Over the years of hunting for trophy asp in the suburbs, we have well studied the seasonal characteristics of his behavior and predilections for baits. I must say that since the asp is mainly a predator, you can understand that it actively feeds, you can even not pick up spinning, but simply examine the water area with binoculars. A short burst of activity lasting for a maximum of one asp lasts before spawning, usually in late April – early May. Occasionally, on the Moscow River, you can catch him even before the ban. The asp is spawning at a water temperature of 12-14 degrees, which happens in the suburbs in the middle-end of May. After this, after a short time comes the spawning zhor. It is short-lived – a week and a half, but sometimes this period can be delayed until the season opens immediately after the ban is lifted. In general, it is noteworthy that the asp at the asp comes on sharply and ends just as abruptly – as if there is some kind of switch and someone turns it on and off after a certain time.
In the summer, the asp takes smoothly, but not too actively. The best time is morning and evening. Catching an asp in the middle of the day is much more difficult, despite the fact that it is considered a purely daytime predator. Like many other fish, the asp has an autumn zhor; it occurs after the first autumn water cooling. In some years, apparently, with a certain coincidence of some conditions, he had a sharp outburst of activity already in the winter, in October. This period is very short, less than a week, but at this time the largest specimens begin to take. As for the lures, until recently, the tandem of heavy baubles and streamer tied in a half meter in front of it on a short leash worked best on asp. It is noteworthy that the asp took on the streamer exclusively at the beginning of the season or in late autumn. All the rest of the time he was fishing for a piece of iron – the main spinner. At the same time, he best of all took on 6-8-centimeter spinners. Moreover, the largest specimens preferred and more bait.
Until this season, asp fishing posed no particular problems either in terms of searching for boilers, or in terms of selecting lures. This year the situation has changed markedly, and for the worse. As a matter of fact, this applies to other predators near Moscow, from perch to trout on plateaus. Fish, of course, is caught, but all fishing is labor. Bite splashes, if they happen, are very short-lived and almost always unpredictable. In this regard, the situation with asp is most characteristic. Unlike in previous years, when almost every fishing caught or even pecked a trophy specimen, this year we were not able to catch anything larger than one and a half kilograms. It seems that the captured fish just left the usual places. Perhaps this is the case, and this concerns primarily the asp, coming from the Volga. From the native asp, it differs in a brighter reddish color of the anal and pectoral fins and a more progonous body shape. It was these asps that we used to catch mostly.
The situation has changed since the beginning of summer. If in the spring before spawning, as far as one could see with binoculars, a sufficiently large asp was hunting, then by the opening of the season it had disappeared. We managed to find the end of the post-spawning zhor: asp gathered in boilers and took it quite actively, but all copies were from half a kilogram to a kilogram. Later, his activity, and, accordingly, nibble began to decline. Fishing passed into the category of labor. The asp began to behave very carefully, and it became very difficult to catch from the shore. It is noteworthy that the black boilers remained, they are there now, but they have been holding for not even ten minutes, but a maximum of three to five. This year fishing is carried out according to the classical pattern – attentively, but at higher speeds. I noticed the asp battle – you rush to this point. Managed – caught, late – wait for the next flash.
In addition, the asp became very shy. For example, if a motor boat passes somewhere far away from the boiler, then as soon as the wave reaches the predator's hunting ground, the boiler disappears. For several minutes the perch still continues to feast on it, eating up what the asp left, and then the point completely freezes. Previously, in the place of a scattered asp boiler, the perch usually kept for a long time: at first it feasted on the surface, then it sank lower. Therefore, we often waited for the return of the asp chub, having fun fishing for perch, but this year the perch bite leaves much to be desired. As a rule, after the disappearance of the boiler, you can sit and wait for it to resume, it can take an hour or two. Therefore, it’s more correct, probably, to anchor and go to another place that still needs to be discovered.
In the search for boilers, of course, good binoculars help. Moreover, if we catch together, then we agree that everyone is looking for bursts in his sector. Sometimes asp exit points can be spotted by fishermen. True, many have already learned to catch secretly, so as not to attract attention. For morning fishing, if you go out into the water at four in the morning and catch up to nine, you have to change the place of fishing seven to eight times. We catch from two anchors so that the boat does not rotate by wind or current. Without this, it’s difficult to precisely place the bait at the right point. It is necessary to approach the asp carefully, with the engine turned off.
