Friday 20 June 2014

Näsijärvi experience – big zander from a big lake

Näsijärvi is the biggest lake in the Tampere region. With its 256 square kilometres of open waters, it presents quite a challenge for an angler attempting to pull in big fish without prior knowledge of the local 'hot spots' and usual fish habitats.

Nevertheless, I have just spent what I consider to be one of my most fascinating fishing trips within Scandinavia in a decade. Accompanied by Adam – a usual fishing buddy, we set out to look for zander and pike, particularly in the northern part of the lake, known as Vankavesi.

Vankavesi has a certain advantage over the remaining parts of the lake, in that it hosts a number of small and shallow bays, overgrown with reed and underwater plants, making it a suitable fishing ground for pikes. Apart from this, there are also a number of shallow spots emerging from the 10-20m depths, which proved to be a good place for catching zander.

After a week of fishing there, here are the lessons learnt:

- If pike is what you're after, then you'd better head eastwards towards the Aland Islands in the Baltic. Näsijärvi's pike stocks are considerably lower and getting a big specimen is almost exclusively reserved for trolling.

- Zander is abundant but it takes a good while (a few days in fact) before you touch the hotspots and figure out the best techniques.

- The weather is a big factor: the worse the weather (rain, cold), the better the fishing. Of particular interest is a brief period prior to a rainstorm.

- Perch is everywhere but big perch is scarce. Catching fish in the order of 15-20cm is relatively easy, bigger ones are hard to track down and require larger baits.

My recommendation to all those wishing to fish in Näsijärvi/Vankavesi is to plan your fishing trip during a spell of rainy weather. This really helps! We had hardly any catch during the bright hours of the day when the skies were clear. On sunny days, forget about zander, unless you don’t mind fishing in deeper water. We preferred shallower plateaus of 3-5m of depth, which were perfect in the evenings and during the night.

As mentioned before, pike is not particularly abundant but it's always worth trying to catch some in the green and warmer bays, before or during the rain. Adam managed to get one which measured 94cm but the usual catch would be around 50cm.

As for zander, it usually stays within the 40-50cm limits but occasionally, the big beasts wake up and give you a fishing time to remember. On the very last day, we decided to check out shallow and rocky outposts in the middle of the lake, where the depth would not exceed 2m and where such areas would stretch for 20 or 30 m.

As the weather was deteriorating fast and as the waves were getting higher and higher, we managed to steer our way clear of the rocks and get 3 huge zanders (and 5 or 6 smaller pikes) within 2 hours; all caught with 12cm jerks. However, we only managed to get one of these fish on-board – the rest spat the hooks out just by the boat. The photo below shows a nice, fat 75cm zander. The remaining ones were at least as big.

So, all in all, the lake is a very interesting but at the same time rather demanding fishing spot, with success clearly determined by the weather.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Beatiful sea creature


Don't get misled, this is not exactly what it seems to be. This splendid creature can be met both in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. I can assure you it is perfectly alive and doesn't smell at all, at least from the distance I carefully kept from it ;). In Spain they call it simply: bobosa (i.e. snail).

Big Trout from the Sure river

This was supposed to be a rather mediocre fishing trip. The water level was generally very low and these few fish that decided to attack only did so reluctantly. Yet eventually it turned out to be a magnificent day thanks to a very big trout that attacked my wobbler. With the UL set the result of this fight was difficult to guess to the very end.

the fish was so tired it allowed me to film itself quite a long while, this is one of my favorites movies ever since then ;)

Sunday 1 June 2014

Some holiday fishing in the Mediterranean

A few hours on the beaches of Formentera, a Balearic Island close to Ibiza, brought me this nice corvina, caught with a shallow-diving plug cast 20 metres into the sea. The fishing was not particularly easy due to the strong wind and the water splashing in my face. But it was fun!

I also had a few other strikes, without hooking the fish.

corvina from Formentera corvina from Formentera 2

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Jumping trout 37cm

Check out this incredible jumping trout caught in one of the most beautiful trout creeks of Luxembourg.

The subtitles are in Polish but the video speaks for itself!

Monday 19 May 2014

The launch of a new graphic interface

Hi everyone!

We thought this new interface would be more user-friendly and interactive. We changed the previous look&feel of the site and turned it into a blog. Please feel free to comment here or visit our videos at YouTube and post your comments there.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

Lux-fishing team.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

truites, chevesnes et ombres en avril

La pêche en avril ne s'arrête pas le jour de l'ouverture de la pêche à la truite. Au contraire, si le temps nous permet, j'essaye de découvrir tous les coins de nos rivières, qui étaient inaccessible pendant la période hivernale.

J'ai donc remarqué que les gros chevesnes sont elles aussi de retour, et que les truites continuent à se nourrir, malgré le niveau d'eau très bas pour la saison. En effet, les poissons se déplacent ver les cours moyens des fleuves, à la recherche des endroits plus profonds, protégés et ombragés. Cependant, ce ne sont pas les trous plus profonds qui cachent le plus grand nombre des poissons. Ces endroits ont une tendance à retenir de la boue et on ne trouvera pas des grosses truites sur un fond vaseux. Il faut se diriger plutôt vers les trous moins prometteurs mais localisés sur un fond rocheux, en proximité d'un cours d'eau fort qui amène de l'eau bien oxygénée.

