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#11 Newt

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:24 AM

LOL - I have the same sorts of language problems and I'm a native English speaker but the US variety and for years had occasional trouble making myself understood on this forum.
" My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" - Harry Truman, 33rd US President

#12 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 04:37 AM

Ive been wanting to try for cats in your part of the world for some time now.I should have thought of Som as thats what they call them in Bulgaria as well. Its always been a worry amongst travelling catfish anglers both in the UK and other European countries that the terrible conflict you have been having out there may have affected the cats.I totally understand that in such times they would represent an excellent food source. I have no problems with that.Also Ive seen the sort of damage and pollution that war can bring to the enviroment.

Any ideas on what your national records are for them and any waters that are known for the real big ones? Do you also get the really big Asp like they do in Czechoslovakia?

Im really interested in the fishing in your part of the world and would love to hear about it.Thanks for taking the time to post the picture.
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#13 Zoki@Serbia

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:15 PM

I understand what you mean,it was ALSO an ecological disaster,the bombing campaign of NATO (US) airforce wasn't really what you saw on TV,all of our industry,bridges,quite a few hospitals,etc... were bombed and over 4000 civilians died just from bombing and just over a 1000 soldiers in total,from bombing and land agresion from Albania that wasn't shown on western media,that says it all,I think that despare led to this,since they couldn't destroy the army they bombed everything,and many poisons were released into the land,atmosphere and watters!
Most of that poisons from destroyed oil rafineries and all sort of factories acted imediately and they were cleaned after the bombing,so if you were to fish to eat you are safe to do so (say if you wanna camp on some lake and live of the land instead on supermarket of fast food),and if you just wanna fish for pleasure then you should remember that the bombing was back in 1999,I think 9 years are enough for the fish to recover from any ecological disaster!?
As for the national records,I know of only two from recent years,one was a 96kg beast caught just beside a power plant on the river Danube (Dunav,and no it's not a nuclear power plant,don't worry) :) and the second was a 101kg beast but I don't anything about that one,we don't have that kind of websites for all to see,news about those record braking fish are always printed in our fishing magazines like Ribolovacki Magazin (www.ribolovacki-magazin.co.yu),Ribolov (www.press-ribolov.com),etc...
They have a competition for many species of fish and their readers send them their personal best,and at the end of the competition they all get prizes,that is the best place to find some records about large catfish in Serbia,maybe write them an email asking to see the 2007 list (http://www.press-rib...id,1/Itemid,47/ copy this to your adress bar,the first blank space is for your name,the second for the return email adress where you wish to get your answer,and the third is for the subject of your email)!
This is NOT the official list,there are many fish caught and never heard of again even if they were bigger than those records from Ribolov,so take that list as an"amateur acomplishments"as you'll see for yourself,don't expect many heartstoping images aswell,with beatufull nature,etc... those people often take pictures when they get home,in their living rooms,backyards,garages,you are warned! ;)
If you decide to come to Serbia to try catfishing don't forget to mention that in your email to Ribolov,they are the best people to provide you with a lot of info on that subject,you'll need a guide,a recomendation for a nice watter to fish,a recomendation for a hotel or hostel or maybe a village acomodation (lakes always have villages not so far away,there you can eat,sleep,and get fat fast on organic food :) but you'll hardly find anyone speaking English in the rural areas),so prepare yourself!
Just for the record,you SHOULD THINK about taking some equipment for trout fishing,most of my country are mountains and hills therefore most of our watters are"salmonid"(I think that's the phrase?) region,only the north,mainly Vojvodina,is stictly"ciprinid"region,so you'll pretty much have to stick to big rivers like Dunav if you want ONLY to fish for Som,and if that is the case than I suggest you avoid Belgrade and go straight to Novi Sad,capitol of the province of Vojvodina (it's only 1/8 of the size od Belgrade but it's much nicer,and the river Danube flows thru)!
If you come here to fish maybe you should try one of the best silicone lures in Europe,Orka lures are really great and by your standards cheap,but they are very,VERY good,our boys that were on Ebro last summer simply embarased other fishermen with the amount and the sizes of fish caught on that lure,here is their website (this one has an Enlish option,unlike the first two of the fishing magazines) so find out all you can before the trip http://www.orka-jk.com/
Pozdrav from Serbia
Zoki

