Catching killer whales: methods of catching costa-whip and killer whale-skripuna


The killer whale family belongs to the catfish order. This family includes 20 genera and 227 species. Most of them live in Africa and Asia. All fish have many common features, but there are also significant differences, both in appearance and lifestyle. Of the common morphological features, it is worth noting the absence of scales, the naked body is covered with mucus; the presence of an adipose fin, on the dorsal and pectoral fins there are sharp spikes; antennae are well pronounced on the head, in most species there are 4 pairs of them. It should be noted that the spikes on the fins of different killer whales can have different lengths, shapes, and are primarily protective. In addition, the spikes are equipped with poisonous glands, so you need to be careful with all killer whales. All fish of the family are characterized by thermophilicity. This feature is manifested primarily in relation to the time of spawning. On the territory of the Russian Federation, in the Amur basin, there are 5 species of killer whales, but the most famous and common are two: the killer whale and the killer whale. The Russian name “killer whale” comes from the Nanai word “kachakta”, which the locals call various catfish.

The creaking killer whale is one of the most widespread fish of the Amur. The body of the fish is of moderate length and covered with villi (in adult fish). A high dorsal fin with a sharp spine; the adipose fin is much smaller than the anal fin. Pectoral fins with serrated spines. The tail fin has a deep notch. The mouth is semi-inferior, the eyes have a skin, eyelid fold. The color is dominated by dark, black-green, the abdomen is yellow, dark and light stripes run all over the body and fins. The fish got its name because of the ability to make sounds with the help of pectoral fins. The maximum dimensions do not exceed 35 cm. Fish are usually caught no more than 400 gr. These are the most common fish in the middle and lower reaches of the Amur. In the summer, it adheres to places with a quiet current, a channel, shallows, and so on. Prefers muddy or clay bottom. In winter, it goes to great depths, both on the Amur channel itself, and in lakes and channels. Skripuny very gluttonous, feed in different layers of water. The diet includes various types of aquatic animals, as well as terrestrial near-water insects and their larvae. Adult killer whales actively feed on juveniles of other fish. The population of killer whales quickly recovers in the event of a catch or pestilence.

The lash killer whale or the Ussuri killer whale has a greatly elongated body, especially the caudal peduncle. The spine on the dorsal fin is the same length as on the pectoral fins and has a notch. The eyes are small, there is no eyelid skin fold. The color of the fish is monophonic, as a rule, yellowish-gray, lighter on the abdomen. This species of orcas has the most pronounced sexual dimorphism (differences). The body of males is more elongated and more flattened. The whip killer whale can grow up to half a meter in length. Most often come across fish weighing up to 600-800 gr. This species of killer whales is more characteristic of the channel part of the rivers. Most likely, in the Amur basin they form separate, isolated populations and do not carry out significant migrations. At the same time, fish also live in lakes, for example, in Khanka. Just like the killer whale, the squeaky whale has a varied diet and can feed in all layers of water, including near the surface. Both species are characterized by slow stature, although the lash killer whale grows somewhat faster than other types of catfish. The fish reaches a size of 50 cm only by 10 years. The predatory instincts of the whip killer whale are less developed than those of the creaker. In winter, it does not stop feeding, although activity is very low.

Fishing methods

Local fishermen have an ambiguous attitude towards killer whales. Especially for the violinist. Because of their gluttony and omnipresence, they interfere with catching other types of fish, which annoys anglers. In addition, when catching fish, they create many problems when unhooking due to sharp, poisonous spines. Most local anglers do not specifically catch killer whales, and in case of capture, many carry gloves and tools with them so that they can bite off the thorns. Killer whales are most active in the summer. Catching these fish is not difficult, and there is no need for special gear. Various types of float and bottom fishing rods are suitable for this. Including the simplest ones, in the form of donoks, half-donks and snacks. In this case, it is worth noting that both species live in the bottom layers, but the killer whale usually stays closer to the coastline.


For catching killer whales, a large number of various natural baits are used. Both species are very voracious. Many anglers believe that when targeting these fish, the number of hooks on the tackle is more important than the type of bait for maximum success. With an active bite, how many hooks – so many fish caught in one cast. At the same time, the creaker bites even when other species have a complete lack of interest in baits. It is known that squeaky killer whales also react to vegetable baits in the form of porridge or bread, but most often worms, fish slices, and insects are used for catching.

Places of fishing and habitat

For both killer whale species, the Amur River basin is the northern boundary of their habitat. They are also common in northern and eastern China, on the Korean Peninsula. The squeaky killer whale is known in some rivers of the northwest of Sakhalin and in the south of the Japanese Islands (Hondo and Shikoku). In the Amur basin, they are widely represented. None in Mongolia.


Both species of killer whales become sexually mature at the age of 3-4 years. The spawning period takes place in summer, usually in June-July. Researchers believe that both species dig holes in the muddy bottom and guard the masonry. The spawning period of the squeaker whales is better studied due to the fact that the fish stays closer to the shore. During spawning, fish form large clusters. Their nesting sites resemble colonies of sand martins.

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