I was born and grew very close to the world-famous Chernobyl. And most of my free time I spent on the river Pripyat. I'm a fisher. And together with my father we often fished in the wildest places. After the disaster in Chernobyl, people were resettled from these places, whole villages were left empty. More than 30 years have passed, but people have not returned here. But there were so many animals in the forests, and there were so many fish in the rivers, as never before. Many people are afraid to go here, this is a restricted area, which is even better for local residents.
At once I will say that we catch fish here only in recent years. The first 20 years after the ecological catastrophy, there were no fishermen or hunters at all. And then they began to come and catch fish here. I work in a laboratory where there is a special department of radiology. We have repeatedly checked the fish from Pripyat. And guess what? It's clean! It is absolutely safe for health! But few people know this and few believe it. And for us - the fishers - it's even better. The less people go to these places - the more pristine the local nature will be preserved, the more animals will live and the more fish in the rivers will be preserved.
That day we went fishing so early that it was still dark. We drove for a long time, so when we got to the place it was almost light. We immediately began to lay out the gear on the shore. Pripyat is an amazing place! I could not admire the beautiful views, pristine nature. My father was even angry that I just looked around and did not help him. Finally, we were ready. Fishing has begun.
In our place the river was very deep, so there was only a large fish. We were hoping to catch a catfish. The catfish is the real king of Pripyat. Instances of 50 kilograms here are not so rare. We waited for the first bite long. But I did not tire of watching the fishing rods and did not move. I enjoyed the sounds and scents of nature, watched the sun rise and the color of the sky and the river change. My father, too, sat motionless and waited for the fish to catch the bait.
The sun was already rising high. The tablets on the other side of the river were clearly visible. These are warning signs - a restricted area. It was already impossible to go to the opposite shore. The coast is guarded by soldiers and violators face a big fine. Our shore was considered "clean", here we were safe.
Finally, the fish pecked. The father grabbed the fishing pole and prepared to pull. In this case, the main thing is not to pull too early and not be late. You just need to guess the moment. Some fishermen use bells. Which is put on the tip of the fishing rod to see the bite of the fish. My father does not recognize such things. He believes that it is not fair that a real fisherman should only use his eyes and hands and with their help to understand when to pull the fish.
Our first fish was a large bream. The bream was huge, but my father and I waited only catfish. We were ready to sit till evening to catch him. But we did not have to wait that long. Biting a catfish is very powerful, it can not be missed. And we immediately realized that the rod pulled the catfish. I was the first to grab a fishing rod. So it was me who was the one who was to pull the fish. This is our main rule. Who sliced the fish - he draws it. I entered with a catfish into the battle, someone had to win. I fought this catfish for a long time, but I still managed to hold it closer to the shore. Then my father helped me pull out the catfish with the help of a huge net on a long handle. Some fishermen use harpoons when fishing catfish - iron sticks with hooks. My father always hated such "fishermen". He said that he would break their legs and these damned harpoons. We are for honest and pure fishing!
On the shore my catfish was not so gigantic. This is a feature of catching catfish. Fish very strongly resists! Even a small catfish is not easy to pull out, but this one weighs 17 kilograms. Looking ahead, I will say that it was not my biggest catfish. The biggest I caught from a boat, he weighed 35 kilograms. It was a victory! It was happiness that only a real fisherman can understand. Ahead was still a lot of successful bites - a dozen big breams, another small catfish. But our first catfish was the main success. At home for a long time we admired the catfish. My little son was photographed with it. My father kept the fish, but in the photo everything looks as if it is being held by a child. Three years have passed since that fishing, but I remember everything as it is now. After all, every fishing for me is a part of the history of my life, a part of my soul.