#14 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:19 AM

Thanks ever so much for that information Zoki and taking the time to send it.What do you normaly fish for?
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#15 Zoki@Serbia

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:39 AM

Well,like I sad I've been match fishing for some years,and before that I was more of an allrounder,whip fishing,method fishing...!I catch mostly Roach (bodorka in Serbian),Rudd (crvenperka),Silver carp or Crucian carp as I think Bob Nudd called them in one video (srebrni karas),"Golden carp"which I believe is a local species,that species is quite similar to silver carp except they are"golden"and breed only among themselves,and don't get that big,about a 1kg top,and I don't think they came from China like silver carp since they have been in our watters for ages but who knows!?
There is offcourse ocasional carp on my match rod and,hopefully,in the future on my pole rod,mostly wild variety,I think you just call them Common carp,they are the best carp species of all,compared to the"naked"ones (I don't know how you call those) and others cause they have more fighting spirit and muscles,etc...
I also fish with artificial lures,wooden fish and stuff like that,mostly in the spring when trout is very active in my area,and I also fish for chub and perch that way but I do that all year round except in the winter,they are small species in general but fight like hell on a nice,sensitive,rod! :)
Sometimes I fish with bologneze for Skobalj,I don't know how to translate that species name,I'll post a picture latter but I don't think you have it in your watters,and there is also Plavonos or Šljivar,very similar species to Skobalj only they don't get that big and their nose is more like plum in shape and colour,that is also how we call it (Plavonos means blue nose,and Šljivar means plum-like),and offcourse barbel,they all stick to the bottom when feeding and I enjoy catching them cause they are all good fighters!
That's about it,I tried carpfishing,but since I'm a hyper active person with not much patience I left that behind after 1 & 1/2 seasons,maybe when I retire 40 years from now I'll try again to just sit and wait for days (no ofence carp lovers),same goes for method fishing,I don't have the patience,and I don't have the will and funds to start flyfishing so I won't even try that any soon,I'll stick to match and pole most of my time! :)
And I saved the best for last,here are some images for you,and others offcourse,of our rivers and canals,no lakes unfortunately but I'll post my own latter-> http://www.ribolovac...x...d=101&gid=1
As much as I can recognize pictures 1,2,5 and 6 are the pictures of Dunav,and maybe Sava but I'm not sure,and others (except the last,that's some canal in Vojvodina) are pictures of the river Drina,beautifull river,our STUPID politicians keep destroying it with new dams for power plants,they also wanna destroy the largest canyon in Europe thru which the river Tara flows,that's another beaty of our country,but what can we do,for now we stop them with protests,it's more important to have beautifull nature than become an exporter of electricity!!
And here are some species of fish living in our watters,remember I mentioned Skobalj earlier,well the fish on the image #2 is that fish,I'll post some better images from my PC and digital camera below http://www.ribolovac...x...d=101&gid=2
And now,here are some images I made with digital camera and mobile phone,If you recognize this species of fish please tell me what you call them in English,I would like to know for future reference!?
Posted Image (Skobalj)
Posted Image (Krkusa,it's a sort of barbel living in small rivers and streams)
This is the lake in my village,it is BEAUTIFULL,BREATH TAKING,HEART STOPING... I guess I just love it too much to be objective but it sure is pretty? ;) The first picture was taken in the summer,this is the left 1/3 of the lake where the larger stream that feeds it is!
Below is the right 1/3 of the lake (you can see the road from which the first and third pictures were taken,I used that road as a reference for left and right) there is a nice cotage/restourant a bit right of my rods and the smaller stream that feeds the lake (notice the"sounders for 2 pens",that I invented cause I didn't have normal ones with me that day) :)
And in the last image you can see how it looks in the spring when all the snow from those hills melts (600-700 meters above the sea level so we have a"bit"of snow in the winter) :)
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
I have plenty of images to show to you all,but I'm still on dial-up conection,I've been in this apartment for 3 months now and I'm still geting promises that I'll get a DSL line next week,and next week it's again next week... I hope I'll get it soon,in time to upload you more images over 1MB in size which are now too large,I've been uploading this small ones for the past hour and that's it for now,I'm going to bed,talk to you latter! ;)
Pozdrav from Serbia
Zoki

