Mormyshka is an original Russian bait, and it remains only to regret that the author of this amazing invention remained unknown to us. One thing is indisputable – its origin is in one way or another connected with Mormysh, a typical representative of mixed-footed Gammarus crustaceans, whose body length is usually 1.5-2 cm. These crustaceans are widespread in the Urals and Western Siberia. In European ponds, they also live, but much smaller. The prototype of the mormyshka, apparently, was miniature baubles, on which Russian fishermen have long fished. By the way, the classic of fishing literature L.P. Sabaneev in his book “Life and fishing of freshwater fish” gives drawings of the so-called Ob spinners, which are very reminiscent of mormyshka in shape, and notes: “Ob squirrels are small in size and that they put mormysh on the hook or, for lack of it, a piece of sponge.”
Be that as it may, catching this tackle, having become popular at first among Moscow fishermen, has long stepped over the borders of Russia, won millions of fans, with Russian secret weapons – as Western European and North American fishermen sometimes call a mormyshka – you can successfully hunt small and large fish as with ice and open water. She especially helps out during the deaf winter, when all the other gear is inferior to her palm. Mormyshka is most firmly established in the Scandinavian countries – Finland, Sweden and Norway. Our athletes in former times quite often competed with the teams of fishing societies in these countries. And, of course, exchanged experiences.
Numerous amateurs, who every year invent new designs of this bait, help professionals to improve sports fishing for Mormyshka. I think I will not be mistaken if I say: how many fishermen – there are so many opinions about what a mormyshka should be. And yet … A person who begins to master fishing from ice is sometimes lost from the abundance of sizes, shapes and colors of mormysheks. Which one to choose? This is a really hard question. I will try to answer it based on my own experience and the experience of my winter fishing colleagues. To do this, it is advisable to classify mormyshki by weight, shape, color, location of the hook and the position of the bait on the fishing line.
Heavy mormyshki. They are made from tungsten-containing alloys, which are much heavier than lead. Hard alloys are poorly processed, so baits made from such materials have a significant drawback: when cutting and fishing fish, the sharp edges of the hole damage the fishing line. You can get rid of this defect. A piece of radio insulation is inserted into the hole, through which the fishing line is pulled. In another case, the tungsten billet is tinned with copper solder, in which a groove is made and a hook with a ring bent upwards for attaching the fishing line is already inserted into it. Then the groove is filled with tin. But all this concerns only home-made mormysheks, which, as a rule, are made by rare enthusiasts, since this requires not only special devices, but also great patience. These mormyshki are especially good when it is necessary to significantly reduce the size of the bait, for example with careful, weak biting.
Heavy mormyshki. The material for them is lead, solders with different contents of lead and tin, babbitt, gart (printing alloy), fusible denture solder, etc. Heavy mormyshki are made both solid and with a shell – brass, copper, silver, nickel silver, etc. It is generally accepted that heavy mormyshka is most appropriate to use at depth. However, as practice shows, they are preferable in other situations, in severe frost and wind, when the hole is quickly drawn in by ice, and snowflakes freeze on the fishing line, it is quite difficult to lower the light mormyshka to the desired depth. Heavy bait is indispensable here. It is convenient also for the course, which will be easy to demolish a light mormyshka. A sufficiently heavy mormyshka makes it possible to exclude from combining it with a sinker or additional bait, which is done to make the game heavier and worsens the game.
Light mormyshki. At shallow depths and under favorable weather conditions, as well as at frequently visited reservoirs, experienced fishermen, unlike beginners, usually gain “high scores” mainly due to small and light mormyshki. Their diameter is only 1.5-2 mm, some are shells with solder made of tin, all kinds of plates made of brass, copper, etc., more like miniature spinners. Mormyshka made of elastic nylon, plastic and other similar materials should also be referred to lungs. Light mormyshka provides a more delicate game. Sometimes it is very effective in combination with a heavier mormyshka, tied 15-20 cm below. Such equipment sometimes brings success when catching perch. The smallest mormyshki weigh only 0.1-0.3 g, and the largest (for catching perch, humpback, pikeperch and burbot) can reach 30-35 g.
