In this exclusive interview with VMC, Vladimir Stakic, professional journalist and magazine editor gives us an insight into fishing in Serbia and his personal background in fishing.
Many thanks to Vladimir for accepting to answer our questions.
Hi Vladimir, please could you introduce yourself
I am from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. I’ve been a professional journalist since 1985, working for specialized fishing magazines, newspapers and TV programs. For the last 15 years I’ve been the editor in chief of the bi-weekly newspaper Ribolov, a sport-fishing publication with the highest circulation in the western Balkans region. I am also the founder of the Facebook page Ribolov Novine which has more than 18.000 followers and a Facebook group Ribolov-novine, that has almost 13.000 members.
How and when did you start fishing?
My parents had a weekend house close to the Sava river, some 25 km from Belgrade. I started float fishing there, more than 40 years ago. My first fish were small bleak, caught on one maggot on a size 20 hook. Soon after that, I caught my first pike on a spoon.
What are the main types of fishing in Serbia?
Serbia doesn’t have sea. Therefore, we fish on rivers of all sizes, streams, channels, ponds and lakes. The most popular species are carp, prussian carp, chub, nase, pike, zander, bream, barbell, catfish etc. Float fishing and classic groundbait fishing are most popular and feeder techniques have become very big in recent years. Middle-aged and younger people are now lure fishing. Carp fishing on lakes and rivers is also popular in Serbia especially among younger and midle-aged fisherman. Fly fishing has the smallest number of followers.
What are your personal favourite styles of fishing?
Although I have been almost exclusively spin fishing for predator fish on artificial baits (lures of almost all types) over the last two decades, I can’t say which type of fishing I love more – spinning or float fishing (especially match and bolognese techniques). Also, I occasionally do some groundbait fishing, and feeder fishing appeals to me a lot so I hope that I will find more time for it in the near future.
What's your most memorable fishing experience?
It happened in October 2011, on the Ebro river (Spain). A friend of mine and I were fishing for zander and catfish from the boat, with a guide, and we caught a lot of nice fish. We had to get up very early the next morning as we were going home and after some four hours of fishing I suggested that we should go to pack and get some sleep. The guide offered us a bet – if two of us completed three consecutive casts without a fish, we would stop fishing; if we caught a fish in three casts, we would have to continue. That seemed to be a good deal, since we hadn’t had a bite for some time, but it changed all of a sudden. I caught a nice zander in the first cast, then a 20 kilo catfish in the second cast. After one cast without a fish I thought that we were coming close to the end of a session, but in the next cast I hooked another nice catfish, about 1,8 m and it took me almost 15 minutes to land it. It seemed that it somehow became impossible not to catch and I was so exausted that for the first and so far the last time in my life I gave up while big fish were eating. That is something I will never forget.
Which are your favourite VMC products and why?
As a long-time VMC fan, I have many favourites and it is almost impossible to choose just a few. But I can’t imagine my jigging without the 9131 O’Shaughnessy jig 90º hook in sizes 2/0-8/0 and the 7150 Barbarian Jig 90º hook in sizes 4/0-12/0 as I find these hooks extremely reliable and strong, which is of ultimate importance for me. Last year I used the 7266 Inline Single Hook in sizes 1/0 and 2/0 on some small wobblers for asp and zander and I like this model a lot, because the lures work perfectly with it and hooking rate is equally high as with treble hooks, while unhooking is incomparably easier.
Among trebles my long-long-long time favourite is 9649 that I use on many lures, but in the last six months or so I have been using the 8570 Barbarian Outbarb Treble on wobblers for asp, chub and zander and spoons and spinners for pike. The hooking rate has been so high and the hooks so dependable that I will surely use them much more in years to come, on all kinds of artificial baits.
Do you have any fishing dreams or ambitions?
I hope that I will have an opportunity to fish for GT in the near future. Also, I would like to spend a week or two of my life fishing for muskie and pike in Canada and without any doubt I dream about catfish fishing on the Seine river in Paris as I am very fond of street fishing as well.
Tight lines :)