#16 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:00 PM

Once again many thanks Ive found your posts really interesting. Im not 100% sure but the picture of the Skobalj does look very similar to a species that we dont have here in the UK but I caught whilst in Germany.There it was called Nase (which translated into English means Nose) I do know there is also another very similar species (but quite rare?) in Europe called Zahrte (my spelling may not be correct on this one) Quite a hard fighting species (Nase) that averaged around 2lb. Ive no idea about the Barbel looking one though!

A trip to your country in the next couple of yearsa now looks a must regardless of if I fish for cats or not. Ive always found the general coarse fishing in most European countries to be very good. What do you have in the way of predators?
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#17 Zoki@Serbia

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:03 PM

You're welcome,I'll keep answering all your questions,I like when people wanna know more about my country,more than what they see on TV,and things seen there are almost always bad,with the exception of Novak Djokovics apearance on Jay Leno show,anyone saw that,I think it was last night,he was cool,wright,buit then again we are great at just about any sport? :)
About skobalj,you say they average about 2lb in Germany,that's true for most rivers in Serbia too,few small ones (like my nearby river Resava) have smaller ones,but Drina,oh Drina kiks ass (pardon me for using the A word) cause fish in Drina get really big,some parts of it hide skobalj averaging about 2kg or 4lb,and they fight quite good!!
About krkuša,it's a small barbel like fish (she is from that family but I really don't know the English name) and her latin name is Barbus meridionalis,it's more of a Balcans and Eastern Europe species,doesn't live west from the Alps,they live in small streams,like the one some 4km from my home where that one from the picture was caught,it was in a 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep water so they don't have the resources to get much bigger than about 300-400 grams and 30cm,but it fights like any other barbel,here is some more info in Serbian but you'll get the point and see a nice image http://www.pcelica.c...ena-potocna.php
It's popular with some people despite it's small size cause it's a good fighter,and there is offcourse one more plus,she is the very tasty,as good as trout,unlike most of the other barbels (we also have regular barbels in most of our waters),that's one more reason to like her,she deserved all her fans,too bad you don't have her!

