A social on a public canal in Belgium that paid off.
It’s a long time before I leave for my trip to France, when I get in contact through Instagram with the guys of Dream Carp. Three Belgium guys with the same passion like many among us, carp fishing. In July I would be on a private carp venue in France with my best friend Martijn, but we actually wanted to succeed for one or two days in Belgium on a public water.
By accident I came into a conversation with Pierre and Gerry from Belgium. Who, without any doubt gave me information about beautiful waters nearby. What many people will recognize, the conversation died out fairly quick. Because of both our jobs and daily life, no appointment has been made.
Viva la France
In the meantime, Martijn and I are busy with our trip to France. While halfway through the week the session in Belgium crossed our minds again. I reached out to the Belgian guys and send them a quick message, whether they would like to do a social session with us this Saturday evening. The boys responded great and ensured that everything is arranged. Great! Public canal session in Belgium planned. After promising this, I informed Martijn who then looks at me for a second and happily nods at me.
It’s 9 o’clock when we are almost ready to drive to our next destination. We only have to drive for three hours which isn’t too bad.
We agreed with the guys to be there around 5pm, Of course we were a bit too early. Luckily Martijn and I are both big fan of cycling and we could watch Tom Dumoulin win the time trail at the Tour the France. With healthy tension we drive to the address where we agreed to meet. “Pretty exciting” I say to Martijn. Arranging things through Instagram, while we not knowing where we end up or they could even fool us.
Once at location
Somewhere downtown, a garage door opens up and there they are, Pierre and Gerry. We shake hands and start having a nice conversation. The guys tell us that the water is about 15 minute drive from here. Some while later at the riverside we were a little surprised that we had to walk for about 2 kilometres with the barrow… “uhm.. which barrow?” We don’t have a barrow with us... well, you can guess... After mocking and struggling for a bit we reach our amazing looking ‘Carpy’ spot.
It has to happen here!
We divide the spots and get the rods ready. But first, because we are in Belgium we reach out and enjoy a delicious Jupiler. The boys get their rods out and start feeding. I stop them for a second and ask what their idea is. Gerry tells me that it’s usual to feed around 2-4 kilograms every session. This actually shocks me a bit. It wouldn’t be my tactic to feed this much for an instant session, so this tactic is new for me.
I follow the guys with their actions as a real guest, and start feeding more than I usually do. Normally they catch one fish every session here, so we should be fine with their way of fishing.
What a start!
While the rods are perfectly in place, we start with a Belgian catered BBQ and “Pull a nice picture” as Pierre and Gerry say so wonderfully in the Belgian way.
It’s 9:30pm when all of a sudden Gerry’s rod starts flying off. Not long afterwards a brute common shows himself at the surface. ‘Amai, what a beauty’ Yells Gerry. An enthusiastic photo session follows, what a way to start this session!
While I take a few photos from a distance, the rod next to me takes off as well. I pick up the rod, while Martijn and Pierre looked and laugh at me. They ask: “What are you doing?” I say: “Hanging into the rod guys, didn’t you hear that..?”. We wait for Martijn who is busy drilling the fish and getting it on the bank, this is perfect for a double photo!
It’s not even 10pm and we have already caught two fish! This could turn out to be a great session.
Gerry catches a nice 14,8 kilograms common while Martijn catches a surprising 4 kilograms crucian carp.
Our goal; Catching at least one fish is already accomplished, so basically everything we catch now will be a nice bonus.
Ready for the night
Around 11pm we decide to wish each other a good night. Martijn and I already have been fishing for a week in France after all. But our rest didn’t last long at all, Pierre was allowed to have a go on a 9 kilograms canal common. We take a few good pictures and we release the fish.
Not even an hour later we are being awakened again, it’s finally my turn and I landed a nice mirror carp. The first of mirror of our session turns out to be a nice one! While being blinded by our headlights we take a closer look at the carp. He has a yellow shade on his head, a beauty! We decide to take a few good pictures when the sun comes up. Luckily everyone has their retainer sling with them and it turns out to be a good call. An hour later another rod takes off and of course I’m the first one to reach out. It was Gerry’s turn and we were going crazy, what a crazy session! It’s just before sunrise so we decide to get some rest. After all, we didn’t get much sleep.
When all of a sudden Martijn’s Rod flies off. Unbelievable… We are dancing like goofballs. “A mirror carp”, yells Martijn through all the jubilation. This one also goes into the a retainer sling, there is no doubt that this photo will turn out to be a magnificent one! While Martijn is getting his unhooking mat, we wake up slowly and realise everything that happened last night.
The first mirror carp of our session and it is a beauty!
While the guys usually catch one or two fish a session, we already managed to get in six of them! With barely any sleep our mood is excellent and we are having a laugh together. We currently have three fish’ in our bags. We are at the point of getting the fish out and take a picture together, when our party gets even better! Pierre’s rod almost flies of from the banksticks and we catch another common. This will be a group picture guys!
The perfect end to a week of France and a special session in Belgium that brought us new friends! A shared passion that brought us together.
Enjoy the sport, the nature and the company that it brings with it!