Putin, a Pike, and an Obsession

Discussion in 'The Media and Russia' started by Patrick Armstrong, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Putin, Medvedev, some flunkies and a few cameramen took their customary holiday in the wilderness. Putin caught a large pike. Which he then kissed. Not being much of an ichthyphage or, for that matter much of an ichthyphile myself (they all taste like fish and look like fish to me) I can’t comment on how much the thing weighed.
    What amuses me is the coverage – almost all of it scornful: nearly a million hits on Google for “Putin pike”. There is scorn and disbelief on the Russian Internet (didn’t Putin crack down on all criticism of him?).
    A 20kg pike is not all that amazing. A moment’s search on Wikipedia (something apparently beyond the abilities of reporters these days) tells us that pike can clock in at well over 20kg and there are rumours of larger ones up to 40kg. Here are some record pike, all of them over 20kg. But, apparently, according to the “layers of fact checkers and editors” the media boasts about, such do not exist. Or not in Tuva anyway. Or if they did, not to be caught by Putin.
    WOW! Is this really all the news that’s fit to print? What a strange obsession people develop about Putin. Maybe the next issue of the DSM will have an entry for “Putin Derangement Syndrome”.
    I’ll bet that half the reason Putin does these outdoorsman stunts is to amuse himself as the media goes nuts over it.

    But at least there are no fish named for Putin as there are fish named for Obama even though I have never seen a picture of him actually catching one.
  2. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    In fairness, a chunk of this they brought on themselves, because Putin's fish certainly isn't 21kg. I'm certainly no ichthyphage myself, but it's obvious from the comparative photos.

    I think it was Shoigu who initially gave the weight as 12kg-15kg. That seems about right. It was I believe Dmitry Peskov (whom I am coming to see as an incredibly incompetent PR person in general) who upped it to 21kg.

    [​IMG]
  3. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    I agree the debate engendered by this story is absurd; having established to its satisfaction now the meme that everything Putin does when he is not wearing a 3-piece suit is some kind of "stunt" in which he is indulging himself in some kind of fantasy - and, more importantly, that his people laugh at him behind his back because of it - the western press now parses all such events with distinct relish.

    As I discussed with Anatoly already, I believe the weight of Putin's fish was originally given in pounds rather than kilograms, and then the weight was transposed without alteration for a different metric. A weight of 21 pounds for that fish would be reasonable based on the sizes of others displayed, whereas according to sources I believe to be credible, 21 kg is only ounces away from the world record for this type. Pike up to 40 kg may well exist, although I suggest such monsters are being confused with the Muskellunge - a member of the same family as the Pike (even sometimes breeeding with it to produce a hybrid known as the "Tiger Muskellunge) - but none has ever been caught. By contrast, 35 pounds is average for Muskellunge and the world record is 58 pounds.

    http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/regions/ce...nfos-ogla-rglo/muskellunge-maskinonge-eng.htm

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs...giant-muskie-caught-michigan-now-world-record
  4. Drutten

    Drutten Collegiate Secretary (10th class)

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    45
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    Most >25kg pike records are old and fishy, to say the least. They tend to originate from Germany, Switzerland and other north/central European states and thus are not really subject to any mix-up with the North American muskie. The northern pike (Euro variety) record for my country is about 19,3 kilos on rod and 21ish in net. Reliable records are up to ~25kg in Europe but above that, as stated above - old anecdotes of monster pikes that one should take with a grain of salt.

    Putins fish is probably above 10kg, and it's one big pike. 21 does sound like a stretch however and I myself would probably call it 12-15 just based on its looks and all (I have caught an 11.1kg pike on a Zalt wobbler in the Baltic Sea and it corresponds quite nicely with Vladimir Vladimirovich's fish). That being said though, it is quite possible that they used a crappy scale or that she had a sizable chunk of prey in her stomach at the time (possibly a combination).

    Everyday fishing scales are notoriously unreliable, this I know from my own experience.

