Our first Hucho Hucho chase
After watching some YouTube videos we were pretty curios about this fish so we decided to see what we were able to find on the internet, but it was pretty hard, at the end we came to the German site Huchenangler.de via Ribiskekarte.si, a Slovenian site where to buy permits, and so we sent a request to it.
Immediately the owner Velibor Caki Ivanovic responded, he was very polite and gave us the firs information we found, and after some mails we wrote each other we decided to book the opening week end with him on Sava river Slovenia.
2 weeks before departure we checked our equipment and realized that we were without proper rods, so we asked Caki what we would need, we tried to find something on budget as we did not know if we would go on chasing this fish ad practicing this type of heavier spinning, the only thing we found was a catfish spinning rod which was actually a bit too heavy and stiff for the purpose but as it was the only on budget we finally ordered them.
It is the 30 October and we get an unexpected mail from Caki, telling us the directions and the address for our hotel, and which finished with the words “ I will be arriving late in the evening so do not wait for me we will meet us at 9.00 o’clock for breakfast.
On 31 October we departed in direction Bled Slovenia where we were staying whit an uncomfortable feeling because of the mail from the evening before. As we arrived the hotel owner warmly welcomed us and told us the same Caki wrote us, to not wait for him as he would be there late, bit this time it made us feel a little more comfortable, so we decided to take dinner in the center of bled and to go to bed early as the weekend would be long…
At 9.00 am we were in the breakfast room waiting, the door opened and a balkanic looking guy came in told the waitress something and then came into our direction, was it Caki , as he came nearer we noticed He was Wearing Simms Clothes so it could just be him and so it was, he warmly welcomed us and we took breakfast together, chatting a bit and presenting ourselves.
After breakfast we headed to the local fishing association to buy the daily tickets and then to the water, the chosen spot was nice, no obstacles in the river and around us, a small pick nick bench, perfect to start. While we put up our gear Caki was preparing our pre ordered lure set, a spongee, a wobbler, a silicone fish and a Zopf. I first was told to pt on the wobbler and make a few casts,, meanwhile Sebastian was being instructed on how to properly use the Spongee. After that I was told by Caki to put the Zopf on and hot to use it, later on me and my brother changed lure so that both was getting instructed on how to properly use the new gear. We spent the whole day changing spot sometimes using the bottom lures, to get used to them and maybe trick one Hucho into a bite, while waiting for the sunset, the golden hour for Hucho fishing, as by day they tent to stay at the bottom, becoming an active hunter after sunset.
At the beginning of sunset, we went to the confluence between Sava Bohinjica and Sava Dolinka, the chosen spot for the last hour of fishing. It was me and Sebastian casting and Caki and the president of the angling community as observer, which is a must there when angling for Hucho that a local observer is with you. We both put on the wobbler, and made some casts to become a feeling for distance and direction as we would fish in complete darkness for the last 30 minutes. After a short break of 10 minutes in which we decided our casting tactic we went to our two spots, we was at about 20 meters of distance from each other and the tactic was to cast 3 times and the take a short break of 3-4 minutes going on until the end.
We were casting for about 45 minutes as I heard Sebastian screaming fish on, Caki who was observing both of us half way ready to help out netting the catch directly went to him, I retrieved my lure and went also in Sebastian’s direction. Caki had a small headlamp he lighted to net the Hucho, so he saw me coming and immediately yelled at me to go back to my spot casting as we just had some more minutes this day, which I did, even if I was a bit upset because I couldn’t even take a look at Sebastian’s fish as he was still fighting. I thought between me and myself that I wouldn’t get any more fish anyway because of the trouble created by the first catch. Made my first cast, and started retrieving without being really concentrated on what I was doing and just in front of me on the last meters boom I got a catch too and started screaming out loud, I immediately gave the fish a bit of line as I would need to wait for help and fight him to be able to net the Hucho.
Meanwhile Sebastian’s Hucho was in the net, so Caki told him and our observer to hold him into the water in the net so he could come over and help me out first landing the fish and taking a fast picture. He came just as I had the fish in front of me and went into the wrist deep water to secure the Hucho by hand while I was unhooking him, I was really thrilled and shaking, the Hucho was about 100 to 105 cm long and we guess something like 10 kg. I grabbed the fish and took position for the picture Caki wanted to take as the fish slapped with the tail and fell out of my hands into the water, I was like Paralyzed for losing it before the picture. Caki immediately put the camera on a rock and almost dove into the water and after a few seconds I saw his hands and my Hucho emerging again. This time I wouldn’t lose him again, not before a picture has been taken, and as you can see in the gallery (the picture of me with the black and green jacket) I wasn’t holding the Hucho, it looked more like a hug or a struggle… the picture was quickly followed by the release of the beauty as Sebastian was still waiting with his netted Hucho and we don’t wanted to harm one of the fishes. We headed to them and prepared to take the picture of his fish too. It came out pretty similar to mine as the Hucho was already gaining hos force while staying netted in the water, to as I sad it also became a “Hucho hug” picture.
The fishing day ended the best way possible, in the two following days unfortunately we weren’t able to trick other Huchos into a bite, we just got some really nice trout, we walked up and down the whole stretch but nothing, well who cares, we had our fish and a pretty good story too, 2 brothers got 2 Huchos in 2 minutes on nearly the same spot.
After finishing fishing on the third evening we said goodbye to our new friend and the river, being sure to come back again, trying to catch the great wild Balkan Hucho .