The flat countryside around the medieval town of Třeboň in south Bohemia is dominated by dozens of man-made “rybníky “ fishponds part of an intricate and extremely ingenious waterworks network built in the 16th century on the Luznice river by the brilliant Czech engineer Jakup Krcin for the local rulers, the famous noble family Rožmberk.
Together with other 460 fishponds, this area is the kingdom of breeding freshwater fish, the most popular of which being carp (“kapr”), catfish (“sumec”) which can reach biblical proportions, the prelibate “candát” , the aggressive pike (“štika”) and occasionally eel (“úhoř”)
These ponds are harvested every two years, in order to allow the fish to reproduce , and in October – November the “výlov” is unleashed: the ponds are emptied over several weeks thanks to the ingenious network of channels, the professional fishermen on small boat beat the water with sticks to force the fish in the area close to a specific harbour-like area, where they are collected with nets, manually sorted according to species, size and weight (the most valuable being in the range of 2 – 2.5 kg) and gathered in water tank trucks. The fish is then transported to clean water ponds to purify themselves from the murky water and the consequent potentially unpleasant flavour, and get ready to join the Christmas celebrations.
During this traditional local event, thousands of people gather from all over the Country to take part (mostly emotionally) in the fervid activities, buy fresh fish and above all to taste the traditional delicacies: breaded carp prepared by the National Champion proudly showing its silver-ish carp trophy, fish nuggets and all possible variations of Czech classics including soups (ideal post-hangover breakfast), gulash and even a decent steak tartar, all fish-based and washed down by copious amounts of the local beer from the traditional brewery "Bohemia Regent" and the ubiquitous “svařák" (Mulled Wine). A generous portion of fried ball-shaped mini-doughnuts topped with fresh blueberry coulis and whipped cream is the jewel of the crown of such bonanza.
These events go on for the whole autumn in different locations in south Bohemia, like rybník Horusický velký 26 – 29.10, Dvořiště 2 - 5.11, Spolský velký 2 - 3.11, Bošilecký 16 - 19.11.