IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

With stability to triumph – FishBon – “Release the Mother!” supporters and Latvian champions

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The best anglers in spin fishing from boats in Latvia are identified for more than 20 years – our professional match, so to say. It is organised by Latvia Angling Sport Federation (LMSF), which from year 2001 is also a member of international organisation. A country-wide tournament takes place in summers in 3 competitions – in Lake Burtnieks, Daugava River and Lake Alūksne; dedicating each place 2 competition days with 6 hours in each. All fish caught are measured and released. The result is determined by the sum of squares for length – for perch from 20 cm, for other carnivorous fish – starting from the minimal length stated by law, the winner of a competition day, with the largest total length of fish caught, receives 1 point, others sequentially. Winners are determined in crew and team competition. After all competitions the Champion of Latvia is determined, and also the applicants for the national team, paying attention to the first six crews. National team represents the country in world competition with similar rules. In average, 30 crews participate in Latvian Championship.

“Release the Mother!” supporters FishBon with Raivis Bergs in the lead, participating with a team with the same name, this season proved to be the winners. A team has 2 crews – 1st Raivis together with long-term member Harijs Raciborskis and referee Atis Grudulis (referee or the third person usually trains together with his team, but during competition draws lots and goes to one of the opponents’ boat, their duty is to measure and register fish, guarantee that rules are being followed) and 2nd  Agris Rudzāns and Māris Bremze with referee Imants Dreikreics. The champion title in the crew competition was won by the 2nd FishBon boat. “Release the Mother!” offers an interview with the team leader Raivis Bergs and referee Atis Grudulis. Information during creation of the publication was given also by the representative of LMSF Kaspars Zvaigzne.

FishBon team has long been participating in the Latvian Championship – tell me, how it has happened that this time you actually won the championship? This task has never been easy – did you understand something new, did something unprecedented?

R.B.: I think we didn't do anything special – actually, for some three seasons in row we participate in a relaxed mode, we are chill and we will continue this also in the future. This season, when it started to look like both crews are starting to stay in that part of the table, which is from the middle and up, then an excitement even kicked in and it became harder to relax because we understood that we have good chances to get the highest places. It can be said, that the victory procession began already in the Lake Burtnieks...

As far as I know – Lake Burtnieks this year has not been generous, can you confirm?

R.B.: Conditions truly were strange, even unprecedented, but looking at the whole picture, because already on the first day there were crews that stayed completely without any fish, we managed to reach a prize-winning result both for crews and for teams. But the lack of catches was really uncharacteristic for Lake Burtnieks and for spring, I hope that that was just one exception and everything will be good with the fish..., then, when our 2nd crew ranked in the top three also in the 2nd competition in Daugava River, we understood that our approach is correct – because we “played” on them...

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How many years your team has been participating in the Latvian Championship?

R.B.: For me those are definitely more than 10 years, but for Haris soon it will be close to 20 years, since beginning fishing sport, but in the current team we are together for three seasons.

So you can even remember that back in the day in the Latvian Championship the weight of dead fish was evaluated and competition took place with rowing boats in the Lake Liepāja? What has changed in the national championship since those times?

R.B.: Yes, in the beginning of my fishing sport activities there was such option..., it is unbelievable how quickly time has passed, if you think about it... There were no referees, as such, who would measure the fish, except, of course, the main referee. We took pikes to the shore, there they were weighed. Now it is also not forbidden to keep, but there is a nuance, that is why during the competition days fish are not kept. Mainly referees of other teams are those who ask for a fish for a meal, you have to be careful there, because if a quota of some fish species in the boat is filled and it is forbidden to keep more fish, then a further fishing, despite the fact that they are released, is forbidden – you have to get back to the shore with the current result. I think, that things from this perspective have quickly turned to better, the flotilla has also totally changed – in this case we are much more ahead of our neighbours – Estonians and Lithuanians. Nowadays, if it is needed, fish can be stored alive also in many boats in reservoirs with automatic aeration. The fishing equipment, technique and electronics have had a big leap – altogether it all has improved greatly the knowledge about fish, waters and ways to catch them.

How is it with the adrenalin during fishing competition? Have your hands ever been shaking?

