All posts in “Gallery”

Northern Angling Show sightseeing

Northern Angling Show sightseeing 

On Friday Feb 22nd Monkey Climber went on route again. After the Zwolle show and an open day in Austria it was now time to hit the third country in as many weeks: the UK! Needless to say we were stoked. The plan was to leave on Friday as early as possible, take the Eurotunnel in Calais and start driving up North to Manchester with a quick stop at Matrix Innovations/Johnsson Ross tackle. