In the early spring I started fishing on a complex of waters here in Belgium that I have wanted to fish for years, but it was always put onto the back burner for one reason or another.
I finally made the decision to start fishing there and got straight on with it, going to have a look around and have a couple of trips. Immediately, I fell in love with the place, but with it being a public water with a close season in place, it meant my campaign would be interrupted sooner rather than later
As a result I had a short spring on there, with a few good fish captures. Importantly, I also started getting a feel for the lakes and it was a good opportunity to get some informatiopn off the regulars about what was in the complex.
After the close season, the weed was up and it became too busy with other fishermen, so I pulled off and did a few sessions on an easier lake on the complex. Summer was soon upon us and that’s when I had another break for a few months during July and August.
I had 2 sessions elsewhere during that time, but that’s another story, and all the time the complex was still my number one priority. In September I planned to have a session to the UK with my mate Kurt, which meant I would not be going back to fish the complex until October. Unfortunately, after blanking over 8 nights in the UK (but my mate Kurt caught a glorious pristine common from the Roach Pit), I needed some action, so I went back to fish the slightly easier lake, just to catch a few.
On the 25th of October I had my first session back on the lake, where I planned to concentrate my autumn/winter campaign on. After a quick walk around, I had already made up my mind on where to start, so I set up camp and got the rods and rigs ready.
I fired out 15 Mini-Spombs to the specific area, a spot where I had caught a good fish from in the early spring, and cast one rod on it. The second rod was fished in the margin on a spot that I knew was productive form previous visits.
Everything was looking spot on and after dark, at around 9’ish, I had a take on the 14 wrap spot. I fished a German Rig using a snowman with a dumbel and ¾ of a cork dust pop-up as hook bait – a rig combo I love using and which has been working very well for me this year. The fish was played in and it turned out to be a low thirty, happy days. My first fish and a 30lb plus one at that, a right result!
About midnight, I had another fish on the same rod and that was a common of around 20lb that I returned straight away. I wrapped up and re-cast back out to the spot, but didn’t have anymore action that night after the second fish.
Saturday morning I gave the spot 5 more Spombs of bait, but nothing more was caught that day. On Sunday, after giving some more bait around 11, I thought ‘to hell with this margin rod’, so I reeled it in. I then put a Ronnie Rig on with a white pop up and wrapped it around the sticks to 14.5 wraps and cast that one onto the productive baited area.
An hour and a half later that re-cast left hand rod went off and turned into a hell of a fight. After 10 minutes of hard battling I was able to land a very nice common, which turned out to be another thirty plus fish. I was on cloud 9! I cast the Ronnie back on the spot and added another 10 more Spombs in the same area.
Yet again, around an hour later, a high twenty mirror was in the net (the carp god was on my side for a change). I did a few self takes and a bit of filming for the diary vlog and then put the rod back on the spot with another 5 more Spombs, as the fish were obviously visiting and feeding on the spot regularly.
Within the hour the same rod was off again! Another hefty fight insued and once again it ended up safely on the bank. The low thirty mirror was put on film and then returned. After this the bites dried up though – I guess the area could only do so many bites before the fish were unsettled by the captures.
I baited up with 10 more spombs before dark and sat listening, as I always do. I heard a few fish surface, but I didn’t manage any captures until about 2AM on the Monday, when the same rod was off again. It was pitch black (new moon) and my line got snagged behind a branch hanging off a tree to my left, not under the water but above the surface. I could see that it was a good fish as pulling the line brought him up but I couldn’t for the life of me get the line untangled. What to do? Thank God for good strong Gardner line!
I could still see the fish circling on the tight line from the branch, so I put on my waders and grabbed my net. By now the fish had made around 10 round trips and I decided to slacken the line slightly so that the circles he was swimming in became bigger. With this accomplished, I hastily waded out as far as I could and put the net in the fish’s path. At last the fish swam straight into the waiting net!
Happily, my plan worked and I had another very good fish in the net, as it was a recapture of one I had had in the spring, I said thank you to the carp and made sure the fish was all OK and recovered. I took some shots, did a bit more filming, got him back in the water and then let him go. Once more I was feeling great with an amazing experience with a very old friend. Man, I love carp fishing all on my own. These are memories that will last a life-time.
After all the commotion I did not cast the rod back out straight away. I still had one on the spot though, and at first light, I redid that rod and re-cast the second one to the area as well. 10 more spombs where flung to the area. By now my 5kg of bait was virtually disappearing, but I had to leave around 2pm in the afternoon anyway, so this was fine.
At around 9’ish the right hand rod was away and from the start it felt like another good’un. The new GTD rods really are a joy to play fish on (I love ‘em) and after another 10 minute battle the fish was mine! Wow and what a fish it was… the Sergent, a high thirty! Man, this was turning into one of them sessions!
With proud catch pictures taken and filming done, I returned the fish, feeling on top of the world. Even though the capture had wiped out my other rod, I was buzzing. I recast that rod again, but left the other rod out and started packing up. I was not in any rush as I had the day off of work. My misses was due to pick me up around 2:30 in the afternoon, which meant that I had a bit of time. When I was almost done, away went the last rod with another cracking mid twenty common, that I slipped back straight away. Not that I did not care, but because I was in the middle of reeling that rod in.
I had enjoyed a fantastic 3 nights of angling; 3 nights where all the stars where aligned, with perfect conditions, a new Moon, good bait, good tackle and (dare I say) good angling skills on my behalf… Hahaha only kiding.
I’ll be back real soon I hope, to do it all over again. Autumn/Winter is long and some of those fish on my list are still out there. Thanks again Gardner for the support…
Tommy De Cleen