Our ordinary and extraordinary hobbies. Professional fisherman and QA

Al Zhdan
Al Zhdan
Apr 9 · 8 min read

Check it in Ukrainian: https://bit.ly/2uZMSRf

Innocode will celebrate 9 years anniversary soon, and we still find out interesting facts about each other every day. In particular about the current and past hobbies. Indeed, in our team there is at least one person who had been singing in chorus for 5 years, a professional masseur, a Ukrainian voice of several animes, a blue belt in taekwondo and a bunch of other talents!

Today we will talk with the highest innocat, sport fisher, and QA of Innocode Yurii Volkov.

Yura, tell me how old you were when you got carried away with this hobby?

The very first time my parents took me to the fishing was when I was one. Of course I simply lay on the grass while my dad was catching fish. But I think that even then my fishing history started. :) When I was three years old I got my own little fishing rod (about 2 meters in length), and my dad taught me to set it up. Within a year I was able to throw a bribe and caught the first fish. It was a small common bleak. After that, I could really be called a little fisherman.

How did your father encourage you? Were it better for you to play with your friends instead of fishing?

There was no reason for my father to encourage me to catch fish. Of course, when you are one or two years old, you do not really choose how and where to spend your time. :) But when I became older, I wanted to go to the water with my mom and dad. Fishing has always been for me a time with my family. It’s cool that almost every weekend we all went to nature. If it was not possible to go to the lake and catch fish, I felt a bit confused. Moreover, I was good at it and love for fishing grew. There was an exuberance, because I saw my father catching larger fish than me. I wanted to gain the same results!

What kind of fishing do you do and why did you choose it?

In general, there are 5 main types of sport fishing: carp fishing, catching predatory fish, ice fishing (seaweed), feeder, and float fishing. Among these I have chosen for myself only two. Let me say this, it’s impossible to participate in all of the types of fishing professionally at once. After all, it takes a lot of time to train and money to buy needed equipment (tackle, bait and more).

Carp fishing is a challenging fishing in order to get some trophy fish (e.g. glass carp) during one session that can take 3 days. Therefore, the training before the competitions takes at least a week. As for the predatory fish (pike, perch, pike) it is more hunting itself, because you chase, track, and try to catch it.

I like to deal with a peaceful fish that you need to lure closer, keep it in the right spot, and catch maximum as possible during a short sports session (5 hours). This mode matches perfectly with my favorite types of fishing: float fishing and feeder. I prefer to compete with other fishermen in these disciplines.

So you are taking part in the competitions. Cool! Was your dad the first person who discovered them to you?

My father has never been engaged in fishing sport before I decided to try my best. This happened after I saw the advertising in the fishing store in Lviv. It was about upcoming personal competitions called “Fishing Games 2012” at Prilbichi (Lviv region). And I really wanted to get there. I was 14 years old, so I asked my dad to take me to this competition. He backed up my idea and we went there!

I participated as a contestant and my father was my coach. Actually he was standing behind my back and watching everything happen. What hit me the most and why I became so passionate about sports and competitions — I managed to win the first place then! And I realized that we are fishing at a fairly high level. We started to follow the next competition and found out that there is Ukrainian fishing sport federation.

Did you decide to create a team after the competition in 2012?

Yes, since federations usually have two qualifications: team (2 people) and personal. The rating is calculated on the basis of a personal score, and the team exists itself to train together, to create a strategy, to understand the reservoir, to choose tactics. My father and I also formed our team. Long thought over the name and decided to be a Leo Family. Family, because we are the only team in Ukraine that consists of a father and a son. And Leo, because it is our astrological sign of horoscope. :)

What are the differences between sport fishing and ordinary (amateur) fishing?

The philosophy of this sport is to popularize the principle of “catch-release” and careful attitude to fish without causing harm. Amateur fishing is just one of the ways to have rest. There is no atmosphere of rivalry and the ability to master new skills. In sports, everything is different.

Sports fishing is an opportunity to show yourself, share experiences and knowledge, and overcome the most serious opponents. When you just go fishing, you never think about how the fish behaves. For example, how much she eats, and what would happen if she ate too much. You may have 5 hours and you need to understand how to catch more during this time, taking into account the specifics of the reservoir. You always have a limited time to show the best result.

And what was your record catch?

I would break a record catch on two: the largest fish and the largest catch for a sports session.

My trophy fish is a 17 kg in 800 g silver carp. I caught him on an ordinary fishing in 2015, what happened very unexpectedly. Why? The silver carp is difficult to catch purposefully, it feeds strangely. Therefore, we can assume that he was actually accidentally hooked. It took 1.5 hours to weigh the fish.

There are not many places in the Lviv region to show large catches in sport fishing. We have very small-sized fish, the average weight of which is 30–50 g. So, in case you manage to catch 6–7 kg within 5 hours in feeder discipline it is about 250 fish and considered a lot. A reservoir where you can get a great catch in Western Ukraine is the Burshtynske Reservoir (with Canal), which is in the Frankivsk region. There, this winter, I managed to catch 16 kg 300 g in 5 hours.

What is your favorite place for fishing? Not necessarily for the competition, but just where do you like to go with your family?

There are several places I like and each of them is intended for a certain kind of fishing. One of the most beloved ones is Privlbychi, where was my first competition. This place is known all over Ukraine precisely, even in the foreign countries. This is a sport reservoir with a lot of different fish, including trophy. The record for this reservoir, if I’m not mistaken, is a carp with a weight of 28 kg. We go there for both training and pleasure.

By the way, about the pleasure! :) Had you an opportunity to fish abroad?

Yes, it was in Egypt on the Red Sea during a family trip. We rented a small yacht and decided to try sea fishing technique called trolling. Our goal was to catch tuna fish. Of course, we managed to hook other fish too. But we reached what we wanted and pulled out 3 kg tuna. And immediately cooked it on the yacht! :)

What are your sports goals?

Everyone who is seriously involved in sports has ambitions to get into the world championship. This is an overwhelming goal, but no one can take you out of reaching smaller ones before. For example, get into the regional team. Then go to the Ukrainian championship, try yourself there and get an opportunity to go further. I have already became the part of Lviv region team and now we are preparing for the Ukrainian championship, which will be in June 2019 at the Burshtynsky Reservoir in Frankivsk Region. Let’s see what results I gain in these competitions! ;)

Are there any connections between your job and hobby?

I’m a QA on several projects and there is a certain influence of hobbies on my work. On average, the fishing session lasts 5 hours and it is necessary to sit on the platform. It is important that during this period of time you do not get up at all and catch in non-stop mode. Therefore, it’s necessary to prepare your place properly in advance for high-speed fishing. You have to set up the fishing strategy beforehand, do not forget any piece of necessary equipment, and take into account clearly everything. After all, it is important not to lose a single minute. So, I’m an organized person not only during the fishing or training sessions but at my workplace.

We are grateful for this awesome story and photo materials. In the next article we will talk about a clever cook among innocats. :) Thus it is quite logical because at first you need to catch a fish and then to cook it. ;)

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Al Zhdan

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Al Zhdan

Innocode Stories

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