What was once an inherent part of humans’ hunter/gatherer instincts has with time and easier access to food become a simple hobby and relaxing diversion for many. Picture it, whiling away the hours on the bank of a river or lake either in solitude, or with a few mates, the peace and quiet only interrupted if you feel a tug on your line. What’s On presents a few do’s and don’ts for the local angler along with a list of destinations to help you land that record-breaking catch this summer.
Summer Has Started
As the spring fishing ban ran out at the end of June, Kyiv fishermen dug out their rods, filled their pockets with shiny hooks, dug up worms for bait and went fishing, leaving wives and girlfriends puzzled as to what is so special about sitting on a riverbank or lakeshore for a whole day at the risk of returning home empty-handed. The fishers will tell a different tale, it’s about tapping that primal hunter instinct, the thrill of the chase, and the opportunity to get one of those “I swear it was this big” fish tales. Occasionally that story may be true.
Along with tales of the “one that got away”, old hands maintain it is still pretty easy to land a catch of walleye, pike, bass, catfish, bream, roach or carp in the waters of the Dnipro, without going too far. As amateur fishermen in Ukraine are allowed to take up to three kilograms per catch, the excitement is obvious – assuming you make a catch. So as not to become the object of mocking from your other-half, you’d best try to bring at least one fish home (or you could always buy one on the way). While successful fishing depends on the quality of your equipment and the knowledge of places and seasons, Ukrainians are quite superstitious about fishing.
The list is extensive, however many believe following these rituals and rules will ensure a successful fishing expedition. For example, if a fisherman forgets something and needs to return home to get it, he is obliged to poke his tongue out at his reflection in the mirror. It is a no-no to wish a fisherman good luck before going fishing as most believe he will return home empty-handed. If someone wishes “no tale, no scale” – the rough equivalent of “break a leg”, it’s highly recommended to tell that person to go to hell.
A professional fisherman will never count his catch nor will he show his fish to anyone until he is done, as it’s a sure way to lose a nibble on the line. More such superstitions include you must go fishing only in a good mood, while a true fisherman knows to follow any spontaneous urge to go fishing, if this causes quarrels with their spouse all the better, even more so if you have a few disputes on the way – such as a little road rage, all of this only leads to a good fish.
However, not all run-ins are fortuitous – if you are stopped by a police officer your fishing expedition will fail unless the cop gives you a coin or small note as some kind of token. But, as Ukraine’s finest are more likely to take from you than give you anything, it is probably best to turn around and go home. Also, it’s absolutely unacceptable to share fishing gear with others because it becomes unlucky.
The last few bits of advice include: always putting your shoes on starting with your left foot; never look around when catching your first fish; don’t be greedy – if you take a big bucket for fish the catch will be little and vice versa; the less bites you get at the beginning of the day the more you will get toward the end; and finally, every Ukrainian fisherman truly believes that the worst thing that can happen on a fishing expedition is...a woman – despite her getting everything wrong, at the end of the day, her catch will be twice as big as yours.
Get! Set! Go!
Armed with all this you are ready to go! The only thing left to decide is the destination. The easiest option is to head to the Dnipro River. Professional fishermen advise to go to the upper reaches of the river as it’s inhabited with pike, roach, dace, chub, rudd, chub, tench, podust, gudgeon, barbel, bream, blue bream, crucian carp, trout, eel, catfish, pike, perch and ruff. Especially good fishing spots are in the Dnipro’s bays such as Matviivskiy Bay near Trukhaniv Island, or the bays along Obolonska Naberezhna, especially Sobache Hyrlo Bay and further towards the city centre up to Poshtova Ploshcha.
Another good one is Dubky Bay near Heroiv Dnipra metro station where the fishing is plentiful right up to the Kyiv Hydro Electric Station. The Desna River is the left tributary of the Dnipro and is also beloved by Kyiv fisherman. Desna, which in a slightly Irish twist means “right hand” in the Old East Slavic language, stretches on north of the city and is usually flooded with fishermen who come here from the northern parts of Trukhaniv or Velykiy islands.
Fishing Outside City Limits
On the outskirts of Kyiv, is the Kyiv Water Reservoir – better known as the Kyiv Sea. Here, fishermen can find four paid fishing spots stretching from Chernihiv to the Loshaki Valley and from the no trespass zone of Chapaeva to Horyste Valley on the left bank of the sea. On the right bank, good fishing zones start from the 30km Chornobyl Exclusion Zone border to Strakholesie village and from Seltorg fish farm to Novi Petrivtsi village. The further you go from the city the cleaner the Dnipro and its tributaries are, meaning the more fish you can catch.
The best fishing destinations on the Dnipro are situated about an hour’s drive from the city. Fishermen name the Vovkove Swap fish farm in Paryshkov village to be among the best. It is situated 62 kilometres from the city on the Kyiv-Boryspil highway and will cost you about 10hrv per day to fish here. Fish farm Rudyaky in Kiylov village is also close (just 41 kilometres from Kyiv) and offers boat rental for fishing. If you prefer lake fishing then the Tsarenok recreation zone in Kozintsy village is the place for you, situated just 39 kilometres from the city on the Kyiv-Zhytomyr highway.
A day visit to Hrebenki fish farm will cost you 100hrv plus 10hrv for boat rental and is 53 kilometres away on the Kyiv-Vasylkov highway. Forty-five kilometres away on the Kyiv-Odessa highway there is a nice little place called Yulia fish farm that can be found on the exit road from Poradovka village, and for just 15hrv per day, you’re guaranteed a good day’s fishing. Sport and hunting club Dynamo in Zabucha is just 30 kilometres from Kyiv and the complex offers everything a fisherman might need.
Need a new fishing rod? Check out these fishing supply stores online:
ibis shop www.ibis.net.ua
u kostra www.ukostra.com.ua
rybatskiy ray www.rybray.com.ua
okunek shop www.okunek.com.ua
sezon rybalki www.sezon-rybalki.com.ua
vse dlya rybalky www.fishing-shop.kiev.ua
by Vadym Miskoriz