carp fishing belgian adventures title

I first went to Belgium with a few pals in 2015, fishing on an amazing little lake that contained mirror and common carp to over 70lb! The lake was beautiful and intimate, being made up of a 4-acre bay joined to a smaller 2-acre bay by a narrow channel. It was a hugely exciting lake to visit, what with the anticipation of what could be.

After a few trips I managed to catch a 30lb common, which was awesome, and the start of a slight obsession. After that I was hooked on the place and I decided to do a full 2-week session, booking the lake at the end of April, and timing the session to coincide with the perfect moon phase.

Having watched a few of my friends catch fish to over 60lb during the first week (whilst I sat there with motionless indicators) I decided it was time to have a tactical move. Just after one mate left and another one turned up, I slipping into the vacated swim as it seemed to offer me a much better prospect of connecting with one of the monsters that inhabited the lake.

Once I was all set up in the new swim I immediately started catching, netting a few of the lakes 30lb mirrors, and catching grass carp to mid-40s during the first 24 hours, which was cool. I had noticed a lot of bubbling in this channel between me and an island, that was only about 20 yards out. After leading around, I found a softer silty spot in between all the hard spots that dominated the lakebed in this area, so I placed a rig on it and baited the spot with a combination of hempseed, maggot and boilies. Then I just sat back and waited, with that buzz of what could potentially happen.

The very next morning, at first light, my left-hand rod went into melt down, and after an epic arm aching 45-minute fight the fish was finally netted! I could see that it was a big common and was elated when we weighed her and the scales went 50lb+! To say that I was happy wouldn’t sufficiently convey how I felt, trust me.

carp fishing belgian adventures common 50lber

I thought things couldn’t get any better, but how wrong was I. The very next bite came on the same rod and tactics, rattling off the next morning at 4.30am. As soon as I picked the rod up, I knew it was a good fish, as it was staying deep and just plodding about very slowly despite applying consistent pressure on the fish with the GR60. My mate, who was next door, heard what was going on and came over to help, and after another memorable battle it went in the net. “Magic” I thought “another decent common”.

We left it in the net until I had sorted myself out with a couple of fags and just sat there trying to take it all in. Finally, the time came and with a deep excited breath I collapsed the net and put the retainer under the fish. Being extremely careful with the fish, and whilst she was still in the water, I checked the fish’s fins, as you would, and made sure she was safe, secure and breathing nicely. Happy that everything was good I attached the retainer around one of the poles at the front of the swim to rest her until it got light.

When dawn broke and it was time to get her out to weigh and photograph, I couldn’t even lift it out of the water! Naturally, I thought it was somehow snagged on the bottom somehow so again called my mate over, his time to help lift it out the water with me. Taking the strain, we both lifted and up it came. It was bloody massive! We put the common on the mat and Carl said to me “you’ve got one of the biggies there son”. Anyway, after the weighing she went 59lb 2oz – to say I was blown away doesn’t come near. Two amazing 50lb commons in 24hrs is shocking!

I have got another Belgian story to tell, from 2019, this time on one of the most famous canals in the country. A story that includes a common that as old as the hills and I’ll put that one down on paper soon. Tight lines (when all this Covid-19 has past) and until then stay safe…

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