Blast from the past

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This text has been written in 2007. We are publishing it now to remember Trakoscan lake as it just to be. Slug Go was indispensable back then, Owner Rip´n Minnow was almost only small twitchbait from Japan that was available in Croatia, and Yo Zuri Arm´s Swisher only topwater lure. Bass fishing in Croatia started pretty shy. And then it exploded over the night. Couple of years before this text was made, you couldn´t find bass rod, only one store was selling soft lizards, creatures, soft jerkbaits and so on. Couple of years later, every store had at least something to offer to average Croatian bass fisherman. Some of us used rods we fished with on our big rivers, like Sava, Kupa, or Drava river. Others got their hands on some short Daiwas and Shimanos. Berkley Cherywood was a big hit when it came. I myself caught God knows how many fish with it. Who had Lamiglas, GL, St.Croix or something with a pedigree from US was a big shot. Most bass fishermen were chasing bass with Slug Go rigged on unweighted worm hook, Lunker City Fin´s nad Mann´s Shadow. Spinnerbaits, poppers, walk the dog types of baits (in Croatia known as zara), or torpedos were reserved only for those who had some relatives, or friends abroad.

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When GY softbaits came, that was huge. Selection of bass lures increased big time, all kinds of rods became available and half of fishing nation got hooked up on a bass. Including me. I found out that bass is a real sport fish, side by side with asp. Fish that will go for any lure when in mood, as crazy as veteran from Vietnam with PTSP syndrom. Who even once saw it guard and protects its nest, had to be thrilled with a pack of balls and heart that fish has. Or one was heartless. We just to open bass season as soon as in february, if winter wasn´t too long and too cold. We learned it likes to hang out by the shore, in cover. We also learned rather fast it takes all kind of baits. Some of them, thise classic ones, like wobblers, spoons and inline spinnerbaits we had. Others, like soft lizards, frogs, worms, or creatures, we embraced. Some, like jigs, weird looking topwaters (Crazy Crawler and Jitterbug, for example), even buzzbaits, have never really sat to bass fishermen in Croatia. Slug Go was absolute number one for a long period of time. Then came Mann´s Shadow, GY Senko, Fin´s and others. We found that these are go-to lure for bass in early spring, in prespawning period. We used woblers thru a day, and especially in the evening. Floating shallow runner, or mid runner with a rattle between 5 and 10 cm caught a lot of fish. Owner Rip´n Minnow was hot when it came, that little twitchbait caught me some nice bass. Same thing was with Yo Zuri Arm´s Swisher. I liked to cast it in late afternoon and evening, when minnows tend to swim and feed just above the surface, or at the surface chasing flies. Spinnerbaits were another big discovery once they came. Now we could work our way thru cover of any kind, what we couldn´to do with our conventional lures.

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We had difficulties in post spawning period, but realised pretty soon all world does, so we didn´t give it much of an attention. We just to compensate it later in the season. If you don´t live here, you´ll find this text odd. Only reason why we decided to publish it here is that Trakoscan lake was once eldorado for bass fishermen. I don´t know how many daily tickets was sold there, but it was counted in thousands. Friend of mine had a 60+ cm long fish there. Big fat female he misshooked twice. Fishes around 40 were normal. Lake was full of it. Now, 6-7 years later, we are on a start of another bass season in Croatia, but there is no bass left in Trakoscan.

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