On Seliger, during the spawning ban, bream becomes the main fish. But since fishing from boats during this period is prohibited, compared to summer, the search for this fish is significantly complicated. The shores of all reaches are covered with a wide strip of reeds, so fishing with a line is possible only in rare gaps, which are located opposite the tourist camps. However, bream, for some reason, very rarely comes to such places. It remains to go to small rivers, of which there are a great many in the vicinity of large reaches. For those who find themselves in the Zaplavie region or neighboring villages, the Polonovka and Knyazha rivers will be the best place to fish for bream. In terms of the number of fish, they are practically equal – there are enough bream and other fish, both there and there. The banks are very picturesque at both rivers, but for me personally, the Prince turned out to be more attractive.
The fact is that Polonovka passes near the village, and therefore there are quite convenient approaches to its shores. As a result, a company of fishermen and tourists can be found on it at any time, from early spring to late autumn. But the Knyazha is less accessible, and you can find peace and solitude on it, which I really appreciate when fishing. Knyazha is perhaps the shortest river in the entire Seliger – its length is only two kilometers. But this is precisely the river. Moreover, even local residents consider it one of the most picturesque rivers of the entire Seligerye. Very winding, with steep banks covered with pine forests, at the beginning of summer it looks simply unrealistically picturesque.
However, its main advantage is still that only one and only difficult road leads to it. It is only 13 kilometers from the village of Zaplavie to the river, but even in a decent SUV it will hardly be possible to cover this path in less than 40 minutes. Now the water level at Seliger is about a meter higher than the summer one, as a result of which many lowlands on the road have turned into small swamps, practically impassable for ordinary cars. To be honest, it made me happy: my “Niva” coped with the road without any problems and I often fished on the banks of the Knyazha all alone. Despite its small size and width of only 30-40 meters, the Knyazha is quite deep: on the channel, on average, 3.5-4 meters, there are several holes up to 6 meters. The bedfall almost everywhere begins literally at the very shore, and although there are few convenient points for fishing, for one angler the choice of a dozen suitable places is more than enough.
Most often I caught in a small swampy lowland, literally standing in the water. Later he brought in a few thick logs and settled down with relative comfort. This inconspicuous place had several advantages. Firstly, it was possible to swing freely with a long rod without fear of snagging on nearby trees; secondly, the bottom in the place of fishing was clean, and most importantly, the bends of the banks covered this area from the wind, no matter which side it was blowing. In addition, before our arrival, one of the employees of the base in Zaplavye often caught this place, so the fish was, in fact, boiled.
I must say that all white fish, and above all bream, are very responsive to bait here. Perhaps because the fishing pressure on Seliger, although great, is much weaker than, for example, in the Moscow region. With regard to the composition of the bait, bream is also not spoiled. You can feed, in fact, anything you want, from banal millet to cool Italian baits – the result, as a rule, turns out to be the same.
Another thing is the amount of groundbait. By the beginning of June, the bream had already spawned and began to feed actively, so the bait had to be prepared at the rate of 3-3.5 kg of dry mix per person for half a day of fishing. The most optimal composition was a mixture of bran, bread crumbs and ground cake. All this was poured with boiling water before going on a fishing trip, and on the spot the same amount of clay was added to the swollen mixture. She had to be taken with her from the village, since all the banks of the river are sandy. After a plentiful initial feed, it was necessary to constantly supplement the fishing area. After spawning, bream no longer keeps in large flocks, but feeds in groups of several fish or even singly, therefore, in order to collect it, you need to ensure that the food is constantly in the fishing area.
The direction of the flow in Knyazh, unlike other rivers, can change several times a day. This strangeness is explained by the fact that the river connects two large enough lakes. As a result, depending on the strength and direction of the wind, water catches up from one side or the other. However, this explanation raises some doubts in me, since the current in the river persists even during periods of complete calm. The coastal dumps on the river are relatively flat, so there is little point in fishing with a long cast on the riverbed itself. The most optimal rod length is 6-7 meters. The main thing is to correctly determine the point of fishing, and the fish can be pulled up to it with bait. The only difficulty that must be taken into account is that in the chosen place the dump may be too steep and the bait will roll along it too far from the shore.
Therefore, when mastering an unfamiliar place, it was necessary to accurately measure the depth over the entire area of the proposed fishing, both to the right and to the left, and at the maximum and minimum distance. As a rule, the fishing depth was 2.5-3 meters. In addition to the desired bream, there are a lot of silver bream, roach and other less desirable applicants for bait in the river. Most often, the silver bream came first to the bait and took a position above it, half-water. In order not to cut it off, then at least to reduce the number of its bites, it was necessary to properly line up the rig: collect all the weights in one place, leaving only the reserve below. The faster the bait was at the bottom, the more chances were to catch bream.
Under these conditions, the optimal solution was to use large enough floats, but with minimal loading. Models with weight 1 + 4, 1 + 3 worked very well, but my 2 + 2 often simply did not get up: the silver bream had time to grab the nozzle even on the fall. My attitude to the silver bream was unequivocally negative: although several times I came across specimens weighing 250-300 grams, the bulk of them was represented by silver brews no larger than 100 grams. The bastard was much more interesting in this respect. For all the time I came across no more than a dozen specimens of 200-300 grams, and mostly it came from 400 g. Occasionally I came across seasoned bream, however, there were less of them than I wanted. The largest one I caught in ten days of fishing pulled 2.2 kilograms. About a dozen were from 1.5 to 2 kilograms.
Seligersky bream, as the local fishermen warned us, differs in its habits from its counterparts from other bodies of water. For example, he practically does not pay attention to the thickness of the leader or its color. With this in mind, after breaking off several leads with a diameter of 0.12 mm, I switched to the local version and tied the hook directly to the main line with a diameter of 0.16 mm. This did not affect the number of bites at all, despite the fact that my line was black. But the length of the leash, more precisely, the distance from the hook to the support was of fundamental importance. If this distance was less than 15 centimeters, the bites of the bream completely stopped, although this did not matter for the silver bream.
The best bait was not a worm, as I expected, but a maggot. However, there were no less bites on the worm, but the ubiquitous silver bream managed to cut the worm in one cast. She did not stand on ceremony with maggots, but here I had a slight indulgence: I put them in 6-10 pieces on one hook, and I could not remove all the silver brew, although sometimes I managed to stuff the entire attachment into my mouth. More often than not, she grabbed one from the heap and drained it completely. I had to remove the remaining skin and add another one, and this is easier and not as “expensive” as planting a whole worm.
The bites of bream and silver bream were very diverse. The float could start twitching, it could sink sharply, or it could just lie on its side. It was impossible to say before the hook who it was – bream or silver bream. The only thing that could be guided by was the sharpness of the bite. As a rule, the bream did everything the same as the bream, but more smoothly. The bream did not show much resistance, even under the double-bed, and they rarely had to use the landing net. Average catch per morning was 7-8 kilograms. We were not engaged in harvesting fish and did not spend all day fishing, but morning fishing was quite enough not only to feast on smoked bream ourselves, but also to treat our neighbors at the base who came just to relax.