My awakenings are early and frosty. I set the alarm at six a.m. but usually I am awake earlier. I am excited, restless and my thoughts shoot through my head like a pinball. Most of my thoughts are about fishing. Do I get the maximum out of the situation? Is it correct how I do it? When is the next run? These thoughts tend to stop very fast once I am on my boat, rowing my rods out in frosty conditions during dawn. My hands are frozen, small fishes break through the surface and the sun fights its way through the mist. But the outlook to the warming sun keeps me positive and I stay patient.
I did not have to be too patient this morning and the rod fired off at 7:30 a.m. The fish took line very fast. Then it stopped. It had found an obstacle and was stuck under me. With gentle movements of the rod I could free the line and the dance began. First in short and calm movements around me. Then he swam longer distances pulling the boat across the lake. He stayed deep. I could not feel any movements of his head or tail. I got excited and feared that the hook might have already worked a bit in his mouth when he had been stuck. I could loose him any second. I did not dare to higher the pressure with my rod. It was him to lead the dance, swimming to the opposite side of the lake. A massive amount of bubbles came to the surface. He released some pressure of his swim-bladder. I started to shake and watched the line cutting through the surface in zigzag movements. I imagined his massive tail beating in the depth. I turned round and saw my lovely girl Caroline standing at the shore patiently watching the dance. The fish started to move around the boat, turning me like a carrusel. The angle of the line became flatter. He slowly came up. I could not wait to finally see him. More bubbles of him and desperate attempts to gain some line. Now it was me to lead. I positioned the net. And then I saw him the first time. He was massive and beautiful. His large tail flapped like wings of a gigantic butterfly. I increased the pressure and forced him to show more of its beauty. And with some pulling of the rod tip to the right he came left just in front of the boat and gently swam into my net. Got you! The tension of my body released and I felt the pain in my right arm. He really gave it all and asked my full attention. I rowed back and was very happy with this catch. And so was Caroline when she saw the smile on my face. The mirror carp weighed just above 40 lbs. We quickly made some photos in the water and released him. The sun had just came up and warmed the ice-cold hands. What at a start of a day.
I hope you have a good one as well.
Alexander and Caroline
PS: I weekly write blog updates in German for Korda usually online on Wednesdays. Just click on my page on the green logo with the glasses and look at the Korda page on the right side „Artikel“.
It is incredible. Usually when I go fishing for two weeks it takes in the beginning some days to adjust and then a period of deep relaxation begins. This time everything is so different. In the last ten days I have been to the city six times to get an opinion or repairment of my car. Going to the city by car and returning by running, getting a lift or running to the city and returning by car, there were many different ways away from the place I wanted to be; at the side of Caroline waiting for some action of carp. Or like yesterday when I got a lift to the city of a nice guy from Switzerland who is on the road together with his dog since December. I went to buy mouse traps which I placed in the car on the parking of the garage where they test what the problem could be of my broken fifth gear. Today then I wanted to fetch my car now knowing that it is really my transmission that is broken. But couldn’t fetch the car as the transmission is not properly closed again or so. Through my window I could see two dead mice in the traps. That makes now in total four. Tomorrow then I need to return to the city and get my car, still not repaired. It seems that there is no-one in this region that can fix a transmisson of a VW transporter. The only solution they offer is to send my transmission some hundred kilometres to Bordeaux where it can be rebuilt. For just 3000 €. Something that costs in Germany around 1200 €.
That’s that about the car. Something different of last night was a lovely couple that abandonned their dog at the parking in purpose. The dog slept in our tent, totally confused and crying. We thought about keeping it or bringing it to a pound. But today the owners came back asking if this is our dog or a lost one. Of course, it was obvious that the dog recognised them but they played fool wanting us make believe that they wanted to help with this abandonned dog. So they took the dog again with them. Just after one day with us, the dog actually preferred to stay with us and it was sad to realize that.
Luckily the carp arrived in our small bay and we were able to catch another six fish up to 15kg or so. But angling is really just a side project right now. We gotta fix the mouse problem and especially the car. And I think to fix the car properly and payable we need to turn round, head North to the darker and rainier Germany. I received an offer of 1500€ for the repair instead of in total 3500€ here. To save 2000€ minus the travel expenses we need to have a short fishing break. Merde.
Some days earlier I wrote in German on the Korda site: http://de.korda.co.uk/karpfenangelnnews/?id=507
And this is what good friend Jens writes about us in Dutch, cheers for that. http://debootsjongen.be/2014/02/11/gipsy-life/
That’s that for today. It rains, the wind is blowing and the rods are well positioned. All of the action came here in the night and the carp are getting bigger every day. We are ready for some positive surprises!
Cheers, Alexander and Caroline.
It has been a while…things were not all as planned. Well the departure was already a difficult one. To combine moving from an appartment and packing for a months-long trip at the same time is something I dont want to do again in the future. Not only is it a very tiring process of some weeks. It also causes mountains of fishing material, household stuff, food! and clothes. Mountains that need to be packed into a „tiny“ Volkswagen transporter; too tiny! We needed an entire day to succesfully and more or less safely load the car. It was only in the afternoon, after we emptied the appartment, gave the keys to the landlord and ate our final Kebab in Antwerp. First stop Ruisbroeck: Dr. Lawrence looked after Caroline who got a serious cold; from me, I was sick the week before. After a nice chat with the nice doctor and great angler we finally hit the road just before darkness.
At ten we took exit Champigny-les-Langres and slept on a free camping car parking close to a canal. After a good night sleep on the 140 cm bed just under the roof of the car we had a cuppa and left again directon South. But we were abruptly stopped by the police who were not amused that we were not yet buckled up. 90 € per person and an excursion to the police station; nice.
Some hundred km later the next bummer: while driving uphill the fifth gear said goodbye with a loud roaaar. Out of the blue. Four gears left. What to do now? We decided to go on in the fourth gear. 90 km per hour behind trucks. Just 250 km to go and we arrived in the sunny department Herault.
And sunny it was! How we installed there, what we caught and what we did with the car will be material for the next blog; coming soon!
More of us can also be found on Carpzilla and on the Team-sites of Korda and M+M Baits. I will post the links here.
Alex and Caroline