In winter, there are days when it is preferable to catch a fanged predator on live bait. And here the winter lanterns are beyond competition. … The sun had already risen quite high when we finally threw our backpacks off our shoulders. In March last year, my friend Ivanovich caught in these places and assured me that he had definitely taken me to the snag, in which the Volga pikes were waiting for our live bait. But, having drilled several holes and measured the depth in them, he was dissatisfied with something. Spin a little more, apparently remembering the landmarks, and finally shouted: “Take your backpacks. Drill here! ” While I was installing at the depth of about six meters a bucket, a friend near the shore caught more than a dozen live bait fish – small perches. “There are no others,” he said, returning with a half-filled plastic bag full of skinny fish hustling around.
And now all ten zerglers are charged, spread out in a fan amid the snowy whiteness. Now it remains only to wait. Half an hour passes, an hour – no bites. The partner takes the soul on a small perch. He looked at his watch – already 11.00. I think: “Maybe I should go to the sandbank for a little thing?” And then a flag flies up at the extreme zergel. I take the pike out of the hole without much difficulty. It is about 1.5 kg. There is a beginning. A buddy approaches, together we reload the bait zharitsa lucky zerlitsa. Elated mood. By evening, apparently, we will be with fish. But then something unimaginable begins. Almost simultaneously, the flags on two zergolits fly up. Do the cuts. It's empty! On one zergel zhivitsa shot down, on the other – dented. Change live bait. After about half an hour, bite again and again on the hook strangled live bait. – Well, will we send the “sailors” to be torn to pieces? – does not stand the buddy. – Oh, I’d like to get hold of rafts now! I have bait, I'll go feed a couple of holes.
He leaves, and I pick up a perch that has been in the mouth of a predator from the ice. On his body traces of obviously not pike teeth. But what if it's zander? So, the role of live bait needs linen. And I, grabbing a delicate nodding rod, ran to my friend. This time, we were lucky and managed to catch a few grams of carp, 50-70 grams. We quickly replace the perch with these roaches, having previously placed the leashes from the monolesque instead of the metal, pike ones. And we are waiting for the result, which was not slow to affect. After cutting, the first solid pike perch behaves quite calmly and I do without the help of a hook.
– Apparently, a pack of pike perches here. Consider yourself lucky! – says Ivanitch, smiling. “I’ll be on duty at the girders, and you’ll try to catch some roach, you can do it well …”
Wow! I always believed that zander and pike do not live nearby, being antagonists by nature and competitors. But, apparently, in this case the zander flock for some time replaced the pike from the snag, where they used to traditionally set up their ambushes. As you know, zander usually has better not take during the day, but at dusk. And we were not mistaken – four dimensional fish replenished our modest daily catch in the evening. The little pike that came first was the only one. The main difference between pike perch and tackle gear is snap. When fishing for zander, they put a leash of transparent monofilament with a diameter of 0.25-0.35 mm. Its length is 50-80 cm, sometimes up to a meter. I usually set the main fishing line with a diameter of 0.4 mm. The fact is that when biting, a sharp cut is required, in addition, when playing pike perch, even weighing 2-3 kg resists quite strongly, cutting circles under the hole. Often this leads to the fact that a thinner fishing line breaks when it touches the bottom edge of the hole.
When fishing for pike perch in a snap of a lancer, single or double hooks are usually used. Size No. 1-3 according to international classification. The quality of the hooks should be very high. I personally use only foreign-made hooks. Large pike perch swallows live bait from the head and at this time it can quickly move in the water column, smaller individuals wrinkle live bait and throw at the slightest danger. For example, if there is a metal leash in the equipment. I use tee No. 5-6 only when zander is active and requires quick cutting. For example, when fishing in the snag. In this case, the bait fish clings to one of the hooks under the dorsal fin. On the first ice, experienced cobbed fishers usually use perch, ruff or gudgeon, that is, those small fishes that hold depth well as live bait fish. Girders are best installed on the brow, where there is a difference in depth at least in the range of 1-2 m. Various bottom irregularities should also be taken into account.
In winter, with an ice thickness of 50-70 cm, the activity of zander is reduced. Sluggish biting can be observed only once every two to three days. However, much here depends on the nature of the reservoir, the presence of the current, underwater springs, outlets of ice-free rivers. In flowing reservoirs, of course, there is a better chance of meeting a toothfish, which will not fail to attack the proposed live bait.
In the period of the last ice, zander can walk widely in search of fish trifles and be very active. After the attack, having squeezed fangs of live bait, such a predator goes further, without slowing down and instantly reeling off almost the entire free supply of fishing line from the reel. Therefore, it is better if it will be at least 20-25 m. Otherwise, you may just not have time to the lazer and the predator, having felt the resistance, will drop the bait fish. But this, I repeat, applies to areas where there is no snag and other shelters. It is necessary to increase the supply of fishing line when hunting this predator at night, when it goes out to fry for irrigation.
To catch zander in "strong" places are completely different requirements. First, live bait should be planted with the expectation of a quick cut using a special double or tee, in which one hook is shorter. And secondly, it is necessary to limit the supply of freely flowing fishing line and make a cut after several revolutions of the reel. With all that said, this is rather difficult fishing, so usually I try not to put the girders directly in the dead snag, but scatter them around its perimeter. A fairly common mistake of inexperienced anglers is too soft a hook. I had several cases when a pike-perch gutted and pulled out onto the ice opened its jaws and the fish flew out of his mouth with a hook. Another nuisance may occur due to premature hooking. At the same time, live bait is pulled out of the mouth of a predator. It should also be remembered that a hook that is not sharp enough is not able to pierce the bony tissues of a stony mouth.
When catching zander, it is not recommended to put a wide-bodied bait fish like a scavenger, a sop or a booster. But crucian piglet is quite attractive for the most fastidious zander. In fishing for pike perch from ice, it is advisable to distinguish three periods: the ice, deaf and the last ice. Each of them has its own peculiarities and requires special approaches both to the search for stray flocks, and to the fishing technique and tactics. The pristine ice is characterized by the fact that the pike perch adheres, as a rule, to the same places as in the summer-autumn period. First of all, these are deep edges with the presence of snags, rocky ridges and other shelters. Usually I enter such places on home-made maps even in open water. And I do not need to spend a lot of time measuring the depth and searching for a promising place.
In central Russia, ice formation occurs at different times. If the ice is early, more likely to rely on active zander. But it also happens that mild frosts alternate with thaws until the New Year. Going out onto the ice is dangerous. And then solid ice is established, but pike perch is already less active. With an increase in the thickness of ice, the search for zander sites is more difficult. On large rivers and vast reservoirs, from year to year the pike perch is approximately the same. Nevertheless, the search is best done in a group of 3-4 people. Deaf land – is deaf land. Functions of fish are inhibited, oxygen in water is becoming less and less. However, outbreaks of bizarre biting still happen.
Another thing is the last ice. Old holes are opened, open areas appear in the coastal zone. Under the ice went melt water, saturated with oxygen. And, of course, zander more and more often begin to go hunting for fish trifles. At this time, fanged predators find themselves both in the bottom layers of water at depths of 5 to 8 m, and in the water column when they chase numerous flocks of bleak. In general, it must be said that zander during this period travels a lot in the water area of the reservoir and accurately guessing their “paths” is a task with many unknowns. On the last ice, I more often had to meet zander flocks at the outlet of the rivers flowing into the reservoirs, near the channel, where the current saturates the water with oxygen. But even at this time, bites on live bait more often occur where there are underwater shelters for such a non-standard predator as pike perch.
author: Kazantsev V.
We catch from the ice. All Secrets of Winter Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)
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