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The ide has always mystified and taunted me. Sometimes they are as easily caught as roach on a summer morning, and sometimes they are totally unapproachable. Starting out on a quest for specimen ide seems like a fools game - or does it ...01 sweden trollhaettan 20220213 1976620235

My first encounter with big ide was 25 years ago, when I was fishing with a small net for sticklebacks and shrimps in our local harbour. At that age, 10 years, anything bigger than a pound roach looked enormous, and that was exactly how I thought of the oversized roach-look-a-likes that were sunbathing in one of the basins, out in the middle between luxurious yachts. Of course, at the time I had no illusions of catching these monsters, especially considering my “fishingtackle”, but the vision has stayed with me always, and today I still get goosebumps and a powerful fishing-urge, when I think about it.

In my early twenties the hottest fishing was match- and competition angling. Some matches were held in rivers with plenty of ide, and especially two matches come to mind when thinking about the ide - in Tryggevælde River in Denmark and in Malmö Canals in Sweden. On both occasions my friend and I tested the waters before the matches themselves, and we did well - extremely well. We bagged loads of premium ide on maggots and casters, fish of 1.0 to 1.5 kilo, and we were convinced that we had everything figured out in preparation to the matches.

During the matches we caught absolutely no ide. Nobody caught ide, even though they were clearly visible above the groundbait. They weren’t having any of it, so I had to rely on my old friends, the sticklebacks, to ensure me a surprising second place in the Malmö match. It is definitely not unknown to me, that the fish can react in mysterious ways during matches, but this show of complacency from the ide was quite out of the ordinary.19 denmark tryggevalde a 20220213 1560657316

On several other occasions I have experienced similar behavior, when specimen ide are present in big numbers and fully ignorant of the bait, no matter how clever I thought myself to be with expert baitpresentation. It almost makes believe a rule “If you see them, you don’t catch them” to be as good as a fact.

These past five years I have experienced more ide to fall for artificial baits in my pursuit of predatory species. Even when fishing for monster pike  in Maraviken, Sweden, the ide have thrown themselves at my Rapalas with astonishing aggressiveness. I don’t know how they hoped to devour these big lures, which are a fair bit larger than the size of the mouth of a kilo ide.

Last year I had another encounter with ide joining the party as I fished for big asp near Trollhättan in Sweden. With no reservations at all, they attacked the spinners intended for their bigger predatory cousins with a ferocity worthy of any big asp or pike.

Lately Charlotte and I went on a family weekend trip to Sweden to see our good friends, who have a summer cottage a few metres from Lake Öresjö. The big plan was to do some pike trolling at daytime, and floatfishing for tench and bream morning and evening - the girls would join us fishing for pike, and left the hard and dirty work to Peter and I - what a family trip.

Peter has an extensive knowledge and experience from the lake with pike, alot of fair sized tench, big bream and the occasional school of medium sized ide (0.5 to 1.0 kilo), and in addition to this, Peter had prebaited three swims with noodles and sweetcorn in advance of our arrival, so we were well setup for a good time.  Actually I was quite contend to relax and get some bend in the rod with tench, and possibly break my feeble personal bream record of 2.5 kilo.

21 denmark tryggevalde a 20220213 1655899923The first evening we caught a very satisfying number of tench. They were out in big numbers in this specific swim, so much that even the ravenous roach had a hard time to get through to the baits. Happy with our succes, we put some sweetcorn out in the other swims and decided to give them a go the following morning.

Fishing the swims with sweetcorn and loosefeeding we caught a ton of roach, one bream of 2.35 kilo and two ide of respectively 2.65 and 2.55 kilo. There was absolutely no sign of the big schools of ide, and no big bream to eradicate my humble bream record. The ide were caught singly in each of the swims, as if they cruise the lake solitary. Of course, I am ever so pleased with the catch, but it certainly doesn’t make specimen ide hunting into an exact science.

Actually, when I was writing this article, my fishing companion Rasmus invited me to fish with him on a specific part of Tryggevælde River, where he and his friend have landed very big ide. Rasmus caught several this spring to 2.5 kilo, and his friend, who has lived by the river all his life, has caught a number of beautiful ide to well over 3 kilo, which is comfortably above the danish record. I can’t wait ...

Even though specimen ide can be fairly impossible to understand, there are naturally ways to optimize the fishing, and especially some of the specimen anglers doctrines. This is not the one and only truth, but the following points have been very useful for me, and brought good results :

Location04 sweden trollhaettan 20220213 1808349557
Find out as much about the water as possible, try and
 establish the fishes routes and stopping/feeding areas.

John Bailey’s “red indian”-approach should do nicely. Well,
 stealth is a key factor, as the bigger specimens are most often wary and shy.

Prebait with bigfish directed baits (mostly big baits), prebait
 more than one swim, use the highest quality bait for hook-bait, change bait or baitsize if other species make it impossible for the intended species to get to the bait. To give a clue as to which bait to use is not easy - the ide will surely take most natural baits. I have never caught an ide on boilies, though.

Present the bait where the mouth of the fish is most likely
 to be (in this case I would fish a few centimetres off the bottom).

Use endrigs, hooks and lines that are as light and thin as 
possible without tempting fate (and snags).

The danish record ide was caught in Tryggevælde River, and weighed 2.930 kilo. Most big danish ide are caught in Tryggevælde River, Suså River, Lammefjords Canals, the east coast of Sjælland, more specifically Køge Bay and Stenvs Bay.

In Sweden the catches are a bit better. The record is presently 3.570 kilo, 60 cm long and was caught in Pukavik on the Swedish east coast on a 28 gram Toby spoon. Many big ide are caught along the Swedish east coast, especially in the northern parts of the Baltic Sea, where a great many go up the rivers to spawn. Capital ide are caught regularly, besides the coastal areas, in the rivers Strömsån, Sävarån, Umeälven, Göta Elv and Hillevik­strömmen.23 denmark tude a 20220213 1109402654

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