    It is worth noting that the perch that they catch earlier in that video is huge too, even though they do not say anything about it. Just how well explored are the fishing waters of wherever they were at? If the perch is that big "just like that" (i.e. not even worth mentioning) then what about the pike?

    Mmmm... I can sense a fishing-tourism boom in Russia.
    Moscow Exile likes this.
  5. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Bunch o big pikes here
    http://www.luckylures.nl/esox_lucius_record.php

    But the point is not that the Putsickle (or, more accurately, one of his flunkies) told a fish story but that the Western MSM is torquing out on this.

    It's not as if there was nothing else out there to fill the space.

    So what's the story on the Putin Obsession? (I wanted AK to open a section on Putin Derangement Syndrome, but he thought not).

    So the real subject of this thread is not pike size but PDS.

    Who cares what size of fish 1) he actually caught 2) his fartcatcher says he caught.

    Why the obsession in the world MSM?
  6. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Changed my photo -- just to amuse myself.
  7. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Here's a 35lb. pike from Esthwaite in the English lake district. It wasn't caught: it was found dead.

    [​IMG]


    And here's the present English record breaking 46lb. pike caught last year at Scarborough in the north of England.

    [​IMG]


    True to English humanitarian style, the angler who landed the 46 lb. monster put it back into the lake.

    I remember well, when on my first fishing trip in the USSR, the comments off my fellow Russian anglers after I had returned my first catch to the Chigla river, Voronezh oblast'. "An English humanitarian!" they cried out in wonder. I was then told that the rule in the USSR was that if the fish could fit into a matchbox, you threw it back: the rest you ate. And we did that later that day: all our catch, large or small, was fried in a huge skilllet that had been brought along for that very purpose. The fish was washed down, of course, with a plentiful supply of vodka.

    Actually, it was samogon, but very good samogon. Everything was deficit then and Gorbachev had rationed the vodka supply.
  8. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    Correct me if I'm wrong - I know next to nothing about fishing - but if you haul up a fish with a hook, isn't its mouth area damaged quite a lot making its future survival unlikely?

    In which case, wouldn't it be more "humanitarian" to just finish it off (and eat it) there and then?
  9. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Yes, of course a hook damages a fish's mouth/jaws, but the extent of the damage depends on the species. Fish such as pike have bony, cartilaginous jaws and the hook punctures the tissue and is easily removed. There is little or no bleeding (I should imagine that the blood seen on the jaws of Putin's pike was from the bait that he used) and I believe that there are no sensory nerves in the tissue. In fact, fish seem to get hooked many times and suffer no ill effects. I've seen evidence of previous hookings many times in landed fish. Its the same with their fins: they get damaged and ripped, in fights I suppose, but they still survive. What does kill a fish, however, is when it swallows the bait and gets hooked in its guts or gills: then you have to disgorge the hook with a special tool - a disgorger - and there is a lot of blood. Pike, by the way, are usually caught with multi-hooked bait, be it live or dead bait, or a spinner. Usually, having caught a pike, I clouted it on the head with a "priest", a lead-loaded bludgeon, put a gag in its mouth and removed the spinner or live/dead bait. I then took the fish home and ate it.

    It's a cruel world, and I'm pretty sure a cow or pig or whatever momentarily feels pain when it is stunned before being slaughtered: a pig is usually given a shock through its head to do this, whilst a cow has a captive bolt- a long metal rod - shot through its forehead and deep into its brain. The rod is then withdrawn and then the knives come out and the beast is slaughtered.

    I love animals though: I eat them!


    :)
  10. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    re. the perch that Putin caught and where he was fishing

    I posted this on Kremlin Stooge on 26th July:

