Capricious white-eyed sopa

It’s frosty. Fifteen degrees in the morning. Under the high bank, on the slopes of which there is a small village, there are about thirty fidgets, who value a frosty morning on the ice more than a cozy chair at the TV. Boers are crawling in the ice, smiles sparkle under their frosty mustaches, someone is already warming up, weighty pushing a neighbor in the shoulder. He responds in kind. Doesn’t bite …

I do not bite either, and therefore, already tired of looking for this elusive white-eyed sopa, I sit in a tent and drink teas. The receiver purrs, in a tent warmed up by the sun, warm and somehow cozy in the kitchen.

The nod of one of the fishing rods shook and I, dropping the lid of the thermos with hot tea, try to hook. Ugh you! .. There was no need to fuss: the ruff, bending his tail foully, like a soldier at attention, saluting, looks at me with bulging eyes. Here it is … a Volga fish, on a hook … And a local old man told me that before the hydroelectric power station he had never made more than one hole in the winter. As it breaks through the first ice lane, so all winter and catches bream, blue bream, pike perch, perch, and closer to spring – and fat-bellied ide. There were times…

Meanwhile, it was past noon. I move closer to the shore out of stubbornness and desire to do at least something. I sit down thoroughly, vowing not to run any more, not to fuss in vain. I put a donkey, and in the next hole I put a heavy Uralka with a lobe of such a scarlet bloodworm in the sun that you wonder what else the fish need? .. Above the jig there is a leash, also with a jig, but made of white polystyrene. Peeped, sinful, from one lucky fisherman.

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Having adjusted the gear, shivering, I climb into the tent. The frost is painfully fierce in combination with the breeze pulling along the Volga. A microclimate is immediately created in the tent, and again it is cozy in my small dwelling.

Knock Knock!.. The nodding guards on both rods already clinked from the sharp simultaneous bites, and I, not knowing which tackle to grab, hooked with both hands at once and, throwing one rod, I hauled a heavy fish onto the other. Consciousness along the way fixes that when cutting with the left hand, heaviness was also felt. A matter of chance, maybe the fish won’t come off, it’s still hooked. The one I play out is walking calmly, although I feel that it is not a trifle. Smooth elastic jerks of the fish remind that the outcome of the struggle is not yet clear, despite the fact that I have a Japanese 0, 175 on the reels of my fishing rods. At the hole, the sopa raised such a fuss that, being afraid to cut the line on the edge of the hole, I let the fish go for a walk. From the second run, the sopa is on the ice. Good! .. Not bream, of course: a flatter, flatter, pop-eyed, but beautiful fish. One word – linen! ..

Throwing it into the box and pushing aside the fishing line lying on the ice in rings, I grab the left fishing rod. Then I gave a swing! .. The tackle had to be reeled up. While I was playing the sopa, the line rings turned into a dense “beard”. Having taken out the fish a little less than the first one, I throw the “beard” together with the fishing rod into the box and continue to fish with one rod. And it would be useless to catch with two – bites followed one after the other. (Subsequently, I was more than once convinced of how unstable and unpredictable the bite of the sopa was. You could sit for half a day without a single bite, and then fish in an hour, as if in a whole day. And vice versa).

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White-eyed sopa

The fish was measured – one and a half mittens and more. There were many wrong bites. The nod will shake, as in a fever, and if you catch it, it’s empty. Although it seems to be a large fish. The trifle did not come across.

The time was already approaching four o’clock, leaving soon, but the box was literally filling up before our eyes. Excitement, fresh air, transparent distances of the sun-drenched Volga – these are simple joys that make the soul kinder and cleaner.

I walk along the path. At heart it is easy, but in the box, dry flopping with tails, the sopa waddles. And she’s not so cunning, just the fish has its own habits, somewhat different from the habits that fishermen encroach on it. It remains to doze for an hour in the car, and at home – immediately into the hottest bath and bed. In the morning, after fishing, there is still some lethargy in the body, but then you feel a surge of strength. To put it bluntly: this is what it means to rest! .. Although sometimes after many kilometers of “rest” on the virgin snow, the legs do not hold. But all the same – long live the bitter frosts! They only warm the blood, do not allow it to turn into a sluggish neutral water. And let the blizzard-old woman hiss, by morning she will choke on the snow and silence will lie on the city. Fishing buses and cars will buzz again, figures of irrepressible fishermen will blacken on the deserted streets. The miracle will repeat …

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Alexander Tokarev and

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