Fishing while hunting (“fight”) on the surface
In closed water bodies (July – September), it is better to catch zander at night, focusing on the places of surface hunting of a predator, accompanied by a characteristic noise design. The “fight” of pike perch is the final stage of extermination of the school of fish surrounded by it, which at the moment is the main food of the predator. A predator’s “fight” can take place in any layers of water. If it walks on the surface, then muffled bursts are clearly audible, breakers are visible, and at times – fishes flying out of the water and scattering in different directions. Sometimes an open zander’s mouth or an everted body of a fish appears from the water. If the “battle” takes place on a clear moonlit night near the surface (a very rare phenomenon), and you are in a boat nearby, an eerie picture opens up to your eyes: the phosphorescent eyes of a predator are clearly visible in the moonlit water, and when turning, its white sides.
If zhor occurs in the water column and in calm weather, then weak circles are hardly noticeable on the mirror surface. From time to time, a wounded bleak pops up to the surface and, after splashing a few meters, disappears into the greedy goose mouth. If the pike perch is not hungry, the “fight” may take place differently or not at all. Lone predators abruptly “fly out” to the surface at certain intervals, after which the water surface calms down again (the situation for our reservoirs is quite typical). This is explained by the fact that a flock of fattened pike perch is often located under a flock of bleak. Actually, at this moment, pike perch is not interested in food, but a predatory instinct is triggered: to grab prey at all costs. In a flock of well-fed predators there are “individuals” who are attracted by the largest specimens of bleak (as a rule, in each flock there are several of them) weighing up to 100-150 g. They keep at a greater depth than other individuals. Having chosen a larger fish, the pike perch rushes after it and overtakes, as a rule, already on the surface.
The most typical hunting (“fight”) scheme
For novice spinning players, who catch not only with wobblers, the question constantly arises: “Why does the pike perch, despite all the efforts, do not take during the” fight “?” Let’s consider this situation in more detail. Before the start of the “fight”, pike perch begin to pursue their prey: bleak, vendace, smelt, ruff, etc. over a fairly large area. Fanged ones, as a rule, try to clear the area of unwanted guests who are nearby, among which there may be pike, perch, large bream or other white fish. Under these conditions, pike perch can hit or grab a wobbler of any size.
Surrounding bleak, zander flock reacts only to desperate maneuvers of escaping fish. At this moment, the predator resembles a radar tuned to the wave of impulses and vibrations emitted by the prey. If at this stage of the “battle” a wobbler was chosen that does not correspond to the size of the fish being pursued, the pace of the drive was not guessed or the depth was incorrectly determined, the pike perch will not be taken.
The next stage of the “battle” begins. Having dispersed the remnants of the flock of bleaks, individual individuals, who have not yet satisfied their hunger, grab everything for some time and are caught with almost all types of baits.
At the same time, pike perch (unlike, for example, pike) has certain criteria for selecting food, due to its rather narrow throat. Pike perch is mainly interested in small chasing fish (vendace, smelt, bleak), and, therefore, wobblers that imitate them. The predator, in addition to sight, recognizes, or, more precisely, catches its prey with the lateral line organs by the impulses and vibrations emitted by it. In the case of a wobbler, there is often a complete discrepancy. If in the field of view of a pike perch, even during a school hunt, an object that is larger than a small fish is accidentally caught, then the predator simply does not react to it, feeling that other impulses are emanating from it. An accidental bite, as already mentioned, can only be if the pike perch has decided to “hit”, that is, to scare off an object that interferes with its hunt.
Fishing tactics during a “fight” or in pursuit of a “large”
A “battle” on the surface is observed no more than 3-4 times a week both in cloudy and clear weather, but almost always at high atmospheric pressure and often a day before the weather changes. It is not difficult to detect pike perch by characteristic splashes on the surface. But, even knowing perfectly well the places of night stops of the predator (“edges”, “pyataks”, coastal shoals), sometimes it is necessary to change several promising areas of the water area, because at the moment it was not here. To some extent, this approach is also valid for catching zander in rivers. Many spinning anglers believe that catching a predator while hunting on the surface is a separate fishing method that brings consistent fishing success.
Of course, this is overkill, but fishing for “battle” is really incomparable, although such fishing cannot be considered traditional either. But this type of fishing makes you forget about the usual fishing techniques and completely surrender to such a process as fishing. During the “fight” of zander in different parts of the reservoir (more often in shallow water), fish trophies are mainly specimens weighing no more than one and a half kilograms. Large pike perch in pursuit of small fish rarely comes to the surface, and it can be difficult to find it. Therefore, you should not wait for the “large peat” to reach the surface – for example, in the reservoirs of the middle zone this may not happen.
Large pike perch is cautious, trying not to appear at the surface and on coastal shoals during daylight hours. It does not enter shallow grassy bays located far from the channel even at night. It often keeps in groups, consisting of only 2-3 individuals, and if the fishing press is large, then alone. The angler should react to every predator’s hunting ground on the surface. It would be a mistake to believe that the “fight” of pike perch takes place only on the rocks. Of course, he visits this place more often, but the pike perch are still smaller here. There is a special tactic for catching large pike perch, the meaning of which is as follows: the angler, focusing on the place of the “fight”, does not throw the bait “in the thick of things”, that is, where the main meal of the predators takes place.
The fact is that the hunting of small congeners has an exciting effect on the “large animal” (probably, like a quok on a catfish) and it certainly fits. It has long been noticed that if on the surface there is a “fight” of small pike perch, the large one is somewhere nearby, but does not reveal itself. A classic example: a small predator runs aground and devours bleak right at the water’s edge, while a large one grabs it at a depth near the edge.
Specific fishing techniques
1. If the “fight” takes place near the surface, but not at the very shallow, it makes sense to try to transfer the place of interest and hold the bait under it at a sufficient depth, and sometimes right at the bottom. But the question involuntarily arises: how to do this, given the fact that the maximum casting of a conventional wobbler even with a weak wind is 25-35 m? In this case, a wobbler with a long-distance casting system is just needed. If it is impossible to throw the place of the “battle”, the wobbler is deepened very smoothly and in no case at the epicenter of the “battle”. If this condition is not met, the gossip pack will definitely leave.
2. If the pike perch is having a meal at a shallow depth or right on the shallows, then, focusing on the place of surface hunting, the bait is thrown 50-100 m from it and always towards the depth, where presumably large fish should be.
I caught the largest pike perch (weighing 6.5 kg) on a wobbler in the evening in the Kutuzov Bay of the Istra reservoir near the place of the surface “fight”. This pike perch was the third in a row. The weight of the first two caught at the surface hunting site did not exceed 3 kg. Having sailed from the place of “battle” about 20-30 meters, I decided to make several intermediate casts towards the depth. The first cast, as it seemed to me, led to a “deaf” hold. In the dark, if it turns out that the wobbler is firmly seated, I simply put the buoy on the line and throw it overboard, hoping to release the bait in the morning with the help of a universal cut. While I was fiddling with the buoy, the line resolutely went to the side. The tip of the spinning rod, catching on the echo sounder mounting bracket, flew into two parts. As a result, I had to pull out the pike perch by hand, since it sat down firmly.
Happy fishing !!!