Saturday, August 13, 2011
I was fishing the same spot at the dike on which I had written on Aug 6. At the Amur the fishing conditions are changing literally every day. This time there were no skygazers in the casting distance. I had spent two hours casting & changing flies, and lost some on the rocks, but had not seen any rises of the feeding predators; there were no bites of fish.
One more last cast, and one more.. When the streamer was passing an area above big rocks in a current, the line stopped. I was completely sure that it was one more snag, and started to make jerks with the rod, trying to pull the line up. I was not able to unhook the fly, but suddenly it became evidently that the "snag" is moving into the depth..
Mandarin bass (Chinese perch) Siniperca chuatsi is ambuscader which is attacking its prey from short distance. In nineteen seventies the species was listed as endangered, but now it is rather numerous in the Amur near Khabarovsk. Big city with its dikes, cofferdams, bridges, and other underwater structures is creating lots of excellent bass habitats. This bass weighs 1150 g (almost 3 pounds), and the maximum weight of the species is to 8,6 kg (19 pounds).
Comparing with the bass species from USA, Mandarin bass is never jumping when hooked. It is rather secretive bottom fish which is hard to see even in the areas with good density.
Chinese perch had strong jaws & sharp, rather long teeth. It is not a good idea to grab even a small, 2-pound fish for its lower jaw - it will surely damage your thumb.