It is widely believed among our fishermen that the plug is a very expensive sports equipment intended for fishing only on large rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs. However, this is not the case. On ponds and small rivers, that is, the main reservoirs where most lovers catch, plug fishing can be very interesting and effective. The minimum set, with which you can begin to master plug fishing and go fishing by public transport, is quite modest: a 9-11-meter plug and a pair of racks with holders for a detachable whale, that is, the upper legs of the rod, are actually equipped; Instead of a retractable roller, it is quite possible to use a fishing bag or backpack. The main thing is that the joints of the knees are protected from dirt and sand.
On a small river up to 30 m wide, a nine- or eleven-meter plug in skilled hands will give odds to any other rod. Fly fishing rods of 5-7 m in length are good for high-speed stationary fishing for dace, gudgeon, shallow roach and bream at shallow depths, but it’s quite difficult to catch decent crucian carp or bream. This is due to the fact that on a small river and at shallow depths, large fish are very careful and you need to catch it either with a long-distance bologne with a float downstream or harnessing with braking at the longest distance, often closer to the opposite bank. A braking or a complete stop of the float is best done with a plug, which is why it allows you to catch the largest fish. In the upper reaches of the Desna River near Moscow, where it is 12-15 meters wide, I successfully caught with a plug a crucian and a scavenger on the opposite bank under the branches of trees hanging over the water. It is simply impossible to deliver equipment to such a place with a simple swoop or bolonez.
A common object of fishing on small rivers is a medium-sized fish up to half a kilogram weighing: bream, crucian carp, scavenger, roach, dace. However, I have often seen on rivers with a width of 10-15 m and a depth of 1-1.5 m catching bream for 1.5 kg and crucian weighing more than 1 kg, kilogram chubs and perches. But since the main calculation is nevertheless for medium-sized and careful linen, the main fishing lines with a diameter of 0.07-0.1 mm and leashes 0.06-0.09 mm should be used in equipment. You can’t be afraid of cliffs of thin fishing line: a rubber shock absorber installed in the first two telescopic bends of the whale extinguishes jerking fish when fighting. I usually use shock absorbing rubber with a diameter of 0.7-0.9 mm. It is attached at the base of the second knee to the stopper in the form of a short conical reel. Winding up excess rubber on it, you can change the elongation of the shock absorber, which allows you to adjust to the weight of the fish during fishing. After several fishing, the shock absorber stretches, and it also has to be reeled up. At the other end of the shock absorber, at the top of the rod, a plastic fastener-connector is attached, to which float equipment is attached.
On small rivers, I use floats of the Italian firms Milo, Colmic and Maver with a long antenna and keel and body in the form of a drop, olive or ball with a lifting capacity of 0.5 to 3 g. Floats of 0.5-1 g are suitable for fishing at a depth of 1- 2 m with a nozzle of bloodworm or maggot. At depths greater than 1.5 m and fishing for a worm, floats with a carrying capacity of 1.5-3 g should be used, depending on the depth and strength of the current. By the way, going to an unfamiliar river, you should take several different nozzles with you at once to understand which one attracts fish more in this pond. For example, in Desna, near Moscow, fish respond better to maggots or to a worm / bloodworm sandwich, while on Klyazma bream and crucian carp are more preferred to a bunch of bloodworms. On some rivers, the most successful nozzle is a worm – a leaf bearing, which can be typed in rotted foliage under the crowns of trees on the banks of the river. The leaf and bite are more active, and the fish are caught larger. The scavenger and crucian are especially good at it.
When fishing on small rivers, I put hooks No. 18-20 of bronze color. But with capricious biting, it was often necessary to use hooks No. 22, and sometimes even No. 24, using one or two bloodworms as a nozzle. It is not easy to tie such a hook to the leash, and even more so on the pond, therefore 10-20 leashes with hooks No. 22-24 should be pre-imposed on the leash. The success of fishing with a plug largely depends on the choice of fishing location. On small rivers there are usually many narrowings and extensions. They are the most promising for fishing. Once on the bank of such a section of the river, you must initially measure the depth. It should be located either directly on the extension, especially if this section is long, that is, more than 50 m, or at the very beginning, when the river flows into this flood. This will allow the bait to attract more fish downstream.
The bends and turns of the river are promising. Fish loves such sites, as various fodder beats ashore during the course of the river, and quite large flocks of roach and hibernators gather at the bends. Yes, and the very flowing stream washes the feed of both animal and plant origin. On small rivers, a smaller amount of bait is sufficient than on canals or large rivers. So, for starter feeding, six balls the size of an orange are usually enough, and for the whole day of fishing – a kilogram package of purchased basic bait. It is advisable to use bait in dark tones, because at shallow depths the fish is more picky about its color. Add 500-800 g of additional components to the bait, depending on the type of fish prevailing in the river.
If there is a lot of crucian carp in the river, then it is useful to add 200-300 g of ground meal and the same amount of oatmeal. If roach predominates, it is worth adding 250-300 g of roasted corn grits. It is useful to add Yubileynoye cookies or similar in the amount of 200-300 grams to the bream, as well as 150-200 g of ground peanuts. Moistened bait should be mixed with clay or coastal soil in a proportion of 50 to 50. I will definitely add 100-150 g bloodworm, large or fodder, or 0.1-0.2 l maggot in the bait. In the process of fishing, the lured place should be fed every 10-15 minutes with one small ball the size of a walnut. This will not scare the fish, but keep it in the place of fishing for a long time.
If the biting stops abruptly, it means that the fish located near was caught and the plentiful feeding by three or four large balls of bait should be repeated. But abuse massive feeding should not be. It is better to do this no more than once every 1.5-2 hours and just when there is a clear decline in the bite or its complete absence within 30-40 minutes. After all, the absence of bites does not mean that the fish does not stand on the bait. It is necessary to constantly change nozzles, to experiment. It often happens that, for example, when fishing for bloodworms, the biting abruptly stops after an hour and a half, but if you put a pearl barley, maggot or a piece of worm on the hook, the fish seem to come to life and bite with the same intensity. If the fish is very careful, then supplementary feeding should be carried out using a special feeding cup, which is attached to a special whale. This eliminates the noisy bursts of balls falling into the water, and feeding is carried out aiming at the desired point.
Very often fishing is prevented by small bleak, which rises above the bait with a wall. You can get rid of it by throwing small balls of waterlogged bait, which create turbidity, not reaching the bottom, and it blows away. This allows for some time to shift the annoying trifle from the feeding table. Although in some small rivers, besides bleak, gudgeon, dace and small roach, there is no other fish. But catching such a trifle with a plug is not interesting.
author Vladimir DOROFEEV