In the north of the Southern Federal District, and this is, in fact, the Volgograd Region, May fishing is very ambiguous. If water slowly falls on the Upper Don and the banks have not yet dried up, then the flood in the Volga and Akhtuba is in full swing – for these reasons it is very difficult to find a place that would be permanent, not changing day by day. Either the water level is different, then the course has changed, then the wind will drive the garbage to the right shore … You go fishing and don’t know what awaits you. Very often, the checked places stop working, but unexpectedly there are new ones where the fish are caught, but not the fact that tomorrow it will also be in this place. But in general – not everything is so bad!
Don from Dipper to Hopr
This area is far enough from Volgograd so that our spinningists constantly go there, so I asked the regular of those places, Sergey Matveev, to clarify the situation. He happens to be there every year in May at the young Fish-Beast fishing base. The base stands upstream from Serafimovich, at the confluence of the rivers Medveditsa and Khoper in the Don. Here is what he told our magazine:
– The flood here is unpredictable. If there is a lot of spring water, the fields along the left bank turn into a water surface – spawning grounds for white fish. And it happens that the water can rise by only a meter and a half – then the spinning player is expanse here for the May holidays. In 2007-2008 there was no flood as such. The water of only a meter was 2-2.5 higher than the summer level. Then the pike perch took very fervently. But the last serious flood occurred in 2006 – it became a paradise for donors.
The spinning pattern at this time is simple. We are looking for a bay – there are a lot of white fish, and the entrance to the bay is reliably patrolled by zander and pike. If we talk about places near the base of the “Fish-Beast”, then usually we start with the entrance to the old town on Khopre. This is a rather intricate place in terms of depths, variable currents, including driftwood, which sticks out in the sweetest place for jig, about five meters away. The pike perch is medium-sized, up to one and a half kg. Probably a serious fish is uncomfortable here. We use jig baits here – about 18 grams. Also a characteristic May point is a shallow strait on the right bank, just below the confluence of Khopra in the Don – a favorite place of the Don pike. Personally, I prefer to catch zander, so I always give this place to my comrades, and I myself undertake the preparation of barbecue under the satisfied exclamations of my colleagues when playing. We decided to let big pikes go, let them become a trophy for the next fisherman. A couple of kilograms can be picked up for fish soup.
A little downstream there is a steep slope where the stream goes straight along the shore. Donors always sit there, white fish swarm there, and catfish prop it up. They are caught! Cossacks like fatter fish. But we most often miss this place without regret. At this time, it is difficult to take somics for spinning, and you don’t want to interfere. And my favorite pike perch point is a kilometer downstream from the Fish-Beast fishing base. This is the entrance to a vast bay, the jet goes at 6 meters. We are sure to put a metal leash in front of the jig. Interspersed with zander, the entrance to the bay is guarded by a fairway pike. Last year, during the May holidays, they repeatedly recorded a toothy of 8 kg. Posting the jig a little to the side of the stream (grams 20-22) – and you get what you need! May pike perch in these places (I can’t vouch for the whole Don) is not at all the same as in August! In May, he is a fighter! Every time I visit here in May, I want to go to the Bear, where at this time the chub kingdom. But, unfortunately, we have to work.
On the small rivers of Don and Tsimla
If we talk about such rivers as Khoper, Ilovlya, Chir, Tsimla, then lovers wander with a spinning rod in May have a sin to complain about anything. Of course, a lot depends on the magnitude of the flood, but still some fish remain in them. In Ilovle and Chiru, after the pike perch slides into the great water, His Majesty the chub takes over, who can be caught there all summer. We will certainly write about this in subsequent issues. On small rivers with the course of May, the main flood is already passing, and the fish that went into spawning quickly rolls down. But on rivers without a current, which directly depend on the water level in the Tsimlyansk reservoir, you can continue to catch both predators and white fish all May. Therefore, among spinning people, most often their views are directed there, for there are many rivers, all are different. Everyone wants to be the first to open a river, where zander or another fish went. Responsible in the Don basin are the reservoirs of the Volga-Don Canal. On them, the flood is felt differently than on the river itself, and the water there almost does not cloud. For example, in the Karpovskoye Reservoir, if the spring is early, by May 1, the pike is already fighting off and stop taking. People go there for a pike with a spinning rod, and for white fish with a fishing rod or feeder.
Volga and Akhtuba
The first thing that catches your eye when you pass the Volga Dam is the pilgrimage of fishermen to the lock channel. Along both coasts, like black crows, donors sit. As a rule, summer residents begin, and then the rest of the townspeople are tightened. Simple tackle. Ordinary donka. They catch worms, which in May at the dacha are full. I remember that we once returned from the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain and, observing this bottom-line euphoria, could not resist the temptation to drive closer. What we saw made us build a clumsy donka from pieces of torn woods right on the shore and even wait for a bite! However, it soon became clear that an empty place in such a crowd of anglers was not formed by chance. Before us was a dull hook, which everyone knew except us. Neighbors, probably, secretly mocked – well, rightly so! Oh, come. I thought that everything was so simple: I threw it and caught it!
But we didn’t need fish, but the process itself – to find a piece of beard from the fishing line on the shore, untangle it, wind it on an improvised reel and at least see a bite. That is exactly what happened. And the fact that anglers occupy cool places without hooks even at night – we knew very well. But the Donkeys will not be discussed. I address this part of the review to the floaters. So where are we going with the float? Perhaps, you need to start right from Volgograd. And you don’t have to go far to the bottom. During the flood, most of the ravines are filled with water, and fish enters there. Of course, our brother from low-income strata is trying to catch her “fishing rods” in the box, but in connection with the adopted decrees to prohibit trade in nets, perhaps this mess will continue to be not so widespread.
But this is not about that. You can always sit with a fishing rod on the shore or climb into a reed suit in reeds and enjoy morning nightingale singing and sweet torment: who will peck once again – perch or ide? Or maybe a bream? During the rise of water in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain, fish are sometimes well caught under a thick blanket of garbage. This is a kind of corners and turns of Eric, which are connected to each other by pipes. As soon as the water rises to the level of the pipes and begins to fill the neighboring Yerik – all kinds of fish rush to this stream, including carp. One must not forget that at the end of May, when acacia and wild rose are blooming, crucian carp is widely caught in reeds.
P.S. Lastly, a hint for travelers. If you evaluate fishing in the spring in the Volgograd region for vacation planning, then the second half of April and the first half of May may be the most problematic. This recommendation is more addressed to those who like to catch a predator. It is always easier for a swimmer to find a place on the shore where the depth and transparency of the water will make him feel like a fisherman in full.