The beginning of winter, it's over the mountain waters, a time of peace and quiet. The fall raids of floaters and landers are over, sporadically you can find a stray fly fisherman looking for a capricious one, winter grayling.
Also fish, while preparing for wintering they sank into deep pits and…..only rarely manifest their presence through surface feeding.
However, there is a fish, which attracts a small group of enthusiasts with almost magnetic force, who regardless of frost and snow, they tread along the rocky banks of the Dunajec or Poprad in search of it. It's a Danube salmon, the legendary Queen of Podhale. Fish, around which many myths have arisen regarding the selection of equipment, wonderful, only effective lures, feeding times and its incredible, even the mammoth strength and size to which it grows. Unfortunately, practice has shown, that the "golden mean" for catching it simply does not exist. The only way to get closer to success is to be by the water again and again at any time of the day and in all weather conditions, which does not guarantee success anyway. This is confirmed by the results of specialists in its half, who have distributions of the order of three, four or more fish in a season often have to pay for several dozen days of hard labor with spinning in hand.
But what is a novice hunter to do, who, despite these difficulties, wants to deal with the Danube salmon?
Should, primarily, arm yourself with the appropriate equipment, a strong rod therefore, a reel with a reliable brake mechanism and gear, lubricated (important!) grease that does not set in frost. It is very important to choose an appropriately strong monofilament, I think 0,40 mm will not be an exaggeration due to low temperatures and the fact, that we fish with heavy lures, whose inertia during throws causes the constant tightening of the knot connecting the line with the safety pin, which after several dozen casts seriously reduces its endurance.
The selection of lures is a separate issue, and I suppose, that every angler has his own view of the matter.
Undoubtedly, medium and large wobblers are the most effective at this time of the year, in silver colors, imitating chubs, bleak and daces as well as brown and gold corresponding to the color of the barbel, favorite food "head".
It is not worth exaggerating with the size of the wobbler, both in one direction and the other. Too small can go unnoticed or ignored, with too much jamming problems may occur. Good Danube salmon wobblers, regardless of their construction or external appearance, have one thing in common, i.e.. stable operation in conditions of strong and alternating water current.
In most cases, floating wobblers will suffice, which, depending on the position of the rudder, we are able to effectively fish virtually any place.
Anyway, Deep "plowing" of pits in search of Danube salmon does not often have any effect, for it, while foraging, patrols all the shallows, collapse of the current at the edge of the stream, reefs, that is, these places, where its potential victims try to hide while it is feeding.
It is also not worth fishing for hours in one, even the best place. Head when it takes, it usually does this in the first few, a dozen or so throws. It is useless to provoke her to catch by constantly feeding the bait into the area of a supposed or known position, which turns out to be effective when catching other predators. It is good, however, after catching a given place with a wobbler, change the bait to e.g.. spoon, a forgotten door handle or a large revolving wheel.
Where and when to look for it?
Regarding the time of day, we can expect strikes throughout the day, with particular emphasis on the times of dawn and dusk. In late autumn and early winter, Danube salmon occupy typical places – wintering grounds of non-feeding fish, which he leaves-
her summer territories looking for peaceful places, deep water. And right there, At the border of the shallow inlets, the Danube salmon lurks hunting migrating fish. The critical moment in the middle of the Danube salmon is the moment of bite and jam. A bite is rarely felt as a powerful blow, more often it is just a soft hold, difficult to distinguish from the hitch for the inexperienced. The less self-controlled make a strong cut in each case, risking the loss of baits, and even breaking the fishing rod. Others are waiting for the first "swings" of the Danube salmon with the bait in its mouth, however, allowing some of the taking fish to be lost as a result of a late jam.
Once we manage to jam successfully, the basic rule during the haul is peace and composure, because the Danube salmon fights in the depths, often at the surface, not very dynamic, but with enormous strength.
After you bring the fish to the shallows in a slow time, be prepared for its last spurt. Take the fish out of the water by grabbing under the gill covers, I do not advise you to use "salmon" holds, i.e.. for the root of the tail, because all such combinations usually result in a violent reaction of the fish.
Finally, a curiosity.
It happens, that after feeding is finished, one or more pieces start to run off, often noisy while performing acrobatics in the shape of dolphin jumps. Old anglers then find out, that "turtles are bathed".
For the uninitiated, this Danube salmon ballet may seem like an intense feeding. Nothing could be more wrong! Personally, I have not heard, for someone to catch a Danube salmon during their "bath". However, I did not miss even a few throws then, so far no results.