As I am writing this piece, it’s Christmas Day and the year is nearing its end. I have just finished my last session of 2015 (which unfortunately resulted in a blank) and made my last diary blog for my YouTube channel.

As reflect on a year of highs and lows in my angling, it’s worth pointing out that I live for fishing so if I have any low points throughout the season, this is normally reflected in my life overall. Fishing isn’t something that I do, it’s part of who I am. Life is an ever flowing stream and we make the best of it, which is exactly what I do in my fishing.

The first half of the year was bleak on the catching front and bites were few and far between on the big lake that I had decided to concentrate on. I couldn’t wait for a break and a trip I had planned to the UK to fish Ladywell in April. Many people think it is funny that I am a continental angler that visits the UK in search of carp as most UK anglers visit Holland, Belgium and France in search of big fish. The Ladywell trip went very well and I caught my first three fish of the year. I fished a swim called the nightmare and decided two rods would be better than the permitted three. Ladywell is a small lake and too many lines in a confined area can sometimes work against you. I had spooled up with 12lb Mirage fluorocarbon main line, knowing that a combination of its heavy nature and fishing it slack would mean it would be pinned to the lakebed. It turned out to be a good decision and I landed three fish from one spot. It was a great trip and I love fishing in the UK.

Once I was back home I carried on my campaign on the big lake until my second trip to Ladywell in August. The trip to Ladywell was slow to start with and I spent the first 3 days in the Lodge swim without a bite. After the 3rd night I decided on a move and after having a good look around I found a few fish near a weedbed in a swim called the nightmare. The rods were only in an hour before one of them rattled of resulting in a lovely scaley mirror. The fish fell to a special rig I have been using for a few sessions called the Oz Holnes rig, which is like a version of a multi rig/hinged stiff rig.

That was the last of the action to the rods that day, however the following day at a similar time the right hand rod ripped off again. This resulted in my second fish of the trip and a lovely Ladywell common. That was the last of the action before heading off home and I’m already looking forward to my next trip to the UK in 2016.

After returning home I planned to stop fishing the big lake and concentrate on the old canal, a venue which I had been quite successful on in the last few years. The autumn was good and a few fish ended up in the back of the net, which included a red letter session in November when I landed 14 fish in seven nights. Next stop was the Hengel Expo show in Kortrijk Belgium and the VBK meeting. I love these shows and it is a privilege to work on the Gardner stand.

This left enough time to fit in one more session, but unfortunately this ended as the year started with a blank. I’m really looking forward to seeing how 2016 pans out and I hope to see many of you at the big Zwolle show in January.

Tight lines Tommy De Cleen