Early spring. I consider this period to be the most difficult for searching and catching fish. On large rivers, ice has already come down, but the water is rather cold, due to the melting of snow and ice in the bays and the introduction of “harsh” water into the riverbeds. Fish at this time is inactive.
It is not difficult to determine this period. Snow has already fallen, but nature has not yet awakened. The rivers have a dull gray appearance, and the banks, bristling with bare branches of bushes and trees, do not add optimism to the first fishermen already sitting near the spring water.
But is everything so hopeless? No, you can fish at this time. Let us together define those terms that will not allow you to go home without a catch at this time.
I will tell you in the example of a river near which I live and most often fish. I will clarify all the necessary nuances.
Choose a place for fishing
The floodplain of my river is such that on the left, more shallow and shallow shore, the water vegetation is located from the water’s edge at a distance of 12-15 meters. The depth at such a distance is insignificant. The right bank is more precipitous and thickets of aquatic vegetation begin in 3-5 meters. It is much deeper here. Which shore to choose?
It should be borne in mind that during the period of increased solar activity, water is stratified by temperature. Warmer water is found on the shallow bays of the northern shore. So, the left bank, which is shallower, and therefore warmer, with aquatic vegetation far from the water’s edge at shallow depths, which also creates a sense of security for the fish (given the transparency of the water) is more preferable. If you add to the above-mentioned the presence of warm sewage in a place, then, most likely, this will be the place to which you, first of all, should pay attention. Although, of course, this is just a general discussion. So to speak, the guide to action. I think that practically all anglers in their regions know well the places where the season is best from year to year. Do not philosophize, rape them first!
A way of fishing
The feeder, I believe, is just the same tackle that will not allow the early spring to leave the river empty. And here it is appropriate to say a few words about the minimum necessary equipment. And in the feeder, it is, above all, a rod that has certain qualities. Personally, I use the rod “Pride” from TM “Flagman”. This heavy-duty feeder with a length of 3.6 meters allows you to drop feeders weighing up to 125 grams. The rod is light and reliable, it is equipped with three changeable tops and different rigidity and satisfies all conditions of catching – from standing water to a strong current, and provides excellent visual control. After all, the process of catching involves the need to track the most delicate “early spring” bites of inactive fish. Knowing that not everyone can afford such luxury as a branded feeder rod, I want to say that you can catch any cheap spinning or fishing rod.
Since we catch in shallow water near the coast, a monolayer with a breaking load of three kilograms (I use Salmo Evolution with a diameter of 0.17) is quite suitable. You should not put thicker. With the help of this line, I made long enough casts and dug solid fish at “loading” from the eighty-gram feeder, without using any shock-leader! For those who can afford it, try to catch with a cord. I now switched to the “Fireline” from Berkley and I can say that for catching a feeder in some cases this is the best option. The braids are strong and strong, and thin at the same time, and most importantly they have a quality that is of paramount importance for this kind of catching – they are super sensitive!
Hooks for feeder
I use hooks from Gamakatsu No. 16 of the F-21 series. Very thin, strong, allowing to hold a large fish. In addition, they are perfectly suited for the attachment of bloodworms, which is the bait number one in the described period.
Open type. I use the type of feeder, the lower part of which is two lead “skis”, connected together by a wire mesh. The top is a cylindrical grid. When lifting this feeder from the bottom, the lead “skis” play the role of underwater wings, and the net between them plays the role of a stabilizer, which makes it easy to tear the feeder from the bottom and deliver it to the shore. The trough is tied to the main line. Above a distance of 10-12 cm knit a loop, to which the way “loop in the loop” attach the leash. The use of side branches or triple swivels is considered to be unjustified in clear water.
Note: for a more convenient definition fish flocks, I recommend that you use a fishfinder that will greatly speed up your fishing process. Read more: how to read a fishfinder
Leap for feeder
A separate topic for conversation. In the period of clear water, I mainly use fluorocarbon. The material itself I would not call transparent, but in water, it becomes almost invisible. I use the Vanish transition from Berkley for leashes. The diameter is not so important because of the invisibility of this line. When fishing with a braid, I use leashes with a diameter of 0.18 mm and a breaking load of 2.9 kg. The line of this diameter is less confused and twisted by the flow of water. Hook one!
The length of the leash is 50-80 cm. The stronger the current, the longer the leash should be. On a leash, I put a pellet with a weight of 0.3-0.5 gr., Which can be moved. For what I will explain below.
Bait for the feeder
Considering that for ten March days spent on the river with the feeder, I did not see a bite on the worm, spells, etc. – my only bait of this period is the bloodworm in its pure form, without any sandwiches.
First, we put on the hook a small foam plastic ball of white color, then two or three bloodworms, planting them with rings (that is, piercing the body below the head and at the tail). I hide the sting in the tail of the last bloodworm. The foam ball located on the hook raises in the standing water a hook with a nozzle on the height, which is limited to a pellet on a leash and allows you to catch different layers of water. On the current, the pellet restricts the free oscillation of the leash.
I cannot say anything specific about why a styrofoam attracts fish so much. I know one thing: a scarlet bloodworm on a white background of a ball becomes such a bright target, from which neither the roach nor the chub does not refuse in the spring (these fish often give the main weight in my catch). In addition, playing a certain depth of bait on an invisible leash leave indifferent no fish, seeing the bait from a fairly long distance. The method of nozzle packing is dictated by the presence of a large amount of fry, which, with the traditional method of planting this delicate bait, pulls the tail of the larvae, thereby causing the top of the feeder to register false bites. This leads to an unreasonable lifting of the tackle from the bottom and a reduction in the net fishing
«Feeding for the feeder»
As a basis, I use a winter bait with Betaine, which works well in our region. The composition is as follows:
1) The basis is 500 g;
2) Milk powder – 1/2 cup;
3) Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon;
4) Cocoa – 1 tablespoon;
5) Ground dog food with the smell of liver – 1 glass;
6) As a binder – ground oat flakes;
7) Ripper is sand, in case you are too flaxy, and water overdo.
An important note: about the consistency of the composition: the bait should be washed out of the trough during the first ten minutes. To determine the interval of “release” of the feeder from the feed mix after the first cast, I lift the feeder upward after 3-4 minutes, regardless of whether the bite was or was not. According to the state and amount of bait left in the bird feeder, you can determine whether the composition is loose enough or vice versa, and add a ripper or binder to it, respectively. The use of the popular “bread + macula” type in cold water does not give any decent result, especially when the consistency resembles a window putty.
Now that we are prepared for fishing, we only have to drop the tackle accordingly, getting to the same chosen place. Now it is not difficult, because long casts are not needed. If you do not trust your eye, use an additional rod equipped with a marker. Having installed it on the surface of the water, you will always have a reliable landmark… Using these simple techniques and gear will allow you with honor to get out of the unspoken competition with fellow fishermen surrounding themselves with a palisade of ordinary donkeys. You will only have one feeder! That’s why, having nothing against ordinary spinning donkeys, I prefer a more delicate gear.
Try it, maybe you’ll like it!
So, based on the above, the set for spring catching on the feeder looks like this:
– a rod of a heavy class, with a test within 125-150 gr;
– coil EU 3500-4000 from the “Line Winder”;
– a braid with a breaking load of 7 kg of circular cross-section or a special line for feeder fishing, such as “Albacore” or the like, with a diameter of 0.17-0.12 mm.
I wish good luck in the new fishing season to the entire “brotherhood”!