Likes asp to stand in ambush, using flooded trees, bushes, spits, and other coastal irregularities. Asp, even on shallow rifts, often uses various features of the bottom relief as ambush sites: pits and grooves, in which the depth differs by a maximum of a meter from the level of the surrounding bottom. Bottom irregularities are also used by pike perch, but usually at a greater depth. From mid-October, with the onset of constant night and even daytime frosts, it is better to catch asp on warm sunny days with a weak wind, which only drives ripples, but does not raise a wave. In such weather, asp almost always goes hunting, but, unlike in summer, the time of its release is shifted towards the evening. The sun, albeit not strong, but warms the water, especially in shallow areas, which attracts fry, and asp comes out behind it.
It is interesting that at this time its behavior is very similar to that of pike-perch, which also by the end of the day often rises from the depths to relatively shallow areas. Moreover, these two predators are often caught in the same places. Mass hunting of asp usually begins after 4 pm and continues until dense twilight. Apparently, water temperature plays the main role in this. However, the same pattern manifests itself in the Moskva River, where the water temperature is much higher than in other reservoirs, and its daily increase is less pronounced than, say, on the Oka. Nevertheless, the choice of hunting grounds by the asp is clearly related to the water temperature; This is also supported by the fact that in winter on the Moskva River, it collects in large quantities in places where warm water is discharged.
Having noticed the place where the asp is feeding, you must try to determine the route along which it moves, and after that you can start fishing. Your task is to transfer this place with the bait. If the distance is long, you will have to use the farthest rod. Usually, both from the shore and from the boat, you have to catch at a distance of 70 m. On a boat sometimes it is possible to come up to 50 m – this is the minimum distance that an asp allows in the Moscow region, and this happens very rarely. When using a motor boat, it is necessary to bypass the asp hunting area in a wide arc, turn off the engine 150-200 m upstream and quietly float to the intended place. At the same time, the asp still sees you, therefore, quietly lowering the anchor, you have to wait ten minutes, or even all twenty, until the asp gets used to the boat and starts hunting again.
Sometimes it is possible to quietly approach the asp, the bursts continue, and he does not seem to notice you, but this is a false impression. Asp saw and heard everything perfectly, so he won’t take any bait, and by starting to throw the spinning rod right away, you will only completely scare him away and make him leave this place. In general, in the fall, the asp is more wary than in the summer, refers to everything alien, so the longer and more carefully you fish the area, the faster it leaves there. The place should be given a rest, especially after playing the fish. Even if the asp continues to hunt, it is worth stopping for at least ten minutes.
The success of catching asp to a much greater extent than any other predator depends on the quality of the tackle. This is, perhaps, the only axiom concerning his catching. For coastal fishing, say on a river, a classic asp tackle is a 3.0-3.3m rod with a 4000-4500 Shimano or 3000-3500 Daiwa reel. The rod should have the maximum range, and the reel should provide even line laying and have a drag with a wide range of adjustment. During fishing, the brake should always be loosened as much as possible, at least when casting, otherwise a sharp bite of a large specimen can cause excessive load on the tackle, which will lead to breakage. Do not be afraid to miss a bite or not hook it in time: if the hooks are good, the asp will catch itself.
When fishing from a boat, often practiced, for example, on the Oka, a long rod is not necessary, 2.4-2.6 m is enough. A medium-fast action is more suitable. However, on modern high quality rods, it can be difficult to determine the action unambiguously; as a rule, it is complex, since the blank has areas with different taper. In general, all that is required from the rod is that it can be thrown to the spot and that it is comfortable to fish, and the asp will do the rest himself. In catching asp, a special role is played by the quality of the fishing line, hooks and all the accessories of the rig, since even in the waters near Moscow, along with the usual specimens of one and a half to two kilograms, a handsome man can peck by 6-7, or even 10 kg. Any good braid will do from the woods. I prefer Spiderwire Ultracast. However, many other cords are good too. An indispensable condition: at least 200, and preferably 270 m of cord should be wound on the spool: a good supply of fishing line is the last reserve of the spinning player in the fight against a large specimen.
Leashes, as a rule, are not used, since the bait is usually buried no more than a meter. The only exception is fishing from the maximum distance on shallow water rifts up to one and a half meters deep, when heavy baits are used. In this case, the bait often manages to fall to the bottom before the start of reeling, so it is worth using a leash to protect the cord from damage from stones and shells. It is better to take a leash with a breaking load of at least 8 kg, 20-25 cm long, necessarily soft, which are often used when fishing with wobblers.
The choice of lures and lures in general depends on the characteristics of the place of fishing. In general, almost the same ones are used in autumn as in summer: Kastmaster, Hopkins, Halco, various jigs. One of the differences is that if in summer “silver” and “gold” almost always work better, then in the fall you must also have copper and brass baits. Blackened lures, including unpolished lead jigs, often bring success. There were cases when the asp preferred only well-polished copper, and my friends and I had to polish the baits with a cloth almost every hour. Wobblers continue to work in the fall, but they should be used only with the onset of evening twilight. In autumn, asp almost does not come close to the shore, therefore, it is rarely possible to catch a throw-over, and the wobbler is usually floated downstream. In any case, the bait should be chosen large enough, from 100-110 mm.
Unlike the pike, which in the fall is ready to grab almost any wobbler, regardless of its “origin”, the chub remains an “esthete”. Serve him Lucky Craft, Megabass, Zip Baits. The lures of these companies are quite expensive, but they do catch. They also fly well. And the critical distance when fishing with wobblers even at dusk is 40 m. If the bait cannot be thrown at this distance, then you don’t have to try to catch it. When fishing with wobblers, the quality of the tackle is of particular importance. Not all rods that throw well with heavy castmasters are suitable for wobblers. If the flaws in the laying of the fishing line when fishing with heavy baits can not be noticed, then with wobblers they will definitely appear. Even a small “camel” – a hump that appears during winding – will almost certainly lead to a beard, and untangling it will kill the whole evening fishing.
The peculiarity of the autumn asp can be considered the fact that it clearly “prefers” uniform wiring at the lowest possible speed. This applies to almost all spinners. When driving wobblers, you can play along with the tip of the rod, but not sharply. Suspenders are best driven with stops of 3-5 seconds. Bites most often occur exactly at the moment the bait stops.
Timofey ZYKIN Moscow