Mormysh of the same type, in addition, are justifiably divided into small, medium and large.
The location of the hook of the mormyshka is important. A properly soldered hook is a guarantee of reliable hooking, elimination of fish gatherings. So to this detail mormyshki need to be taken with all seriousness. It is best to use a straight one-bent hook. It is generally accepted that when fishing for bloodworms and burdock, it should protrude as little as possible from the body of the mormyshka. And in most cases this is justified. Hooks, depending on the special coating, can be bronze, blued, nickel-plated, golden, etc. After purchase, you need to carefully check all the hooks: in one package, along with benign, you can find over-fragile – very fragile or under-tempered – soft hooks.
The strength of the hook can be determined by pressing the thumb of the thumb on the middle of the fore-end: it should bend only with significant effort. The sting is checked like that. A sting is inserted into the end of a birch block or in a block of lead and, holding the forearm, they try to bend. If after this the sting returns to its original position, then the hook quality is good. For the manufacture of mormyshki, forged hooks are usually used. They are stronger than hooks with a circular cross section. There is no consensus on the color of the hook. In my opinion, the color of the hook matters only if it is caught without a nozzle or used cambrices, beads, etc. The sting of the hook should be very sharp. The cutting power, and therefore the thickness of the fishing line, depends on this. The sharper the sting, the more confident and calm the angler makes a cut. Some cut off the hook's beard, and then carefully polish it. When fishing with a nozzle, this should not be done, since after the first bite, the nozzle will fly off the hook.
After fishing, you must wipe the hook dry, otherwise it may become rusty. It is recommended to store mormyshki in a piece of polyurethane foam (or, more simply, a tourist rug), because only in it the hooks do not rust. In the dead of winter, many prefer to catch small, so-called forage bloodworms with very sensitive nods. For such a delicate nozzle you need a well-polished thin wire hook. Previously, anglers brought the usual factory hooks to the desired thickness (sometimes up to 0.25-0.3 mm) by etching in nitric acid or its mixture with hydrochloric acid (“aqua regia”). Currently, there is no need for this operation – there is a fairly wide selection of imported hooks of any size and type on sale.
How to tie mormyshka
Everyone is familiar with the situation when, after the next cut, the fisherman is left without a trophy, and without a mormyshka. And the point here is often not that a large fish pecked, but simply after several fishing, the fishing line rubbed against the sharp edges in the hole of the mormyshka. All kinds of burrs can also be the cause of the cliff. This is especially true for mormyshka with a brass, copper or other shell, as well as baits made of hard alloys. Therefore, having acquired a batch of mormyshek, you must first carefully (using a magnifier) examine the edges of the holes for skipping fishing line. If they are sharp or have burrs, you should do so. In the wooden block, make the corresponding recesses, place mormyshka in them and carefully countersink the holes and then process them.
How to tie mormyshka to fishing line? There are several ways, but I consider this the most reliable. First, the fishing line must be passed through the hole of the jig so that the length of the free end is sufficient for knitting the knot. Then along the forearm of the hook, lay the fishing line with a loop and press it with the forefinger and thumb on the forearm, but so that between the body of the mormyshka and the fingers there is room for winding the fishing line. With your other hand, make 4-5 turns of the fishing line around the forend, pull the free end of the fishing line into the loop. Holding fingers on the loop, grasp the main fishing line and tighten the knot. The strength of the node must be checked.
In the process of fishing, the winding can creep. To prevent this, I do this: cutting off the excess fishing line near the knot, be sure to melt the remaining tip with a heated needle at home. After fishing, it is advisable to bandage the mormyshka again. So, I tried to answer the question, what should be a mormyshka, not claiming the ultimate truth, but only based on many years of experience. One thing is certain: the right weight, shape and color of the bait are the first step to success. Of course, the ability to control gear, fishing tactics, knowledge of the reservoir and other factors play a huge role. We will talk about this below.
author: Kazantsev V.
We catch from the ice. All Secrets of Winter Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)
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