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Fishing

Fisherman calendar.

"Ust'-Belsk" Natural Park lies on the right bank of the Kama on the opposite side from the place where the Belaya River flows into it.

The Kama River is about 2000 km long. It springs from nearby Karpushina village in Udmurt Republic; then it flows into the Volga. Its upstream passes marshy woodland. Visual appearance of banks changes after the Vishera mouth: the right bank stays the same and becomes more of a meadow kind, and the left one becomes higher and sometimes steeper. There are a lot of islands, shoals and rifts at this part. After junction with the Belaya River the Kama has high right bank and low left bank. It’s a deep river; some of its reaches are deeper than 20 m. Its flow velocity is higher than Volga’s. The aquatic vegetation is rather rich, especially in numerous creeks and backwaters. It freezes over in the end of November and breaks up in the end of April.

There are 36 species of fish living in the water area of Natural Park: bream, sazan, crucian carp, asp, silver bream, ide, chub, bleak, pike perch, perch, ruffe, pike, burbot, cat-fish and others. Three species form sturgeon family of local fish fauna are put in The Red Book of Udmurt Republic and Russian Federation; these are beluga, starlet and Russian sturgeon. This fishery is forbidden. For all other fish species there’s also spawning prohibition which is applied from April 15 till June 15 when there’s only fishing with one rod with a float and no additional devices is allowed.

There’s a lot of crayfish in Ust’-Belsk neighborhood, and that is the evidence of local nature purity, as is well known these arthropods never live in dirty water.

Fish species

Bream

Bream is a very valuable fish, which lives in rivers and lakes. This fish harbours in shoals. It prefers holes, places with moderate flow, and waters under steep clayey banks, still waters and creeks. When twilight comes it moves to shallow waters looking for food.

The body is wide and flattened. Fins are dark, eye’s irises are reddish. It gains weight of about 500 grams by the age of 5-7 years.

The best biting period starts after spawning time and lasts till the middle of June and during he whole August. In the end of September biting starts again, but it depends on the weather.

This fish can be caught on ground rod or rod with a float. It can be easily struck with moving ground rod with a sliding plummet. The favorite baits are muckworms, caddis worms, flesh of shell-fish, hard boiled semolina, peas, stewed wheat, and boiled potatoes.

Crucian carp

The weight of its imago is about 700-900 grams, maximum weight – 3-4 kilograms. This fish is unpretentious to the amount of oxygen in the water. It undergoes cold winter and hot summer easily.

Crucian carps have constant habitats. They prefer being near grass, or digging in silt. Large fish comes close to banks only under twilight.

The spawning period is in May-June, it depends on the weather and the water temperature. Fish bites well in pre-spawning time, when the temperature of the water raises up to 14 degrees. It bites lazily in summer, especially if there’s a lot of natural food in the river. Best of all it bites in the mornings during the sunrise and in the evenings after day’s heat abatement.

An extensible rod with thin line is enough for starting fishing. This fish gets used to baiting easily. Red muckworm is the best bait. For this purpose you can also use dough balls, bloodworms and black bread crumbs seasoned with hempseed or anise oil.

Asp

This predatory fish is from the carp family. Body is long, chap is large. The lower jaw has a knob and the upper jaw has a hollow right for this knob. The color is silver, upper and tail fins are grey with a black edge, and bottom and side fins are reddish. Eye’s iris is yellow with a green spot on the upper part.

Imagoes are about 500 grams weight.

This fish prefers stony riffles. It can be caught during the sunrise easily, when asp goes hunting.

Asps are spawning in the middle of April, when the water temperature is more than 6 degrees.

Fly fishing and spinning with a light spoon are the best for you to fish, and sometimes ground fishing rods can also be used. The bait is small fish, like bleak and dace.

Silver Bream

It’s a lean and bony fish. It looks like a young bream, but its body is more flattened. Fins are reddish. Body weight is about 400 grams while its length it about 35 sm. Maximum weight is up to 1.2 kilograms.

It prefers being close to bank during the daylight, it likes weak streams. It gathers in small schools in back-waters, under bushes and grass hanged over the water.

It starts spawning in May-June, when the water temperature raises up to 16-18 degrees. It baits well during the week before spawning (end of Mat – beginning of June). It can be fished equally well during the whole summer, and the better daytime for it is before the sunset.

