What is wonderful Transbaikalia? Firstly, it’s far from the bosses (although the president visited us in February of this year), and secondly, by contrasts. The grass turns green, butterflies, bumblebees fly, the temperature is +20, and at the same time one and a half meter ice on the lakes. On the rivers of the Trans-Baikal Territory, the “dead season” is still: grayling is sick after spawning and still does not feed, lenok and taimen continue to spawn. But on the lakes of the Ivano-Arakhlei system, the chebak has already begun pre-spawning feeding. Pre-spawning schools of white fish, roach and dace, are supported by the tails of the lakes.
The food I usually prepare for spring fishing on Arachlea consists of two components: ground crackers and hercules. I pour Hercules into a colander, put a pot on the stove. When the water begins to boil, drop the colander with cereal in boiling water and keep it for about half a minute. Hercules should not be boiled. Then I shake off the water from the colander, and spread the porridge with a thin layer on a dry rag or newspaper. This procedure is necessary in order to remove excess moisture from Hercules.
I also cook crackers myself. As fishing practice shows, it is better to overcook a cracker. After grinding, slightly burnt bread has a very aromatic spirit. Then I mix hercules and crackers in equal proportions. Rusks give the necessary smell and turbidity in the water, and steamed flakes of oatmeal serve as complementary foods. Usually I throw three handfuls of complementary foods into the hole. This is the first, most plentiful, portion. I’m waiting for about fifteen minutes. As a rule, the expectation is brightened up by drilling the second hole. During this time, fractions of crackers manage to gain the necessary amount of moisture. I mix water in the hole with a scoop, and after this operation the swollen crumbs begin to slowly sink under the ice. At this point, the flakes of hercules already lie at the bottom and attract fish. It remains to feed the second finished hole and proceed to fishing.
In the end of April – the beginning of May, the roach and dace do not adhere to a certain time of biting. Fish can start to peck completely unexpectedly. That is, at any time. Be it morning, afternoon or evening. Although some frequency in fish nutrition is observed, it is not so pronounced as in winter. This behavior of the fish is caused, it seems to me, by the formation of spawning stocks. A jamb came up, stopped at a well-fed place, fed and went on. The nibble weakens or completely disappears before the next jamb approaches. Moreover, there are situations when only roach or only dace starts to bite – schools of different species rarely mix. It has also been noticed, and repeatedly, that fish go along certain “paths”. Drilling in one place – you get into a roach. You retreat by 50 meters – and you find dace. Or you can’t find anyone. This also happens, and much more often.
Places on Arakhley Lake, where linen forms jambs and feeds before spawning, have long been familiar to Transbaikal fishermen. This is a section between Preobrazhenka villages and Arahlei village. The distance between these settlements is approximately 10 kilometers. From the coastline to the migration routes of fish 150-200 meters. But immediately getting to the right place is not always obtained. You can sit all day over the hole and not see a single bite. Although the weather and all the components of a good bite seem to be there. In addition to one, the most important thing is fish. But the fishermen are attentive people: once one guesses with the place, after some hour the piglet around it is full of people. You are surprised: and as soon as the information flies on the lake! Only with the help of telepathy fishing … or simple binoculars.
I was lucky this time. Even from afar, approaching the lake, I noticed two dense groups of fishermen on the ice. Cellular communication also helped: among fishermen, a good friend of mine was fishing, specializing in spring whitening, Sasha. Looking at him when he conjures above the hole is a pleasure. Like a conductor’s wand a couple of seconds before the concert, Alexander lowers the fishing rod to the hole. His elbow begins to rise, and the brush with the fishing rod is delayed for a moment. In the next second, the whole hand comes to life, the tip of the wand begins to move. The bait’s lifting speed is strikingly smooth. Here the gatehouse makes a barely noticeable pause – the classic bite of a bulus, the hand trembles, the fishing rod flies on the ice. In the finals, another fish beats near Sasha’s legs. Spectacular code! The bait goes to the hole again, the concert continues.
So, I call Alexander and ask if he sees a gray car driving slowly along the coastline. I get an affirmative answer, and with it advice on where it is better to approach the shore. The fence on Arachley is still not very wide, 20-25 meters, in some places a little wider. There are enough wedge boots to cross open water and get out onto the ice. But I'm not in a hurry. A tourist table and chair are removed from the trunk to the light. Need to tackle gear. The bites of roach and bulus are very careful, so instead of the river format 0.20 mm, I put 0.15 and change the gatehouse to a more sensitive one. I also change the carabiner, and above it I put a small stock to increase the sensitivity of the gear. Mormukha river with winding of cock feathers is sent to a box – they are not suitable for the lake. For catching whitewash on Arachlea, it is best to use mormyshki with ruby beads. Black tungsten also works very well. In addition, it does not require additional loading of tackle gear.
A box, a drill, a bucket – I cross the fence, climb onto the ice, look around. It is amazing: behind my back, through a narrow strip of water, it’s almost summer, and I look at it from a real winter. But there is no time to admire. I walk on the ice to Alexander. Around it is already a decent amount of roach and dace. Greetings. I learn from his story that the machine-gun zhor began at dawn. Now – and I arrived at 10 a.m. – I also bite, but it is necessary to change the holes more often. The ice on the lake is “full-format” – 180 cm. Like in winter, with the only difference that in winter it has a homogeneous structure, now the first half meter the drill goes on “dry” ice, and the remaining 130 cm on “wet”. Water rises into the hole, which has soaked through the bottom of the nostril ice. Spring, in a word.
A storm of holes, and for one I look at the fishermen. Someone sits on a box and makes postings at the bottom, many from time to time get up and check for the presence of fish in the upper layers. And it should be noted, not to no avail. After half an hour of hammer drilling, I have three holes ready. Having caught my breath a little, I sit down at the first. I lower the mood with a bead blende by planting a piece of plastic packaging net from apples on it. They come in different colors, but it has been experimentally revealed: white and pink nets work best with whitewash.
The depth at the fishing spot is three meters. I lowered the bait to the bottom and began to slowly rise without crushing. On the third wiring gatehouse slightly raised, I hooked. Raising the fish a little, I feel how the fishing line has weakened. Gathering. For a minute or two I continue the slow ascents and descents. The gatehouse stopped, the line sagged a bit, I hooked, but not in a sharp river, but in a milder manner – roach is not grayling and not lenok. With sharp cuts, the lips of the roach break, and the fish comes off the hook. In 15 minutes I caught 5 roach and two dace trees. I'm changing the hole. I start fishing while standing, checking the upper horizons. I find out in such a way that the fish occupies a space of about one meter from the bottom – no bites are observed above.
The cry of Alexander distracts me from working with gear. He caught a perch with signs of aeromonosis. Indeed, a painful sore is visible on the body of the fish. It does not seem to be a mark from pike teeth. Probably, the perch has the initial stage of the disease, since, as far as I know, the fish affected by aeromonosis completely refuse to eat. And the linen pecked until late in the evening with short breaks. Fishing on the last ice usually continues on the Arachleian ridge until the 20th of May. Then the ice breaks into separate large plateaus and drifts along the lake until it completely melts.
author Sergey MIRTOV
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