Large pike perch of the Mozhaisk reservoir. Part 2

As with other predators, fishing for large pike perch has many features related to both tackle and playing technique. In the Moscow region, pike perch more than 1.5 kg can be classified as large, but there are also much more serious specimens. For fishing, such a fish can only bite once or twice, and losing a trophy because of some nonsense can be extremely offensive.

ROD

A few words should be said about the spinning structure. Medium-fast can be considered optimal. Fast and ultra-fast rods do well in the hook, but not the best when playing. As for the test, in this case it is preferable to use relatively more powerful spinning rods. If for casting it is better when the weight of the load is in the middle of the upper half of the rod test, then for hooking, in my opinion, a larger test is needed – so that the weight of the bait falls in the middle or even closer to the beginning of the range. It is clear that such an approach leads to a decrease in the casting distance, but in boat fishing this is not of fundamental importance. It is not only not worth it to be modest with a sweep, but it is simply contraindicated, especially if you catch it while sitting. The length of the rod is also important here. Last year I missed a lot of decent pike perch with my short, 2.4 m stick, and now I only fish with rods from 2.7 meters long with dough up to 42 grams. In this case, most often the weight of the sinkers is 20-24 grams.

LOAD AND HOOK

Some jigs prefer soft lead sinkers. The reason is that by the traces of a predator’s teeth, you can determine who it was and what size. However, when fishing for large pike-perch, it is desirable that the lead is as hard as possible. When hooking, in order to ensure a reliable hold of the hooks, the bait together with the sinker has to be pushed through the palisade of teeth, and the softer the material of the cargo, the more it will bind in this palisade and interfere with the hooking. It is clear that it is extremely difficult to cope with large zander without sharp and strong hooks. But their size is also important. The hook should be of such a size that the hooks protrude noticeably beyond the dimensions: sinkers. Even if the bait is miniature, but the sinker is impressive, the hook should be large. In other words, the hook should not be picked up under the bait, but under the sinker. If the fishing is carried out at 17-18 meters, as it is now on the Mozhaisk reservoir in the channel, then you have to use a 24 grams lead. In this case, the size of the hook should not be less than No. 1, preferably 1/0. And to what extent the bait will be in harmony with such “fittings”, it does not matter for the zander.

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DOWNLOADING: PROS AND CONS

Spinningists are well aware that it is not enough to hook a large pike-perch – it still needs to be taken. It should be noted that, in contrast to pike, pike perch as a whole behaves more predictably when playing. Although, of course, there are surprises. Usually pike perch goes to the boat along the bottom and without much resistance. Even if he pecked at the shallow depth, he would still reach the river bed along the bottom and only then rise. It is during the lifting of the trophy that the main struggle begins. Trying to tear the pike-perch off the bottom and lift it to the boat, spinning reels usually resort to a technique called “pumping”: they pull with a rod and then reel in the line. I did this for a long time, but in the end I gave up on this method. It became clear that it is when catching a large pike perch that it leads to unnecessary retirements.

The reason is that even a powerful undercut does not always allow you to reliably stick the sting of the hook – often even the beard remains outside. In such a situation, any loosening of the line may cause the hook to pop out. Even with a technically flawless pumping performance, retractions are not uncommon. At depth, the pike perch behaves relatively calmly, but when going up to the boat, it starts to rampage and shake its head, and if the line weakens, then the chances of freeing itself from the hook greatly increase. Perhaps the best Owner or Gamakatsu series hooks penetrate more easily and deeper, but using them for jig fishing as a consumable is very expensive. If the hooks are budgetary, then you should not deflate. Better to pull out by working with the reel and making the most of the spring of the rod.

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FRICTION: TIGHTEN OR RELEASE?

The success of playing a large pike-perch not least of all depends on the correct adjustment of the clutch: it is far from always worth weakening it, as it is often advised for beginners. In this respect, I recently had a very indicative case. I hooked a large pike perch – judging by the resistance, it was clearly more than 5 kg. He brought him along the bottom to the boat, where the depth was 18 meters, and began to pull up. The tackle was almost at its limit. I tightened the friction clutch quite tightly, but with the strongest jerks, it still gave up the cord. Halfway through, the pike-perch stopped and made a powerful dash down. The clutch worked, and I even felt the moment the pike perch hit the bottom. Spinning at this moment played a little, but did not fully straighten out. I again began to carefully lift the trophy, but halfway through the pike-perch again pulled to the bottom.

This was repeated five times. In the end, I decided to change my tactics and slightly loosened the friction clutch, hoping that, having felt more freedom, the fish will go somewhere in the direction from where it would be easier for me to take it out. But I was wrong. The pike-perch again powerfully pulled down and abruptly stood at the bottom. And then it all ended. Since the friction clutch was weakened, the elasticity of the spinning rod was not enough – it played back this stop, but not enough, as a result the pike perch shook off the bait. Apparently, after a long game, the hook was not so firmly held in the tissues of the mouth. In general, if the pike perch is large, it is better, in my opinion, that the brake is slightly overtightened. If, during the hooking, the friction clutch yelped and gave up the cord, it will not be possible to reliably hook and, most likely, the fish will come off when playing.

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FEATURES OF AUTUMN WIRING

For some reason, many spinning anglers pay little attention to the features of the wiring. As a person is used to catching – say, with two turns of the coil in a certain rhythm – he catches, always and everywhere. Biting – everything is good, not biting – the bait, the place, anything else is to blame, but not the wiring. In the meantime, changing the wiring can completely make a cool difference. This fall, on one of the last fishing trips, after catching a few hours for the usual wiring with two fast turns of the reel, I caught only a couple of perchs up to a kilogram. And when at the same point he began to make three turns, but at a slow pace or even with a 2-second pause, the number of bites increased dramatically, and two pike perch per 3 kilograms were caught. Apparently, passive zander needs more time to decide whether to attack the bait. And the larger the pike perch, the longer this time.

PRE-WINTER FISHING

In recent years, the most active biting of pike perch, moreover, large, began after the onset of stable frosts. Now the situation is not clear. It is already winter on the nose, but it is still relatively warm, and pike perch in their mass during the day is much higher than the bottom. For this reason, the chances of jigging success are much higher in the early morning and evening. On one of the last fishing trips, a pike perch of 4 kg was caught in the morning twilight, literally at the first cast, then several pikes by a kilogram. All this is irrigated with a depth of 11 meters. And during the whole day, only a frank trifle pecked, and a couple of normal pike perch caught only in the evening, when it got noticeably colder. In addition to the weather, constant changes in water level are very bad for zander. In addition, the trollers over the summer kicked him a lot here. I’m not sure that this year it’s worth expecting a stable biting of large pike perch at the Mozhaisk reservoir.

Vitaly KOZLOV