In summer, in ponds, pike, as a rule, keeps if not on channel edges, then in reeds or in dense thickets of algae, where it is practically impossible to catch it. It comes to clear water only at dawn or in the evening twilight, but even then it is extremely capricious and reluctant to take even the most catchy bait at another time. In general, the situation is stalemate, and by and large there is nothing left for the spinner to do except wait for the fall. But it turns out that there are times when a pike leaves its reed shelter in the midst of summer. The reason forcing the pike to change their habitual place is a drop in water level. As you know, in the summer, most reservoirs periodically discharge water and the level drops markedly. Discharges are most often relatively small, 40-50 cm, but they significantly affect the behavior of the fish.
In particular, in shallow areas where pike is kept, the depth decreases very significantly, so small fodder fish leaves the grass. Not on the course, as in autumn, but not far away, on clean water a few meters from the grass. The hunting interests of the pike are also moving here. This year, I happened to be "at the right time in the right place." It happened near Dubna in one of the bays of the Ivankovo reservoir. The place where I caught was not particularly remarkable: a wide strip of reed, then a small space of clean water, and beyond it – a vast field of water lilies. The picture is quite characteristic for most reservoirs near Moscow. I just fell into the discharge of water: if earlier at the border of water lilies the depth was about a meter, now it has fallen to 60 cm.
I started with shallow wobblers, then I tried poppers – with no result. Nevertheless, the pike was interested in baits, and it was clear that she was standing not in the thick of the grass, but nearby, in open water. It only remained to guess how it could be seduced. I managed to guess: pikes of 3 and 2 kg, not counting a dozen perches – the catch for a hot July day is quite good. Later, I managed to repeat this experiment several times, so some experience appeared, which I want to share.
Walker – the bait is purely jerky: it does not play at all in uniform wiring. When jerking, the walker goes one way or the other (hence, by the way, the American name for this wiring is “walking the dog”). Moreover, a well-balanced walker changes direction with each jerk. The amplitude of the game depends on the model and size – there are only 5 cm going to the side, and there are 30–40 cm. Small baits, as a rule, deviate less than the same model, but with a larger size. During wiring, the walker leaves a "mustache" on the surface of the water, which the predator apparently tracks from a long distance. This stimulus makes the pike go beyond the bait, and then, with visual contact, the external similarity of the Volker with the fry is most likely triggered.
Walkers fly much better than regular wobblers or poppers. This helps the metal ball in the back of the bait. The freedom of movement of the ball is different for different models: for some, say, for Rapalovsky's Skitter Walk, it is relatively large and during wiring you can hear the ball rolling in the capsule with every jerk. And at Yuzurevsky Arms Pencil, on the contrary, the ball is practically motionless. Nevertheless, both models catch well. Walkers are produced by most companies producing spinning lures Rapala, Strike Pro, Yo-Zuri, Excalibur, Megabass.
Since fishing is on the surface, the color of the bait plays a large role. Ideally, the coloring should be matched to the color of the main food objects of the pike. In different water bodies, they may vary. In the bays near Dubna it is a rudd, so yellow, orange, white colors worked better here. An interesting feature of the Ivankovo reservoir is that here the pike is best taken on a walker with an orange belly. This is rather strange, as the bait is purely superficial and the pike sees it mainly from the side. Nevertheless, on some models I deliberately applied an orange strip to the abdomen, and it worked.
The size of the bait also depends on the feed base. It should be borne in mind that in the middle of summer and even at the beginning of autumn, juvenile fingerlings are still very small and the pike practically do not pay attention to it. She prefers the “previous generation”, so the size of 7–9 cm can be considered optimal for water bodies near Moscow. A leash is a mandatory attribute of a walker, as this bait is intended mainly for pike. The leash somewhat worsens the game of the walker, so its choice must be taken very seriously.
It is more convenient to catch from a boat. In overgrown bays, wind and wave are rare, so you can do without an anchor. Spot fishing, along the edge of the grass or in the windows. The bait can be thrown into water lilies to catch several windows in a row. It is advisable to get under the very edge of water lilies or grass. Catching, as a rule, while standing, wiring is performed by very short carpal jerks. It should be borne in mind that almost all walkers must be “wound up”. The easy spinning movement, which is enough for many expensive Japanese wobblers to work, will not make the walker play. The jerk should be short, but very energetic. The tip of the rod during wiring is lowered down to the water. To achieve the optimal game of a particular bait, you need to select the distance from the tulip to the water. During jerks, the walker alternately falls on one side or the other – this is completely normal.
The pike goes to the bait either from the side or from the back. Probably a mustache from the bait as a signal to attack. But she can take the bait from any direction. So, the pike on a three-ruble note, having made a sharp jerk from the side of the grass, disappeared from my field of vision and, leaving no trace on the surface, managed to overtake the bait and attacked it on the counter. Often the whole attack process is clearly visible, and sometimes only the breaker left by the fish at the start can be detected. When you realize that the pike has gone beyond the bait, you just need to continue normal wiring. The change in the tempo of movement, most likely, often alarms the pike – it can turn around and leave.
Although fishing is standing, it does not seem to bother the pike. In any case, my last 2 kg pike was taken at a time when no more than four meters were left to the boat. Before that, she walked about five meters behind the bait and, most likely, she saw me perfectly. Perhaps the situation was saved by the fact that the sun was behind me at that moment. Going out for the bait, a pike can chase it for a long time. One, for example, followed a walker several meters. There were several bushes of water lilies on the way, and I had to jerkily throw the bait through them. Nevertheless, the pike continued to pursue, went through the vegetation and grabbed the walker after resuming the wiring.
About gear and fighting
It is advisable to use spinning up to 2 m long, fast action, better than the bass series. Fishing line – and only braid is used – durable, 10-15 lb. As a rule, a pike manages to leave vegetation after cutting, and it is necessary to act very tough. It’s good if it’s water lilies or other underwater plants, but when the predator goes into the reed, it is very rare to take it. Noticed: if the pike caught badly, then it disappears almost immediately, if this did not happen, then you can no longer really worry. When the pike goes into water lilies, you have to swim in a boat, picking up one oar or just pulling yourself up on a fishing line. The stems of water lilies are well absorbed and prevent the pike from breaking the line. Then one at a time you tear out the water lilies. Often during these manipulations the pike makes a jerk and leaves the grass. We must be prepared for the fact that she will go under the boat and have to lower the end of the rod into the water. If a jerk away from the boat, then everything is simpler. Although she, of course, can go to other thickets, and everything will have to start all over again.
When fishing for a short time, many advise loosening the brake as much as possible. I prefer to tune it so that it does not tear the cord during critical tension. If the brake is too loosened, then a large pike will be able to go into such wilds from which it can no longer be reached. Of all the fishing methods, spinning fishing on surface baits, in particular on walkers, is perhaps the most interesting and beautiful. All stages of the attack are clearly visible, fishing is, in fact, closely watched, which gives the angler great pleasure. And this, in fact, is almost more important than the trophy itself.
author Roman BUTUZOV
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