Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tmarti

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I met this guy 10 years ago. He was making some good looking hand made wobblers so I asked him to make mi a copy of shallow Rapala Fat rap that was not producing any more. We met after he did it, sat in a caffee and he got out of his pocket great looking lure, but it was deep runner! That´s how it all started. After that, he didn´t miss the point too many times. Beside wobblers, Tihomir is a genius who can draw, or make in stone, wood, plaster, or pretty much any other material anything you can think of. Carvings made of wood are his passion as well. One of wobblers he made for me I don´t use any more. It is in a well deserved retirement. That thing caught so many pikes it had to be repainted and protected couple of times. It was slow floating in a start, after years of abuse, it became slow sinking. When I asked him to make some more like that he said he would have to cut it in 2 to see how it looks from the inside. I simply couldn´t allow that. Let me enumerate just some of his ideas; ones he made for me. There is a walk the dog type of bait that looks like 20 cm long brown trout. Then there is catfish torpedo, real life looking frog, even a little sturgeon which he never finished, because he didn´t want to cut it so he can put a bill in it..

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First thing he made in a small serie is a metal vib. You can see it in a picture. 55 mm long and 12 g of a weight. Casts like a bullet, and it caught serious number of barbel, chub, asp, trouts and catfish. It´s Tihomir´s favourite.

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Along with ZZ Tup, there are Kuwagates. First serial wobbler he made. 5, 7, or 9 centimeters with some more to come. I prefer smallest one, trout, chub, asp, .. agree with me. Last ones even abductet some from me. 0,22 nylon simply couldn´t make it. Newest thing he´s up to are mini jerkbaits. Tihomir had smaller pike and bass in mind when he was making these, but it turned out that asp and chub react great on them. Carvings he makes look absolutelly stunning. He made for me a scene where bass attacks Yo Zuri Arms swisher.

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Now, a decade after we first met, after couple of hundreds fishing trips and after god knows how many wobblers he made, he can tell the difference between shallow runner and a deep runner. His hand made wobblers look better than ever and there´s no sudh thing he can make. If he is in the mood..

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Lake wolf

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I simply can not understand people who like zander fishing. I am not talkinga about guys in a boat on a Danube. That´s pretty cool. You are in a boat, you find them, catch some, and you´re good. Those who do it from a bank i do not understand. Let me explain myself. Let´s take Sava river as an example. During summer, mosquitos eat you alive. They´ll bite you in the ass if they can. In autumn you´re up till that same ass in mud. But, winter.. Winter is my favourite. Usually you stand in one place for a couple of hours. You don´t move. Cause last time you have been here you had a bite you didn´t realized for you´ve been casting like maniac for last 4 or 5 hours and of course you wasn´t concentrated after that time. Or, you pulled a grub out of a water in one moment and it was half way off the hook. And even though you didn´t feel a bite, and there are no teeth marks, or just because of it, you are certain it was a meter long fish. Yeah, right!

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So, that´s why I can´t understand those who feel fishing for zander from a bank is such a cool thing. That´s why we started, on Robert´s urging, chasing it in lakes. Not to many people in Croatia does it. I don´t know why. Let´s be real, there is far more zander in lakes than one would think. Like every fish from percidae family, it protect its spawn and it has advantage in a start prior to pike, second most common still water predator in Croatia. Yes, pike grows bigger, but, opposed to the pike, you can persuade zander to take a bite almost any time of day.

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Dusk and dawn are top periods of course, but if day is cloudy and murky, you can have a whole lot of fun if you use light, or ultralight action rods, like Sakura Trinis Neo and Garbolino Ghetto Rider are. During day time fishing, we focus on transitions from the shallows to depths. He likes to spend its time there. He´s fond of deepest parts of a lake, too. Biggest problem with zander is to track him down. Once you find them, it´s not a problem to catch it.

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Mr glass-eye (one of the names we call it here, i personally prefer lazy ass no good), likes to spend most of its time somewhere down low. In some kind of a neutral mode. Meaning he is not feeding frenzy, but, hey, if something interesting goes by him, he´ll pretty much sure bite it. Softbaits rigged on a jig hook are first choice, logically. Let´s keep it simple and say there are 2 types of softbaits I use. First ones are those with distinct action. Baits like Slotter Shad, or Sakura Punshad. Other group contains of swimbaits with fine, subtle action. Sakura Slit Shad is a great example. Jig heads are another story. A lot of it depends on them. Again, let´s keep it simple and say there are 2 basic presentations. If fish is lethargic and fishing is slow, I use lightest jig head I have in the moment. That´s usually 2-3 grams. I let it sink and twich it slowly. Real slow. I wanna get that inactive zander time to make up his mind.

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When I get bored, I take 10-12 g jighead and do some snap jigging. To provocate reaction strike. It´s hard to miss, but sometimes I don´t feel the bite, just weight on the other side of a line. That´s why i like to use salted and scented softbaits. When fish is active, when they have itchy teeth, I don´t think about jighead weight at all. 3, 8, or 12 grams, it´s all the same to me. Easiest way to describe presentation in that period is a comparison with EKG signal. It is one sharp snap of a rod tip continued with a 2 or 3 weaker snaps. I let it sink after that, let it rest for some time and continue. Strikes are usually when bait is falling down.

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You can try steady retrieve, but I don´t like it cause too many times zander boiled behind my lure next to bank. Meaning, they got interested, but there was no trigger that would make them bite.  Last, but not the least, one thing that turned up to be quite important. Fluorocarbon leader. Zander maybe doesn´t have eyes as big as a wolf in a fairy tale, but sees well. Sometning between 0,20 and 0,30 will do the trick. And it will keep your braid from wear.

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