Jerky for toothy

The new fashion for jerk fishing captured me too – special tackles have been selected, the set of these large wobblers has been significantly replenished, I already have experience, but over the season I want to catch new items and compare the results with previous years. Everyone understands that it is best to master something new where there are more fish than anglers. Therefore, when at the beginning of April I had the opportunity to go to the lower reaches of the Volga, I gladly took advantage of it. True, I understood that the time for fishing is risky: the weather is unpredictable, and the fish is still weakened and far from active. There were serious concerns about jerks: it is believed that ripe caviar squeezes the stomach of the pike and the toothy during this period feeds on only small prey. Therefore, I decided not to take the largest jerks, but to check small and medium ones. Looking ahead, I will say that the “theory of a compressed stomach” has been irrevocably refuted by practice.

And here we are at the Razdolye base. The Eriks had recently opened up from the ice, but it still lay everywhere in blocks along the shady shores. Due to the night frosts, all the grass was covered with frost by morning. However, during the day, the sun shone merrily, and the air temperature in the evening rose to 15 degrees. In such conditions, the pike began to move. Based on the results of the first days of fishing, we came to the conclusion that the fish gathers in relatively shallow, about a meter, areas, preferably with bottom grass, and begins to take not in the morning, but from 10-11 o’clock. From 12 to 16 the bite is the best, by the evening it gradually stops. Of the lures, average-sized wobblers of natural colors with a depth of 30-50 cm, as well as sliders carried out by pulls and jerks, worked an order of magnitude better than others.

On the third day, the temperature dropped sharply to 6 degrees, the sun covered with gray clouds, and the wind intensified. We go to check out eriks, and I decide to devote the whole day exclusively to jerks. The wind blows along the river, which does not add comfort to fishing. Pike play is not visible. Several unsuccessful casts, and Fyodor, a local regular, declares that “it is dull today”, that the fish are most likely knocked out, that the weather is “not cool”, and it is necessary to look for other places. Moreover, the neighbors on the contrary complain about a bad bite. Here it is, the local spoiledness: after five casts – already “dull”! That is, the fish should take it immediately, at least from the second or third posting. Well, the pike seems to have been knocked out really hard. Imagine a site of a small erik with a depth of 0.5-1.0 m and a width of 10-40 m, where we ourselves have successfully fished for three days already, and where a dozen more spinners have visited just today. Of course, they knocked the toothy one – but not all of them! No, you go, and I’ll experiment!

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For the first time in the whole day, the sun appeared in the gap of the clouds for several minutes, the wind seemed to have subsided a little. To begin with, I put the proven Jaxon Hiper Jerk 9 cm in dam color. This is a unique jerk – it can be carried out with pulls, short zigzags, and even “jumping out”. Although the bait is slow-sinking, when pulling it comes out to the surface and during further retrieval in short paired jerks “hiper” -active zigzag furrows the surface of the water with its back. And if you let him sink a little, he makes the same knees under the surface. This yawing line with minimal forward motion is what tempts a stalled pike.

Initially I put “Heeper” on a jerk stick with a cartoon, but I immediately feel a strong discomfort. Casting across the wind is difficult, the wobbler barely flies past the middle of the erik. And it would be necessary to continue. And I am not used to tweeting with a short “stump” with a cartoon yet. The bait is not the heaviest, so I take a special spinning rod for sliders, but under a powerful spinning rod – Dragon Mystery XT slider Jerk 195 cm long with a test of 30-80 g. It’s a completely different matter! “Heeper” flies under the opposite shore, and twitching is much more familiar! Now the fish would have pecked

And so it happened: somewhere in the middle of the erik, I suddenly feel a weight on the line. I hook it – and the fish goes to the shore so quickly that at first I do not feel resistance and I think that another lace has been caught. But suddenly the resistance increases tenfold, and I understand – she! Several “tugs of war” with a squeal of the friction clutch – and the toothy (I see her!) Is already at the shore. There is no need to think about throwing such one over the withered coastal grass – I slowly tow the prey to the mini-waterway and from there I try to drag it to the shore. The pike, feeling the bottom, shows all its temper, furiously shakes its head and unbends the fastener! Oil painting: I am with an open mouth, spinning with a sagging fishing line, and in the water – only my head on the grass, the rest is in my native element! – a pike with a wobbler in its mouth, but not attached. It is good that in a narrow backwater she did not manage to turn around quickly. In the Olympic jump, I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and pulled her ashore! Hurray, nothing happened! But he could easily ruin the fish in vain, and lose his favorite wobbler.

