It was the middle of the week when I managed to go fishing. And I went for the smelt.
The March sun was tenderly warming, the first puddles appeared on the ice. And they followed, however, not very soon, and after I caught two dozen smelts, the biting stopped altogether.
In vain I changed the place of fishing, varied jigs, baits. All this did not help much: only a few copies came across. There was no real gambling bite. I approached several fishermen: they were also in the prowl. This kind of fishing was clearly not to their liking, and gradually the fishermen began to disperse. And in the late afternoon, only a few of them remained on the ice. And only at a distance I noticed a small group of fishermen. I wondered: why do they stick together?
A few meters from the nearest angler he stopped. And after a couple of minutes my curiosity was satisfied. I noticed that five fishermen were sitting at their holes, but all of them, without stopping, looked at the elderly man in the center of their company in a black sea pea jacket and boots with galoshes.
There were four holes around it. Three of them were covered with pieces of cardboard, and from the fourth he pulled out a new smelt every minute. The rest of the fishermen did not have a bite. This went on for about twenty minutes.
Finally, one guy broke down and pleadingly asked:
- Father, will you allow me to fish in one of your holes?
- Why not let it: sit down, catch, - he replied, removing the cardboard from the nearest hole.
The applicant, without hesitation, lowered the tackle into the water and froze in tense anticipation. Probably, it seemed to him that the bite of smelt was not far off, and was about to begin ... However, five, ten, twenty minutes, half an hour passed, and he still had no bites. Meanwhile, the man in a pea jacket calmly continued to remove the smelt from the hole.
When he changed the nozzle again, I took a good look at his such prey tackle. Nothing special ... A rod without a handle, a silvery, rather roughly crafted teardrop-shaped jig. A fishing line was fixed at one end, and a hook was soldered at the other. The hook was decorated with a tiny bundle of orange threads.
- How does he manage to catch on such bullshit? - muttered a young man, perched behind the back of a successful fisherman.
But I caught it !? And how!
The guy, without waiting for a bite, desperately waving his hand, collected the tackle and retreated. There were no more lucky anglers willing to fish from the hole.
How fascinated I looked at this amazing fishing until a man in a pea jacket turned to me:
- Don't you want to sip smelt?
From the surprise, I was even confused and therefore did not immediately answer:
- Of course, I want to ... - and was about to take the hole in which the guy was unsuccessfully trying to fish.
- No, this one is empty, sit down with another, - he stopped me and removed the cardboard from the hole in front of him.
- What to catch? I asked timidly.
- Yes, at least for anything, he will take it anyway. I have this place charmed, - he assured.
And the fishing began ... Smelt kept taking it, just have time to change the nozzle. Such an amazing catch continued almost until dusk, when the owner of the hole said:
- That's all for today.
- What is your secret, conspiracy? - I could not resist.
“You’ll see,” he smiled.
With these words, he tied a leash with a tee to the sinker and lowered the tackle into the hole. Moving it from side to side, he began to choose the line. When he took it out, it turned out that the tee had hooked up a small iron strip, to which was tied a heavy piece of obviously stale bacon, which exuded a strong sickening smell. He did the same with the hole in which I was fishing.
- Smelt from a distance smells the stench, and therefore gathers to her from everywhere. And you just don't yawn, drag and drag, - he concluded, putting the bacon in a tight plastic bag.
Later, I experimented a lot with bait and I must say that it works quite effectively only when fishing alone. When there are a lot of anglers, the bait is not very attracted to the smelt, since there are a lot of other pieces of a wide variety of baits around. So bait in itself is not a guarantee of successful fishing. The main thing is the fisherman's quick wits, the ability to act correctly in a specific situation.