    I’ve just been watching the 9 o’clock news on TV this Saturday morning and the end story was about Putin’s “мини-отпуск” (mini-holiday) to theTyva Republic, which is in south-east Siberia and borders onto Mongolia and the Altai Republic to the south. Tyva is very isolated. The Russian president was there with his prime minister and defence minister. According to the Rossiya24 TV channel report that I watched, the territory surrounding the lake where Putin landed a 21 kilogramme pike is mountainous, heavily forested and totally devoid of human habitation: for that reason, the place is crawling with wild life. In the feature you could see Putin and chums observing great huge elk, I think, drinking at the lake edge, and there were big cats there as well – they looked like a Siberian version of a mountain lion to me. Putin landed loads of large perch as well, but the prize catch was the pike, of course. “It’s a crocodile!” said his fishing guide as it was landed. And regardless of whatever mockery ROSBALT makes of Putin’s alleged squeamishness and cowardice, the president didn’t seem in any way shy to me: in fact, I thought he was foolishly reckless, in that as soon as the netted fish was landed, he put his hand straight into the landing net so as to catch his prey by the gills, and his guide cried out in alarm, “Watch out! It’ll bite.” Putin then pulled his hand away, but then tried to get hold of the pike again, as did his experienced guide, but this time taking considerable more care. Using a pair of pliers, the guide got the spinner out of the pike’s jaws, Putin lifted the beast up by its gills, looked at the camera – he was obviously pleased as Punch with his catch – then turned his head in order to give it a quick peck on its cheek. And that was that.
    When we catch pike so big in England, we usually put a spring loaded pike gag into its mouth so as to avoid being bitten – and they can bite! I remember one that 50 years ago dwelt in a big lake right near my old house in England: it killed a swan. This pike attack was witnessed by many and photographs of the incident appeared in our local newspaper. From that same lake a 23.5 pound pike was later landed, which might have been the fish that had killed the swan. That pike was the local record holder when I left my old neck of the woods, but it was only half the size of the one that Putin caught the other day.
    I’ve eaten pike on several occasions and it is tasty: I’ve eaten it back in England; I’ve eaten it here and in the Ukraine; and I’ve eaten it in Sweden. In Sweden it was I who caught the devoured fish and served by my Swedish hostess as fishballs. I reckon she must have parboiled the fish first, then picked off its flesh, which she then mixed with flour and herbs, then rolled out into bite-size balls before cooking them in the fish bouillon that she had and in which she then served them. I cannot imagine eating pike whole, though, whether steamed in a fish kettle or baked: it’d be like trying to eat a pin cushion, I should think.
    Putin fanboy.
  11. owenpolley

    owenpolley Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male

    Fits with the KGB's psychological assessment during his training.
  12. Drutten

    Drutten Collegiate Secretary (10th class)

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    45
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    I have caught, released and re-caught many fish over the years. If you handle them correctly they typically do not suffer any lasting negative effects (other than losing appetite for certain kinds of lures, forget "goldfish memory"). The hooks tend to do less damage than you'd think and most of the trauma lie in what happens once it's out of the water, and incidentally that happens to be where you can actually do stuff to minimize it.

    It is customary to handle unwanted or "for-fun" fish (i.e. catch you don't intend to kill and eat) with a great deal of care and making absolutely sure they recover properly from the shock of being hauled in against their will before you let them go. In other words, just throwing them back into the water is a big no-no.

    Typically you try to land them carefully with a good landing net, then you try to remove the hook(s) as fast and neat as possible in order to not have the fish out of water for too long. It is in fact common to minimize the number of hooks on a lure to make de-hooking as simple as possible. For example, big wobblers sometimes have three triple hooks and most sports fishermen remove at least one of these to avoid inconvenient hooking scenarios. On the topic of pike fishing all but the middle or front one are oftentimes removed since pike usually strike from the side anyway.

    Anyway. Then you lower the freed fish into the water still holding it carefully (preferably no gill grips and similar things that can cause lasting trauma) and you gently move it back and forth to aid the flow of water through its gills, preferably resting its belly on one hand while moving it with a gentle grip of the tail. Then it typically slowly swims off after a little while, as it finally comes to its senses again, with little to no harm done to it (save for its expense of energy during the fighting). Doing this I have caught the same pike thrice, over a summer (it was easily recognizable due to a huge white gash across its back an inch or so in front of the dorsal fin, probably the result of a failed osprey attack). :)

    Many people think I'm joking when I tell them this, but it is what people do over here and it is a set of practices constantly stressed in sports fishing literature.