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The pike is “pot-bellied”: there is only caviar for a good dish! I tie up a secure leash and continue to fish. But the next ten casts are ineffectual. Gusts of wind intensify, waves on the water, the sun is finally covered with clouds. I decide to try new options. Overcast and windy – here you need a large surface model with a noticeable light color. It looks like the Salmo Slider 10F GS will be just right. With pulls, the floating slider deepens a little, with paired short jerks, it goes in almost the same active zigzag as Jackson’s “Heeper”. You can lead along the surface itself, but now, with the wind, it is better to deepen the bait. A heavy slider, even across the wind, easily reaches the opposite bank, and already from the middle of the wiring, I can see through the ripples the reflections of its mother-of-pearl sides.

At first, the bait seems a bit big, but the first bite instantly sweeps aside all doubts: a 100-gram perch hangs on the back tee! Blimey! A few more casts – and a half-kilogram pike is added to it! It seems that the squashed stomach theory is not confirmed. Having finally believed in the correct choice of bait, I go to the end of the site, so that, returning, I comb it again with the slider. The people have already left, only a couple of neighbors in the base, who promised to give me a lift at home, are stubbornly waiting for their happiness. Having learned that the pike is taking on the “large”, they are looking for similar baits, but, alas, they do not find it. I have a cast, another, a third – and here again the line, after cutting, goes to the shore. The tackle did not disappoint, and again there is a good pike on the shore, though less – 2.5 kg! Oh yes slider! I think that the large size of the lure and the slow jerk with a zigzag wobbler play played a decisive role here. Oh yes I am!

I go further and catch a couple more standard pikes, and both eggs! And this is on the repeatedly combed and fished area of ​​the erik, on which, moreover, today the people, in general, did not bite! The neighbors are already unobtrusively going to drive off, but I ask them to leave three more times literally “under the car”. I am convinced that I sort of “found the key” to the local fish, and if I am right, I should immediately catch at least the “standard”. Neighbors (not at all beginners), who have been fishing here for an hour and pulled out only a couple of squints, agree: they already know about my catch today. And now – as ordered! – on the last cast, again a bite from the middle of the eric. And again the fish first rushes to the shore, but after a short struggle, to the applause of the audience, I hardly drag it onto the withered shore grass.

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Today what I was waiting for happened and for what, in general, I came. Despite the cold (8 degrees in the evening), cloudy and very windy weather, along with a dozen medium-sized pikes and perches, a pike of 4 kg and two of 2.5 kg was caught. My assumptions were confirmed:
a) large pike “wakes up” on erik and begins to take later small and medium (they say that it spawns later),
b) before spawning, it feeds even in the most nasty cold, cloudy and very windy weather,
c) large pike prefers large and “light” prey and is not afraid of bright pearlescent colors, therefore jerks carried out with the slowest zigzag wiring may well become favorites among other lures in the spring.
d) the best bite is observed in the afternoon.

On the last day, I decided that I should try the largest of the jerks, which I took with me – 13 cm long. According to the law of meanness, the weather finally deteriorated, a rain drizzled, which later turned into a three-day “sieve”. It can be seen that the fish felt the weather breaking and in the morning at least somehow pecked, and then everywhere it was cut off. Nevertheless, when it didn’t take anything, I still managed to “catch” my largest jerk – Jaxon Jerk Plus F 13 cm long and weighing 55 g (by the way, also on spinning tackle, although such a bait is already close to her limit). The pike that got caught on “Plus” was even smaller than the “standard” one! Once again, the rule was confirmed that it is better not to waste time on trifles in southern reservoirs with baits, even in spring.