Back to predators,when they built artificial lake for a power plant,near Zvornik,they did the same thing as Germans with Ebro and catfish,except Drina is mostly salmonid river,but catfish adjusted really good,the lake already has some gigantic fish,there was even a text not so long ago,in one of our fishing magazines,about a fisherman who was bored while waiting for catfish,so he played with his dog,threw a peace of wood in the lake and chased the dog to fetch it,the dog went once or twice,and then he just disappeared in a swirl of watter,a catfish got him,and it wasn't a small dog!!
Before the polution (from bombing and events like that) we had more gigantic catfish in our watters,there were reports of fish so big it would scare you to see it,150kg and 3 meters in length,but they are pretty much gone,now you can be happy if you get a 50+kg fish in a week long fishing expedition to Zvornicko lake,or lake Bovan,or Kazan,the deepest part of Dunav,which happens to be in Serbia... there are still plenty of places where you could catch big catfish or som (gota learn some Serbian) ;)
As for other predator fish,we had Sturgeon or Jesetra in Serbian,but when our,again STUPID,politicians made another dam on the river Danube between former SFR Yugoslavia and Romania,they forgot to mention to the engineers to make a pasage for the migrating species like Sturgeon for example,so now there is no Sturgeon in most of Danube river,and they were really big predators,profesional fisherman (fishing for sale in the fish markets) used to catch fish over 500kg,now it's almost gone!
Another popular predator in our waters is Zander or Smudj,the bigest European perch,the bigest one last year was about 13kg,I think it was caught in Zvornicko lake,but Dunav has good size Zander too,every year people catch 10+kg specimen,it's is a popular and tasty fish,people are usually catching it with artificial lures (how do you call that kind of fisherman,they are using Spinning rods,are they they called spinners or what?) and some are still using dead,or even alive fish,it's not forbiden to use live fish for bait here,except for trout,it can't be fished on anything else but artificial lures!
There is also plenty of Pike or Štuka (Shtuka),a man from Jagodina caught a specimen of about 10,5kg and over 1m long in Velika Morava,good size fish for this river,most of them are usually 1-4kg,anything biger than that is a good size fish,anything over 8-9kg is a really big fish for us,since there isn't a very developed catch & release movement among predator fisherman,like in Holland for example,they need to get around a lot of obsticles to live to get that big (they usually kill themselves while they are younger,since they are the worst of all canibals,and later they become prey of catfish,who will eat just about anything,carp,pike,other catfish...) so you could catch them too if you decide so!?
Drina holds another big predator,we call it Mladica,our brothers Russians call it Taimen,I believe the latin name is Hucho Hucho,they get really big but they are not well protected from all kinds of thieves while laying eggs,they usually use river Godina for mating (Godina means Year,cause it's 365 meters long) :) and some species of fish just love their eggs,and men love the"easy fishing"so they are very cautious fish,it's not easy to catch them,there is a two day"World championship"every year but they catch just a few of them cause you really need to know the river,and to be carefull not to drown yourself when they release the water from a nearby lake at a certain time of day!
There are some other smaller predators like 4 of 5 species of Trout like Salmo trutta fario or Potocna pastrmka (Brown trout),it rarely gets bigger than 4-5kg,red spots and brown colour are her give away signs,hard to fish cause it's as cautious as Mladica,it's also sensitive to high temperature (over 15 degrees Celsius),and low oxygen leves so she is most common in mountain rivers!
Then there is Salmo trutta lacustris or Jezerska pastrmka (Lake trout),in our lakes it can get almost as big as Mladica,but rarely bigger than 10-12kg (it's a variety of Brown trout,but it gets way bigger),very good fighter,because of it's origin it prefers cold mountain lakes,here she ishttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/Bachforelle_Zeichnung.jpg
Then there is Salmo irideus or Kalifornijska pastrmka (Rainbow trout),they usually escaped from fisheries,got into the wild rivers... and the rest is history!They too get quite big,some of them up to 10kg,it's the least sensitive species of trout to polution,warm waters,and low oxygen levels!
There is also a VERY rare species of trout that lives only in Strumica in Bulgaria,some rives in Macedonia and in some rivers in Serbia like the river Nišava (Nishava),latin name is Salmo macedonicus I believe and Serbian name is Makedonska pastrmka!It's not very sensitive to warm water as her closest cousin Brown trout,it looks like her but has a slimer,shark like,body,it also doesn't need high oxygen levels,that's why I think it's the trout of the future,maybe someone will import it to your waters,much better option then Rainbow trout!?
There are also Salvelinus fontinalis and Salvelinus alpinus or Zlatovcica in Serbian,the first one is the River variety and the other is Lake variety (the first variety http://upload.wikime...alis_2900px.jpg and second http://upload.wikime...nusalpinus.jpg) which is also very rare fish,gets quite big too,also a close relative of brown trout (actually most of them are closely related to brown trout),pretty fish,etc...
I think that Thymallus Thymallus is also a close relative of the trout,it is also a predator but specialized itself for insects mostly,very nice fish,not that big,maybe 3kg at most in rare cases,it's very popular with Drina flyfishermen,this river has many record braking specimen,they usually measure it's length and let them go,every flyfishermans dream is to catch a specimen over 50cm,here is a picture of this fish,we call it Lipljan http://upload.wikime...usThymallus.jpg
Wow,I really gave you guys a looooot to read,but you asked what predators we have and since we have all sorts of waters we have many species of fish,just look how many species of Trout we have,that's why I advised you to think about geting some light spinning or flyfishing equipment for trout fishing,you could try your luck at catching some of these species that can't be found ANYWHERE alse in the world,it's worth it! ;)
Pozdrav from Serbia
Zoki

