Monthly Archives: September 2014

Show of Force


When you catch 50 perch in one day and when you by the end release those under 35 without taking a photo cause they seem to be small, you must be living somewhere in the northen Europe, you went there on a fishing trip, or you ́re one lucky bastard. That ́s how we felt like when we visited Štikada lake near Gračac.

Lake just to be known for it ́s nice population of trout, but it looks like these days striped bandits play main role in a lake. 4 of us like them a lot and it seems like they were avare of it, cause they have afforded us great fishing experience, a kind of we ́ll remember while we’re alive.


We came at the lake early in the morning and couple of minutes later Danijel already had 2 nice fish. Small Awaruna swimbait got the job done. In the next couple of minutes, Robert with his catch of 34 cm long perch showed what potential Štikada lake has. Once again Slit shad proved itself.

All 4 of us had a fish, or 2 by the time wind started. It was followed by a rain, strong enough to make fishing not so comfortable, to say the least ,especially when you fish with 5 cm long softbaits on 3 g jig heads.


Rain in cooperation with heavy wind is falling almost till noon. A bit after noon rain stops, sky clears and we enjoy in Sun. We spent those couple of hours in finding a piece of lake sheltered from the wind, but we didn ́t find any so we decided to get back on a position where we started. By the strip of water grass which extends under an angle of 45° to the bank, Domijan hooked nice perch, 34 cm in lenght. Danijel and Robert are near by and simultaneous game starts. They hook perch one after another. I am bit remote and getting bites as well, but not even close to those 3.


After a lot of fish between 30 and 35 cm, Robert has a big one on his Trinis. He fights big fish for a couple of minutes now and we suspect on brown trout. Fight is on 3 or 4 minutes already and fish shows no signs of weariness, even steals a meter, or 2 of a line every now and then. Little by little, resistance subsides and finaly big, fat perch appears on the surface. After couple a photos we measure it and meter stops on 39 cm mark.


That ́s one big ass fish for Croatia, and at the same time, that breaks down Danijel ́s record perch from Mrzla Vodica lake by a centimeter and of course that ́s reason for Robert to start joking and poking Danijel. Maybe he shouldn ́t have, because only few casts later Danijel also has big fish on his rod.


After a while another giant finds itself on a dry and meter stops at 40 cm mark. Robert can ́t believe his eyes, Danijel is laughing and so do Domijan and I. Fish isn ́t as fat as Robert ́s, but it is longer and Danijel is back on a throne. Revenge of fallen came pretty fast, too fast if you ask Robert.


Show of force continues for quite some time, we are setting our hooks almost on a regular basis. It looks like in every moment one of us has fish on, sometimes 2 of us fight simultaneously. We help each other, bypass one another, pass rods one to another, simply put, we are having a blast! After 50-60 fish, show ́s over. Last one is caught by me while I was trying to catch nice brown Domijan saw. Robert caught nice rainbow at the end and we decided to call it a day.


Stikada lake granted us with great day, a lot of nice perch and 4 personal records. The show is over, the stage remains empty. The main actors are resting behind the scenes created by water grass. Daniel’s blissful smile and absent look describe the best how much we enjoyed. Till some other time, till some other show, our deep bow. Pleasure is all ours.

Štikada 027-1





Etienne Fleurant- pure fisherman!


This story started innocently, with mail from Tanguy. He said he has a friend who would like to come to Croatia for fishing. A month later, Etienne came to Croatia and blowed us away. We thought we ́ll spend some time with normal (fisher)man. He even introduced himself as an average fisherman. We even made fun of him because of his his carpfishing past. But it didn ́t take long time for Robert and me see he is ordnary man, but no ordinary fisherman.


When a man just listens to him talking about fishing and fish, he sees that this guy knows a lot. When you see him on a water, you know he knows even more than you thought. Our plan was to take him to Sava river, for some barbel, chub, asp, and so on. Unfortunately, water level didn ́t let us so we went trout fishing. We took him on Dobra river and there his talent and knowledge, quick adaptation to changing conditions and understanding of fish behavour came to the fore. At the same time, some kind of easiness and calmness which he exudes while fishing simply can ́t be unnoticed.


In simple words, fishing looks like a walk through the park when Etienne is doing it. Wild brown trouts, those predatory but finicky fish look as silly as those rainbows from fish farms when they are at Etienne ́s gunpoint. It took him some time to get the hang and after that Robert and me did the smartest thing we could- watched a master, an artist at work. We got first row tickets for Etienne show and we enjoyed every minute of it.


I could write how and on what he caught all those trout, but I won ́t. Man is preparing an article on that subject so wait for it. I will just say it was done with such ease that my pal Robert and I commented that he is crazy, that it can ́t be done, that it ́s insane and so on. You get it.


We were curious how he will perform at Čabranka river the next day. Well, he nailed it as well. Čabranka is a bit different than Dobra, it ́s smaller, with more rapids and nice population of brown and rainbow trout as well. Etienne caught his first rainbow in first cast, I even had him in a number of fish for some time and then happened what happened at Dobra the day before. Again he took some time to find a pattern and then run that pattern for the rest of the day. Once again I forgot my rod from time to time and watched what he ́s doing. Once again I enjoyed the show. It was smartest thing I could do.


All three of us caught fish in rapids, calm water, pools, in any given situation, but again our French friend caught more. Many more. Although he said he is no expert in trout fishing, results speak for themselves. Either he is too modest, or Croatian trouts fell on his charm and smile. Let ́s say it is this other thing, just to make us feel better.


_MG_8151-15 _MG_8158-16 _MG_8196-19

Anyway, big finale came late afternoon. On a 200-300 meters long part of Čabranka he caught more than 15 trout in 15-20 minutes. Last 6 of them in as many casts. That was it, he took apart his rod and didn ́t want to fish no more.

Till next time, Etienne and thanks a lot for magic you shared with us!