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Pike for the new year

Our family has long been a tradition to festive new year’s table was jellied pike. Not bought on the market repeatedly frozen and thawed discs, has little resembling a fish, and caught himself fresh and juicy pike…

The conventional wisdom is that the big pike are dry and tasteless, not always true. Yes, if fish caught in the little lake or pond, then an automatic six pound pike can be a pensioner On the Volga… well cormen Razdolye Stereoliza predator always on the move, reckless-evil, young and fatten the fat to a state of complacent pig. Even the overfed belly of this species is pale pink, and the fins are bright red… her Flesh is juicy and fatty. One day we happen to catch a pike weighing sixteen pounds two hundred grams. Cut the pike carcass barely fit entirely on a large pan-chugunin. It is this pale pink cut puffed vegetable in butter, then sour cream, then poured juice-tears in obsequious faience plates… And there was nothing better!

Times has changed: checked Volga plateau was not his flags zherlits pike-crocodiles. Catch the punks per kilogram rare – fish up to five or six kg… And on this day we were determined not ambitious. Spinning would okushko-Gorbachev, to see the rise of nod and pull out a couple of other silver thick sarojin, to escape to a burning box, imitation fish, albeit from the grip pound “lace”. And spend the night in progressas the dugout on the Volga island under a frosty starry sky. And to sing the embers in the stove, dripping over the candle, casting fearful shadows on the log walls, and would have leisurely conversations of the fishing fraternity for a steamy pile of vodka on the eve of the young novogod…

We go to two Islands of the Volga ducts. The live bait we carry. Soroki-plotnicki caught ahead of time on the city river, hurriedly splashing in Cana. Sometimes it happens, not to catch the silver detail on the spot. Ruffs-eyed or overcome, or perch mischievously hit on the jig with crimson moth. Roach often walks in the ducts with a stronger current, closer to the Volga.

Son Dimka was required this time independent of fishing, without intermediaries in the installation of Gerlich, hooking and playing fish, if there is grip. Secretly rejoicing in his reckless “I”, I ask, seems to be grumbling:
I remember scooter as a bait to cling to? The box is creeks to disrupt could, but without the crossbows… If you take bagri under the hole, durom not die…
– Yes, I remember everything! – interrupts Dima, alley hasty arrogance. On the lake you fishing!.. Go
– Go… the Wolves will eat you one here! – wink at someone.
– We have already heard these tales!..
– That’s you and tales, and in the spring only bones found on ice…

Dima did not seem to hear, and, slowly, still fumbling clumsily at the imitation fish, but we move on, leaving his son to evening on this successful first phase, the bottom of which was whether the furrow, or channel of the flooded stream stretched.

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We Paul put imitation fish in a new place, almost an island itself. Depth here on the broad plateau, almost the same – no more than two and a half meters. But pike in the first half of winter left here and on the funny Bank, which in recent years has been the rule. Closing the season of open water we were caught on spinning big pike on the grassy braids, barely covered with water.

In areas with smooth depth I always try to find the “path” of the predator. Most often fatten the pike is along the Islands for any markings. To cross her path, imitation fish put up across the ducts of sweeping zigzags. Finding his grip on the first pike road, a tackle along it.

Begin to put imitation fish for two hundred meters from the island and pull them to opposite long island. Pasha is already sitting in the hole and from time to time podderjivaet up spinning. It is seen that on the hook flutter of small perch-Gorbunok. And so – over and over again… Okounkov, then, apparently, abysmal. It will be necessary to impose several pieces of imitation fish. In such places, the pike sometimes prefers fish, which is predominantly more of a neighborhood. But Pasha pulls, meanwhile, another okushko palm…

– Slack does not come on, go! – provoke comrade.
That something is rumbling and enthusiastically thrust a trifle. All now him from this place not drive away. He likes to sit in the hole, if only something was caught, though a trifle. I so long can’t sit still: then I want something to look, to drill, to change baits, blessit, tease the lure, looking from time to time on imitation fish. Looked around and now, although half the gear is not exposed. Behind were burning the flag of a third of the island of imitation fish… a little Snow and tackle next, so don’t run. Under the ice just two meters odd, as if not afraid of toothy hurried heavy steps… from Afar it is seen that the coil of the imitation fish rotates slowly, occasionally stopping and spinning again slowly. But I barely took a few steps, suddenly, she twirled the now rapidly and without interruption. Heard…… Now we must quickly Ran to the gear, see that the coil is empty and the line crawls on the edge of the hole. It’s time!.. Slightly strike and vyvazhivaete without hook pickerel per kilogram.

– With wide effort! – waving friend. For the New year, there are fried potatoes!
– Chalk painful death! Now back let go – fool around.
– I’ll go! – no sense of humor friend, but has recently taken up fishing, and runs to me. And then throws the box of another imitation fish… very Close, almost on the same line as the catchability zherlitsa, who gave the first pike. That path pike! And while the Volga pike exit coincided exactly eleven in the morning…
Pasha! shout. – Pull out the plug! Vaughn turns already! Run!..

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Want to give a chance to companion yourself Abryutina, hold on the line upolstry heaviness. To register or something, Pasha, speaking a soldier’s old-fashioned jargon, or to attribute to attach to our Holy and is not a secret brotherhood, in contrast to the secretive workshop of the masons…
– I don’t know how! – he is frightened.
– All once could not. Come on! – I am generous to a narcissism. Besides, the pike, of course, a trifle. Bigger shouldn’t be here. Why are the hands in vain to freeze?.. (I’m ashamed now…)

Meanwhile, zherlitsa suddenly rocked. And on it there is not a round line.
Pasha! – cry, not joking. Come on, miss!..
A friend and so all stretched out like a Greyhound for the chase. The ears of his hat waving in the wind, really like a hasty young dog. He ran to the imitation fish and a wild grin, and grabbed the line. Then, gasp, he began furiously to pull out of the hole something unyielding and resisting stubbornly. “Finger, apparently, cut on the line,” said I to myself instinctively and ran to Paschke. And in the hole there was something extraordinary fellow, nalysis crimson fury, I bend over to ice and raised again, fell on one knee, put his hand under the ice receding rapidly in line… I did not even have time something to suggest variance is not a joke, comrade. But he didn’t listen to me… But when he tried to pull the fish by hand under the ice, had to push him away and podmahivat pike himself. Soon on the ice huddled seasoned sucide with red fins and a white belly, the contrast of dark gold back. She was seriously twisted in the snow and evil watched the dancing in the hole buddy piercing yellow eyes.

When Pasha calmed down a bit, I remarked condescendingly:
– Corny, but beginners do get lucky. Fish is not the smallest.
– Is not the smallest?.. The Jumbo!.. – offended is not a joke, comrade. – Okay, don’t be jealous, you still have a will…
Now generous was already Pasha…
Have savearea. Fell the first heavy flakes of snow. The wind came and rustled light drifting snow along the duct. Through the blue haze shone through the warm lights of the distant villages, where I heard dogs barking and smelled smoke housing. It’s time for us for the night.

Approaching Dimkinoy since, I saw skillfully stretched a canopy made of polyethylene, a dark figure beneath him and smiling ruddy face under the famously shifted hat.
‘Well, dad, see? – Dima waved his arm and pointed to the row of pikes and plump, slightly sprinkled with snow. – But you said…
– Said-said… well Done! Just in time for the new year.

The son broke into his nice smile.

Ahead of us was waiting for a warm bed in the dugout, red in the dawn over the low Islands, and another day of fishing, and a lot of sparkling snow days with scents of Mandarin, warm needles and… magic maker at the turn of the Old and New year…

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