Fishing for individual target fish has never been my ‘thing’, simply as I get distracted to easily and want to fish more than one water per year. The plan this year was ‘more of the same’ angling that I have been doing for the last 35 years. I purchased a few tickets at the start of the year; including the club/park lake again, the big lake, another lake (ssshhhh) and the public water ticket that I habitually purchase every year.

I have had this public complex of waters on my mind for a long time and this year I am definitely going to fish there more seriously, after walking around there every year for the last 20 years (I’ve never fished it but have seen photos of some of its jewels). A few fish had caught my eye, and for the first time a few targets got on that wish list.

carp fishing new year adventures tommy common 1st 30 of year club lake

I started of my fishing by doing a night in Febuary at the club lake and was fortunate to catch a few fish, incuding my first thirty of the year! But whilst I sat there the public complex was the only thing I could think about. Ineveitably my next trip was there, but my first session on there was a blank at the end of February. Than I got sick with flu, so it took me till 22nd March to get the rods out again!

On the second session at the complex I got to the lake and was able to pin point fish (like the first session my first choice was the point swim). I got a bite that evening that got the heart racing, but it was a bream (one step closer to the first carp). Later in the evening a friend came to visit, and told me the carp in here are kinda fishmeal minded and they are not realy into sweet stuff like the Cell or the Essential Cell, which I was using. Luckily, I happened to have a few hundred ‘Link’ baits with me in the mix.

So the next morning a new TT German was tied with a hair added onto the flexi hook swivel to mount my home made Link dumbell hookbait and pop-up, creating the perfect snowman presentation. This combination just wafts and the hook stays lying on the bottom just the way I like fishing a snow man. Then I picked a few hand fulls of bait out of the bucket of mixed boilies and sticked some out and wacked the helicopter plus the TT German out to the spot at 17 wraps. I caught yet another bream after 30 minutes, so a few more baits were sticked out and the rig cast back out to the spot so the waiting game could continue.

It was in the afternoon, at a time I did not expect a bite, that I had a few bleeps on the ATT, and the slack line was pulled tighter and tighter until the line came out of the clip and the right hand rod tip bent a bit. I was in for the first time on this magical place! The fish first went left, than diceded to turn right out of harms way, kiting away from the left hand rod.

It was not a spectacular fight, but it went on a few shot runs when he got close to the net – and I could see in the gin clear water that it was a good’un and luckily it went in the net first time. To say I was happy was an understatement!!

carp fishing snowman rig
carp fishing new year adventures tommy mirror scaley

I cut the line and left the carp in the net whilst I got the camera gear ready and the scales and sling prepared (just to know the weight for myself)… Tripod ready, camera ready… It’s always self takes with me these days (and have got good camera with flip screen and inbuld timer which is set so every 4 seconds it takes a picture and the result was perfect again and after 5 minutes of careful handling on the bank, the fish known as Scaley was safely returned.

I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the week (and days after). I fished ‘til Sunday, but nothing else came my way, but I couldn’t care less!!

After that success I could not wait to get back, but the next weekend I had consequtive open days at a shop where I was repping Gardner (it was a good weekend!) and as the shop was close to the complex, some locals told me it was busy with 13 anglers over this weekend! It was a weekend with very good weather, so the fair weather anglers came out to play.

The weekend after fell on the new moon phase. Unfortunately, it was again a blank for me but that’s carp angling. You can’t win them all, can you? The fish had started to get more active, as they had showed a few time over the course of the weekend.

Whilst packing up on Sunday I was already thinking about the next session which would be my last trip before the close season (16th Aprill till 31st May on this complex). I had 3 nights at my disposal, and I was quite excited as it was Thursday afternoon that I got there, with no one else around I could potentially have a walk around and a good look, but in the end made up my mind very quickly as to where to start.

carp fishing new year adventures tommy scenic

By 4pm both rods where in place (there’s only 2 rods allowed on public waters in Belgium) with the left hand rod positioned near the reeds on the far margin on a comfy 11 wrap chuck, and the right hand rod at 15 wraps on a spot with some low laying silk weed. I’d guess that the TT German with the snowman was presented perfectly as at 6PM this rod was already away!!

The fish bulldozed its way into some weed but steady pressure got it out without to many dramas. Than I had to contend with a snag to my right and played the fish with the rod tip under the water to keep the line free from this snag. At one point I felt the line grating, but the fish came my way and was soon under the rod tip; but with some silkweed stuck in the tip eye I got myself in a bit of a pickle, as actually landing what was obviously a good fish was starting to be a pain!

carp fishing new year adventures tommy mirror 2nd fish Heinz

Luckily, after some pulling and a few swear words I finally got him in the net… YES! Get in! I quickly got all the camera gear ready for the self takes, and some filming (maybe for my next vlog, who knows). It was a good fish again, this one turned out to be ‘Heinz’ another known fish. So once again I very happy with this capture. Pictures where taken and the fish got returned quickly again and it swam off strongly… yes yes! Back up on cloud 9 again!

It stayed quiet after that capture, with only another bream and a big tench showing the spot was ok in terms of my presentation. I still hadn’t caught anything on the left hand rod, so I kept playing around and adjusting that one.

I could hear fish showing during the night and in the morning I could see a few good fish show. At 12 oclock I had another take from the right hand spot and this time it was a twenty pound mirror; one for the future I am very sure as it has the build to be a big carp one day – like his parents at present that swim in the complex.

After this one I caught a few more tench, but no more carp this weekend and on Sunday I had to pack up again to go home and work on Monday… Now it’s the 17 April and so it’s the closed season at the complex. I’m really l look forward to start in June and hope to catch a few more jewels from this fantastic place but for now it’s preperation time to get everything ready for my next adventure to fish in the Uk. We have 8 nights lined up at some magical waters so I cant wait. I’m really looking forward to it and hope I can write a happy story about it.

Tackle wise, I use the GTHD 15lb line on my reels, a line I have total confidence in, and one that as never let me down. This was combined with Camflex Leadfree leader, fished on a hellicopter set up and my lead is also from Gardner (wink wink)… Check out the Gardner Tackle YouTube channel for my TT German Rig, as this rig can be very deadly.

Try it and you will catch!

Tight lines, Tommy De Cleen

carp fishing new year adventures tommy 3rd mirror
CamFlex Leadfree

Gardner Products Used