Pigs are amazing fish in every way. Only fishermen who are well acquainted with the habits of this species can count on success in catching pigs.
Fish, which I am hauling on a match rod, it does not run away as vigorously as a chub or a barbel. And yet it offers some pretty good resistance. It also does not brick to the bottom, but it jerks just below the surface and lines consistently across the current. Only the piggy fights like that. After pumping several times, I finally pull my prey to the bank.
After a while, I am holding a half-kilogram white fish in my hands. The hard cartilage upper lip has the characteristic shape of a pig's whistle, hence probably the species name of this fish. Thick lips are the best evidence of this, that pigs mainly look for food at the bottom.
I have never caught a few pigs in a row before. It is true that they are herd fish and they feed in smaller or larger groups-
kach, however, other species of fish are much more aggressive than them and almost always chase them away from the baited fishing grounds. After catching one pig, they usually take barbels and roach from me.
If I want to catch another pig, I cast the rod a little further than before. Then the guinea pig is quite often the first to grab the bait. If I let the float flow down in exactly the same place, there are almost always barbel or roach already there.
Pigs are very strange fish. Although they are typical bottom fish, then catching them effectively with a groundbait rig with a feeder has almost no effect. The bait must be in constant motion. In summer, pigs often catch white worms, for example, when fishing for a stream in or even close to the water's surface. How to explain it? Perhaps white worms, which I give after each casting of the rod, they disappear quite quickly somewhere in the nooks and crannies of the bottom and pigs learn, that it is much easier for them to grab food when it sinks in the water.
In addition to white worms, algae on the stones on the bottom of the river are also a good bait for pigs. I keep the collected algae in a closed box filled with water, which prevents the bait from drying out. Dried algae threads become brittle like rotten gum and unsuitable for catching. Although the fresh algae are not sticky, putting them on a hook is not a problem. The bait is simply wrapped around the hook, starting with the shank, and ending with a blade, which should be completely hidden in algae. The more algae on the hook, the less strikes, unfortunately. The trick is to use the algae on the hook very sparingly.
If after catching a pig, roach, chub or barbel, after lightly squeezing the fish in the area of the anal fin, we will notice, that her droppings are green, then we can be sure, that the fish are eating algae. Tiny invertebrate animals live on algae, which are also an attractive morsel for fish. It is also an excellent explanation, why fly fishermen catch pigs on green loaded nymphs so regularly.
In winter, the worm
In winter, I prefer to fish dungworms with small worms, mainly in the afternoon hours with bright skies and light frost. Before that, I was attracted by old bread and pigeon droppings. I was breaking the bread, I was mixing with pigeon droppings, and then I softened the whole thing with water. Later I squeezed the excess water out of the groundbait.
This bait effectively attracts pigs to the fishery also today. Unfortunately, making it is very time-consuming and that's why I finally decided to use ready-made baits. The groundbait, however, must be suitably sticky. I mix it with clay or gravel and add weight to it. I also add some white worms to it. The main "task" of white worms, however, is not to attract fish, but to facilitate the disintegration of the groundbait balls at the bottom of the river.
Although, in many places, pigs only take in the summer, these fish are active at any time of the year and even in winter it pays off to target them on purpose.
Bites and snags
In winter I use a long match rod (about 4,5 m) and quite a buoyant float (about 10 g) intended for fishing in the current. The stick must be that long, because the float should be permanently installed, and the whole set is much longer, than the actual depth of the fishery. Suppose, that the water depth is two meters. In this situation, we set the ground to the depth 4 meters, the load is placed in the middle of the distance between the float and the hook.
I never fish with a traditional leader. I tie the hook directly to the main line. If I was fishing with a leader, I would not only have to reassemble the set after each catch, but also once again struggle with proper ground alignment. When fishing without a leader and with twice the ground, I lose only the hook on the hook or with a bit of luck I just stretch it. With such a long set, snags are virtually unavoidable – it is also very difficult to distinguish them from bites.
When taking a pig, the float usually goes into the water slowly. In the case of a catch, the float disappears much faster. This difference can only be observed when fishing in a fairly strong current. In weak currents, the bite and the hook look almost identical. You should jam every time, because you don't risk anything anyway (if it is a hindrance, it's a hook and it probably sits there already).
Due to the long "leader" the float does not behave like a racing boat in the winter current. When fishing with hold flow, small dung worms bounce on the hook when the line is stretched high up and the pigs have enough time, to seize them. For the purpose of deliberate fishing for pigs, I look for a section of the river with a steady stream of water, because then almost every take is a pig take. In winter, barbel hardly forages, and roaches and chubs stick to the quieter places by the shore. Catching roaches is the best proof, that I'm fishing in the wrong place. You intuitively look for good pig hunting grounds, and for that you need experience.
Pulling fast from the flow
While hauling fish that stick to the current (such as pigs or barbel), the author uses a trick.
Immediately after the jam, it runs downstream and quickly spins the line, so as not to lose contact with the fish.
After catching up with the fish, it is much easier to distract her from the mainstream.
The fight lasts much shorter than if you had to tow the fish all the time against the tide.