Fish is an active invader of new territories. The homeland of fish is the Far East, but it quickly spreads throughout Russia. It also has names: firebrand, grass. Unpretentious to the conditions of existence, tolerates a lack of oxygen in the water and pollution. Depending on natural conditions, it can easily adapt to local conditions, for example: in case of freezing of a reservoir, it hibernates, burrowing into silt or falling into a stupor. At the same time, in more favorable winter conditions, it is very active and can be the “main” object of fishing on the reservoir. Easily takes root in “overseas” and low-water reservoirs. The negative side of such an introduction is that rotan, in some reservoirs, begins to dominate as a species, and gradually displaces the “native” fish. Rotan is a voracious, ambush predator. It feeds on various animals, ranging from insect larvae, tadpoles, to small frogs, newts and juvenile fish. Cannibalism is widespread. The question of whether dead animals and caviar are included in the diet remains debatable. Some scientists and anglers have an opinion that rotan can “benefit” by destroying “weak” groups of ichthyological fauna, which contributes to the development of healthy fish. Perhaps this is true, in particular cases, especially if it is associated with old neglected ponds and cultural lakes. On the “wild” reservoirs, most of Russia, rotan is an alien, an aggressive predator that violates the ecological balance. The maximum size of the fish does not exceed 25 cm in length and weighs about 1 kg. Fish are characterized by a change in color, depending on the conditions of the reservoir.
Ways to catch rotan
The main ways of catching rotan are firebrands, in the summer, these are bottom and float gear. In winter, fish are caught on traditional tackle using animal baits, both jigs – nods, and floats. On many reservoirs, rotan reacts to spinning baits – micro wobblers, micro jig and small spinners. Some enthusiasts are experimenting with catching firebrands on fly fishing gear.
Catching rotan on a float rod
Fishing conditions for rotan may vary, but most of the habitats, nevertheless, are small slow-flowing or “stagnant” lakes, ponds, and so on. The size of rods for “blank equipment” can vary from short (2-3 meters) to longer ones, which allow fishing at a considerable distance from the coast. The equipment for fishing rods is quite traditional, the fish is not shy, therefore, in the case of fishing in snarled and overgrown reservoirs, the main emphasis should be placed on the strength of the gear. The use of rods with reels is quite possible if the fisherman does not interfere with the presence of extra equipment, including sagging line on the guides. The bite of the rotan is quite uncertain, therefore it requires care. A pond with rotan, due to the voracity and unpretentiousness of this fish, can become an excellent “polygon” for beginner young fishermen. Rotan is caught on summer nodding, jigging tackle, with replanting, natural lures, and on jigs without attachments.
Catching rotan on spinning
For catching rotan on spinning gear, it is recommended to use ultra-light gear. Spinning fishing for a firebrand is quite exciting, so many anglers, in the case of easy access to a reservoir with this fish, deliberately switch to such fishing. This is an excellent object of fishing with the use of light and ultra-light lures. For this, spinning rods with a weight test of up to 7-10 grams are suitable. Specialists in retail chains will recommend a large number of micro wobblers and other baits. The choice of a cord or a monofilament depends on the desires of the angler, but the cord, due to its low extensibility, will enhance the manual sensations from contact with a biting medium-sized fish. The choice of lines and cords, in the direction of a slight increase from “super thin”, may be influenced by the fact that “deaf” hooks for vegetation and snags of the reservoir are possible. Reels should match, in weight and size, a light rod.
Catching rotan on winter gear
As already mentioned. For catching rotan, traditional methods of fishing with winter equipment are suitable. First of all, these are various jigs and bottom rigs. They are caught using natural baits. In addition, cases of catching rotan on small spinners and other baits for vertical fishing are not uncommon.
For catching rotan on natural baits, the whole range of traditional baits is suitable: worms: dung and earthen, maggot, bloodworm, etc. In addition, the fish is perfectly caught on pieces of poultry meat, lard and other baits from the “violent imagination” of our anglers. Of the baits for fishing with spinning gear, it is worth noting micro jig and micro wobblers. Experienced anglers, lovers of firebrand fishing, indicate a variety of color and size preferences. Rotan can attack rather large wobblers, more than 5cm. From this it should be concluded that the main method of catching rotan can be considered a constant experiment. Fish preferences for spinning lures can vary greatly.
Places of fishing and habitat
In Russia, the natural habitat of rotan is the basin of the lower reaches of the Amur. The partial settlement of fish by humans has affected unregulated settlement in various regions. But rotan settles even without human intervention, periodically there is information about the discovery of fish in “wild reservoirs”. As in the case of the appearance of other species – migrants, the firebrand is settled by waterfowl, carrying eggs stuck to the plumage and gradually “capturing” territories. Now the area of distribution of rotan is very wide and is located almost throughout the territory of Russia and Belarus. The entry of rotan into Lake Baikal is regarded as a blockage.
The fish reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2-3 years. During the spawning period, the color of males becomes more pronounced, acquiring darker shades, up to black. Pisces are known to play mating games. Males have a developed instinct for protecting eggs and juveniles. The female spawns in portions in several stages, depending on the region, from the beginning of May to the end of July. Caviar is attached to vegetation, snags and other objects of the reservoir.