Prague Winter – Fishing on a Frozen Pond
This is a managed Carp pond. You can find hundreds of these scattered around the outskirts of Prague and regionally in Czech. Back in October/November when the weather was not yet freezing, the pond was largely drained so that the bred carp could be more easily caught and transferred to vats for selling in the local area and also for transport to Prague for sale just before Christmas where it’s eaten as a traditional Christmas dinner.
After November the weather turns cold and the ponds will have a light ice covering but as January arrives and the temperatures can really go down then it’s not unusual for the carp ponds to freeze to a depth of 30-50cm when they would then be used for scratch ice-hockey matches and general ice-skating. For people to be on the ice like this then there must have been at least three consecutive days/nights of minus 10 degrees Celsius or two consecutive days/nights of minus 20. Well lately we had the minus 20.
This is a private pond. These guys are part of a fishing club and are basically “Eskimo fishing” i.e. manually drilling a hole in the ice and fishing through it. It’s a kind of sport fishing in that they have to throw the new stock (the baby fish) back but they can keep the big ones if they can get them. This is a competition but it’s also very social with friends and family stopping by with drinks and hot food (no BBQs allowed!!) and as you can see, seating is already provided.