DRINA IS A LITTLE SEA: We went to Summer River Festivals where the fishermen caught 33 BIG ONES

July, Serbia is burning. It burns everywhere and the mercury in the thermometer was getting close to 40 degrees. People of Mali Zvornik are more fortunate than many, they have the Drina river and Lake Zvornik! Great places for cooling off, enjoyment, socializing and fun. How much this means to them is shown by the fact that they called their manifestation of sports, recreational and cultural tourism “Drina is the meaning of life”.

This year, the gathering lasted from July 25 to July 28, beginning with a concert by Aca Lukas, a pop singer, at the stadium of the local footbal club Jedinstvo, and the central events were next to and on the water of Zvornik Lake in Sakar.

For the 22nd time, Somovijada (Catfish-iade, a catfish fishing contest) gathered fishermen on the last July weekend. This time, 77 masters came from all sides of Serbia and caught 33 catfish in two days, but as many as 29 were below scale. Even after this “Somovijada”, the mystery of whether the lake hides catfish weighing over a hundred kilograms or whether they exist only in fishermen stories has not been solved. Lead by the fact that the Lake of Zvornik hides large catfish, the locals have been organizing “Somovijada” since 1998 and although more than a hundred fishermen fished here at one time, the realy big ones did not see the light of the day.

So far, they say, the largest specimen caught in this lake weighed in at 87 kilograms and was caught outside of “Somovijada”. This year, the winner was Nenad Vucetic from Mali Zvornik, who pulled out two catfish of 4,105 and 4,035 grams each, so a total of 8,140 gram-points provided him with the winning cup.

The second place, with a catfish of 2,640 grams, went to Branislav Stankovic from Šabac, and the third place went to Pavle Spasojevic from Macvanska Mitrovica with a catch of 2,620 grams.

According to the regulations introduced a few years ago, the total catch, all the catfish caught, are scored, and they are returned immediately to the lake after being measured and photographed.

“I was fortunate enough to win with two caught catfish. Last year I was second, the largest catfish I caught weighed 5,225 grams, and now, as in 2006, I won”, says Vučetić, who missed only one” Somovijada “.

While fishing, on the shore in Sakar, visitors could view an exhibit of food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, taste candy hearts or donkey and mangulica pig sausages. The other end of the beach was smoking all over, with the fish stew competition – “Golden kettle” – taking place…

“This is the third time we came here. We were third two years ago and second last year. There is no secret to making a fish soup. It is important that you have as many fish species as possible, and they say that a soup with fewer than six species is not a fish soup, ”says Dragan Bradonjic, who came from Komiric.

Twelve teams took part in this years competition, and the most delicious soup was made by the team “Roloplast” from Sremska Mitrovica, the second place went to the “Kotlić from Komirić” from Komirić, and the third were “Rebels” from Mali Zvornik.

While the elderly were fishing and cooking, for the children there was a training on water scooters organized on the beach by the Drina Sports Federation. Many people took their chance and rode these machines around the lake. This year’s reunion ended with the ninth Regatta race from Velika Reka to Sakar, a 22 kilometers long trip.

The organizers estimate that just over a hundred vessels with about two thousand people sailed, and the regatta was accompanied by the Boško Krdžavac Trumpet Orchestra.

Mali Zvornik municipality is organizing the “Drina is the meaning of life” event, which aims to present the tourist potentials and natural resources of this part of Serbia as good as possible. According to Mayor Zoran Jevtic, every year the ladder rises and more and more guests come to enjoy the beauty of the Drina, Zvornik Lake and Mali Zvornik.

This text is part of the project “Mali Zvornik – Big Heart of the Drina” and was co-financed by the Municipality of Mali Zvornik. The views in the text are not those of the municipality.

(Come To Serbia, D. Ristic)

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