Comme j'ai décidé de garder quelques truites ces dernières semaines, pour tester mon nouveau fumoir à poissons (d'ailleurs, elles sont délicieuses!), j'ai vérifié le contenu de leurs estomacs. Ainsi, j'ai pu constater que toutes les truites avaient les ventres bien pleins: soit en trichoptères soit en poissons (2 loches franches de 10cm en l'occurrence).

J'ai aussi découvert qu'un lac de barrage ou je pêche habituellement des truites est peuplé aussi par des ombres, qui en plus poursuivent les mêmes leurres!

En ce qui concerne les leurres les plus efficaces (pour les truites), ce sont toujours des cuillers (type Aglia long 0-2) et les poissons-nageurs de la production artisanale polonaise, ou bien mon favori – Bonito Sandacz, de 5cm).

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Opening of the trout season - April fishing

April 2014 - Trout season is open!

The first day of the trout season was warm and sunny, which is a stark contrast to the last year's sub-zero conditions. We have primarily fished narrow rivers and streams of 3-4m width. The water was very clear and its level was pretty low, which made it difficult to approach the fish unnoticed.

However, especially in the early morning and in those sections of the river where trees were in abundance, we managed to catch plenty of trout of different sizes (none larger than 35 cm, though). The fish were in great condition, their colours vivid and the fights they put up were simply amazing. I noticed that most fish had an interesting yellowish-brownish taint, with a few species ranging into pink and violet tones. This must be due to different habitats they roam in.

In any case, the combination of sunny weather, clear water, colourful and strong fish and the beautiful scenery of the Ardennes made it a memorable fishing experience.

We used short, ultra-light fishing rods, braid lines of 0.06mm diameter and small (3cm) plugs or No.1-sized spinners.


Saturday 1 March 2014

Pstrągi w kleniowej wodzie - Luxembourg fishing

Pstrągi w kleniowej wodzie

Początek marca w Luksemburgu okazał się być pełen słońca. Po długich miesiącach słoty, temperatury podskoczyły do 15-17 stopni Celsjusza, a woda w rzekach opadła i stała się stosunkowo przejrzysta. Rok temu takich warunków pogodowych nie było aż do późnego maja. Wysoka woda i niskie temperatury znacznie utrudniały wędkowanie na sztuczne przynęty, a już na pewno mocno rzutowały na wyniki.

Pełni optymizmu, wybraliśmy się wiec na połów typowego drapieżnika tej części Europy i tej części roku, mianowicie: dobrze nam znanego, tłustego, rzecznego klenia. Sezon kleniowy (w sensie przenośnym, gdyż kleń nie ma tutaj okresu ochronnego) rozpoczęliśmy już w lutym i kilka ładnych sztuk udało się skusić na woblery w środkowym rejonie naszej rzeki, tam gdzie woda leniwie meandruje wśród pól a przy brzegach tworzą się niewielkie zatoczki, wsteczne prądy lub spowolnienia nurtu. Poczekaliśmy, aż woda trochę się nagrzeje i nad rzeką stawiliśmy się po południu. Ku naszemu zaskoczeniu, ryb nie było ani widu ani słychu. Żadnego oczkowania, żadnych ucieczek grubych kleni spod nóg przy dochodzeniu do burty brzegowej, żadnego spławiania się czy nawet powolnego patrolowania nurtu małymi grupkami, jak to mają w zwyczaju robić w letnich miesiącach przy podobnym nasłonecznieniu.

Jak to często bywa, wybawił nas przypadek. W pewnym momencie kolega zmienił przynętę na obrotówkę Aglię (złota z czerwonymi kropkami, nr 2) i zaczął obławiać rozległą prostkę przed kamienistym przelewem. Prowadząc przynętę jak najbliżej dna, na którym roi się od kamieni, głazów i drobniejszych przeszkód, miał gwałtowne branie na samym środku nurtu. Ryba się spięła ale przy następnym rzucie było kolejne natychmiastowe branie i tym razem okazało się, ze atakującym drapieżnikiem był pstrąg. Zmieniłem wiec również przynętę najpierw na obrotówkę, a później na 6g złotawą wahadłówkę i ku mojemu zdumieniu po 2 czy trzecim rzucie tez miałem branie. W ciągu pół godziny mieliśmy co najmniej 10 brań ryb, z czego połowę udało się wyholować (i oczywiście zaraz wypuścić do wody, gdyż sezon pstrągowy zaczyna się dopiero 1 kwietnia). Wniosek jest wiec taki, ze duże klenie przy takich warunkach albo nie są zbyt aktywne albo, (co bardziej prawdopodobne) przenoszą się w inne rejony rzeki, tam gdzie zadrzewienie jest większe i przejrzysta woda oraz słońce nie wystawiają na pastwę czapli, kormoranów i innych ptaków.