Silver dream is usually fished on lightweight rod with a float. Worms, dough, bread-crumbs, stewed pearl barley and caddis worms can be used as a bait.

Ide

This fish has a scale with intense golden shade, bottom tins are bright red, back and caudal fins are dark grey. The body is thick and wide, the mouth is small. It weights about 2-3 kg.

It can be fished in rivers with moderate stream, between rifts, under dams and bridge footings.

The best biting time is right after the spawning period. It bites well during the sunrise in summer and during the second part of the day in autumn.

It is fished by means of rod with a float or ground rod, and sometimes spinning with a light spoon-bait can be used. The best baits are may-bugs, worms of dayflies and dragonflies, caddis worm; stewed pea, wheat and corn in summer.

Chub

This fish has a wide forehead and oblong terete body. Its back is dark green or grey, sides are silvery, and all spins are orange except the back one. Eye’s iris is silvery with a dark spot in the upper part. Imago chub is about 20 centimeters long and 250 grams weight.

In warm sunny weather it willingly keeps on the surface under bushes and trees overhanging, waiting for insects falling down in water. It also holds on streams in the middle of rivers, floating back and forth, and coming up to surface if there’s anything tempting enough for it.

It spawns in the beginning of May, when the water temperature is 14 degrees. The best biting time is in spring and early summer.

Flyfishing is a good way to catch chub, and sometimes ground fishing rod can be used. Its favorite baits are worms, hatchlings, insects, and young frogs (in autumn). Chubs are quite edacious.

Bleak

Bleak is a fast small fish. It lives in the upper layers of water. Its back is loden, sides and belly are silvery, and fins are grey. Bleak is about 15 cm long and 25 grams weight.

Bleak can be easily spotted, when it’s floating back and forth near the surface hunting insects or other food. When there’s no wind all you have to do is to throw some bread in the water and this little fish will gather around it instantly.

Small bleak is usually fished at the surface, and the bigger one can take the bait in the middle sheets of water.

It bites well in warm season of the year, you can use a lightweight fishing rod with a float, and no plummet is needed. Dough, bread, maggots, pearl barley, a part of a worm, and a fly is enough good to be bait for fishing bleak.

Pike perch

Pike perch belongs to percoids, it’s a typical predator. Pike perch is appreciated for its delicious meat. It has a long body with a pointed head. The back’s color is loden, and there’re transverse brown stripes on its sides. The front dorsal fin is thorny; tail and dorsal fins are covered with little dark spots. Iris is yellow.

It moves a lot looking for pure water and places rich with food. Pike perch avoids weedy areas in rivers and lakes, as well as oozy bottom and calm waters.

Large pike perches can be about a 1 meter long, and they prefer being alone. Pike perch grows rapidly, in waters abounding with food it can put on about a kilo during a year. It spawns in 15-16 degrees water.

The best biting time is after its spawning season in the middle of May, and then in October. It swallows the bait in any time of the day. Small pike perches tend to bite during the sunrise, and big ones – at twilight. Fish of a middle size bite well during the first part of the day in summer, and you can use a ground fishing rod. Actually it can be fished with any kinds of tackle. Its favorite bait is midge, bait fish, slough, brunch of worms, conch.

Perch

It’s a schooling fish. Eyes are with yellow-orange iris and with a large dark pupil. Along the body there are 5-9 dark transverse stripes. Abdominal, back and tail fins are bright red, and pectoral fins are yellow. The first dorsal fin if bluish grey with a black spot on top, it has some spiny rays.

Perch lives in creeks, backwater, under steep banks, where the stream is slow. It spawns during the flood, when the water temperature is about 7-8 degrees.

The best biting time is in April-May after spawning, when it comes a time of so-called “intensive feeding”. It nourishes only during the day time. Bite well in mornings and during the sunrise if it’s warm enough. Sometimes small and middle sized perches swallow the bait actively during the whole day. It also bites avidly in the end of summer, when it hunts for grown midge.

Perch can be fished with most kinds of tackle. Young perches feed on small shellfish, other fish’s spawn, midge, bloodworms. Big perches and those of a middle size prefer tiddler; they bite worms, caddis worms, leeches, maggots, fish eyes and offal. It doesn’t bite phytogenous bait.