It is completely incomprehensible why, but our proven points do not work this year. Sometimes in the usual places solitary asps appear, but it is difficult to hunt for them. As a rule, these are large sedentary fish, which are very wary of baits. But even if we leave aside the behavior of the asp, the behavior of the fry is no less a mystery. At the usual places, it is no longer going, although its location is usually very strongly tied to the underwater topography and streams.
Although most often we catch asp from a boat in reservoirs, but sometimes, not finding active fish there, we go to the canal to them. Moscow. The Volga asp is going along the canal, and boilers appear here more often than on the reservoirs. It is impossible to anchor in the canal itself due to very active shipping. Even just using a boat there is difficult, so you have to fish from the shore. The width of the channel is from 150 to 200 meters, and it is far from always possible to drop the bait to the desired point. Casting range even with good gear does not exceed 120 meters, and sometimes this is enough on the channel, sometimes not. If the asp is pressed to your shore – everything is simple, if to the opposite, then it is often possible to get it only to the edge of the boiler. True, in this case, it often helps that the largest specimens usually do not hunt in the boiler itself, but just along its edges. One way or another, but this year the weight of asps caught along the edges of the pack did not exceed 1.5 kg. The same size of the chubs came across when there were no problems with catching the entire boiler.
The arsenal of familiar asp baits has not radically changed this year, although it has undergone some changes. Those baits that have been workers in recent years continue to work now, but in a reduced size. It can be assumed that, for some reason, the species composition of the asp base has changed, and above all, the size of its main fodder fish. Instead of spinners 6-8 cm long, you often have to put 4 centimeters. In addition, this season, most bites do not happen to the spinner, as before, but to the streamer tied in front of it. Its size also decreased: often when fishing, it is necessary to shorten the edge, leaving only 1.5-2 cm, while previously used up to 5 cm. The streamer now has to be knitted on a double or tee No. 6-8. Edge – Lurex, silver or gold.
As for the baubles, now the best workmaster weighs 10.5-14 g, white, but with a matte surface. The new bait needs to be slightly treated with fine sandpaper to remove unnecessary shine. Both the Halco and Hopkins spinners weighing 10.5 grams, and homemade pilkers, but weighing no more than 15 grams work, of course. The point here, of course, is not the weight, but the size of the lures. I'd love to have a compact bait with a lot of weight, but I have never met a tungsten pilker. In accordance with the bait, the set of necessary gear has changed. This year we have to take two sets of spinning rods for fishing: coastal – fishing rod 3.0-3.3 m long with dough up to 35-42 g and boat – fishing rod up to 2.7, and preferably 2.5 m with dough up to 16- 18 g
The changes also affected the wiring. This summer, the asp takes in the horizon from 70 cm to 1.5 m from the surface and practically does not respond to wiring along the bottom or surface. To ensure that the bait is in the right horizon, you can as follows. Before the bait is brought in, the coil of the reel closes and the equipment straightens. After that, two or three quick turns are immediately made – the bait goes on the surface. Then again two or three turns, but at a slow pace – and a pause, during which the bait drops. After a couple of seconds, two or three quick turns follow again – the bait comes to the surface, and the cycle repeats.
Although the catches of recent times are generally not encouraging, but still a chance to catch worthy fish from the Moscow Region spinning team remains. Ahead is the period of autumn activity of asp, which begins with the first or second autumn cooling. But, as the experience of past years shows, here you have to literally be on duty at the reservoir, since the asp is only active for several days, and this time always comes very unexpectedly. If you are lucky and find yourself in a pond at the right time, you can see how everywhere boilers appear that last for 30-40 minutes. The whole asp then goes hunting. In this short period, he takes on almost all the lures, regardless of their weight and size.
However, these expectations may not be met. The fact is that in the Ikshinsky and Pestovsky reservoirs in recent weeks, it seems, an emergency has arisen. Apparently, along with the Volga water, some kind of infection came to the reservoirs, which caused the bottom fish to die: first of all, a ruff, as well as a small gnarly fish and perch living near the bottom. At the last fishing trip, together with the fish conservation inspectors from Tishkovo, we walked 1.5 km along the coast – the entire surf zone was full of dead fish. It is possible that this trouble became noticeable only now, but in a latent form it began a long time ago, and it was precisely the reason for both the changes in the behavior of the fry and the disappearance of the large asp.
author Timofey ZYKIN
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