Fishing in the spring on small rivers

Open water fishing starts in small rivers in spring. In the first days after being freed from ice, the water in them is clear and low, and you can only catch the “local” inhabitants of the reservoir, that is, roach, perch, ruff and other fish that keep here all year round. In the overwhelming majority of cases, small and very small fish come across, since the large one prefers to remain in their wintering places for the time being, and these, as a rule, are larger rivers, lakes and reservoirs. After a few days, the snow begins to melt, the water level in the rivers rises, but the water is still clear. Before the water in the river becomes cloudy, flocks of roach rush into it from large reservoirs, then ide, and later bream. This period of pre-spawning course of fish is short-lived. Fishermen say that the roach is going to “wash”, get rid of winter parasites and “breathe in oxygen”.

After the streams rustle and the snow melts, the river water becomes cloudy. With the turbidity of small rivers, fish rolls out of them into large reservoirs and goes to spawning grounds. Despite the fact that the spring “migratory” fish spends only a few days in small rivers, fishermen are patiently awaiting its approach. It is at this time that you can perfectly fish roach, ide, and bleak. Most anglers choose a float rod as their tackle. The fish now very weakly reacts to groundbait, so the fishing turns out to be running, with constant movements along the shore. Fishing is difficult enough because it is not easy to choose the right place correctly. Finding it sometimes takes a lot of time, and the fish may not be here anymore – it went upstream. Fishing with tackle with a “summer” jig and with a nod instead of a float is also very effective. But both of these methods can only be caught if a place with a relatively weak and even current is found. Otherwise, the rig “squeezes” to the surface of the water and the bait sweeps past the mouth of the fish, which simply does not notice it.

For clarity, you can consider an approximate, schematic diagram of the velocities of water flow in the river bed. The lowest current velocity is observed directly near the bottom. With an increase in the distance from the bottom, the current speed increases and reaches a maximum on the river center. If you look at the stream from above, you can see that its speed increases from the coast to the center of the channel. Fish going to be washed against a strong current naturally saves energy and looks for ways with the least water resistance. And such paths are located near the coast and at the bottom. If the shore is shallow and the depth is only a few centimeters, then the fish does not come close to it and adheres to a certain depth. So, small roach prefers depths of at least 30 cm, and medium-sized ides do not go to areas where the depth is less than half a meter. At the same time, a meeting with a solid specimen usually occurs in deeper places. In almost all cases, the fish is pressed to the bottom, especially since the main food – insect larvae and worms – is now located in the bottom layer.

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Thus, the fishing conditions are, as a rule, the following: strong current, relatively shallow depth, medium or strong water turbidity, food supply in the form of larvae and worms, low activity of fish in terms of finding food: the fish does not look for food, but only enough along the way that which floats by or lies at the bottom, on the route of the pack. The use of traditional wire harness in such conditions is significantly complicated and in some cases may become simply impossible. The fact is that for high-quality control over the movement of the bait during the posting, you have to use very thin fishing lines with a diameter of less than 0.1 mm, otherwise the rig becomes either uncontrollable (the thick line is simply brought to the surface of the water), or you have to put very heavy rigs when the bite is you just won’t notice. At the same time, the use of ultra-thin lines leads to the fact that when biting worthy specimens, which are always present in a flock of, say, the same roach, there will be breakages. With the turbidity of the water, the float tackle generally becomes ineffective.

Fishing with a “summer” jig will be justified if you tune in exclusively to large fish. But she will not take on coarse tackle and she will have to use small jigs and thin fishing lines, which, of course, ends in the loss of a trophy. In such conditions, bottom gear and a plug become truly universal and the most effective. It should be noted that fishing with a plug usually comes down to fishing with a bottom heavy rig. The bait is placed on the bottom and waited for a bite. The plug in this case becomes a half-bottom. A half-boat as a special tackle (a hybrid of a float rod and a donkey) has been known for a very long time. It is united with the donks by the fact that the sinker and the hook with the bait on an elongated line are always at the bottom. From the float rod, the complete set of equipment with a float remained. If you use an ordinary float, fly rod as a half-boat, then the float is not located in the water, but above its surface.

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Sinkers on the line can be positioned in different ways. Such rigs are used in very strong currents and when fishing for bream and ide with a large bait (worm). In rare cases, the lead is attached to the end of the line and the hook is positioned on a long, sliding lead. However, such equipment is easily confused by the current and is not very practical. If the flow is even, without eddies, then you can use a rig – the bait and several lower weights lie at the bottom. This rig is very sensitive to bites. But the line should not be much longer than the rod. The disadvantages of the equipment include the fact that it is practically impossible to use it where hooks are possible – it is too troublesome to redo everything after each break.

Since long casts are not required on small rivers, since the fish is located at a short distance from the shore, a long rod is not necessary. Sometimes it is enough for it to be only 3 m long. During fishing, the most important thing is to achieve such a state of the rig when the bait lies on the bottom, and the mass of the float hanging on the line balances the force of water pressure on the line. If you change the place and you have to catch in a stronger current, then the float should be moved away from the tip of the rod. The distance to the float can be up to a meter. Bites are detected by tremors, twitching of the float or by the tension of the line. When biting, for example, an ide or a chub, the line may simply sag, but this only happens in cases when a sufficiently large fish bites.

When fishing with a half-bottom, it makes sense to use bait, which is best suited for clay balls with bloodworms or chopped worms. Lure should be done only after a fish camp or “path” of its course has been discovered. The bait practically does not keep the fish school at the point of fishing, but it activates the bite. It often happens that the fish goes along the slope of the channel; in such cases it is better to choose places on the bends of the river, where it is very convenient to fish. In recent years, many anglers, who used to catch half-dons, are switching to a plug, which allows using more sensitive rigs and, most importantly, keeping the bait strictly at the chosen fishing point. Moreover, the sensitivity is achieved not by reducing the weight of the rig, but by very precise adjustment of its balance. However, this is a topic for a separate discussion.

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The experience gained in recent years in fishing with light feeders, both with and without a feeder, is very interesting. In the spring, even on a relatively large river, there is often no point in casting the bait far from the shore. Sometimes you can just dip it into the water, wait until the sinker reaches the bottom, and the current pulls the line – and here it is, the bite. The rigs are used exactly the same as when fishing with a float. But this is when you are satisfied with medium-sized roach and palm-sized podleschik. It’s a different matter if you want to catch an ide. Here, the casting distance increases somewhat, since the bait will need to be thrown directly onto the river shaft. Bottom tackle here can become indispensable, while any rig with a float will very quickly rush past the fish.

In the course of the bite, which is expressed in the twitching of the rod tip, they are clearly visible, even better than in the case when the float is the signaling device. When fishing with a feeder, keep the line in constant tension, regardless of the crosswind and changes in the strength of the current. There is one point with such fishing that you need to pay special attention to. Beginner anglers tend to get the cheapest rods. They are also the most “soft”. It would seem that there is no difference in how stiff the rod has if only its tip shows a bite. But there is a difference, and a very significant one. The fact is that when biting, the bend of the tip of the soft rod is partially transferred to the entire rod. In practice, this is expressed in the fact that careful bites become invisible. It’s another matter if a rigid rod is used. In this case, when biting, only the flexible tip (quivertip) works and it is clearly visible. That’s the whole difference.

When fishing with a feeder rod, it is very effective to use bait in the form of a mixture of steamed grains with maggot or chopped worm. The most commonly used baits are worms, maggots with worms, and caddis flies. Bloodworms too often become the prey of small change.