When and where to drill holes
There are many factors, including lunar phases and magnetic storms, that somehow affect the activity of bream in winter. However, we will not delve into these subtleties. Let’s take it as an axiom that it is best to catch it during long thaws (3-5 days). With this, I suppose, most of the bream will agree. Although sometimes bream flocks are active during moderate frosts. On the other hand, each body of water has its own characteristics and, of course, the “paths” along which this fish moves, you need to know. At least in order not to waste expensive bait. Otherwise, if, say, you come to an unfamiliar place for several days, it is advisable to devote the first day to searching for bream sites. In this case, it is best to focus on local breammen. They are already well aware of the traditionally catchy places.
But there are such situations. Sits tightly a gang of bream-dwellers, but there is no bite. It makes sense to stop here if it is known for certain that the local bream picks up closer to noon or even later. But what if there are no fishermen on the ice? Muscovites, for example, catch bream most often in reservoirs such as Mozhaiskoye, Istra, Ruzskoye and a number of others. Fishing tactics are very similar here. First of all, you need to find the river bed. In doing so, I always take into account the following feature. If the depth increases smoothly, then the flooded coast was flat; where the coast was steep, the depth difference is sharper. The second option is preferable, since there is incomparably more feed for bream on a steep drop-off. It is better to search from the channel itself, where the depth, as a rule, is more than 10 m. But at a distance of 10-15 m between holes, the depth gauge shows a difference in depth from 6-7 to 10 m. This is what we need!
Most often, I use this search scheme. I drill two or three holes towards the river bed (say, six, seven and eight meters), and then I make up to five holes along the edge upstream or downstream. If the place is “habitable”, I try to drill holes away from the fresh ones – it is not known what they fed here. Quite possibly a week-old millet porridge. After all, there is such an effect: from an unsuccessfully prepared or hopelessly spoiled bait, bream leaves for a long time, because its olfactory organs are very developed, and porridge, crackers and bloodworms rotting at the bottom, naturally, will make this hole “dead”. However, if you have fed several holes, and there is no bite, it is useful to check yesterday’s. It is possible that someone poured a substantial dose of forage bloodworm into one of them and bream in this area gathered under a generously fed hole. It also happens: in the evening, many anglers leave the reservoir, and you still have a day. In these cases, a smart bream will try to fish on holes that have been working during the day. You can lower the bloodworms along the feeder into the most promising of them, and return to this place early in the morning. But more often you have to act differently.
Having measured the depth and drilled the required number of holes, the most promising of them should be fed with small bloodworms or feed mixture and marked with red flags, that is, staked out. Then one by one, about half an hour after feeding, the holes are fished. It is not recommended to lower the tackle immediately after feeding it – for some time you need to let the fish calmly concentrate under the hole. If one of the holes is working, it is advisable to lower another 1-2 portions of bloodworms (30-40 g each) into it, opening the feeder about a meter from the bottom. Experienced fishermen usually try not to catch the approached fish to the end, since feeding bream with their movements attracts fellows to the dining table. If the bite is weakening, it is better to check other holes and try to find fish that have approached them. When the ice is still thin enough, fishing success largely depends on the behavior of the angler in the fishing area. It is undesirable to throw ice screws on the ice, to rattle fishing boxes. Many people believe that if they are fishing for bream at a depth of 5-8 m, then it is not necessary to take precautions. This is not the case, because sound in the water still propagates through thin ice. In addition, let’s not forget about microwaves, which bream feel great with their side line.
With a lot of ice, I prefer to fish in familiar areas of the reservoir. In this case, I usually feed two holes for the main fishing during the day and from time to time I feed and check the third hole – the control one, which I drill at a greater or lesser depth, depending on the behavior of the bream flocks. It has been noticed, for example, that with a decrease in atmospheric pressure, especially during snowfall, the bream school can move from the pits to depths of five or less meters.
With the onset of truly spring days, old holes are opened, and melt water rushes into them, carrying oxygen to underwater inhabitants. A short period of active biting of bream begins, until the water becomes cloudy. During this time, I most often had to deal with unconventional fishing. Sometimes it only remains to spread your hands – you will sit for half a day without a bite at the well-fed holes, and then suddenly you come across a shoal of bream not at all where it should be. At the same time, the last ice is not always rich in bream catches. Punctures also happen. However, often a lot depends on the appetizing bait and the properly configured tackle (jig or float).
source: Catching from the ice. All the secrets of winter fishing