R.B.: With the years the adrenalin has decreased and it is easier to take things with a cool head, but even with such long experience as mine, the moment, when during the first day of competition, the first start is given, it causes certain excitement and that is actually the only thing that stays unchanged from year to year. I guess it can be called adrenalin, and that is the reason to continue to participate, because it is not a bad feeling. Hands don’t shake, but the feeling is very specific.

How competition fishing differ from a simple recreational fishing time?

R.B.: The differences are significant. The only and optimal task during the 6 hours of competition is for both to catch 20 valid fish. Secondary tasks – increase the size by catching longer fish. That's the main thing, of course – you have to fish where there are fish.

And how does the box of lures differ during competition and recreational fishing?

R.B.: For many years I have understood and continue to use the “golden 4 inch” rule. I have verified that lures of this size can catch all of our carnivores – pike, perch, zander, catfish and also asp, furthermore, 4 inches can take both one-metre-long and as well a valid size fish. In our depleted waters to experiment with large lures seems an a bit reckless, however there are guys who have proven that it can be done, but it is not for me. 4 inches – it doesn’t necessarily have to be “rubber”, it can be a wobbler, spoon or spinner also, for me it is only this size that is important. If we look at the results of our crew, they are the most stable ones amongst all crews, no jumps or falls. If we look at the ratings – we are in the top five. In the last competition this year – I said to my team members – let's not make dangerous experiments – let's stick to the plan. The plan consists of – the location and method, sometimes also some tricks and the “golden 4 inches”.

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We have cleared up about the competition in Burtnieks – in the conditions of bad catching, discipline is the key; how it was for FishBon to compete in the reservoir of Riga Hydroelectric Power Plant?

R.B.: It was cool that a new reservoir was given, because we don't have very many suitable waters. Actually, me with Haris consider ourselves the shallow water experts, specifically for pikes. And in the new place in Daugava there are sufficient amount of points where we were able to use our skills. In the last day of training we tested our selected locations and the responsiveness of pikes was even surprising – in one hour 5 valid pikes – that is why sander, which is actually a picky fish, we did not even bother to catch. During the competition day pikes had their mouths half closed, we did get something with struggle, however, some sander came, which were not planned in the beginning. If there is no catching, then it is for everybody – 10 boats in the first day stayed without fish. However our 2nd crew – Agris with Māris showed their perch skills and build their result on them, their fast boat also was an advantage, because many knew perch spots, but they were the first to get to them. The sight was – they in the middle, 5 boats around them, and they were catching the most, there, in bonus they also caught two valid pikes, who had crawled in the crossfire to watch the show..., actually, in Daugava it was the same as in Burtnieks – stick to the plan and there will be a result.

How important is the psychological stance of a spin fishing sportsman? There are a lot of stories about excessive emotions and how it spoiled everything...

R.B.: When going to the start line you have to take only the game plan with you, all points of the plan have to be prepared in the trainings. It is how it is, if there is some variance and begins a “strategic improvisation”, all your carefully made plan does not work anymore and the competition is likely ruined. I have experienced that on my skin, have seen it with others...

A.G.: As a referee is obliged, when sitting in opponents’ boats, I keep my eyes open for the benefit of my team. I have seen how sportsmen stick to the plan for 4 hours, but there are no fish! Nerves are so tight, because it is the last day of competition and the table is empty. Then suddenly in 5 minutes – one “perch cattle” shows on one side, sportsmen manage to catch 5-6 fish, then on the other side another adds some more perch, then after changing a lure, 3 valid pikes one after another.  That's it! That was all that was needed for the 1st place that time...

R.B.: The last competition in Lake Alūksne this year was very intriguing. With our stability, me and Haris, managed to climb to the 4th place and, with points, we could be the next after our 2nd boat – that means that in overall we were second. In this case we left too many opportunities for our opponents Armands and Kaspars, and also for Roberts and Valters. The representatives of Eboat were lucky, a metre-long pike appeared only 10 minutes before the end of the match. The representatives of Lucky John – similar, but they did not have one and large, but instead valid and many in a short period. That's why we stayed in the 3rd place in Alūksne, but in overalls – 4th, but the mentioned gentlemen squeezed in between our crews. That said – season turned out to be beautiful, because all in all we were able to prove that we are the best team.

 

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