Viva la France
It’s the end of July, the French adventure is coming. Martijn and i booked a week at the payment water Lac Du Rogers. Martijn has been here twice before and has fished here very well. Prior to my adventure, I often got the question why I do not fish on public waters in France. Of course, I would like to explain that to you!
Busy, Busy, Busy!
This year has been a very busy year for me in fishing. I started with a bait sponsor and I’ am doing the media/marketing for them and I was approached by Faith Carp Tackle to become a pro-staffer. All of this, I combine with 48 hours of work in the hospitality industry. This had caused me to walk around with a knee injury. All small things that make you feel pretty busy when you actually want to sit at the computer to figure things out for a brutal public adventure.
Back to fishing.
Martijn and I both have no Caddy or big truck, but simple little cars. Still, the choice was made to go with one car and also to take a boat of 2 meters. I can hear some of you already thinking; ‘’How are you going to do that?’’ Well Martijn his Opel Aquila turns out to be a great car to be fully packed (we are also good at it).
With the foreknowledge that we have from Martijn and the weather report that is actually anything but favorable with the half-week temperatures of 35+ degrees, we go confidently to France. We decide to drive at night. First I had a party of a friend of mine, so I got picked up heavy under influence by Martijn next to the pub, I call that service! With the car completely filled we start our journey of 700 km.
Something to enthusiastic!
We arrive at the complex at 10:00 am and we are warmly welcomed by the owner of the water. He takes us to the booked fishing spot. At the fishing spot we had a small log cabin of 4 by 4 meters with electricity. This has made us decide not to bring a tent because that saves space in the car. Beforehand, Martijn and I agreed not to fish on the first day. We would only introduce bait.
However, on arrival, that plan actually disappears immediately, the air is dark and the temperature is very low for the first time in weeks. This is a trigger for us to try our luck on the first day. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the right choice.
We did not get any bites for the first 30 hours. Something that happened to us before on an payment water. That’s why we didn’t want to fish on the first day but only bait up the spots. In the end, the weather made us decide to fish, unfortunately, we have missed the mark here.
Finally my first fish of the trip. It’s started! The real work can begin.
The first fish came from a spot that we were not allowed to fish, but because we knew that on this part of the water nobody would fish this week, we thought we had a chance. It was not without risk, we had to fish through a large lily field and under a buoy line. Because of this, we had to pick up every fish with the boat.
The first thirty pounders also find the net. Hopefully, there will be a bigger surprise.
With four bites on the second and third day, I decide to leave a corner of the water which gives almost no bites and I change the rods to different spots.
This photo gives you an idea of the four spots we are fishing.
Position 1, 2 and 3 is just a bit more towards deeper water. With the predicted temperatures of 35+ degrees we think, we can find the fish in the slightly deeper oxygen-rich parts of the water and with success!
Within the hour the rod on spot 2 gets a bite and it was Martijn’s turn. He caught a nice 15.5 kg common. As you can see, there are several islands surrounded by lily fields, this does not always make it easy to drill. We really fish at the edge and realize that sometimes it can go wrong. Of course, we fish with fish-safe systems, if it goes wrong, there are no fish which will end with a hook, lead or line!
The bonus fish!
It is the fourth day when we have that night quite some action. Several smaller commons find our net. In the afternoon there is suddenly a very vague bite on the rod between the lily fields. We get 3 beeps and it stops. I say to Martijn ‘’Okay, leave it be’’. Less than 15 minutes later, we get another 3 beeps. Martijn and I think it’s weird and decide to pick up the rod. The line is stuck... Together we board the boat and sail calmly towards the ‘’unknown’’.
When we arrive at the place where we are stuck in the lilies we immediately notice that something is going on. We expect a tench or a bream. But nothing is less true when we see the first shadow of the fish, a Koi! Martijn can hardly believe it and you see his way of drilling the fish change. After calming Martijn we can finally land the Koi. Through the day we still had a few bites, all the fish fluctuated between 9-12kg.
Despite the tail always a nice bycatch this mirror with pigment deviations.
Social in Belgium
Thursday arrived, after a busy night with six bites and five fish we were well broken that morning. Early in the morning, I decided that an extra night in Belgium might be fun. Through Instagram, I had contact with three men from Belgium a while ago, who seemed to enjoy a night together on a canal in their neighbourhood. I decided to contact the boys through Instagram to ask if they might have time for a night together on Saturday night. It did not take long before I got a green light from camp Belgium. When I tell the plan to Martijn he is immediately enthusiastic! Especially when we find out that the water where we go fishing in Belgium is perfectly on the route back to the Netherlands.
The plans are then forged for Belgium but the water is quite dead, not very crazy with a temperature of 38 degrees. We also stay in the shade wisely with a beer in the hand. During our week in France is also the last week of the Tour de France, great entertainment for the hottest part of the day.
New day, new plans!
That morning we decide to turn the rods in and visit the waters in the region. After all, if you give your swim some rest for an couple of hours it can ensure that more bites will come. After a visit to several public waters and the local neighbourhood supermarket, we decide to go back to Lac du Rogers. It is 3:00 PM when I tell Martijn that it might be good to put two or three rods on the spots. After some whining, Martijn agrees with this and after putting the rods on the spots we start watching the Tour.
Around 4 p.m. we quietly watch the shortest mountain stage of the Tour de France while suddenly my rod on spot 2 gives a few beeps and slowly turns into a run. Action in the full sun, great!
At the start of the drill, I immediately notice that I have nothing to say, Martijn: “we have to take the boat and the net!’’. The fish is smart and moves behind the island, we have to take action now or we’ll lose it!
We get as fast as we can in the boat, and we follow the fish full throttle towards the island, there we notice that the fish has swum full into the lilies. Of course, I did not expect anything else. After we followed the fish through half the lily field, he’s finally on open water. The fish stays deep and I regularly see bubbles coming up from the bottom. This can be a big catfish or a big carp! From a distance, we can see that we are being followed by the Belgium fisherman from another swim with binoculars. Another Dutch fisherman also comes to have a peek. I see the tube coming up and know that this is the moment to see what it is!
I put a maximum amount of pressure on the fish, when I see a brutal common on the surface. Almost immediately he dives back into the depth! After a hell of a fight I finally manage to capture the common, YES! If this is not a new PR common, I will eat my shoes.
Sometimes you have to got some confidence. At the moments that you do not expect, it will happen anyway!
Back on the side, we prepare all the camera stuff to create an amazing picture of the fish. This is roughly disturbed after five minutes by a huge run on the right. Almost immediately we see a large battleship coming out of the water, a sturgeon! Nice of course but I have my new PB common here. We decide to quickly land this sturgeon and finally start my photo session and weigh the big common of course.
After having landed the sturgeon nicely and also made a picture of it, we continue with my PR common. After a few measurements, the weight is 40.8 pounds, so far my biggest common!
The goal of the trip is achieved and that with circumstances that you cannot call favourable!
The last days are quiet, we do not catch much anymore. We catch some commons with an outlier of 14 kg, but we are more than satisfied with this week! We close this week with 24 fishes. Of the 24 fish, there were 4 sturgeons, three thirties, one forty and the rest between 8 and 14 kg. Despite the low average weight, we have achieved our goal; at least one forty pound carp. For now, we will turn on the navigation system and we will go full throttle towards Belgium! There is another new adventure waiting for us.
This Belgium adventure will be soon online too!
For now I’ am still enjoying my beautiful brutal common.