of this fish in most cases are unchanged for many years. The upper reaches of the Mozhaisk reservoir are very popular, where large flocks of bleak are collected at the confluence of small rivers. It should be noted that bleak always gravitates to such places, and this pattern can be seen in many reservoirs.

Most often, it is easier to find places of concentration of bleak not by the coastal topography, but by a large concentration of anglers. In some places, up to two hundred or more people gather on weekends. The most remarkable thing is that a huge crowd of people on ice does not frighten bleak at all. On the contrary, since everyone is caught with bait, its concentration increases. In this regard, bleak is perhaps unique.

Compared to her, roach behaves completely differently. Even in spring, on the Rybinsk Reservoir, famous for its schooling roach, I had to observe the opposite picture more than once. If several anglers found a flock of roaches, they could actually catch as many as they wanted. But as soon as the crowd joined them, in a short time even a large flock of roaches scattered, and if later it gathered, then in a completely different place.


In the reservoirs near Moscow, most anglers use the same gear: fishing rod with a nod, fishing line with a diameter of 0.08-0.1 mm, a small mormyshka. Sometimes an extra small hook number 16-18 is tied up on a short leash. This option is fully justified: the size of the bleak usually does not exceed 15 cm, so that there are no breaks on the fish, and fishing occurs at a shallow depth. They try to set the line so that it is less confused. But here it must be borne in mind that the thinner the fishing line, the faster the mormyska sinks, and this, when fishing at high speed, becomes an important argument in favor of thinner lines. Moreover, if the fishing pressure is very large, then such fishing line wins. As I have seen more than once, if everyone catches 0.1 mm, then the one who catches 0.07 mm has significantly more bites.

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It should be noted that if the bleak near Moscow is quite well caught on the above gear, then in other regions you have to use a slightly different one. In particular, on the Volga bays near Nizhny Novgorod, where large flocks of bleak go in the spring, another pattern was clearly traced: the smaller the mormyshka, the smaller the bleak and fewer bites. The small bloodworm as a nozzle also did not justify itself – it was necessary to catch 3-4 large bloodworms, and as soon as the bloodworm was frayed, the bites stopped.

In the reservoirs near Moscow, fishing pressure is stronger and bleak, one might say, is more capricious, therefore it usually ignores large mormyshka. It is necessary to use miniature, sports, with a diameter of 2-2.5 mm, but with a hook having an elongated forearm. Bleeding is more responsive to the nozzle than to mormyshka, so they should be spaced as much as possible. In the event that the bites go to a relatively large, up to 4 meters, depth – and this often happens in the cold spring – to ensure a quick drop of the nozzle, you have to put a rather heavy mormyshka, but always with an additional hook, which the bulk of the bites go to.


The approach to it can be very different depending on the place of fishing. It has long been noticed that if the pond is wild enough, there are few fishermen and, accordingly, are fed little, then the best option is a small bloodworm, tossed into the hole in very small portions. If we are talking about, so to speak, domestic ponds, which can be attributed to all reservoirs near Moscow, then bloodworms not only do not collect bleak, but, on the contrary, scare them away. It is difficult to explain why this happens, but the same pattern also manifests itself in float fishing. Flour bait works best here.

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The choice of such bait is very large. You can use any ready-made, but always winter (with a very low content of flavorings). However, it is easier to apply breadcrumbs of finely ground with the addition of milk powder at the same efficiency. The same bait is used in the summer. The difference is that in winter you should not add flavorings, since bleak is very sensitive to their concentration. The fish does not respond to smell, but to small particles of food that hang in the water like a cloud. The optimal ratio is 2 tablespoons of powdered milk per half a kilo of breading.

They feed, as a rule, with a hand into the hole. But there is a little trick. Bleeding does not like the bright sun, so when the weather is clear, bait should be mixed with sludge, leaving a small hole. When fish are delivered, the sludge will flutter, and the feed will gradually drop. If it is cloudy, the bait can be lowered directly into the hole. Bleeding is not a roach, it never goes into the hole calmly, but makes jerks in all directions, so that a portion of the feed will drop after each raised fish. It is pointless to use any options for feeding troughs, since usually bleak begins to be interested in bait directly from the bottom edge of the ice.

Recently, a new interesting way of feeding has appeared. A 0.5-liter mineral water bottle is taken. At the bottom, 2-3 tablespoons of a mixture of breading and powdered milk are poured, and everything is poured with water from the hole. It turns out liquid bait, ready for use. One or more small holes are made in the cork. If necessary, bait is simply sprayed into the hole. This method has several undoubted advantages: hands remain clean, you do not need to spend time to get a bait, put in a hole, wait until it swells and lowers. A bottle next to the fisherman does not interfere with fishing. At positive temperatures, this method always works fine.

Fishing technique

A few words about the nozzle. Most often they plant several bloodworms. With active biting, it is worth using maggot, but usually bleach takes worse on a clean maggot, and with the addition of bloodworms it is much better. Maggot is better to take the smallest, and bloodworms – large. Although many still prefer small, but, in my opinion, there is no difference in the number of bites, and less time is spent on the nozzle of a large bloodworm.

Catching bleak is a fast and dynamic process. You constantly have to work with a fishing rod, because bleak takes up different water horizons. When the bites stop directly under the ice, you often lower the nozzle half a meter lower – and the bite resumes. Although bleak, as a rule, is multilayer, it makes sense to start fishing from the bottom edge of the ice. The wiring is the simplest, the game as such is rarely used, and most often the bleak takes just in the fall. Depending on the intensity of the bite, you can lower the mormyshka either with the speed of the falling bloodworm, or a little faster, but with stops.

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Most bites occur on the rise, so the gatehouse arches up. If the fish takes actively, a very short gatehouse is enough, if not too much, then it is better to use a more authentic gatehouse so that the fish does not immediately feel the weight of the mormyshka. Sometimes it happens that bites stop in all layers. This does not mean that the fish is left or caught. Something might have alerted her. In this case, you can try to catch the game. Usually the bleak takes on the game down: this behavior of the nozzle is more natural for it. It is better to play up with nozzle stops – very often bleak takes at this very moment.

Although bleak tends to surface, it can also stand 4 meters from the ice. It can be raised up and the game, gradually shortening the fishing line, and constant feeding in small portions. It is believed that the shorter the fishing line, the more convenient it is to catch, but this is not entirely true. Each fisherman has his own optimal fishing line length – for me personally it is approximately 1.0-1.2 meters. So to ensure maximum speed, everyone should determine the most comfortable fishing depth for him and try to keep the fish on this horizon.

Despite its modest size, bleak – the fish is very tasty in any form. Some people prefer to fry it, others cook home-made sprats, but, probably, they all agree that dried bleak is not inferior in taste even to the famous Astrakhan wobble.

author Roman BUTUZOV

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