The end of summer is the time to head north to Karelia. There are berries, mushrooms, and most importantly – great fishing. They gathered, as usual, on Lake Yanisyarvi, and eventually ended up on Syamozero. This is one of the largest lakes in southern Karelia: about 25 km long, up to 15 km wide, and up to 24 m deep. The road from Moscow is quite simple: first to Peter, then to Petrozavodsk, and from it to Suoyarvi. About halfway between Petrozavodsk and Suoyarvi, the road runs along the southern shore of Syamozero, and here on the site of the former pioneer camp there is a base of the same name with nice stone houses and a beach. On the shore there is a children's sports club where children are taught the skills of camping life, rowing in boats, making bonfires, and fishing.
We stood savages a little away from the base on a small peninsula. The place is beautiful: there is water on three sides, a cozy area with decking for tents. We brought a boat with a motor with us. A dozen steps from the tent are overgrown with blueberries and lingonberries. Two days after arrival, porcini mushrooms went, which we began to pick up a stone's throw from our table. The nights were quite cool, with water all around and very strong dews, which is probably why there were so many mushrooms. All this, of course, was very good, but we went not just to relax, but to fish. Since we were not going to catch linen, we didn’t even take fishing rods, donkeys, or feeders with us. In general, fishing for donks in these places is ungrateful: it is often simply impossible to pull a load out of a pile of stones at the bottom. Even when fishing with a spinning reel on a leash rig with a drop-load, it constantly wedges in stones.
In a large body of water, the question usually arises of where to fish. There were several islets within sight of our parking lot; one, quite large, was located directly opposite, two kilometers away. But the suddenly rising wind is capable of just 10 minutes to disperse a serious wave with lambs in the big water of Syamozero. Then our motorboat, tested on the Lower Volga, was filled in half after 15-20 minutes. It was difficult to catch in such weather even from the shore, so in a strong wind we were busy with berries and mushrooms. As in other glacial lakes of Karelia, there are a lot of ores, ridges, underwater braids and sheer cliffs right in the middle of the lake. Four luds departed from the island opposite us in different directions. On them it was possible at shallow depths to very successfully catch perch with a float on the fry. However, this can also be fished just under the shore: there is always a lot of fry that attracts a predator. But this fishing attracted little of us, inveterate spinningists.
With the help of an echo sounder, we finally found a unique place. From one of the islands, located 1.5 km from the coast, there was a rocky ridge. Two hundred meters from the island, the depth above it was only 80 cm. A rocky dump of 8 m went away from the 45 degree ridge. Then 15-20 meters was occupied by a flat platform, which ended with a vertical cliff extending by 20 m. When we examined this the place, the fishfinder everywhere showed fish, but mostly small. Here we often fished, anchoring 8 m, so that we could throw baits across the ridge and catch its base. Usually a perch, less often a small zander, came across.
In general, as we have seen, perch is the main predator on the lake. And there are a lot of it, and it’s very different – in a row there were copies from a cigarette pack, and 300-400 g each. Perch rarely stayed at the bottom – often halfway, so even jig baits had to be carried out not by the usual step, but by waves in the water column. At the same time, when the bait was pulled out from the boat, some of the most hungry perch could grab it almost in the air. Toward evening, at 6-7, pike rose under the schools of perch, and after 8 hours – pike perch. Large pikes did not come across, however, we did not hunt specifically for trophy specimens. 2-3 kg pike and zander within a kilo and a half, which were many, we were quite happy.
The employees of the base showed us another interesting place. The presentation was quite funny: we will tell you a place, and when you return, you will tell what is there and how to catch it. It was a chain of islands visible on the horizon. We went to them when it was a calm morning. They walked for a long time: under the engine of 9.8 hp the boat with three well-fed fishermen did not want to glide. According to our estimates, the islands were about 5 km away. On the way to the islands we saw teapots. We got up to check what he was taking. It turned out that the perch is half-water in some simply unimaginable amount. After 15 minutes, it became uninteresting to catch him, and he was all full of “fresh cucumber”: smelt sticked out even from the mouth of perches grabbing the bait.
By the way, the locals put smelt horseback nets on Syamozero with a very small mesh into which even a finger does not pass, so that other fish do not get into them. Near these nets, it was very convenient to catch perch, which eats smelt out of them, gathering here in large numbers. Having reached the islands, we quickly noticed that the teapots somehow suddenly appear, and after 5-10 minutes they just as quickly and without a trace break up. Either the water boils from the perch and flocks of gulls dive from above, then everything disappears, and the gulls fly away for 600-800 meters and continue to feast there. At first we were trying to catch up with the teapots in excitement, but quickly cooled down: if you catch up, it will end. We saw aside another boiler, full throttle there – and again late.
Taking a closer look, we realized that around the islands, in the water area of about two by two kilometers, the teapots constantly appear, as if all this space was clogged with fish. We decided to stand still and wait for the boiler to appear nearby. And they were right: the fish did not go anywhere, it was full everywhere. Just when the perch began to drive smelt at the surface, from below it was attacked by pike and zander – they were boilers and dispersed. Therefore, I found a teapot – I found everything! This, perhaps, was the main feature of such fishing. The fish took almost all the lures: turntables, wobblers and jigs in any form. Perhaps, drowning wobblers, shades or mines, for example, Rapala CountDown 5 cm long, worked better. It flies well, and it can be carried out on any horizon, and most importantly – the fish pecked on almost every wiring. It was not necessary to use twitching – it was quite enough to drive the wobbler unevenly with stops.
It was better to catch a pike perch and a pike on a jig: the bottom is very complicated and I really did not want to plant a wobbler on almost every second posting. In the middle of the water and even a meter from the bottom, neither pike nor zander were taken. The whole predator, except for the perch, was kept in stones, and there were a lot of suitable places at the bottom, so there was a lot of choice. It is noteworthy that we did not find even traces of a thermocline on the lake. The water area is huge, the weather often changes, winds raise waves under a meter, and the mixing of layers is constant. In a week, we managed to catch both complete calm and winds of very different strengths.
We went to Syamozero to relax, breathe in clean air among the most beautiful nature and, of course, fish. And we all succeeded. Stones, pines – in general, whoever was there knows what it is about. And who was not, you still can’t tell with words how good Karelia is.
author Vladimir ZAMYSHLYAEV