There is a persistent stereotype among wintering fishers that bream on the first ice is practically not caught, and begins to be taken only after a few weeks. More than once I heard about it from fishermen in different reservoirs, I met the same opinion in periodicals. Meanwhile, many fishermen, including our fishing company, have gained quite a certain experience, clearly refuting this stereotype. Despite everything, we start to catch bream literally from the first days of the formation of durable ice. We catch on reelless gear, first of all, to devils. During this period, the bream reacts to the snag more than favorably, since the oxygen regime of the water bodies has not yet been violated, and the coming winter will make the fish more actively store fat.
You can even say that the first few weeks after freezing is the time of the most active bite of the bream for the entire winter period. This level of activity is observed only on the last ice, when meltwater begins to go to the holes in the first half of the day. At the beginning of winter, bream on most reservoirs prefers to stay on piles and near the edges of deep-water irrigation. Looking for a flock of bream is best together. Fishermen find the boundaries of the channel and move parallel to each other, leaving the finished holes in a checkerboard pattern. In this way both dumps make their way and, of course, the places constantly attracting fish are checked especially carefully: turns and narrowing of the channel, pits and shallow dumps in depth.
The small thickness of the ice radically facilitates the search. Even the most inveterate bummer can drill from fifty or more holes a day without much effort. In addition, the noise from drilling is short-lived and does not scare the fish too much, and the fishermen are still very careful and do not rush to a lucky neighbor at the ready. Fishing for little devils and other hooks is very active fishing, and, as a rule, there is no time to be bored. Five to seven entries at a different pace – and you can go to the next hole. If the fish is active, then bites follow on the first or third posting.
When fishing on the first ice, in no case should you focus only on the bottom layer. Be sure to periodically make several ascents with the game literally under the bottom side of the ice. Often, a hungry fish rises high enough above the bottom and takes bait there much more actively. This primarily applies to reservoirs with a stable course or places with a high snag. Often at a depth of 6-8 meters, the bream does not fall below 4 meters. In addition, when fishing in the water column, the likelihood of biting zander and perch increases, which can make a pleasant variety in bream hunting. Sometimes it happens that you forget about bream for a while, completely switching to perch fishing halfway. Especially when you are lucky to get to the exit of a large perch, which a large flock squeezes the fry under the ice itself.
Most often on the first ice I do not take a box with me – only fishing rods, a drill and a sled trough. Standing fishing is much more productive – it’s more convenient to break horizons of different depths. True, in the wind on a long nod, trembling with gusts, it is difficult to notice a careful bite, but I quickly found a way out of this problem: I switched to a short gatehouse in combination with a large, up to 2 cm in length, little devil. The fishing line is quite thick – 0.16-0.18 mm. It not only allows some liberties when fishing large fish, but also saves baits from frequent encounters with snags. If you make little devils on light overs, then there is a minimum of bait on snags. However, if a zander takes on such a bait, then there are a lot of chances that he will be able to unblock the hook and get off when hooking or catching it.
Another plus of catching bream in the ice is the diameter of the ice drill. If on thick ice you have to use a rotation of no more than 120 mm, so as not to “die on the tenth hole”, then on a thin diameter of 130 mm and more, it does not bother at all. A wide hole allows you to get a bream without complications, and it’s easier to work with the bait in it, especially with a tandem of two devils. The latter, by the way, is very important. The largest bream that I caught in the primeval ice preferred the larger bait in the tandem, which was located below. Accordingly, the risk of catching the top line over the edge of the hole during fishing is very real, and the larger the hole, the easier it is to avoid it.
And one tip in conclusion.
If your company has an avid amateur to show off, be sure to take it with you. It’s just a sin to leave dozens of holes not caught by the bauble and balancer. As a rule, the catch of a shameler is less in tails, but almost always surpasses in quality. By the way, a large bream sometimes does not miss the opportunity to try a balancer, and it is far from a modest size: 7-9 cm swallows almost half of it on a pause. I can’t say that this happens all the time, but on one of the fishing trips last season I witnessed a capture on a balancer from a dozen bream to a kilogram. Moreover, they swallowed the bait so that they had to tinker with it in order to unhook the "peaceful quiet one."
author Alexander FROLOV