The year 2020 has been described for all of us as a bizare year in which our freedom has been taken away by a terrible virus that is tormenting our society. Trapped in our own world, a hangover that does not want to go away. For those who practise angling, there is a bright spot in the darkness and from a certain point on we can continue our favourite hobby. After a longer period where time seemed to stand still, the first lock down is lifted. That means that every fanatic carp angler had to go to the lakes, including myself. The first months were unbelievable for me where 2 dream fish saw the inside of the landing net. After this an old love was looked up again in the shape of the public French fishery. For a long time I was away from this scene for all kinds of reasons but in the end the blood crawls where it can't go. I am also training myself to learn the French language. Every week I make my way back to the days long gone: the school desk.
Later it turned out that this was certainly worth gold for gathering useful information. Several trips were planned and many kilometres were covered. In September I managed to make a welcome double catch of a fish that made me break my Belgian PB a few years ago. The third fish this year that broke the 27kg limit. I never wouldn't have dared to dream this scene, but reality confirms otherwise. Unfortunately, the persistent virus is re-emerging worldwide and a second lock down is inevitable. It is soon decided that I, together with very good friend and solar team member Bart Machielsen, will travel one last time to the promised land, especially if it takes away our freedom again. We would fish 2 waters during this short trip. At the start, we would stop at the first water where we would quickly feed a few kilos of tunamino E12 / Club baits. Then, a few days later on our way back home, we would take our chance for a few hours. This is a big risk of course, because the intended swim can always be taken by fellow fishermen. But if you do not shoot, you will never hit the target.
Next, the trip will continue to its final destination. Upon arrival it is noticeable that there is only one French local present. After a chat and some useful information it turns out that we just missed a good period. Several fish of the top layer are said to have been caught. Yet we do not deviate from our plan and the rods are launched asap. As the population of carp is not too large I decide not to feed to much. I choose to hide the rigs in a pva bag filled with broken boilies and tigers. These are then dropped at different depths between the weeds. The waiting game can begin. The first day and night is lifeless but at daybreak I am shaken out of the sleeping bag by a slow take on my left handed rod. Already at the first contact it felt very heavy and you could tell by the curve of the rod that this was not a small fish. Not such a wild fight, but rather a heavy, slow counterweight that I can hardly pull to shore. The carp in question sways enormously to the right without taking any wire from the daiwa tournament. I decided to follow my opponent and myself and The carp in question swings enormously to the right without taking a wire from the daiwa tournament. I decided to follow my opponent and made my way through the clay soil. Once my opponent undergoes his final escape attempts under the rod top I can for the first time get a glimpse of the fish. A yellow shade emerges and I see a wide mirror carp gliding over the net chord. I had a big smile from ear to ear because I can see that it is certainly a good forty. But wen i'm puttin the carp into the weight carrier to bring it safely to the unhooking mat, it turned out that it wasn't that easy. I could hardly get the sling out of the water. Once on the unhooking mat, it really came through. This is a proper unit. This must be the top fish a French local tipped me about on a previous visit to the water. The unster took away all doubts. With its 27.4 kg or 62lb this is indeed the top of the A-team. Quickly Bart was informed and with the help of caffeine we let the whole thing get through to us. On the richly filled cake several cherries had already been laid this season but this fish is the icing on top of the icing. All the hard work over the years is suddenly rewarded in just a few months of time. Speechless, perplexed, I can hardly find the right description. Unfortunately this was the only and last achievement that happened during our last French adventure. Let us all hope that we can soon return to the old normal. As soon as this happens, the arrows will be pointed back towards our southern neighbours.
Keep strong, Tight lines.