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I wrote this article and dedicated it to my friend @varda42, a fishing enthusiast.
The fishing story is cultivated, told and retold for generations, about rivers rich in fish, about trophy catches of capitalists, about successful and malicious fishermen, catches of rare fish and other fishing events, myths and legends are created. "Shurkov vir", a rich fish district at the mouth of the river Ibar in Zapadna Morava, between the villages of Sumarica and Ratinsko polje, known throughout the Republic of Serbia, from Subotica to Leskovac, often in the Republics of the Old South, as well as the "owner" and "tenant" of vir, where Radomir Katic-Surko spent days and nights in hunting, these days they are celebrating sixty years of acquaintance and friendship in hunting capital, trophy fish, catfish, carp, bream, barbel.
- At the age of twenty-two, I became a hunter, my father then bought a hunting rifle and enrolled me in the hunting and fishing association "Fourth Kraljevo Battalion" in the village of Vrba. I was a very active hunter, so I later became the president of the society. Going to the field, which was located next to the pond on the Morava, I met the fisherman Tom Jovanović and at his urging I started hunting carp. He is a specialist in finding catfish and carp, and I am a beginner. We were on the water day and night, we stayed under the tent, fishing, I learned and "stole" the craft, so in time I fell in love with fishing - the legendary Shurko begins the story.
- I hunted carp capital, weighing ten, fifteen kilograms. I had on a fishing rod with two hooks on both hanging carp, I pull one out, the other tears the nylon, there were so many fish at that time - remembers Shurko.
Shurko hunted for his diggers in the field for lunch what they wanted, both carp and catfish, and his wife, who was a master at preparing fish, prepared specials that the workers were happy to consume.
- Catfish hunting was also my passion. I fished it on a "check", initially with a drain stick, with a little nylon wound on two nails nailed to the handle. The possibilities for capital specimens were minimal, so I decided to buy equipment adequate for capital hunting. Yes, it was quite an investment, but it paid off. I hunted several pieces during the day, with an enviable weight of up to several tens of kilograms. There were capitalists from twenty to fifty kilograms each - Shurko tells us.
Back in 1972, the legend of sport fishing in this area, with Žiko Dedinac, an excellent and successful lure, caught one of the largest catfish in the local waters. From the boat, they searched the whirlpool with decoys, after a few throws, Ziko catches a catfish weighing about ten kilograms, and then the mythical story begins.
- I throw the decoy downstream, I start turning the lever on the machine, it gets stuck. I got stuck somewhere again, in a fracture, I thought. After a few minutes, while I was thinking and consulting with Zika what to do, the nylon on the machine starts to unwind, a sign that the fish is capital on the hook. The fight begins, the fish tries to unhook, I hold the rod firmly in my hand, I control the movement of the fish, it pulls the boat, time passes slowly. It's only been about an hour since I've been holding her on a stick, by the way I tell Zika to prepare the hook for accepting the fish. He is ready, but the fight with the fish is in full swing, outwitting, waiting, who will give in first, me or the fish. After two hours, I feel weak, but fatigue has gripped my "opponent" as well. I slowly pull the fish to the edge of the boat. Ziko hooks her, lifts her to put her in the boat. At that moment, the hook bursts and the fish is in the water again. I still hold it firmly on the rod next to the boat, while Ziko takes the spare hook, catches the catfish and I help him to put it in the boat. The fight is over, we light cigarettes, congratulate each other, only now are we aware of what kind of "hello" we fought. The capitalist has nothing, he weighed exactly 69 kilograms on the scales - says Shurko in his breath, just like Hemingway himself.
In addition to capital catches of carp and catfish, at that time he had payloads of one to five kilograms on the hook. In one day, he caught twenty kilograms of smaller fish, barbells of seven, eight kilograms per piece, pumpkins, at night on a hand-made lure, from one to ten kilograms.
- Now the whirlpool has gained by construction. In addition to my cottage, a dozen new cottages of famous fishermen have sprung up, an ethno holiday house of the famous fisherman floater Žuka. We meet and socialize there, with the inevitable fishing stories next to a roasted lock on a spit or fish specialties, the confluence of the Ibar and the West Morava has become a real fishing village. This is a small part of the story with an 84-year-old true lover of river and fishing, who selflessly passed on knowledge and skills to younger generations, spawned excellent lure fishermen who "comb" the whirlpool with lures, when the weather allows, respecting the spawning season, focused on the catch of catfish in the desire to break the record set by the legend of sport fishing Radomir Katic-Surko.