It is summer time now and temperatures are on their peak. Most anglers leave their rods and reels and fly to the sea for well deserved summer vacation. Some are concentrated on sea fishing from shore or boat and some stay in humid and stuffy cities fighting with heat and moisture. There si also part of extreme anglers who allways see opportunity to fish even on +36°C with extras in form of gigant mosquitoes. Well… I consider myself one of that kind.
There are some benefits from this kind of fishing… OK, I’m lying now! There are allmost no benefits if you calculate heat and constant sweating in combination with giant mosquitoes. But, still, for fanatics only one fish bite makes it all go away and a huge smile appears on the face. If you are one of that kind you might find this short article interesting.
All anglers have their own favorite positions or some micro- location where they seek for fish. . River Sava in Zagreb/Croatia. We call this river « Mother » because many anglers made their first steps on that river and they caught the first fish (asp, chub, barbel, cat fish…) there. Trough years river changed and now it is getting harder and harder to find good fishing locations. Because of my line of work and because I’m mostly out of town I choose the line of least resistance and don’t search the fish… I go to their home. ‘Home“ is now part of the river with the strongest river current, lots of rocks and obstacles, intersected by depths.
In these hot months position like this offers shelter, oxygen and food. These three conditions is what you also need to look for on your river. Of course that rivers are different and someone will have even greater current but some will have much much less current. Main thing is to remember the guidelines: shelter, oxygen and food.
Well, I am a fishing fanatic but I’m not a masochist and because of that I choose time „From dusk till dawn“. Jeah, just like a famous movie… Dusk, night and dawn are the coldest part of a summer day so as humas fish also like breath of fresh air. Fish don’t need eyes to feed. Their well known sideline is a sufficient weapon for hunt in the dark.
Most often I use rods 2,10m( throwing weight 5-20gr ) -2,40m( throwing weight 10-30gr). Shorter rod shoud be « X-fast » action because it is lighter and rod hardness will give extra power during stike and in critical situation. Action of longer rod should be « Fast » or even « Moderate ». That rod is stronger with more power in start. Reels should be in size 2500-3000 ( relying on dimensions of Shimano or Daiwa ) and braid for my taste is PE #0,8. Quality 8 -thread braid in that dimension is enough ( eg. Fiiish Perfect Link 8X Powerbraid PE 0,8 16lb) for fight with fish up to 5kg on rocky terrain. Choose fluorocarbon slightly weaker than main braid. All in all quality fluorocarbon 10lb is enough ( my pick is Fiiish Perfect Link 3x fluorocarbon 0,255mm 9lb).
TWO JOKERS FROM THE SLEEVE
After all above there is only one link missing and that is of course lures. Last 10 years I love fishing for asp, chub and barbel on the river, the Mother river. A lot of lures went through my hands and boxes ( soft lures, hard lures, topwater lures…). Now I am a happy man because I have two jokers from the sleeve…
First jocker is Fiiish Black Minnow 70. At first, I must admit, for such fast moving water I couldn’t get satisfying action with 3gr. and 6gr. head weights. For sea fishing Black Minnow 70 works fantastic on these two heads but for my Mother water that just wasn’t the right action. And than revelation… Fiiish launched „Search head“ that is totally different in shape and weight ( 4,5gr.). Revelation, I tell you!! That head is designed for searching the bottom but it holds moving water fantastically! Search head allowed me to keep my Black Minnow 70 exactly where I want it in the current and swim exactly how I want it to swim. When it comes to color choice Kaki is great color of course, Orange is briliant color for some conditions but if I need to pick one color, only one color for this aspect of fishing it would definitely be White. White color in river fishing is so universal that you just can’t miss with that color.
Second jocker is Power Tail. It is very hard for me to talk about Power Tail … it is so versatile on so many ways that it is hard to explain and yet it is extremely neglected from anglers. Trout( rainbow & brown), chub, barbel, asp, perch, bastard mackerel, saddled sea bream, etc. these are all spieces that till now I caught on Power Tail. Did I mentioned how versatile Power Tail is??… Yes, OK, you need a wider range of Power Tail but for 95% conditions on the water you need only four, mainly three. Power Tail 64mm and 44mm in 8gr and 12gr but if you want to reduce you can remove 44mm in 12 gr.. If someone has a lot stronger current he can step-up. In that case Power Tail 64mm and 44mm in 12gr, and 44mm in 18gr.. From my side if I get to such a strong current that I can’t work with Power Tail 64mm in 12gr. I simply move one to another position. The colors I use are; Power Tail 64mm in Natural Minnow and Sexy Trout color, Power Tail 44mm in Natural Minnow and of course in White Morning color.
In this months often when you come on the river at dusk or dawn you can see bunch of small fish (bait fish) squeezed along the bank or finding cover in messy bubbly water behind big rock/boulder. You don’t need to be Einstein to know that predators are lurking around them. Best time to fish is when the feeding frenzy starts. Feeding frenzy is when all that bait fish starts running along the bank, bumping the bank, jumping out and across each other. In that moment you know it is panic and that some predator is feeding on them. Your job is easy! In all that mess You gently put your lure in the middle of that „madhouse“. Barbel, chub or asp will see much easier your lure standing in one place in all that comotion. It is reverse process than in normal fishing. Normally we pull , jerk or twitch with our lure trying to imitate a wounded fish on the run and that is trigger for predator strike. Now we put our lure in one place and don’t do anything, that simple! Be aware that strikes are often brutal! Fish in that current strike with so much force on the lure that it is possible for you to lose your rod.
ou can extend your fishing before and after feeding frenzy. The fishing method is simple and familiar. Target the rocks that are away from the bank. Barbel and chub like to swim around this big rocks. Chub is often in front of the rock smashing his head against the current ( weird fish… ) and barbel is behind the rock. Cast around rocks on 90° or 45° perpendicular to the river and retrieve in slow steady pace.
All in all I hope that with this short artice I interested everyone who stayed home in these hot summer months to take out their will and their rods. Remember please two things: 1. Fish is allways out there (not in the apartment or in front of the TV) waiting for You to catch it. 2. Never give up!! If You follow this two simple rules you can experience some fantastic moments on the water. Tight lines!!!