#18 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 02:45 AM

Yes I thought that might be the case with both pike and zander.

I've fished a lot of places in Europe but the nearest Ive been to you is Czechoslovakia as my visits to Russia were a long way East of you in Khazakstan.

Is it easy enough to get visiters fishing licences where you are?

I had feared that the big cats may no longer be there or if they were in very reduced numbers.However if your waters have a history of producing real (120kg+) fish then there is no reason why they shouldnt again in the future. I would imagine that like in Czech its quite cheap in your country for food,beer or petrol? Would a visiting angler be able to just buy a licence and go of and try for himself or would that not be allowed or unsafe? Im sorry that I know so little about your country!

When I first started fishing in Czech it was not long after the borders had opened.People were very friendly but some what unsure of us.

Im fully commited this year but must seriously consider looking at a visit next year.
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#19 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 04:36 AM

Posted Image

Here is an old picture that shows a Nase (top) that I caught in Germany from the River Waser.Is it the same species?
And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

#20 Zoki@Serbia

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:31 PM

Yeah,that's the same fish as our Skobalj,allthough it's blue nose is a bit confusing but the shape of the body,light coloured fins and"dull"tale are his give-away signs,check this images to see some diferences between Skobalj and Plavonos/Nosara/Shljivar http://www.pcelica.c...ste/skobalj.php vs http://www.pcelica.c...rste/nosara.php
The correct procedure for foreign fishermen doesn't really exist,nevertheless I would suggest that you ask those magazines (Ribolov or Ribolovacki Magazin) for advice,they might know better but I think that it's just a matter of buying a licence and going fishing!
There are some troubles you might run into,our politians (somehow they always come up STUPID) decided to DIVIDE the country into regions,5 regions=5 fishing licences,fortunately the clubs that take care of those regions decided to enable people to buy another licence way cheaper if a fisherman already has one to begin with!
In your case,if you would like to try your luck at Bovan fishing for Som,and then try to catch Mladica on the river Drina,you'll have to buy a licence for Serbia - South,and then just add some 40% of that price to get the licence to fish in Serbia - West,that way you would get 2 licences for about 70 euros instead for 95 euros if there was no deal between clubs!
You'll notice that licences are expensive,we don't think our waters are that rich or that well protected from pouchers so that we should pay 50 euros for a licence,but then again it's up to our politicians,they want to get more and more money to the budget any way they can,obviously not many of them are fishermen!?
About your posible acomodations,visa,food,petrol... Like I said the prices for most of the goods are very similar with the UK prices,1l of petrol (unleaded) is about 1.20 euros,and diesel goes for about 1 euro (I hear that UK prices are reversed,petrol is cheaper than diesel?),but some prices are lover,say a sandwich of about 120grams (like two of those from MacDonalds put together) is about 1 euro,1l of some nice wine (and we have good wines) is about 3 euros,beer is about 1 euro in a bar if you want domestic (Lav beer is nice,Jelen beer too),foreign beers like Tuborg,Heineken,Stella Artoa... is about 1.5 euros,2 euros at most!!
Acomodation shouldn't be a problem,the usuall price for a night at a hostel is around 8-10 euros in a large room (up to 10 people) and if you want some privacy you'll pay from 12-15 euros,and hotels are from 15-150 euros a night,depending if you wanna stay in a 3 star,4 star or 5 star hotel (people say that hotel Moskva in Belgrade is great and not that expensive),but I would suggest you make reservations via some tourist agency,you might bump into NO Vacancy signs if you don't make a reservation (we don't really have those signs but... you get the point) since there is a Eurovision contest in May,many tourist will be here for EXIT music festival,etc...
