2010. december 2., csütörtök

With Red October behind the former “Iron Curtain”

We have been casting for almost 25 minutes the hot spot at the drop-off, changed the shads, and tried different sizes and colors. Andreas, our pro-guide has been convinced that the big ones must be here, lying on the bottom, waiting for the prey fish passing by using the strong current.

The big guy standing next to me and casting his shad constantly won this trip in a prize draw and together with our local guide we wanted to show him how great this area is. This area called “Bodden” is widely known for its over-40-inch pikes. We hoped that he is going to join the club of the “one-meter-pike” catchers. We had only 3 days to achieve this goal, and one and a half day has gone already.

I took a large silver tube with octopus tail from my box, and jigged it along the drop-off, as I did it with the shads before. On the second cast I got a hit on the very same spot we were working on so long before… After a short, but hard fight Andreas netted my 39 inch fish in a “wow-mood”, looking at the tube which “delivered” such a fish out of the silent deep water. Bad thing is however, that I’ve caught this beauty, not the “winner guy”.

The “winner guy”, Csaba picked a white ninja-tube from my box and started to fish it on the same spot. Guess what happened? You bet! On the second cast he just got a tremendous hit. After some turns he pumped up a girthy fish, which was rather upset and wondering about what happened to her. As I first saw the yellowish body in the dark water, I thought it has almost 50 inch. Then she pulled back into the dark water, but after 2 minutes Andreas netted her, removed the hooks and handed over the fish to Csaba. We just yelled together. The extremely chunky fish was 45 inches long, and Andreas told us it shall weight around 30 pounds.

The “winner guy” caught the biggest fish of the trip, joined the “club” and almost doubled his personal best pike… Csaba is 6 foot 4, almost every fish looks somewhat small in his hands, but not this one. He kept the tube, and wanted to know more about these lures, just as Andreas’ guide colleagues did in the marina on the evening. Andreas told them the tube came from the US, and that it was my idea….

I saw the Red October tubes first in Pete Maina’s hands in the TV-show “The Next Bite” where he was fishing the huge tubes for muskies. Unfortunately we do not have muskies over here in Europe, but what we do have are northern pikes, and some of them are big, really big. I asked Pete about his experience and whether I should try tubes at my coming trip to the famous brack-water lagoons of the Baltic sea around Rügen island (North East Germany, this area was lying earlier behind the so called “Iron curtain”), which is - many of us believe - one of the best pike fishing areas on our planet.

Pete wrote me this: “Hell yeah dude. Pike will love them, and you can weight them to run in whatever range, including vertical jigging if needed. I’ve had the pike rip the heck out of the tubes … of course may be some goofy thing there where don’t work as good, but I’d be very surprised”

And as you may think, he was right, no surprise.

Somehow people tend to fish in this part of the world small lures compared to the typical pike and musky lures in the US and Canada, except the guys here in the lagoons of the Baltic Sea around Rügen. They do cast shads over 10 inch, and some other weird soft plastics. Those are however in my opinion less versatile, and are much heavier, than the tubes.

Thanks to Marc at Red October Baits I drove up earlier in September this year to the Baltics with a box of complementary lures, rigged, ready to fish. After 12 hours driving, we went out on the water the first evening just for one, or two hours doing warm-up casts, moving our muscles a bit after the long ride. Due to weather change pikes were not really active, seemed not willing to bite. Until I mounted the first tube, a smaller silver one, which produced the first two hits of the tour, unfortunately I was not able to hook them properly, both got away.

Anyway, from that moment our local pro guide Andreas took my box of tubes and started to fish, and experiment with each and every model. Due to the strong currents we had to increase weight to bring the tubes down to the bottom, where the fish were lying at the edges waiting for preyfish passing by. These kinds of lures are completely new in the area, and due to their size and versatility we were convinced pikes going to be interested in them.

Andreas had the first fish on tube, on the silver one. Luckily we captured the complete catch from cast to release on video, you can see it here soon. Pictures are going to tell you more than thousand words. Right on the next trip in October, among other nice catches our “winner guy” caught his “fish of a lifetime” on the tube, the story I started with.

Autumn and winter will be the time for Red October tubes up there, said Andreas, our pro guide. Water will be somewhat colder and bigger fish going to migrate back into the warmer and shallower lagoons from the open Baltic Sea. They will become less active, and more eager for bigger sized prey, like the tubes.

Just as Adreas wrote in his comment on the web: “There are no such things like “wonder-lures”, but there are lures which can turn your trip into success, even under hard circumstances. Red October Baits’ tubes are definitely such lures, according to our recent experiences.”

Fishing has been slow on the last trip, with only three-four 20 minutes windows per day. 3 of the four biggest pikes of the trip were caught on Red October tubes. Well, guys, keep that in mind, when shopping for lures on the web.

Thanks for Pete for the hint and for Marc for the tubes. Hope you enjoy the pics and the video!

Tight lines!

Aurel Hernyak

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