In the fall, when the leaves fall from the trees, many predatory fish fall prey to the anglers. During this period, balance pilkers are an effective bait.
Late September, October and, above all, November – it is hard to imagine a better time to catch predatory fish. In nature, feverish preparations are underway for the upcoming winter, predatory fish prey on the whole. The thermal layer of water literally changes from day to day. Strong wind constantly mixes hot and cold water, all fish are looking for new positions. Zander quickly migrate to deeper places, perches stand motionless above the bottom and less and less often they are observed on the water surface. The fishing techniques so effective in the summer are now failing completely. It is a time of constant changes in tactics and artificial lures. There is only one rule in the fall – the lure must work just above the bottom as slowly and as long as possible, that is, near the fish stands.
Preferably for balance pilkers
Ordinary twisters and very deep wobblers are quite good lures for autumn predators. For some time in the fall, however, I have had the best effects on the so-called balance pilkers – many times I managed to catch dozens of perch and zander with them in one day. Also pike, and even very large pikes, they seldom resist this artificial bait. If you start fishing with balance pilkers and you do everything right now, you'll probably come to the conclusion quickly, that it is some kind of miraculous bait. In fact, however, the effectiveness of a balance pilker, just like any other artificial bait, it is also limited. In other words – this lure is only hunted from early autumn to early December. Later, for numb predatory fish, the movements of the balance pilker are already, so to say, too frivolous. so what, you still like this lure? if so, let's move on to the details.
Size and weight
There are plenty of balance pilkers, including such models, which are not always fit for our purposes. In many cases, however, it does not depend on the balance pilker itself, but on the parameters of the spinning rod used. Just like any artificial lure, a working balance pilker offers some resistance in the water. And it is precisely this resistance that should not overload the rod. As soon as we activate the pilker, that is, we will pick it up in a smooth movement about a meter above the bottom, the rod bends immediately. If it bends too much, we will have a bad feeling for the work of the pilker, and we won't notice many strikes either. In fact, the pilker should only bend the tip – the rod will be flexible enough then, so that the taking fish can be jammed effectively. In other words – about that, will we fish with light, or heavy equipment is mainly determined by the fishery and its conditions. In light winds and in shallow water it is advisable to use a light spinning rod, while in a deep fishery and in the wind, rather heavy set. In strong water current, we also have to take into account the necessity to use heavier lures. Larger weight of the lure obliges us to reach for a heavier spinning rod. The individual balance pilkers, however, do not differ that much in terms of weight. Speaking of rods, I mean sticks with a casting weight from 10 into 20, up to 30 grams. Personally, I only use two rods for spinning with balance pilkers. The optimal casting weight for a lighter stick is 12 g. When spinning with this stick I use balance pilkers weighing from 8 into 14 g. A stick with a casting weight is the best for fishing with heavier lures 18 g.
Perfect casting weight
How the ideal casting weight of a rod is calculated? It is very easy.
Suppose, that the manufacturer of the equipment specified the casting weight of the rod in the range from 10 into 20 g. average value, and so 15 g, it is therefore an ideal casting weight. If we use such a stick to spin with a weight of bait 15 g, we will take full advantage of all the advantages of our equipment – not to mention the length and precision of casts and full contact with the bait. Vein, as is the weight of the bait, it must also be perfectly adapted to the rod. Thanks to the new generation of fishing braids, there is no problem with it. If, for example, we need to lead a balance pilker at a depth of more than ten meters, the extensibility of the monolithic line is already so great, that it is difficult to feel the action of the lure. When fishing with braided line it looks completely different – every, even the slightest bump of the lure is perfectly transferred to the rod. At the beginning of winter, we should fish with the thinnest braided lines possible, preferably with a strength of three to five kilograms. This corresponds to diameters from 0,12 into 0,20 Mm.
Balance pilkers have a relatively large mass with their small volume. Using a thin line (braids) so we can throw even the smallest models of this lure very far. So it is also possible to spin from the bank. Many types of balance pilkers are produced today mainly with this method of fishing in mind, not about vertical fishing! As we all know, in early September, perches very often hunt at dawn just below the surface. So we lead the lure on a stick held high upwards, we immediately start turning the handle of the reel and try to optimally adjust the pace of the pilker to its mobility in the water. In practice, it looks something like this: make a throw and immediately close the bail as soon as the pilker hits the water surface. At the same time, we quickly raise the rod from the level vertically upwards. We lead the Pilker by jumping. In the beginning, the tip of the stick continues to move from the "12 o'clock" position to the "10 o'clock" position and keeps coming back. As the bait begins to approach the shore, our stick should work between "9 o'clock" and "11 o'clock."″. The last one 10-15 meters we lead the pilker "normally", like a normal artificial bait, all the time, however, we pull it lightly on the tip. You want to fish from the bank just above the bottom? You're welcome. First, however, you should unhook the front hook from the pilker. Most predators will attack this lure from the side or from behind anyway, and by removing the grappling hook you will avoid many unnecessary snags. During the first cast, you should get your bearings (on the basis of the countdown), how much time does the pilker need to sink to the bottom. For the next cast, start winding the line a few seconds earlier. Keep the tip of the rod just above the water and guide the pilker with short pilkers, but rather energetic jumps. If, by the way, you feel all the vibrations of the lure, you can be sure, that you perfectly matched the weight of the pilker to the parameters of the rod. When fishing with this method, do not get discouraged too quickly! Success is achieved only after gaining some practice. However, I guarantee, that once you've mastered the art of fishing, catch many nice fish.
From the boat
Fishing with a balance pilker from a boat is not only easier, but also much more effective. Two techniques are possible here (both techniques described, that is, a carriage and vertical fishing are not allowed in Poland). First, we can pull the pilker behind the boat. Every year at the beginning of autumn, I catch a lot of fish with spines on their backs in this way, We can use the same equipment for fishing with a horse-drawn carriage, which we used when fishing from the bank. Personally, however, I have a weakness for a slightly longer stick. The fishfinder is our guide – if the water gets deeper, let go of the line a little and keep the rod as low as possible above the water. If it starts to get shallower, we raise the stick up.
During this game, however, we should be very concentrated, even if we do not have to move the pilker additionally. Instead, let's try to stick to the same depth all the time, on which we located perch or zander. When it gets colder, and the predatory fish will go down into deeper water, fishing with a bait pulled behind a boat becomes more and more difficult. This is the best time, to make use of all possible aids, for example, a drift bag or an electric motor to fish in a drift at the edge of the slope. When fishing in drift, I prefer to use the shortest possible stick with the tip action. This makes fishing more sensitive, and the angler does not get tired so quickly. For drift fishing, use very thin braided lines with a strength of around three kilograms. Successful vertical fishing largely depends on skillful boat steering, that is, using oars or a motor. With barely flowing, but in a controlled manner of boats, you always catch more fish than the boat in free drift. Always stick to approximately the same depth after locating the fish.
Finally, a few remarks on moving the balance pilker vertically. We lower the Pilker to the bottom each time, and then pick it up with a short and energetic jerk up. After picking up, let the bait "hang" in the water for a while, and then lower it again on the taut line. At the time, when we feel, that the pilker is rubbing against the bottom, we should be especially focused – similar to other artificial lures, which you fish vertically, Also, the fish usually catch the balance pilker at the time of leaving. And these bites are vigorous, very and energetic…
Mann's Dancer is also a balance pilker. This lure is a great provocation for zander, especially at the beginning of autumn. It can be successfully spinning from the bank.