As for safety,there are a lot of foreigners in Serbia,none of them has a problem with locals,except for ocasional skinhed groups we are NOT a rasist nation (you didn't mention your race but just so you know that people are friendly to people in general) then again there is a"BUT"in all that...
I won't get into politics,but maybe it's better that you came latter in the year,September or October,or maybe even next year,when this situation about Kosovo and Metohia (Albanians just call it Kosovo cause they know that Metoh means church land,that land belogns to Serbian Orthodox church),since UK and USA and some other countries aknowledged the new state of Kosovo then our government called off the ambasadours in those countries,and people are not that fond of Americans in particular,but while you explain to someone that you are from UK (or maybe say you're from Ireland or Australia or Canada or...) you might have problems,NOT that anyone will hurt you!!
We are NOT a violent nation and we DON'T hate foreigners,we were always on the Alied side in every war (and lost a quarter of our population each time,in each world war),except this time,our people just can't cope with the fact that Kosovo and Metohia"MUST"become independent cause of the"demographic situation and hostility between (some) Serbs and (some) Albanians",it's not the fault of ALL Serbs that Kosovo Albanians chased out 700 000 Serbs between 1947 and 1997 with any means necesary,and aditional 270 000 after 1999 when UN came,before the comunist era and forced brotherhood among nations we keept close but far enough,and Kosovo was ethnicaly 2/3 Serbian and 1/3 Albanian,but since all this happened and since they,as muslims,have up to 4 wives and usually 10-15 children (as a minority they were FREED from paying taxes in Serbia,and were geting child support for all that kids so many of them didn't work) they became a majority in K&M very fast!!
We can't do much about that now,we still have many abandoned villages there,many churches and monasteries (so many in fact,that we have more churches and monasteries than ANY peace of land in the world per square km!!) and that's why we don't agree that they just leave and take all that,cause when UN leaves they'll just BURN all that villages and churches and monasteries like they did in the war with our police in 1997-1998 and after the UN came from 1999 till now (several thousands burned houses and several hundreds burned churches and monasteries,some were about a MILLENNIUM old)!!
I said I won't get into politics so don't get this the wrong way,this wasn't a political speech,I just tried to explain,as much as I could in couple sentences,what's the situation here,it's just a Serbian side of this story,we don't agree with what your nation did cause we know that you wouldn't alow,say Burmingham or Bedford where their is a lot of (formerly) Pakistani and Bangladesh people,to become an independent state and then watch how they burn English houses and churches and just sit there and watch,wright?
That's exactly the problem with us,we know what really happened and what's going to happen next so people are"nervous"a bit and don't really wanna have a lot of contact with people from the countries that aknowledge K&M as an independant state,I'll say again that this DOESN'T mean that you'll have any problems (maybe,just maybe,someone will try to charge you more for a cab or for a night in hostel,but maybe),we don't have a problem with people from the UK,USA,Germany... just with their governments,anyone who comes to Serbia very soon get the right picture of who we REALLY are as a nation,and majority of them come back next year,some even stay here cause they like it more than back home...
You'll see for yourself in due time,first send an email to some of those fishing magazines to find out more about licences,good terains for fishing,and ask your own foreign affairs ministry what do they think,if it's safe to come here,then tell me what they told you,I would like to know,as soon as posible??? :)
Pozdrav from Serbia
Zoki