    It is also common to de-barb hooks to minimize any tearing of tissue when unhooking catch. In fact, this is a rule in many areas here in Sweden. Unfortunately it also means the fish slips off the hook much easier, but that's an acceptable downside according to most people. It is especially recommended or required when fishing grayling and certain whitefish with soft mouths. Pikes, zander etc. are much less sensitive as their mouths are adapted to handling all kinds of prey, including large things with claws and stuff (pike regularly feed on birds, swimming mammals etc).

    If they swallow the bait, you pretty much have no choice but to mercy-kill them with a swift priest or rock blow though (as opposed to ripping their innards apart while they're still alive, nasty business), as Moscow Exile noted earlier.

    At any rate, I have also caught fish with some poor blokes lure already hanging in their lips, so not even that seems to stop them from going about their business. In fact the lures typically fall off after a while should such a thing happen, as I have indeed experienced also (having found floating wobblers by the shore that I lost mere hours earlier when the line snapped to a big pike). Not sure how that works to be honest, since the hooks had hardly rusted away (which they typically do in time).
  13. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    If the fish has swallowed the hook and it is plain that attempting to get the hook out will kill it, it is also an alternative to just cut the line at the lips and leave the hook in. It will dissolve quite quickly as the digestive system breaks it down, and provided not too much damage was done to the innards in the fight to get it landed the fish has about a 50% chance of survival.

    Anyhow, I think there is a lot to what Patrick said regarding the possibility Putin just goes along with many of these televised outings because it is amusing for him when the media makes a big exposé out of each one, carefully analysing it for signs he is losing it or for some muck they can spread around. The curious thing, for me, is the way the press implies that Putin himself not only plans each escapade, but is also personally responsible for publishing any erroneous information about it; the pike story is an excellent example. Putin himself neither weighed the fish or wrote the story, but it is implied he is complicit in the great deception and is guilty of trying to trick the people.
  14. Drutten

    Drutten Collegiate Secretary (10th class)

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    45
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    That is true too. If it's only a hook (like you used actual baitfish, worms, maggots or what have you) then it's an okay solution. If it's an expensive or otherwise treasued "hard" lure that's been swallowed, one might want to keep it. This does lead to an actual ethical dilemma of sorts though, but let's face it - the choice is easy for most people. It's "only" a fish etc. As long as you do it properly (a quick and comparably painless kill) most people would accept it.

    I seem to sense a pattern of sorts here. I take it ya'll remember that "treasure dive" story a few years back?

    Here in Sweden, the biggest newspapers (Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Nyheter and Expressen) relayed that story with a lot of sarcastic Kim Jong-Il-esque undertones. You know, apparently mindless Russian media reported on Comrade Putins latest endeavours, laden with amazing feats that only an übermensch like Putin could pull off just like that. In one swift exercise he put every extant treasure diver to shame, oh my. All hail Putin!

    When reading actual Russian news pieces on the matter, including stuff provided by those pesky "pro-Kremlin" outlets, the picture given was a much more modest one. In fact they made it clear right away that Putins so-called treasure dive was nothing but a planned stunt, in which he was carefully directed by competent guides who did most of the work and most of the finding. All this in order to simply lend some attention to archaeology and history studies. They noted that Putin himself was merely a face for publicity, akin to how celebrities (and politicians) here in the enlightened West are employed to draw awareness to certain things deemed important. No difference whatsoever.

    The same thing repeated itself with Putins "tiger hunt", the Su-34 bomber flight, the bird migration thing etc. One found that it was in fact the Russian media that assumed a more down-to-earth stance and that it was the Western ditto that exaggerated and ultimately provided a stream of blatant strawman-type fallacies embedded in their poorly constructed sarcasm.
  15. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    Such serendipitous timing, because this brings together two threads - Yulia Latynina, and the pike story.

