Iggy's Latest diary piece, as usual our team member from Belgium has been very busy!!
The month of July is drawing to a close and the summer seems to be halfway over. Even though it is a very changeable summer with either extremely warm days or, on the other hand, rain coming down in buckets. Normally, the summer period is not really my thing to do much fishing , but not being on the bank at all is also unthinkable. The summer season is all about social fishing together with some good friends, but as the covid pandemic is not quiet over yet, we are still cautious and large social events are unfortunately possible. There fore, it is now sadly enough for the second year in a row there will be no Solar fish.
Since January this year, I have been able to obtain a permit for the well-known Belgian Integra syndicate. In the distant past, some 13 years ago, I used to fish on these banks and not without success. Since then, a lot has changed in a decade. The former fish population has been almost disappeared, with only a few magnificent specimens still alive. The water has been stocked with new blood and these are doing extremely well. The water is teeming with natural food and this in combination with the presented food by the anglers results in an exceptional population of beautiful big carp. Due the ravages of time, quite a lot has changed on the lake and most off the banks have been surrounded with houses around the water. Sadly enough, there are now few fishing swims then 10 years ago. The water has always been a challenge and it is not much different now. To be honest, I have to say that I can enjoy a huge advantage. Since my very good friend and Solartackle team member Wesley Lagaert lives on the water in question, I can regularly join him on his private swim. I don't need to tell you that this has a huge advantage but it is not the case that the fish swim into your net. On the contrary, you have to work just as hard as on all the other swims. Due to the long cold spring, the water has warmed up very late and the fish have never been in their normal condition (the same behaviour in many waters, by the way). There have been small windows off some good catches but nothing like previous years. What is noticeable is that the fish from the heavier class are mainly staying uncaught. There is a lot more blanking than success stories. The latter I have experienced myself. From April to mid-July, I have recorded 8 blanks in my logbook. I knew it would not be easy but I did not see this coming. The occasional fish would encourage me a bit, but lady luck decided otherwise.
In mid-July I had three nights at my disposal and decided to take another chance on the banks of the Integra syndicate. The evening before, when the van was being loaded, I suddenly had an idea. Why didn't I go and fish for about 6 hours on the Heikant syndicate, it's more or less on the same way and so I could have a try catching some carp from 2 different lakes.. In my head it all seems like a good plan but the reality is somewhat different. It will be hard work, that's for sure, but if the desired result is achieved, the victory tastes twice as sweet. On arrival, everything went as planned and by 3pm I could note down two young fish up to 13kg+ in my logbook. It doesn't matter how big the fish are, if you can force a take on Heikant, you can consider yourself a lucky man. No matter how difficult it is, every take counts. I travel to the other syndicate with the same intention. By consulting the weather app beforehand, I already knew which swim I would prefer. Based on the wind, my eyes fell on a place called "the ramp". This name is due to the fact that there used to be a water ski ramp there. Deep in the back of my mind, I know approximately where I needed to be but to get a thorough picture of the spot, a lot of investigation work is required. After the spots have been found, dozens of spombs of tunamino/E12 boilies crossed the air. I decide to give the swim 48 hours before moving to Wesley's backyard swim. The first 45 hours there is not much to report except for bream and tench. I haven't seen any sign of carp activity during that time. The umpteenth blank was in the making until, for the 100th time that morning, one of the water ski boats raced over the swim. Out of the blue, without warning, one of the rods takes off. The first thing that came to my mind was: I have hooked the boat. This of course is impossible and in no time at all, I am standing in the water with a well curved rod. The water is crystal clear and from the depths I could see a smaller fish emerge with a pattern of scales that makes many a carp angler really happy. I'd netted the carp and with a clenched fist, the session was well and truely saved. The first carp of this syndicate is in the bag.
By the evening, I am already sitting on the other side of the lake in Wesley's garden. I have moved for the third time in as many days. All rods are set, the waiting game can begin again. At around 1.30 a.m. Wes gets a bite but sadly enough it manages to free itself from the hook. Typical for this period where they have a softer mouth due to the warm water temperature. Half an hour later, we were woken up by one of our bite alarms screaming. It is my rod that demands attention. After an arduous struggle, especially in our own margin the net is finally slid under a thick mirror. Yes, this is why we have been working so hard these past few days. Wes knows the fish like no other and confirms that this is one of the biggest mirrors, if not the largest. The needle of the scale stops at 22.8kg summer weight, you don't here me complaining. Early morning tree more bites followed each other in quick succession. We both caught each a 17kg mirror and Wes cashed in a beautifully build 19.6kg mirror. This was finally a session to remember. Wes fished another night the following day and managed to catch again 3 fish, topping off with a 21kg mirror. Good solid angling I would say. The urge for more is there and soon another night is planned for the following week. Again I decided to repeat the same scenario. First heikant, gave me a beautiful lin mirror of just under 10kg . Then travel to Wes's backyard for the overnight. Again, only in the early morning we both manage to catch each other a beautifull mirror carp. Sometimes it takes a lot of planning and preparation but in the end , all the hard work did pays off.