понедельник, 3 мая 2010 г.

"Dead time" in the middle of winter, Amur River

In January the ice on Amur River is about 1 meter thick.  Most of fish in this period are more sleepy comparing with the time of "first ice" - November & December.   

It takes lots of time & effort to make a hole in the thick ice with the ice-pike.   

Ice-auger is not very useful at Amur River ice - the ice has lots of sand in it, so the blades of a drill get dull after 2-3 holes.  Ancient tools - ice-pikes - are still popular in Khabarovsk. 

By mid December lots of lampreys are coming up to Khabarovsk. 
These "fish" are anadromous; they do not feed in the river and will be spawning in the spring. 
The life cycle of a lamprey is exactly the same as the one of a salmon.

The fish which is very active under the ice is burbot Lota lota

The best rig to catch burbot is a heavy lure baited with piece of row fish

Trophy whitefish is hard to catch in mid winter, when it is cold

Amur pike is one of fish which is active through the whole winter

Tail of Amur pike

воскресенье, 14 февраля 2010 г.

I am gone to South America

Sorry, there will be no posts for some time.  I am going to go fishing Tierra del Fuego till mid April.

среда, 27 января 2010 г.

Ice fishing in the Sea of Okhotsk near Magadan

The winter in Magadan is not severe, but long - it lasts for 7 months.  Ice fishing in fresh water and in the Sea of Okhotsk is a passion for many local fishermen.  Here you can see the hichhikers in heavy winter clothes & boots, which try to catch a ride to the fishing places far from the banks of the Gertnera Bay near Magadan.  Sometime the best fishing is found 10-15 km by ice-road. 

This lone, 12 m tall cliff in the sea is called "Monk".  The fish is often biting on the depths of 12-18 meters around the cliff. The locals call this "fishing by the monk".

After a blizard there is plenty of wet snow on the ice.  The 2-wheel drive cars easily get stuck.  This driver is hurriedly working with a shovel - others guys are already catching fish!

Two main quarries of ice-fishermen in the Sea of Okhotsk - suffron cod (left) and rainbow smelt. 

My ice-fishing rod is 70-75 cm long and has wire hooks, on which I wrap the line when lifting the fish to the ice.  This allows to pull out 20-25 meter long lines without taking off heavy fur mittens.  The fish is caught with a series of little hooks baited with narrow strips of condom.  The best colors of these "flies" (marine plancton imitations) are pink and white.

When the fishermen see somebody catching fish, they come and drive to the area with a school of fish from all directions.  In a quarter of an hour lucky fisherman could be surrounded by hunreds of his collegues. 

Pacific cod in winter is caught mostly with big lures close to the bank

суббота, 16 января 2010 г.

Amur pike Esox reicherti - part 2

At the main channel of the Amur River near the Sarapulskoe village the pike fishermen make the holes along the banks, at the depth 1,5-3 m

When ice-fishing the most important is to find a trail, which the fish is using..

The most common pike lure for ice-fishing in the Amur River is called "crab"

This fish is often biting its prey from the head; this is why one hook in the tail is not enough

Rare catch through the ice - 2 catfish were caught among the pikes   

Amur catfish can be active in December, and bite pike lures

Trophy Amur pike

вторник, 12 января 2010 г.

Amur pike Esox reicherti

Amur River is frozen.  Huge river is covered with thick ice & snow from November till April. 

The fishermen is carefully approaching fresh ice of the river: this is his first ice-fishing in the season. 

This pike had swallowed a small whitefish, which was caught on a baited hook.  An unexpected, but valuable catch!

Nice size Amur pike is caught with a self-made "horizontal" lure, painted white. 

Local lure for ice-fishing for pike is called "crab".  This is not a snagging device: the fish is really biting it!

Some modern pike lures which were working on 2009

"Fire-tiger" is one of the colors which the pikes like

to be continued..