The Vosges Carp

Fishing during a holiday is always a nice challenge, it’s an adventure to I love to go on. Holidays with my girlfriend mainly consist of camping and cycling. Fishing is usually a side issue during our holidays. But fortunately, I have a girlfriend who also likes to go out on her own so I got some to fish. In 2017 we went to ‘the Vosges’ at the end of the summer, here I experienced a beautiful carp adventure during the second week!

Carefully chosen fishing days
I know “the Vosges” a bit and it can be wonderfully warm there. But prolonged rain with clouds and colder temperatures are also no exception. So, I kept an eye on the weather reports the day we arrived. I carefully selected the days I wanted to go fishing based on the weather reports. In addition, I already made sure that my gear was as light as possible and I prepared everything at the campsite. On the chosen day it was a matter of waking up early in order to make the most of the day.

The preparation also starts during the holiday a few days in advance

Figuring out the location & ideal spot
To be allowed to fish on public water in France you obviously need a permit. I already took care of the permit during the first week and had it ready for my second week. We were on the border of the department with the permit, so I had to take a look which waters I was allowed to fish on. Enough to choose from!

Soon my eye fell on a beautiful lake in the middle of the woods, a 30 minutes’ drive from the campsite. During a quite walk around the lake I could see everything really well. During the walk I also saw some activity on the water. After a conversation with a local fishermen I got a good idea of what I had to do.

My tactic was the same as I do with “pen-fishing”. Make small feeding spots and let the fish quickly bite. And after a bite immediately add some extra bait. I doubted whether the ground wouldn’t be too soft/swampy. The fishing spot that gave me the most trust, was exactly on the edge of a hard sand bottom that turned into a swamp area with a lot of plants.

The set-up
With new knotted rigs and enough food, I walked to my spot to throw some bait into the water. Because it’s hard to get to the spot very well, I knotted some PVA bags in preparation with crumbled boilies in it. I then continue to shoot the PVA bags into the water with my catapult, along with some boilies. Usually when I fishing, I use three different rigs, the chod-rig, spinner-rig or a boilie-rig. In this case I wanted to start with a chod-rig so I knew for certain that the rig was in a good spot.

I throw my first rod with chod-rig towards the soft/swampy area, exactly on the edge of the spot where I’m sitting. The chod-rig seems to be in the right place here. I decided to use a spinner-rig for my second rod. This rod is further from the side where the soil is a bit harder. I already had some success with this rig. The biggest difference with the chod-rig is that it hooks much better because of the position relative to the lead. This makes it a bit more secure. The chod-rig is the solution for me when I want to be sure that the rig falls over the weed and/or plant remains on the bottom.

With a lot of confidence, I start with two rods. It’s still pretty early and the cloudy weather gave me a nice feeling. There are less people outside, this gives me the feeling that not everyone sees you which is wonderful.

This beautiful scaly carp was the first today

The first bite
I’m enjoying the surroundings, because a lake surrounded by woods and hills is for me the most beautiful thing there is. The sun is slowly starting to show itself. Not much later I’m startled by the bite indicator of my right rod. I immediately grab my rod and take a few steps backwards. This way the carp has barely any chance to get itself stuck at the bottom of the slope.

It’s a nice drill and there are probably some opportunities underwater for the carp. He tries to swim the spot to the right of me towards the swampy area. I have to drill extremely hard to keep the fish out of there. I fully enjoy the crooked rod, it’s an old one but it drills really nice. I’m also curious about what is swimming here. Everything over here is unknown and to crack the water this way is absolutely fantastic. After the fishing took off a few times I get a nice little mirror carp into my net, Yes! It’s a nice scaly carp. The fish stays in the net for a moment so I can throw some extra bait into the water again. After that, I take a nice picture and fish can swim again. Lovely! I then quickly throw the rod back into the water.

The spinner-rig, a great success!

The best spot with beautiful drills
There we go! Not much later my left rod flies off into the distance. I got some extra space with this one, so I can pick it up nice and slow. During the drill the fish swims to the area with a lot of grass. There is something that gives the fish hope. I luckily managed to send him the other way and a nice drill follows. Magnificent! In addition to the satisfaction of the bite and that your tactics work, drilling fish is the best thing in the world. After trying to get away a few times, I managed to get the fish into my net.

In the meantime, I get another short bite on the other rod. I don’t take this too seriously, but after the second time that a beep comes up, I know for sure that something is not right. Let’s see what’s up. I feel a bit of resistance but I immediately think that it’s a bream. It turns out to be a rudd, it got onto the small pop-up and hooked itself on the spinner-rig. I quickly get my rod back into the water with some loos boilies. So far, this gets me some fish and I’m very satisfied.

Let’s catch some fish!

The last drill of the day
My girlfriend came back from her walk and took some action photos. There I am standing in my shorts and working boots. Fortunately, she knows me for a while now! She took a seat next to me to see how fishing works. In no time my bit alarms shouts that we should act quickly. My girlfriend looks at me with a questioning look, “what now?”. To which I say “Pick up the rod!”. “No, you do it!”, she says. There I am, for the third time with a crooked rod in my hands. Because of the short discussion about who picks up the rod, we have to do everything to our power to catch this fish safely, this fish knows exactly what he has to do.

For a moment, we thought he was stuck. But the moment I took the pressure of the line the fish goes off again. He is still on the line, and after a short chaotic drill I managed to get the fish in my net. It’s a nice little scale, beautiful!

She doesn’t want to drill, but she wants to be in the picture!

I’m not done yet!
Today was successful but the cold did it’s work as well. The whole day in the water of mountain lake with shorts and not too sunny weather is pretty tough. I still have two days to go and decide that it’s enough for today.

Do you want to know more about the perfect catch photo?
Check my blog where I explain to you how to make the perfect photo! In the meantime, I gained a lot of experience and I wrote a tutorial on “catch photography” which also tells you more about “light”. Follow my blog on and on Instagram @from_the_bank.

Check my blog where I explain to you how to make the perfect photo! In the meantime, I have gained a lot experience and I have written a tutorial on ‘’catch photography’’ which also tells about ‘’light’’. Follow my blog on and on Instagram @from_the_bank. So that you will always have a perfect man-fish photo! So you can make the perfect picture as well!

Joris van Ophuizen

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