Mouse bites can be in the daytime and at dusk, but in general, this bait is still for night fishing. During the day, the lenok takes on it mainly where fishermen do not bother him much. During the autumn run of lenks, an artificial mouse can be a very catchy bait, but this catch, despite all its unusualness and attractiveness, requires patience and careful preliminary preparation. I have not yet met good “mice” on sale. Therefore, you have to make them yourself. Moreover, it is not very difficult. In the manufacture of the bait, otter, muskrat, squirrel, chipmunk fur is used. Excellent “mice” can be made by sheathing blanks with kamuses from the legs of roe deer, musk deer, red deer or elk. The main colors are gray, red and black. However, shades of colors, in my opinion, are important only for daytime fishing. At night, the main condition is for the bait to be dark. Optimal dimensions: length 5-7 cm, diameter 1.5-2.5 cm.
According to the fishing conditions, it is good to have at least a dozen “mice” of different colors and two types in stock: floating and sinking.
Floating. The body of the bait is made of wood (then sheathed with fur) or fine-pored rubber. During posting, the bait moves along the surface of the water and “whiskers” diverge from it, which especially attracts a predator. Deepening. The starting materials are the same. In the place of the abdomen (before sheathing), the “mouse” is loaded with a lead plate, which provides long-distance casting and wiring halfway or at the bottom.
Floating “mice” can be equipped with two wobbler-type tees, deepening – in order to avoid snagging with one tail. In this case, the width between the stings of the hooks should be about 2-3 mm larger than the body of the bait, otherwise there may be blank undercuts. Controlling the course of the bait at night is not at all easy, but still try to imitate the movement of a swimming rodent as plausibly as possible. Lenk’s grip is always unexpected. At the moment of impact, the winding should be stopped and only after the pulling of the predator who took it, make a sharp sweep.
Features of playing
With any method of fishing for lenok, I made the most unforgivable mistakes when playing. As a result, I formulated for myself a number of rules that I would like to share with those anglers who, like me, consider a successful hunt for this rare freshwater salmon to be a kind of “aerobatics” in fishing. A large lenok is almost as strong as a taimen of the same size. After hooking you first feel like a hook, but now the predator has gone to the side, which is clearly visible on the line cutting the water. The first task is to resist the temptation to drag the fish through, especially if the cast was made from a steep bank. Try to keep the line on the circles without loosening the line tension and keeping an eye on a place that is comfortable for playing. It may be just a small hollow where you will ultimately lead the fish and be able to take it with a hook or hand.
When fishing in the wading, another mistake may lie in wait for you. Lenok, “sitting down” on the hook, as a rule, behaves quite violently, and it is not easy to fish it up against the stream. In this case, I would not recommend quickly bringing it to the surface, which often ends with a descent or breakage of the gear. I am far from thinking to ascribe any reasonable actions on the part of this salmon, but the instinct of self-preservation dictates to him, for example, such a technique – having accelerated towards the angler, he suddenly “brakes” sharply, turns sharply and, using the force of the current, tries to break the tackle or get rid from the tee. I have had cases when lenok was caught with one hook for the film in the corner of the mouth and literally went off at the feet. Show me more patience and do not force events, it is likely that even with a weak hooking, such specimens would be in a backpack, and not in the river.
However, not for the sake of “tails” and “kilograms”, our brother-fisherman sets off a thousand miles to experience the joy of fighting this beautiful fish, which, in my opinion, is high time to catch for the sake of interest and immediately release it. The cut lenok gets tired rather quickly only in the spring, when it has not yet had time to recuperate after spawning. At other times, you will not deny him fighting qualities. Especially carefully you have to play this fish out in the presence of water thickets in the vicinity, bushes sticking out of the water, etc. If you could not keep the predator, and he entered the support, consider that you parted with the trophy. Sometimes this swift salmon turns towards the coast voluntarily, and then suddenly rushes downstream, and at the same time it often manages to break the line.
When fishing from the bank, if you are dealing with a solid specimen, it is best to use the tried and tested “deflation” technique. It consists in the fact that the angler, moving away from the coast, recaptures several meters of fishing line from the lenok; then, returning to the water’s edge, quickly reels the line to the reel. But it also happens that a predator, exhausted by the struggle, still breaks off the hook – already aground, near the shore. In this case, he does not come to himself immediately and is in a daze for several seconds. This is quite enough to have time to take it with your hand or pick it up with a hook.
When I was young, I once tried to take Lenka upstream when fishing in a wading. There were already three meters left before the coveted trophy, when the lenok made a throw, using the force of the current, and almost broke the leash. In such cases, without weakening the tension of the line, you need to go down the river (if the situation allows) and take a more comfortable position for playing. It is better if it is a gentle coastal area, devoid of coastal aquatic vegetation, snags and heaps of large boulders.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)