I always want to open the spinning season with successful fishing, and, as a rule, my friends and I managed to do this on the Uglich reservoir. This year, circumstances turned out so that we were able to get together and go on the first spinning fishing, when the spring ban had ended long ago – only on June 20. It is clear that this only further fueled our impatience. The habit of opening the season in the same places has its advantages. The main thing is that in a few years an understanding of the behavior of a predator has already begun to emerge, and besides, the GPS memory accumulates points where the fish pecked at that particular time. Therefore, we firmly hoped that we would be able to maintain the tradition and, albeit belatedly, but successfully start the season. In addition, the weather was favorable: the temperature was 15-17 degrees, the wind was southwest and, which is especially gratifying, was weak.
The latter circumstance is of fundamental importance, since in a large reservoir a strong wind not only complicates fishing, but makes it impossible. But complete calmness is also undesirable, since the activity of fish drops sharply in calm weather. Going out on the water, we immediately realized that a lot has changed in Uglich compared to last year. A year ago, at the same time, in the same water area, we met about a dozen stable perch cauldrons, and they stood practically in the same place during the whole daylight hours. Moreover, the perch in them was not frightened and did not even react to the motorboats passing nearby. It was impossible to walk past them after the “spawning post”, and we quickly satisfied our fishing hunger. Moreover, the perch took a solid one, up to a kilogram, and with it a medium-sized one, 400-600 grams, asp grazed with it.
This time it was different. We not only did not notice a single cauldron, but in general, in two days we saw only one seagull in the entire water area. An absolutely incomprehensible picture, when one does not see such a familiar bird in the vast expanses of water. Discussing this problem, we agreed that the tulka, which annually rises here from the bottom along the Volga, has accumulated somewhere else. There, obviously, all the surrounding perch gathered, and seagulls also flocked there. We did not want to look for this fertile place, winding tens of kilometers, so we decided to start looking for larger fish, and above all pike perch. Unlike perch, it is more tied to the bottom topography and usually keeps on the same dumps from year to year.
Since we had with us both an echo sounder and a GPS with clogged points, we hoped that the search for active fish would not take much time. However, here everything turned out to be different. At the first point, not a single bite, at the second – the same, at the third, fourth – the same bleak picture. This was surprising, since the points were not one of those that appear after one successful fishing. We have been successfully catching them for several years, and we caught pike perch here not only at the beginning of the season, but throughout the summer. I had to turn to the help of an echo sounder. He immediately showed that there are a lot of fish, but they stand half-water in large schools. There is no thermocline on the reservoir now, which means that it could only be linen.
Belle is not bad, as her pack is always accompanied by a predator. We looked for places with a depth of 5-7 meters – they found it. Belle was there too, but there was no predator. For half an hour of continuous casting, not a single poke. Moreover, the three of us have tried the entire arsenal from wobblers to foam rubber and polyurethane foam. We checked all the silicone – the same result. We switched to spinners – with heavy spinners you can catch practically on any horizon, but there were no bites either on them or on the castmaster held by the steps. It remained to check the points again, since there were still about five of them in the navigator. We tried to fish in various places: where there was a current, and where there was no current, and on steep dumps, and on gentle ones. They pierced both the upper edges and the foundations of the underwater slopes. All is unsuccessful.
In the Uglich reservoir, as in many others, the predator was usually distributed on the dumps as follows: the upper zone, with depths of 2.5-3.5 meters, was occupied by perch and medium-sized pike, and pike perch stood at the base. Quite often in some particular place one of the predators might not have been, but at least one was almost always present, even if it was a small perch. This time, no one was present at all surveyed sites. After three and a half hours of empty searches, we got the impression that the perch, pike and pike perch all “left for a distant cordon”, or simply died out altogether. There was still an option to look for pike along the coastal reeds, but I really didn’t want to do this. The other anglers seemed to be doing about the same as ours. In any case, none of the boats we saw lingered in one place for a long time.
As a result, in the most unhappy mood, we got to the penultimate point, which was hammered into the GPS memory. It is more than a kilometer from the coast and no landmarks, so it was almost impossible to get to it without a device. In this place we rarely caught, although, as I remember, almost always successfully. The only thing, with a strong wind, a very high wave rose here. We got up at a depth of 11 meters, there was a dump in front of us. They threw 50 meters, the bait fell to the bottom at 3.5 meters, then there was a smooth slope up to 8 meters, which ended in a drop of 11 m. The place is attractive for any predator. Here, too, everything went wrong with us. Already on the second cast, my friend planted a twister in some snag. A couple of minutes later I did the same. The most interesting thing is that there have never been any hooks here, let alone snags. Apparently, something has brought in the flood this year.
But since there is a snag, then you need to throw it nearby. And so they did. And literally five minutes later there was a clear bite, and the first goose was in the boat. After that, bites began. Our faces brightened. At first, we came across very small gossip, weighing 200-250 grams. Of course, when you feel that there is a small fish on the line – it does not press down, as a decent pikeperch usually does – then you pull it out slowly, so that you can release it later. If you quickly raise the goose from ten meters, then his eyes literally crawl out from the pressure drop, and he is no longer a tenant. One pass of a flock of small things, the second, the third, and after the next break, several pike perch were caught, 1.5 kg each.
There was an impression that we were on a “path” along which flocks of zander were moving. Looking ahead, I will say that for the whole fishing we caught only one bersh per 400 grams and a perch at 800 grams, everything else was just a pike perch. The most interesting thing is that the bites went in short series at intervals of 30-40 minutes. When someone had a bite, the fish immediately began to bite the rest, and all of them had zander of approximately the same size. The pike perch was clearly moving somewhere purposefully. But where and for what purpose, and why he was nowhere else, remained unclear. Having gone to the base and rested, at seven in the evening we swam again. At first, we walked through several points again, where we tried in the morning – nothing. We stood on the last one, and serial bites began again.
And then another curious pattern emerged. While it was clear that the walking pike perch was active, it only took on a specific lure – a 3-inch light-colored Action Plastics. They put baits from other companies, changed the color and size, but they bite exclusively on this one. On the second day we went out early, the weather is exactly the same, bite too. We tried to look for pike and perch – nothing. Having changed several places, we got to the yesterday’s point. She worked in the same rhythm as the day before: a dozen bites, then a break for 30-40 minutes. We did not come across pike perches larger than one and a half kilograms. However, this did not upset. The opening of the season, albeit somewhat belated, was quite successful and instructive
A week later we arrived at the same places again. There was not much time, so we immediately got to the same good point. The pike perch still took a series. I was glad that its size increased slightly, and we managed to catch several specimens under three kilograms. Judging by other fishermen, they also bite. So, it looks like everything is getting better, and there is still a whole season ahead!