At the very beginning of March, bleak, known to everyone and loved by many fishermen since childhood, begins to be actively caught on the Izhevsk pond. In Udmurtia, it is usually called a tickle. Despite the small size of the fish, there are many lovers of such fishing in Izhevsk; on weekends there are difficulties with parking cars on the shore.
On the ice, fishermen sit in two or three large, up to fifty people, in groups, literally shoulder to shoulder. They usually fish with two rods: someone more, someone less – much here depends not on the search and the number of holes drilled, but on the construction of the tackle and the skill of the angler. Bleak fishing lasts from early March to mid-April. The proximity to the city and the operation of the regular bus make the place very accessible.
Choosing a fishing spot
Izhevsk pond was created in 1760 on the Izh River. The mirror area is 24 km². The conventional boundary where the Izh River forms a pond is considered to be the Volozhka pier and the village of the same name, the two banks of which are connected by a pedestrian bridge. The area of this bridge, or the conditional place of the formation of the pond, is the main place for spring catching of bleak from ice.
The river in this place is not wide, up to 30 m. The average depth in the fishing area is 2–2.5 m, there is a small current. The glue occupies the upper layers of the water and is caught, sometimes, directly from under the ice.
Bleak is caught with the simplest winter fishing rods, equipping them with a jig and (or) a hook or their combinations. My working tackle is winter balalaika fishing rods with a long lavsan nod and a line of no more than 0.08 mm in diameter. One rod is usually equipped with a jig with a diameter of up to 2.5 mm and a hook suspended 10 cm higher on a short bend.
The second rod is equipped with a 0.5 g shot weight and two hooks, one of which is knitted instead of a jig. The main principle of the tackle used is simplicity. Of course, the fishing line should be of high quality, and the hooks should be sharp.
I always have a small box with reels in my fishing box, on which one meter long leashes are wound, used when fishing with a bottom line. The fishing line on them is different, from 0.05 mm to 0.10 mm in diameter. Hooks are also of different shapes and numbers. Red hooks are my special love! They are able to activate biting during a general decline, there have even been cases of fish being caught on an empty red hook.
A wide range of leads reduces the need for a huge number of spare rods in the box and allows you to quickly adapt the working tackle to specific fishing conditions and fish activity. During peak activity, it is wiser to use a thicker line, for this is exactly what my reels have on my reels with a diameter of 0.10 mm.
Among other advantages, fish can be removed faster from a hook on a line of this diameter. The use of a leash with a larger diameter compared to the diameter of the main line was taken by me from the practice of catching bleak with a float rod.
Bleak fishing at this time is high-speed, therefore, the more convenient the workplace is, the higher the result can be. A scoop is required for cleaning the wells. The working holes and the space between them must be cleaned very efficiently, since the line is used thin and it is necessary to minimize the loss of rigging from hooks on the ice crumbs from drilling holes.
Sunglasses should always be in the fishing box. The bright spring sunlight reflected from the snow is harmful to the eyes. It will be very disappointing to finish fishing ahead of the scheduled time and subsequently take a long time to heal.
Despite the fact that by March the ice grows a meter long and it is difficult to drill it, I prefer an ice drill with a diameter of 130 mm. My choice is based on two very important reasons. Firstly, a smaller amount of bait passes through a hole with a smaller diameter into the water, and its distribution in the water column is insufficient for active fishing and keeping bleak at the point of fishing.
Secondly, it is safer to work with a thin line in the current in a hole with a large diameter. Since bleak fishing is not popular and there is no need for a large number of holes, this choice is optimal for me.
I always have in stock (in addition to ready-made leads) fishing line, a set of weights and hooks. Fishing is a gambling and creative process, sometimes on the spot you have to knit new equipment to replace the torn off and spoiled ones.
The weight for measuring and setting the working depth is also a very handy device. Before I start fishing, I always measure the depth with it. Then, in the process of fishing, it will be easier to regulate the amount of the working holiday.
The simplest, cheapest and therefore the most popular bait among Izhevsk fishermen when catching bleak is semolina. The feeding method is also very simple: dry semolina is poured into the hole. Gradually getting wet and passing through the hole, in the water column it creates a muddy food column attractive for bleak. There is nothing to get enough in this pillar, and the bleak attracted to the place of fishing begins to recklessly look for something edible.
It is useful to add powdered milk to the semolina to enhance the turbidity. The most convenient form for carrying and subsequent use of bait from semolina, in my opinion, is a plastic bottle with a lid. I opened the lid and poured semolina into the hole – what could be easier? Packages break, glass jars break with careless use, and plastic bottles do not require careful handling.
The second most effective groundbait is the same semolina, but diluted with water and mixed to the state of liquid sour cream. This kind of bait does not require getting wet in the hole and starts working immediately after application. In this case, the container for bait from a plastic bottle simply has no competitors.
In addition to the listed homemade baits, I also use factory ones. There are many manufacturers on the market these days, and choosing the right bait with a small fraction is not a problem.
The most diverse attachments are used: bloodworms, maggot, semolina talker and combinations of these attachments. When preparing semolina, you can use different flavors and dyes, which will allow you to have a large number of attachment options in your arsenal. Today bleak likes garlic, tomorrow it likes strawberries. This is always the case on fishing, trips very rarely repeat each other.
In order to get rid of empty bites of the bleak, maggot during planting must be cut with special scissors or tongs, and bloodworms must be inserted in the middle or in a ring. If you put a whole maggot or bloodworm under your head, hitting misses can drive the angler crazy. There will be a lot of bites, and the result will be disastrous …
At the chosen point, at a short distance from each other, I make two holes. I thoroughly clean them of sludge, snow and ice fragments. My ladle is bright, it won’t get lost in the snow!
Dry groundbait is poured into the prepared holes with a slide, part of it with the help of a scoop is pressed or pressed against one of the sides, thereby freeing up space for free posting of a jig or rig with a hook. You can start fishing right away, bleak, as a rule, responds instantly. The working depth is determined experimentally, usually no more than 1.7 m.
At the first stage of fishing, even with the bleak approach, it is useful to make several postings. Further fishing is mostly static, the bite is determined by the nod. Despite the seeming simplicity, catching bleak from under the ice is very reckless.
The bites are strong and sharp – a nod at 90 °, but quick and short, you need to have time to make a sweep. Such fishing requires dexterity, good reaction and endurance, but it always rewards the angler with a lot of positive emotions!