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The report on the Open Championship Badger Cup 2003
On 18th 19th January 2003 on the ice of Lake Hepoyarvi, fishermen showed their skills in ice trolling competing in the Open City Championship for the Badger Cup. There were 12 teams of 3 people. The participating teams arrived not only from St. Petersurg, but from Moscow, the Moscow region (Yubileiny), Novgorod the Great and Karelia.

The championship attracted not only professional sportsmen but also amateur teams. We were pleased to see teams from fishing companies and shops Albakor and Nastoyaschaya Rybalka (The Real Fishing). The Youth Center of the town of Yubileiny brought their youth team too.

The competition was very tense and the weather conditions were unfavourable: the ice was covered with water, the snow was deep, and the wind was blowing /strong/. Even the fish proved to be difficult  few fishermen could catch the tiniest perch under 20 grams, for such fish requires an elaborated technique and perfectly adjusted tackle.

Several winners? opinions with regard to the competition organization and result are quoted below.

Maxim Balachevtsev's opinion

We came to the lake, and it was horrible! You could not walk. The ice was covered with 20 cm of water and the same amount of snow. That is why we decided to look for fish within a kilometre of the starting place  it would take about half and hour to walk this kilometre. All team members chose their own way. Only Vova from our team had been at that lake before, for Kolya and me it was our first time at that lake.

We already had an idea about the perch size  the coastal perch is about 15 grams, and the deep water perch is big, but it is practically impossible to catch during the middle of winter. However, during the training I managed to hook 4 proper perch: one of 200 g, a couple of 100 g, and one got away. Kolya walked the deep places for a while, but failed to find proper perch. Vova went to the secret places that his friend told him about.

Later I joined him. Perch were biting closer to the lakeside, but only in some places. I would say that it was like this: at 100 meters there were few perch, at 50 meters there were quite a few. At that the perch preferred not the underwater slopes, as is common, but the lake bottom near the lakeside bank. The best depth was from 1 to 1.5 meters.

After the training it was clear for us that there were two spots worth trying: a reed islet close to the lakeside and the knolls? where along with small fry there were perch of about a 100 g. The reed islet seemed to be more reliable, so we decided to start with it. Our mistake at the training was that we did not have time to find places for the second lap.

Alexei Shtern's story
Saturday  the first lap.

Right after the start we hurried to the creek, where we arrived there in 15 minutes, but we became as tired as dogs. V.G. and his judge  driller Alexei Averianov lagged behind a bit.

I decided not to drill a new hole and sat at the old hole that I made the day before where the perch had been bigger. Stillness. For 2 or 3 minutes it was all peace and stillness, and then a wee fish bit the line, however it jumped out of my hands and boldly ran away into the hole. Damnation.

How nasty! It is always so unpleasant to let the first perch slip.

I changed the hole and after a short while perch started to bite quite eagerly. VG was successfully fishing nearby, While Popovtsev was sitting at the spit and was catching too.

Perch bit in a curious manner, after you had caught several at the bottom they stopped biting, but as soon as you rose the lure for 3-4 turns of the reel they started to bite eagerly again. It was enough to throw the lure into the hole for another fish to get on the hook. When they stopped biting at that depth you could make 3-4 turns more and the whole story repeated itself.

Then perch started to bite at the bottom again  and so it continued in circles. At one of the holes I sat for 40-50 minutes and was catching without a pause. I had told myself: If there is no bites for three draws in a row I am leaving and I could not leave. VG and Sasha also were catching at the same speed. Everything looked all right  no one is behind and we are moving ahead quite nicely.

The only thing we were worried about was that somebody might catch a big fish. Half an hour before the finish we collected our stuff, roughly weighed our catch with Vova?s weigher. Sasha?s was slightly over 2 kg, mine was about 2 kg, and VG had a bit less.


We performed just perfectly  Sasha was the first with 2600 g, I was the second with 2200g, VG was the third with 1700 (if I remember it right). Between us got only BMP  he was the third. The sum of places: our  7, the Nastoiaschaya Rybalka?s  29, TZOMO?s  40. It was almost impossible to regain our 22 points, and we were very pleased. Theoretically there could be a struggle for the 3rd place, for the 6th team was just 5 or 6 points behind the 3rd team.

Vladimir Gabelev's story
2nd day. Start.

We are tearing along! Popovtsev and Shterm running like elks are some 70 meters ahead of us. Peter is with us, which could be expected. That?s Max?s usual technique when he doesn?t have his own place. I am putting an end to Kolya?s carefree time  he just started to drill, when I ran and started crying about the rule violation. Jokingly!

He didn?t understand and went away  about 50 meters to the side.

Max in the end was fishing at just some 15 meters distance from us.

We forgave him.

It was really bizarre, but the lure that I used the day before practically would not work. It was lucky that I took a 27 mm lure from Krutov, but I hate using unchecked lures. So I wasted half hour trying to get adjusted with the old lure.

In the end I tried again and it started working! But today everything gets messed up. It is more difficult to raise the fish, it takes too long for fish at each hole to start biting. My arm aches stronger than it did yesterday and I subconsciously try to avoid extra movements.

I decide to check the spit by the creek exit. At the depth of 30-40 cm in several holes in a row perches of some 20 g bite, but it is not enough. Move to behind the spit towards the lake, waste 40 minutes, but fail to find fish. Come back to the chaps, they?ve caught a lot over this time, I realize that Max has too. But at the moment he is not catching anything.

I liven up and start catching up with them. The fishing line gets tangled in the tip of the rod. A loop. I run to Shtern. He reties it without grumbling. I get back to fishing. The tip of the rod and the box lid break. What a life! I run to Leha again, we retie the lure. No, my chance for the 3 place is vanishing, it is too late.

Finish. I performed appallingly  1250g. Got the 6th place as a result of 2 days. But I am going to remember this competition for the rest of my life, that's for sure!!!

All the participants were content with the championship organization, even more so due to the fact that at such competition sportsmen achieve ranking.

The championship organizers decided to hold it annually. They are also planning to organize a similar spinning tournament.

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