Drugi wniosek jest taki, ze pstrągi, które łowiliśmy pochodziły prawdopodobnie z niedawnych zarybień i trzymały się jeszcze razem i z jakiegoś powodu preferowały właśnie ten, a nie inny kawałek dna. Na wszelki wypadek, daliśmy im spokój. Wrócimy tam za miesiąc i zobaczymy czy już wróci do tej pory na swe włości prawowity pan tego fragmentu rzeki: półmetrowy luksemburski kleń.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Winter chub - Luxembourg fishing

Winter chub fishing - middle Sûre river

I had little time to devote to fishing that weekend, so I had to choose a fishing spot wisely. The season is closed for most species of fish in Luxembourg and the only real option for lure fishing was to look out for chub or perch. Given that perch has recently all but disappeared from the middle sections of the Sure river, I knew that if I caught anything, it would have to be a chub.

The weather on the 1st of February 2014 was horrible: 2°C and rain with wind blowing from the East. The river, however, was still relatively clear (it hadn’t been raining hard for a week or more). That gave me a time slot of 4-5 hours before the water would get murky again. Choosing a right spot is crucial: chub optimises energy and avoids rapids, especially in the winter. No point looking for it in the middle section of the river bed. You need to stick to the river banks, especially in places where soil erosion resulted in the formation of shallow bays. That's where the chub is most likely to stay: on the borderline between the main current and the sheltered water of the bay. Suitable bank formations can be found in some parts of the river Sure, where the water cuts through muddy fields, with scarce vegetation and a few riverside trees.

Chub may be very aggressive in the summer period, when it attacks bait like a pike, occasionally even chasing it for 2 or 3 meters. But in the colder months, the lure should be retrieved slowly and calmly, with frequent stops along the way. For this type of fishing, I prefer floating plugs of 4-7 cm. I often use hand-made plugs from Poland and on this day, I had prepared two of those: a white plug with dark stripes, minnow type and a chunkier one, with aggressive action and natural bluish colours. I cast the lure a little bit above the presumed location of the fish, let it float down the river and then start a slow retrieve against the current, parallel to the bank. Make sure you move silently and don't approach the water too rapidly, so as not to scare the fish away. As expected, the fish snatched the lure close to the bank, in an area with calm or even inexistent current. I actually caught 2 chubs of a very decent size that day: 54 and 57cm. They fought well (for a chub and for this time of year), which means that they were in a good condition. Perhaps the warm winter and frequent rains provide more food and require less energy expenditure?

Ps. On the same day, I had a short fight with a heavy, strong fish which stubbornly stuck to the bottom without letting me see it. Eventually, it spat out the lure. I suppose that might have been a large barbel (they occasionally go after deeper diving plugs) or a carp caught by chance, perhaps by the dorsal fin.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Moselle catfish - Luxembourg fishing

January 2014 - Moselle catfish

Luxembourgish Moselle is quite challenging fishing-wise due to its transformation into a channel-like, artificial watercourse back in the 60-ties of the last century. Typical spots are extremely rare to non-existent, depth is almost the same everywhere and water conditions highly unpredictable due to human (or rather machine) intervention at the dams. There are still some guys who fare quite well even in this hostile world but these can probably afford to spend a lot of time on the river bank and know their few proven spots like the back of their hand. I tried to do some lure fishing in the river in the past but gave up as I had virtually no contact with anything resembling fish. Much more successful were my feeder-fishing trips: with two rods I often had no time to rest: breams, roaches, little black-cats….plenty of them with just a handful of groundbait and maggots/dendrobaenas. These times are unfortunately gone, probably forever, with the invasion of gobies 3-4 years ago. Henceforth any bait (even chewing-gum) is immediately swallowed by one of these bastards. I assumed any offspring of predator fish would share the fate of the bite, hence gave up fishing there at all. Few months ago, however, I spotted a guy who was obviously doing good perch hunt in the Moselle, so I decided to give it a try. One 2014 January weekend day I was back there, in the same place where I got my first big chub (53 cm) several years ago (it was in February, yellow fluorescent Mepps 2). This is a place where a decently large stream enters the Moselle, making it promising a spot for winter fishing. Unfortunately everything seemed to confirm my suspicions about the empty river – no single contact within first 4 hours, no matter how many different lures and approaches tried. I assumed there was no point in continuing this farce and decided to do a last shot, just to try my new GoPro camera. I turn it on and send my Illex cranky away. Few seconds later I’m retrieving something solid back to the river bank – I couldn’t guess what it was before it appeared really close to me – a beautiful little yellow black cat it turned out to be. He fought surprisingly ferociously but true, with my 5 gram worth rod everything little sturdier inevitably becomes big game. I was very excited to catch this little fighter at the very last moment and in these unfriendly circumstances. I decided the Moselle was not entirely lost and worth trying back. Now I’m still not sure whether it had been a right conclusion as our next trips seemed only to confirm my earlier fears but I still think the river has some potential, if hardly harnessable.

Tuesday 31 December 2013

Selection of 2013 photos

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