Bulgarian Toundzha Fishing

So I have eaten fish from the Toundzha before and that was a wonderful event. It was now time for me to turn hunter and provide for the family but this was no chore I love fishing but never seem to have the time for it!

This was a family affair as Galia's two sons teamed up with me to form a team of fish hunters prowling the Toundzha and their experience in fishing here, finding the right spots, using the right tackle and bait was the key to success. We all traveled by bicycle cutting even further costs on the free meal we were to catch and very much in the tradition for most Bulgarian coarse fishermen here. In fact a car would have trouble getting here in the position that we took up even in the dry banks that the Toundzha currently had alongside it

The place we found I know know but will not let on in this publication for fear of being over fished by others who read this. The bait was Bulgarian worms and no sooner had we cast the first fish was taken. The river has quite a fast flow but were we were there wasa poll of relative still water in a small bay so the fishing was quite easy without having to recast every minute.

The scenery here was outstanding with countryside in the front of us and the town's dominant white blocks behind us.

After about an hour we had at least twenty fish enough for a meal and a half as we began to pack our kit away. Many we threw back being too small and of course the big carp that got away at one point of the session - yes, really!

Just as we made our way home further up the bank we saw a couple of Roma fishing with homemade contraptions. I wanted to knowhow they set up this and asked to see their equipment closer up. they of course obliged with Galia's two sons looking on in amazement to the fact I wanted to know. what I discovered was more than fascinating.

The rod was a bamboo cane, there was no reel but just some old string tied to the end of the cane. I wonder how on earth they could catch fish with string as the line, this mystery was soon solved as they pulling the tackle out of the water.

At the end of the string was tied about a metre of fishing line and the set up of further tackle was made on this. A float that was actually a small dried pepper that had been painted to make it waterproof and the weights used to make this sit upright in the water were small metal buttons. The hook was the only commercial part of the kit with some sweetcorn as bait. Even more fascinating this was that they had caught bigger fish than us!

This was another truly amazing discovery of how things can be done here on the cheap and as we went back to hand over the fish to the women cooks I just couldn't get what I saw today out of my head. I just love this country, the people and its ways!

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