Winter bream fishing. Part 3

How to feed bream

Feeding bream when fishing from ice is somewhat different from feeding in open water. The fact is that cold water under the ice, no higher than 4 ° C, dictates its own conditions. The metabolic process in the body of fish slows down, so they need less feed. Except for the last ice (late March – early April), when bream begin to eat up and gain strength before the upcoming spawning. In my experience, during all three winter months the most suitable bait for bream is a small forage bloodworm. It can be used both in a cleaned state and mixed with bottom debris. In the second, more economical, option, before lowering the feeder to the bottom, I usually press down part of the bloodworm along with pieces of bottom soil, which for some time attracts bream with the smell of bloodworms, even after the fish that has come up completely eats up the proposed food.

At the same time, you should not dwell only on the fodder moth. Special feed mixes for bream and hand-cooked can also work well. In the old days, my friends and I, without further ado, offered the simplest recipe for bream: millet porridge (base), wheat bread crumbs and ground toasted sunflower seeds as an attractant. And the bream were happy. But maybe times have changed? And now give the bream more refined baits. Having asked myself this question, in March 2005 I conducted a kind of experiment on the Ivankovskoye reservoir. I fed one hole only with the freshest fodder bloodworm, the other – with the feed mixture “Unicorm” and the third – with the aforementioned homemade bait. The result exceeded all expectations. Pecked in all three holes, but best of all for “millet”. At the same time, the caught podleschik literally ran out of homemade food. I caught on float rods, using two or three large bloodworms as a nozzle. The wells should be fed about a meter from the bottom, determining the desired depth using cambrics fixed to the feeder line every meter.

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With a jig and a nod

During the ice season, bream behaves ambiguously. If at the beginning of winter it is active enough, then with the growth of ice it becomes slow, more picky about presenting baits to it. In the spring, when melt water flows under the ice, its activity increases again. Depending on the behavior of the bream flocks, one or another type of tackle is used: jig or float. On the last trough, although rarely, there are bites of large river bream on winter spoons.
With an ice thickness of 10-15 cm, bream can be found in relatively shallow places, especially where there are snags, and some individuals feed very close to the coast, where the depth is only 1-2 m. Sometimes the bites of the bream occur while fishing for perch. But let’s not attach much importance to such accidents. Still, bream is a deep-sea fish by definition, and it should be caught at depth, including with jig gear, on the first ice and the last ice. And some fidget breamers prefer exclusively hunting for bream with a nod and a jig. When fishing in the middle layers of the water, this tackle has no equal at all.

A solid, well-tuned winter fishing rod speaks of the skill of the angler. Each of its elements is important, and all together should represent a harmonious whole. As you know, jigsaw tackle for ice fishing consists of a fishing rod, a whip (six), a nod, fishing line and a jig (or tandems “jig + jig,” jig + hook). Winter anglers use various designs of fishing rods, the general requirements for which, in my opinion, are as follows. The shape, length, weight and other parameters of the rod should be determined, first of all, by the fishing conditions. In frosty weather, for example, you put on fur mittens and, of course, it will be inconvenient to hold a mini-fishing rod in them. This means that the rod is needed longer. For catching large bream, it must be stronger. For a broiler, when using a thin line – with a more flexible pole and lighter weight.

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After hooking, the rod has to be thrown onto hard ice, into snow, often into a puddle of water, especially over the last ice. Therefore, it is desirable that this element of the tackle and, naturally, all its parts are made of unbreakable materials. The rod should also be unsinkable in case it suddenly ends up in the hole. Of all the fishing rod designs, most modern anglers prefer to use two types of winter fishing rods: the so-called “balalaika”, the author of which was the famous Moscow sportsman Vasily Minyaylenko, and the timeless “filly”. In the first case, the rig is called running (the fishing line is pulled from the reel), in the second it is deaf (the fishing line is dropped from the reel, and then fixed tightly). “Balalaika” is intended only for fishing with a nod and a jig, “filly”, on the contrary, it is more convenient to fish with a float on lured holes.

The advantages of the first design are as follows: the presence of a braking element, which allows the use of mono lines with a diameter of 0.9-0.10 mm even when fishing for large bream, the possibility of a clearer fixation of the fishing depth and, finally, the compact shape of the rod body allows you to work with only one hand, which provides better lure play and softer hooks. And what should be the whip? What material is the best to make it from, what are its most optimal dimensions? About ten years ago, I made a dozen whips with my own hands from non-porous vinyl plastic, which is well sawn, cut and processed with a file and emery cloth. None of them have failed so far, although I go to the ice regularly. Polycarbonate sixes are also good. The length of my whips for the running rig is 14-15 cm, for the deaf (“filly”) – 16-18 cm. The diameter at the base is 4.3 mm, at the top – 1.2 mm.

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source: Catching from the ice. All the secrets of winter fishing