Ruffe

This schooling spiny fish is of a sand-green color with blackish little spots on sides. Spiny dorsal fins are joined together, and there are spines on its gill cover. Ruffe has big eyes with lilac or bluish iris.

Ruffe prefers being on sandy and pebbly ground, in summer times it floats near cold springs and in shades. Usually it swallows bait at a depth.

Its main feature is unpretentiousness to living environment; it can easily stand the fall of oxygen in water. Ruffe is very voracious fish, it feeds even at night. If there’s a ruffes gathering no other fish bites, except perch. Imago is about 7 cm long, and 10 grams weight. Ruffe’s maximum size is 20 cm, maximum weight – 100 grams.

The best time for biting is summer and autumn, but it can also swallow the bait in winter. It can be fished using a lightweight rod with a float. Its favorite bait is worm.

Pike

Pike is an insatiable predator. It attacks fish even of a bigger size than it is.

It has a long arrow-shaped body. Pike has a cuneiform head; a large mouth, which is almost to gill covers, is filed with sharp teeth. Pike is covered with spots and stripes, it has dark back and light belly; pike changes it color depending on the living environment.

It’s a solitary fish; it lives near aquatic vegetation and prefers rivers with slow streams, creeks, backwaters and flow-through lakes. It grows rapidly. By the end of third year of live it reaches 40 cm long and 1 kg weight.

The first biting starts after ice breaking on water, the second one – a week after spawning period. During this time it stuffs its stomach up to top and then doesn’t eat anything for a few days. The third biting begins in autumn – in September-October, when pike tries to lay on fat for winter.

It’s fished with the live-bait rod, spinning, or zherlitsa. It swallows bait in a daytime actively. The biting slows down at noon and becomes stronger in the evening again. If the water is rough pike can feed during the whole daytime. In summer biting is better on a dull day, during a slight cold spell, when the heat falls down. In autumn it bites better during the second part of the day, when other fish starts feeding. Its favorite bait is a live fish, and small pikes bites worms. In spring and summer it bites crayfish willingly. Sometimes it swallows spoon-bait.

Burbot

This is the only gadoid that lives in fresh water. It looks like a cat-fish, but differs with color and has a longer dorsal fin. Its body is covered with small scales; skin evolves a large amount of mucus. Burbot’s head is flattened, the upper jaw is prominent, and the lower has one barbel. Its back is covered with black-brown spots and two dorsal fins are of the same color. Its belly is grey or white and it is followed by a long proctal fin.

Burbot is usually about 1 kg weight. It spawns at a water temperature of about 0 degree in the beginning or in the middle of winter, when it’s very cold.

It leaves its shelters and holes at night and goes hunting, waiting for its prey near snags, bays, bridge piles and steep banks. It stops feeding and gets in riverside holes very often in summer.

The best biting is right after spawning season in winter and early spring. The best tackle is a ground fishing rod, but it also bites a usual rod with a float at night. Its favorite baits are little frogs, live bait, leeches, living and dead fish.

Catfish

It’s the most gluttonous predator of fresh waters. It eats fish, frogs, small water fowl, and food residues that falls in water, large shell-fish.

It rises to upper water rarely. It lives it holes and hovers and gets out for feeding at night. Catfish likes to flow into creeks and springlet entries. It plashes in shallow waters and rubs against sand and pebble to get rid of leeches and other parasites.

Its body is perfectly built for living under water. It has a big wide and flattened head with a big mouth stuffed with numerous small teeth. Catfish has two long barbels on the upper jaw and four shorter barbels on the lower jaw. Its dorsal fin is very small and its proctal fin is wide and long and it extends to the caudal fin. This makes catfish very strong. Catfish is a ganoid, its skin is bare. And its eyes are small.

Catfish can be caught with a ground rod, experienced fishermen use “clonk” - a device which imitates piping of frogs. A ground rod has to be equipped with a metal snood and a big hook.

It bites well after spawning, which runs at a temperature of 18-22 degrees. The best biting time is in July-August. The best time of day is from dusk till dawn. Frogs, leeches and flesh of pearl shell can be used as baits.