Fishing for Danube taimen
Large freshwater salmon, whose natural distribution area is located in the European part of Eurasia. Khucho, baby, is also a frequently mentioned name for the Danube salmon. General characteristics and behavior are similar to other members of the genus Taimen. The maximum dimensions can reach, in weight – 60 kg, and in length a little less than 2 m. I would like to note that the genus of taimen is currently represented by four species. The other three live in Asia. The so-called Sakhalin taimen (chevitsa) belongs to a different genus. It differs from freshwater taimen not only in its way of life (anadromous fish), but also in the morphological structure of the body. Although outwardly they are quite similar and are closely related species. The Danube salmon has a slender, rolled body, but many anglers who have caught other taimen note that the hucho is more “loose”. The body color is less bright than in other species. Perhaps this is an adaptation to living conditions. For example, it is associated with the conditions of existence in rivers flowing in the zone of loess, periodically stirring up water, or other rocks underlying the bottom of the river, with a specific color. Hucho is one of the largest freshwater predators in Europe. The main habitat is mountain rivers. It is an active predator, often hunting takes place in the upper layers of the water. It is a protected species, listed in the IUCN Red List. Fish, at the moment, are actively bred artificially, and not only in the zone of natural habitation. Salmon has taken root, apart from the Danube basin, in other rivers of Europe and beyond.
The methods of catching Danube taimen are similar to those of other species of this genus, and in general, large river salmon. Taimen actively hunts in different layers of water. But you need to take into account the moment that there are seasonal features. In Europe, taimen fishing is strictly regulated. The basic principle of fishing: “caught – released.” Before fishing, you need to clarify not only the size of the possible catch, but also the permitted baits, including the types and sizes of hooks. Amateur gear for catching Danube salmon are spinning and fly fishing rods.
Catching fish with spinning tackle
Given the size and strength of the fish, it is worth taking a responsible approach to the choice of spinning tackle for salmon fishing. First of all, you need to focus on the weight of the baits and the conditions of fishing on fast, mountain rivers. Long rods are more comfortable when playing big fish, but they can be uncomfortable when fishing from overgrown banks or difficult terrain. Fishing conditions on the river can vary greatly, including due to the weather. The water level can change and, accordingly, the speed of the current. This affects the wiring and the use of lures. The choice of an inertial reel must be associated with the need to have a large supply of fishing line. The cord or fishing line should not be too thin. The reason is not only the possibility of catching a large trophy, but also because the fishing conditions may require forced fighting. Taimen prefers large baits, but exceptions are not uncommon.
Fly fishing for taimen. Fly fishing for taimen has its own characteristics. As a rule, lures are distinguished by their large size, which requires the use of more powerful rods up to 10-12 classes, both in two-handed and single-handed versions. In certain seasons, the physical activity of the fish can be very high, and therefore, in large reservoirs, after the notch, the taimen can make powerful jerks of several tens of meters. Therefore, a long backing is required. Fishing often takes place at dusk. This increases the requirements for reliability and durability of gear.
A very large number of baits are used to catch the Danube taimen. This applies to both spinning and fly fishing lures. Unlike Asian counterparts, who rarely react to various silicone imitations, a huge number of baits of this type are used to catch a baby. Among them are the so-called. “Danubian pigtail” – a kind of “octopus” with a lead head. In addition, various imitations of fish made of artificial materials are used, in the form of “foam rubber” and other things. Traditional, in the Russian sense, rotating and oscillating spinners are also used, along with a huge number of wobblers of various sizes and modifications. Fly fishing baits used for fishing are usually imitations of bottom river dwellers. These are various gobies, minnows, etc., made from appropriate materials – synthetic and natural fibers, foam, etc. The main feature, as in the case of the Siberian taimen, is its large size.
Places of fishing and habitat
In addition to the natural range in the Danube basin, at the moment, taimen is settled in many rivers of Western Europe and even acclimatized in some rivers of North Africa. There are Danube salmon populations in England, Canada, USA, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Spain, and Belgium. In Eastern Europe, fish can be found in the basins of the rivers Teresva and Terebly, Drina, Tisa, Prut, Cheremosha, Dunaets, Popradz, San, Bubr, in the rivers of southern Germany. In the former territories of the USSR, in addition to the Ukrainian rivers, Danube salmon was bred in the Don and Kuban basins. Currently, you can find a large number of offers for catching taimen in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Slovenia, Poland and more. Fish are the dominant predator in the water. Depending on the season and age, it can change the conditions of existence and location in the river; it is the dominant predator. For the most part, it prefers to keep to various obstacles, bottom depressions or places with a change in the speed of the current. The fish is very cautious, with any possible threat, it tries to leave a dangerous place.
The development of the Danube taimen has some features typical of most salmonids. Females “grow up” somewhat later than males, at 4-5 years. Spawning takes place in March – May, depending on the conditions of existence. Spawning is paired, takes place on rocky ground. The fish guard the nest for some time. Fertility in taimen increases with age. Young females spawn about 7-8 thousand eggs. Juveniles feed on invertebrates, gradually moving to a predatory lifestyle.