This past Friday Mariusz, Przemek and I (all members of the Catfish Szczecin team) set up a fishing weekend with our friend from Gorzów, also called Michał. I don’t know what it is about me but I’m constantly meeting people called Michał :) Maybe it’s a good thing, at least I don’t have to remember too many names. But let’s get back to the story!
When we got there we decided to start out on the river bend that we saw on a map. We didn’t really have much time to look for another place, as we didn’t reach our destination until 19:00. The baiting went on for some time because we couldn’t find a spot to attach to permanently. It was already dark by the time the last two rigs went in. The low water levels combined with our engine maneuvers must have quieted the fish because the fishery was dead silent. We didn’t have one bite that evening so we spent our time chatting about catfish. The two Michałs had an early morning and went to try some vertical. Przemek and I went about our morning much more leisurely, cleaning up our camp and getting ready. Unfortunately we were interrupted by some tourists on boats that wouldn’t be out of place on the Baltic Sea. Luckily they heard my screams and saw me jumping up and down like Michael Jordan and they waited patiently as we broke off our lines. They waved and went on their way.
There was a moment of consternation when we didn’t know what to do. I called up the boys and told them about our situation. It didn’t take them long to come back. We got our rigs in order and, because it was still early, we decided to find new spots going around with a clonk. Przemek and I set out upriver to do just that. Some weird gut feeling told me to go quite a few kilometers up. Suddenly I saw another riverbend - and what a spot it was!!!!! There were many fallen trees between groynes, in water 3,5 - 4 meters deep and the inside bank was perfect for setting up camp and casting the rigs far over the water. I saw a fish on my fishfinder in the first space between groynes - it wasn’t huge but it had to be at least 150 cm. There was a great fish a bit further - when I saw it I got so excited that my hand closed on the braided line a bit too hard. The fish was visible on the fishfinder twice but it wasn’t interested in our vertical. Unfortunately, a Northern wind came before long and the vertical didn’t make sense anymore so we went back to the boys. I told them what we saw and we all decided to go to the spot I saw and set up camp. When we got there Michał and I got on the Skylle and started baiting. We placed our rigs in all the classic spots - where the water from the groynes met the main current, between the groynes themselves and in shallow spots.
The evening started out quiet but around 23 it started. I slept through it but the boys were treated to a sound that could only be compared to someone dropping asphalt pieces in the water to the tune of some party banger. They sat, hopeful, looking at their rods but the rigs didn’t so much as twitch. Something woke me up around 2:30 and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I kept looking at the rods every couple of minutes. I was finally woken up completely by what happened around 3:15 - the bite indicator went off. The rod was rearing. Michał later quipped that I was by the rod before the indicator could let me know something was up. It’s true - I might have beaten Bolt’s 3-meter record. I pick the rod up and there is nothing there! I reeled the line in as fast as I could yelling “fish!!!” When I finally felt in on the line I set the hook as hard as I could - and it worked! At the same time I was eyeing the bank, worried that if the fish pulled very hard I could end up in the water. One Michał realized what was happening and was ready to catch me and the other Michał was already in the boat. I slid down and realized that the fish, cleverly, was going towards us, against the current. I couldn’t reel the line in fast enough and suddenly we realized, horrified, that the fish had gotten away. Tired and panting I put my rod down, knowing I had just lost the fish of the year. We all decided it must have been an old and smart one, judging by its behaviour.
However, the sun will still come out tomorrow! We’re coming back! Soon enough we’ll go back there and this time let’s hope we can win the struggle! Either way I think the trip was awesome. We had the chance to try our hand at a really huge fish and it was great to spend time among friends, sharing experiences, ideas and joking around.
I’d like to give my warmest regards to MIchał and thank him for accompanying us and making our team better with his expertise. I know it wasn’t the last time we hunt catfish together!
The next trip will be coming soon and, in the meantime, we’ll be back in Szczecin with our vertical and maybe set up camp somewhere.
Mikado Fishing Team