    I defy anyone - I mean it, standing offer, I'll buy you a drink of whatever you like the next time I see you - to explain this.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putins-magic-pike/483880.html

    I really think we are witnessing some sort of breakdown here, in semi-slow motion. Latynina's opinion pieces are making less and less sense; she really started to show evidence of sand in her gears when she claimed the Chelyabinsk meteor was a secret government rocket project that got away from its developers, and now it is only a bare couple of months later and she appears to have an ever-more-desperate need to communicate at exactly the same time she has less and less to say that makes any sense at all.

    I think it's time for some sort of intervention - her editors really need to get together and search her locker.
  16. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    A perfect illustration of how some people completely lose it over VVP. This is a derangement syndrome. The huge pike is right out of Freud, or to be more exact, from Jung. It is the archetype of the Russian soul.

    To paraphrase Freud, sometimes, Yulia, a fish is just a fish
    The comments are pretty disconnected too.

    So here's the question:

    You, we, all of us, have noticed this Putin Putin always Putin stuff. If you say anything good about Russia, or even question some "truth", you're instantly accused of being not pro-Russian, but pro-Putin.

    So, a thought experiment: if VVP were to be run over by a bus tomorrow and (most likely) Medvedev succeeds him, do you think the anti-Russia frenzy would stop or slow down? I don't think it would.

    If not, then why the fuss about Putin if he's nothing but the current personification of the Evil Russian, or is there something else?

    Or is it personal? Maybe what really pisses people off is the fact that he doesn't really care what the Economist/WaPo et al thinks about his?

    I'm really puzzled -- I've watched the obsession grow and grow -- Latynina's piece is merely the latest record ascent of Mt Putin Obsession. There will be another higher climb in a month or two from someone (and why not her?)

    Another thought experiment:
    What would Latynina have said if the Fisherman-in-Chief had caught an eel?

    I don't usually bother to comment on that sort of silliness but I channelled Freud and Jung on MT.
  17. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Many have been so conditioned by these anti-Putin pieces in the West that you now often see such statements in readers' comments as "I hate Putin like the next man..." and "I'm not anti-Russian, but I loathe Putin..." These comments are typical of the Guardian "Comment is Free" feature. All of which proves that the world is full of silly people who are easily manipulated by what they read. Latynina would, I'm sure, agree that such people not be allowed to vote because they are so doltish and not as smart as she is for telling them what an out and out font of evil the Russian president is.
  18. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    "putin pike" now pulls 8.5 million hits on Google.

    Lukashenko pulled in a big catfish.
  19. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    When Yeltsin went fishing in Saratov after his heart attack, the fishing pool was dammed (underwater) and baited for two weeks in preparation. Of course big fish were also introduced.

    Next year, he'll have to go Mammoth hunting.

    Coarse fish get bigger with average temperature up to the limit for the species. A pike in Southern European waters might reach 20 kg. They reach this size in the Volga. Catfish reach 90 kg on the Volga at Saratov where there is a sort of delta into the dam system. They are bigger in Romania on the Danube delta. Up to 120 kg from memory.
  20. Drutten

    Drutten Collegiate Secretary (10th class)

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    45
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    The largest verified pike caught in Sweden weighed 23.5 kg (net caught) and the largest on rod so far was at 19.34 kg (mentioned that earlier). The largest "unverified" but nevertheless registered catch in Sweden was at 26.57 kg and that entry was disqualified because the angler used an unsanctioned fishing method (whatever that means, no specifics given). Sweden's pretty far up north in Europe, with rather cold waters etc, so I would assume that larger fish reside further south as per your absolutely correct assessment re. water temperatures and such (a fine example of this are European perch introduced in Australia that reach unimaginable sizes).

    The largest European catfish (Silurus glanis) caught in Sweden weighed around 180 kg, and there are several registered and confirmed catches of this species ranging from 100 to 130 kg here since. The catfish is exceedingly rare in this country though, it's some kind of relict species that's only represented in a few waters out of which one happens to be exactly where I live. The largest one caught here in recent times was "only" 40 kg, but the fish is protected due to its rarity these days which makes people avoid fishing in such ways that could lead to catfish being caught and overall reluctant to report any catches that do occur as they might face charges in case they harmed the fish.

Share This Page