The Zusha River originates in the south of the Tula region and after 273 km flows into the Oka. The width of the river in the upper reaches to the village of Korsakovo is 10-20 m, in the middle reaches 20-30 m, in the lower reaches up to 80 m.Depth up to 4-5 m.The floodplain is narrow, floods are very high, the level sometimes rises to 7-8 m. There are a lot of fish, different, but purposeful catching of a large chub is not always possible. What a ride! Just a fishing super marathon! We left in the night, after dark we arrived at the first target point. While we were waiting for dawn, we boiled tea on a primus stove. As soon as something became visible, I immediately said: “This point is so-so – there is very little water consumption.” We made a dozen control casts and drove on.
Edik has a fixed idea: now the fish will bite just before sunrise, and as soon as the first rays touch the water, fishing will no longer be as effective. We rush, we rush to point number 2. The fishing area starts from the destroyed bridge. There is a sharp narrowing, rapidity, but very shallow. Many good places are heavily overgrown with grass. In such conditions, at first, you need to look clean water in polarizing glasses so as not to catch the grass with a wobbler and not scare the fish away. The bait should lie close to the grass. Then it must be pulled towards the riverbed, to fish out the depth. Then let the cord go a little downstream and draw the wobbler closer to its shore. This results in a Z-shaped wiring path.
Having quickly caught the first site, Edik disappears around the bend. Soon the radio crackled in my pocket, and Edik said that he had caught a perch. Now it is clear who is splashing next to me and chasing the fry! Immediately I change the Shakal’s chabik for the Shakal’s Tiny fry and I also pull out the perch. The device crackled again, and Edik told me to pull myself up – he bites. While I was walking in the wading on the water, while climbing the shore, my friend had already caught 8 perches and a small pike! The fish pecked in a large pool on a chabik with a long blade. As soon as I got ready to throw, my friend had another bite. Someone is dragging … Chub? Bah, what a chub it is – ide! Let’s release him after the photo session.
And then two hours of complete silence and continuous transitions and casts. Not a bite! We walked down the river for almost a kilometer. The places were very interesting – deep pools, rocky rifts, clear of grass “pipes” with erosion under the banks, shady corridors under huge trees. Where did the fish go on such a long and interesting area? Back to the car through the nettles. Faster to point number 3! A deep and wide sluggish section of the river ends with a narrowing, followed by a large and deep pit. The entrance to it is a rocky roll. After the hole, there is an extended rectilinear flow, then the river turns sharply to the right, and a small rift begins with an island in the middle. At the turn there are two fishermen, fishing with a line.
– Are you catching a chub? – we ask.
– Very bad and shallow. He was well caught when the bleak was spawning, but now he is covered in grass, eats green stuff, almost does not bite. Although early in the morning I half-sawed the fry on the rift.
I stayed at the pit, my partner went downstairs. I catch the right edge of the pit, drive the wobbler deeper, the current helps me with this. Only the jackal’s D-cherry reaches the bottom of the pit – it strikes with a blade over the stones during quick wiring. But there is no fish. Fifteen minutes later, along the right bank under the dead trees, two very strong splashes are heard in a row. Judging by the place and nature of the blow, this is most likely an asp. There are almost no chances to catch him: this aborigine is not caught with any bait, he is so careful and cunning. I know this from the experience of many rivers. But still I wander against the stream, stumbling on stones, almost waist-deep in water.
I walked around the place of the battle and began to approach this point by casting. Another cast, slow posting – there is a clear bite! Aha, the fish is sitting! Not bad, judging by the resistance! I bring it closer – but it’s not an asp, it’s a 500 grams perch. I take out the impudent person, let it go. Throwing almost there, slow wiring of the “Cherry” is still a bite. I take out a smaller perch. Edik reports on the radio that he also caught two perches. We decide to change the point – the fish on duty, it seems, we have already removed. Point number 4. Destroyed and flooded concrete bridge over which water flows. Immediately below the bridge is an island. It divides the river into two branches. Edik gives me the right bank – in the swamps there is no way to go there, and he is too lazy to put on waders.
Overwhelmed. I approach the beginning of the rapidity and see a huge fish swimming along the border of the stream and the suvodi. Its size is guessed by the trace on the surface, but I see only a shadow. I am not the only one to see her – from under the thickets of grass almost a dozen rather large bleak three frogs fly into the air! And I make a fatal mistake – I make a hasty and thoughtless cast. If you want to catch a big fish, you need to take into account all the factors: the power of the spinning rod and the line, the size of the bait, the line of the line, and, most importantly, the line of possible fishing. And one more thing – you need to know exactly the fish receiving point. And when you catch it according to the principle “if only it bites, and we’ll figure it out,” the consequences can be the most dramatic.
So, I hastily threw off my backpack and made a cast. The cast turned out to be correct: the bait approached the place where the fish could stop correctly, but my thoughts flashed with disturbing, bad thoughts: “I have a chabik, the hooks are weak, plus a huge sedge bush is growing along the line of possible fishing, how will I circle it?” It was already clear from the bite that the fish was very large. The friction clutch screeched, instantly giving up several meters of the cord. But I managed to quickly move the spinning rod to the left, almost put it on the water from the side of the jet and slightly move the chub – that it was he, there was no doubt – from the shore. He held it in one place, extinguishing the most powerful jerks, slightly shifted to his side. I figure out where and how to take fish.
But she did not even think to finish the play to the end. The chub let himself be pulled up to the sedge bush, went behind him and stood up. It seems that the remaining unused hooks of the wobbler caught on the roots, and we moved to the zugzwang position – any move of any of the opponents only worsens the situation. You can’t pull, you can’t let go of the cord either, you can only go to the fish. I flop into the water, walk, reeling in the cord and holding the spinning rod over my head, taut. I see the chub’s back and a huge, smoothly wagging tail. Here is a copy! Three kilograms or more? I get closer, wondering how best to take it, and then the chub makes its last move: he just shook his head slightly, freed himself from the hook and steadily walked towards the stream. Mat.
I exhausted the cord – the hooks on the wobbler are unbent. To say that I scolded myself is to say nothing. Okay, I need to take a breath, look around and think. Below, along the right channel, a deep whirlpool is guessed – a probable stop for chub. I put “Deep Cherry”. The wobbler enters the hole from below, but does not reach the bottom. Eh, I have nothing “deeper” with me! Several postings – no bites. I’m communicating with Edik on the radio. He has complete silence on the left bank, no bite. We decide to move to the next point.
Point number 5. I never thought that three hundred kilometers from Moscow there are such mountains – they went down to the river for about forty minutes, but it was worth it. Bursts of various strengths were seen both under the shore and along the streams below the shallow threshold. Lucky Edik was lucky almost immediately – a fish, and a large one, sat down. That is, not for his dead loomis. Edik yelled and jumped: “Hurray! Big chub! Hooray! Go save! ” How tired of him with his ultralight! The fish went to the bottom and lay down. Something does not look like a chub – he would now jerk down, just hold. When they managed to lift the fish up, there was another scream, but this time disappointment. It was a pike! Another “rolling” pike. It is not enough for them calm water around, so they still populated rapids and rifts.
Gently approach from behind and grab her below the head. There is! Wow, it looks small, but it definitely has two kilograms. Apparently, she pumped up her muscles on the flow! And the day was drawing to a close. It was time to finish our marathon, there was no longer any strength. We caught fish for 18 hours almost without interruption! My shoulder hurt from endless casts. And also to climb this dreadful mountain! There is walking fishing, but we have got running and riding. But impressions and facts worth thinking about will last for a long time.