August is drawing to a close. Perch every day more and more actively hunts at the surface, attracting flocks of gulls, and takes it more confidently in the mornings in the usual places for a shallow jig. Sudak, after rising from the nests at the beginning of summer and catching jig from the bottom for some time, then shut itself in with a nocturnal predator. Oka spinningists constantly say about this, who bring quite decent trophies, and then make fisherman friends with stories about night vyzhivaniyah. But is it only in the middle of the night that zander comes out in the summer for feeding? As it turned out, this is not entirely true, one might even say that it is not at all! It’s quite possible to catch pike perch, even good, in the middle of a hot day, but for this it is necessary to move from the river to the reservoir. The difference seems to be small. At other times, yes, but now it is fundamental.
At first, my friends and I, armed with a jig, for several days in the morning and evening hours tapped for nothing the most promising edges and underwater braids of the Yauz reservoir. More precisely, the result nevertheless was, but not at all the one we were counting on: only medium-sized gnarls and perches. But two months earlier, shortly after the end of the ban, good zander was perfectly caught from depth in the same places. But he could not go far, and since he is not at the bottom, then we must look higher – we decided. And did not fail! The ban on trolling not only created certain inconveniences, but also brought its advantages to our fun, or rather fun fishing. But first things first.
Most fishermen who catch a lot of water in reservoirs and other low-flowing water bodies are well acquainted with such a phenomenon as a thermocline. Outside the shallow water, in summer the water warms up only to a certain depth, and there is a sharp temperature drop, called a thermocline. You can literally feel it in your own skin – just dive from the boat at some distance from the coast. The thickness of the heated layer can change as a result of mixing under the influence of strong wind or precipitation, but with the establishment of warm, calm weather, the depth of the thermocline travels very quickly.
The small fish that the predators feed on usually stays close to the border of warm and cold water and, as we have found “by instruments,” roams in small schools in the entire body of water, regardless of the bottom topography. Fodder fish should be followed by a predator – more often zander, less often perch. To take a worthy trophy in such conditions is a serious test of attentiveness, patience and a clear knowledge of the operating parameters, first of all, the depth of your wallets. Do not use an echo sounder on such fishing – about the same as catching carp or carp without bait. The echo sounder allows you to see both the prey of zander – a small flock of small fish that looks like small clouds on the screen, and the predator itself, which looks like individual large arcs.
The depth where the pike perch is kept very much depends on the location of the feed and to a much lesser extent on the topography. I often happened to catch pikeperch in the upper layer of water above a 10-15-meter depth, but it is better to start looking for it in an unfamiliar place from a horizon of 6-9 m, especially where the bottom topography is strongly pronounced or shorted. The best rowing boat for the track that we managed to test was the factory plastic vessel – an impact craft of boat stations of the end of the last century. On the transom of this boat, both an echo sounder and an electric motor are easily attached. To cherish it under the oars can be not particularly straining, and even with a certain comfort. When rowing with loose snap, the bait moves in jerks, which, of course, additionally provokes the predator to bite. It’s better to do a vacation of 60-70 meters: the boat still scares the fish, especially when fishing is at a depth of 2-2.5 m.
The steel leash in this case is clearly superfluous, because the capture of pike in the reservoirs near Moscow in the summer heat, and in addition in the upper layers of water above a decent depth, is an exceptional phenomenon. But to walk along the fluorescent cord with a black marker, having painted over a meter and a half in front of the bait, it makes sense. Fluorocarbon leashes, which have recently gained numerous supporters, are perhaps a bust, in any case, the number of bites with them does not significantly increase.
The peculiarity of the track is that while fishing with a motor it is advisable to walk tacks, then it is not necessary to do this on oars. Since there is no strong repellent noise, the pike perch can take when exhausting the bait directly from under the boat. And this happens quite often: for some reason the fish does not hit the bait, but pursues, and only at the last moment a decisive jerk and grip follow. This habit of pikeperch resembles a pike “shyness”, only the pike most often, lifting a breaker from the boat, leaves, and the pikeperch, even noticing the angler, attacks to the end. On the track, there are often single blows or bait pokes. Zander can do this several times in a row with a small interval. In this case, it is possible to provoke a grip by changing the speed from fast to slower, or, conversely, increasing the pace and strength of the strokes.
Having risen to the surface, zander very clearly adheres to a certain hunting horizon. Therefore, a difference in the depth of the bait of 50-60 cm can determine the outcome of all fishing. Hence, the readings of the echo sounder should be taken much more seriously than with bottom fishing. More than once I came across a situation where anglers do not use the additional settings of their echo sounders. For example, they disable the function of intensifying the display of fish, because they need, they say, the topography of the bottom, and not the fish. When fishing for jig, this is acceptable, although it is also very controversial, but why deprive yourself of the opportunity to distinguish bream from zander or pike?
In the very first trips with the track, it suddenly turned out that zander is very active at the surface throughout the day, and the peak of the bite falls on the first three to four hours in the afternoon. During this period, I got to short-term exits for 20-30 minutes, when the pike perch took, as soon as I started rowing. And it was in the same places where before that for an hour there was not a single poke. As a rule, most of these periods of high activity occurred on sunny noon with a wave quite noticeable for a rowing boat.
When choosing lures for fishing on the track, it is better to give preference to wobblers of a mine with a mid-frequency game. For example, Magnet Minnow from Yo-Zuri and Bomber Long A are very good. You can’t be modest in size: the baits are 8-10 cm long, and the largest pikeperch have been brought to me by 12-16 cm wobblers. Moreover, a large bait does not exclude the capture of a gnarling weighing only 800 g, but a larger predator usually still prefers the larger of the two wobblers that are behind the boat at the same distance.
During sharp cooling, which also occurs in summer, near-surface fishing often fails, as fodder fish, and after it, the predator go deeper by 2-3 m, as the echo sounder immediately indicates. But the bite time at the same time, strangely enough, does not change: the pike perch still takes at noon only on deeper wobblers. Despite the effectiveness of the track, it has one, but significant, in my opinion, drawback: zander hunting, regardless of the result, ends with calluses in the hands and cast-iron weight in the muscles.
author Alexander FROLOV