In Lithuania, Novgorod and Tver regions, I quite often had to catch pike on the lakes lost among the forests. In reservoirs of this type at the height of summer, predators do not behave quite usually, switching to feeding, as a rule, at night and in the early hours. Having a yellow-green camouflage color, stuffing their stomachs with swallows at night, these cunning ones calmly settle in the reed or reed thickets during the day, where it is almost impossible to take them with a spinning rod. Here is their cozy rookery, divided into zones of influence. Fishing in such places requires extremely accurate casts. I must say that pikes feel most comfortable in flowing lakes and those where the water is refreshed due to underwater springs and at least one rivulet flowing out of the reservoir.
But this does not mean that in closed lakes (and we have the majority of them), predators on hot days are deprived of oxygen dissolved in water, even if it is warm. The enrichment of water occurs, firstly, due to the photosynthesis of plants, and secondly, due to the night coolness and winds that mix the upper layers of the water, creating a surface current. Rains have a very favorable effect on the oxygen regime of closed reservoirs.
An unexpected decision
On two lakes located near the village of Ivanteevo (Novgorod Region), I especially liked fishing. True, for several days I was content to closely observe the behavior of local pikes, and the solution came the simplest and completely unexpected. One day early in the morning, as soon as it began to turn pink in the east, I put the boat at the edge of the reeds, scattered bait around and was going to fish the roach, waiting for the float to be seen. But my plans changed dramatically after a powerful blow from a predator was soon heard near the lured place, which was attracted, most likely, by a small fish that came up for food. The spinning was instantly in my hands, and after a couple of casts, the friction of my reel sang in the blissful silence. The pike had just over five kilograms.
As you may have guessed, it was just a nice start. Each subsequent day of my vacation, I set up the boat in the dark and next to the impassable thickets took 2-3 trophies from a pike “plot” before sunrise. And always more effective turned out to be Mepps spinning lures No. 4-5 and wobblers. Floating wobblers are good because, with proper wiring, they can be used to provoke even a lazy predator to grip. I do it like this. In the supposed place of the pike ambush, I stop the reeling and let the wobbler rise to the surface of the water. He is motionless for a minute. After that, having made 2-3 twitches, I pause again, but for about 10-12 seconds. Then I continue posting again at short intervals. If after 5-7 casts there is no bite, I change the place. Pike lures such as poppers and stickbaits should be handled somewhat differently.
And these are excellent surface wobblers, but they require their own specific wiring. If poppers make gurgling sounds with sharp jerks and strongly disturb the surface of the water, then stickbaits are lures for more delicate fishing. During the movement, the stickbait should imitate a wounded, weakened fish, the convulsions of which in the form of somersaults and lateral deviations are provided by the angler with short twitchings with the tip of the spinning rod. At the same time, one should not forget about two points of posting: a long movement of the bait to attract a predator and a short one to provoke him to grip. Of course, each “pike”, using such baits, has a lot of scope for their own “creativity”. In general, there is one rule here – the more varied the game of the wobbler and the more plausibly it imitates a live fish, the more chances it will cause a storm of emotions in a “toothy” one.
Drive out of hiding
On frequently visited water bodies, where “pike” on some days there are more than pike, in the middle of summer there is a standard situation when the predator takes a deep defense, practically not leaving the lush thickets – pondweed, horsetail, egg capsules, reeds. Here for them there is not only a reliable shelter, but also an abundance of food in the form of small fish, tadpoles, frogs and other animals. What should be done in this case? Once my friend and I found ourselves at the mouth of a dammed river, where pike, as it seemed to us, was concentrated, almost from the entire dam. But here’s the deal. All the fish “settled down” tightly in such thickets that the wiring of even the most “non-hooks” was completely excluded. For after casting, at the very first revolutions of the reel, the bait immediately overgrown with a bunch of grass.
In the meantime, while we were putting the baits in order, breakers now and then appeared among the water lilies and thickets of pondweed – these were the pikes mercilessly exterminating the fish: verkhovka, bleak and small roach. The width of the river in that place was no more than 50 m, and most importantly, the opposite shady bank had almost no vegetation. Somehow, by itself, I wanted to drive the predators out of the grass, and only then offer them bait. Having driven the boat into the most jungle, we made a little noise with the oars. Then we went out into clear water and dropped anchor, as the weather was windy. Literally a few minutes later, the first bites began. Moreover, in most cases, pike grips occurred almost at the very bottom, at a depth of 3-4 m. Therefore, we urgently had to switch to oscillating spoons, deep-water wobblers and jig lures with a rather heavy load head.
The pike took not very large, but we got amazing pleasure from that fishing. So sometimes it is not at all necessary to lure the toothy ones out of the underwater forests by acting on the lateral line of the predators with a skillful game of bait, but it is easier and safer to “make noise”, as hunters do during a raid.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)