Some time ago I wrote about the new Briscola Formula 700 Pole + rod. Some of my friends I showed it to had doubts whether it could be used as a pole. They say it’s too short, where could one use it? And even if you do, why is there a pole, you could just use it as whip? And an opportunity to deny any doubts was not long in coming.
The third stage of the Belarusian float fishing championship was held at the dam of the Petrovichskiy water basin not far from Minsk. By its nature this dam is an exact replica of a widely known dam of Dubrovsky water basin which was a frequent venue for many competitions. We can see the same endless concrete steep into the deep, even the angle of slabs is almost the same. Naturally, it would be logical to apply here a standard “Dubrovsky” approach – a massive baiting by heavy long-lasting pieces, resembling by their form hemispheres – they hold on the sloping hard bottom better than anything else. This approach did work out, small white bream and roach were gathering quickly and kept near that place for quite a long time. We decided to experiment and used additional baiting – over-retted and doughy – which sent to the place of fishing in pieces with a pole cup. The result was also quite good.
However, almost all the participants of the Championship knew quite well all the above mentioned and some other methods of fishing on the concrete slope. But we didn’t want to compete with each other in speed, because there were quite a lot of fast anglers among the rivals. That meant that we should’ve tried to get the upper hand. There were two ways to do it:
- 1. To enlarge the average size of the fish caught;
- 2. To catch the same fish as nearly as possible.
The first task was solved with the help of pinkies – small maggots – which was used both as bait and as a buzzer. But there was one more task. I tried to do it just before start at my last training. Having lured the first pole distance for 11 meters, I lures the second point – the working distance of Formula in its pole modification – 7 meters.
This time I was more serious in preparing my micro-pole. I selected a hollow tip, fit it for the inner bush by 1,6 mm and used elastic with the diameter of 0,7 mm for the two joints. It helped me to catch fishes of average local size. In addition to the micro-pole I focused my 4,5 m whip on the same place so that the lure were in the water column, hoping to catch some bleak.
From the very beginning I started to lure the closest to me point, trying to catch there bleak. Though quite large it was, there were few of them. Having caught dozen and a half, I checked the bottom. Silence. I changed for the standard pole and quickly caught several small white breams and roaches with the help of a heavy (4 grams) rig with hard elastic. When there was no more biting at the distance of 11 meters, I returned to 7 meters. However using a pole rod and placing the lure right in the water column, I caught several small roaches instead of bleak. I changed the whip for the Formula and large roaches started biting near the bottom. Gradually, it became clear that the fish was none the worse in the near point, but even larger than in the main pole distance.
I managed to catch 6 kilos for 4 hours. That gave me hope.
On the first day of the competitions I used the same approach. I secured the main pole distance with several lighter rigs, adding feelers of different colors in case the lighting should change. For the close range I added Fantasma whip of 5,5 meters, aimed for the same point as my Formula.
On the whole everything worked the same way, except for the fact that white bream almost disappeared form haul. The roach were more capricious and rare to come across, though there were some in the close range. When my micro-pole started working very quickly, I tried to change the Formula for the whip aimed for fishing from the bottom, hoping to put on speed, but it wasn’t meant to happen – roach became even more capricious, moreover, the speed reduced. I returned to the micro-pole. Meanwhile, in the main distance small skimmer of 100-150 grams started to bite. There were few of them and they kept higher the bottom line. When the biting in the close range was fading away, I additionally lured the sector and returned to the 11 meter distance, where I would catch several white breams. Thus changing the sectors I finished the tour with the second result in my zone, losing only to Andrei Lavrinenko who used almost the same scheme. I decided to change nothing in the second tour. But the fish had changed. Mainly, skimmer were biting. In the close range there were no sings of life for almost two hours. But I kept baiting it all the same. Finally, I caught a skimmer there too.
For some time I used my Formula, but the fish were biting so quickly and frequently, that I decided to change for the whip. Having caught several fishes with a pole rod, lure lying on the bottom, I discovered that the skimmer takes the bait above the bottom line. It enabled me to catch it even faster with the rod, initially meant for bleak.
Unfortunately, I didn’t prepare any leaders with hooks which would have been suitable for this type fishing. I lost several fishes, and, as a result, began using a landing net for all skimmers. It reduced my tempo a bit, and brought me the second result in the zone and the fourth, summing up two days. 10 kilos more and I would have got a prize. Fortunately, it was enough for solving the main task – to get the third place in the Championship.
These competitions made it clear that very often we underestimate close distances, focusing on a long pole. It was also evident that supposing the weather is good and the distance short not always does the whip catch faster than a short pole. On the whole, Formula successfully proved it viability.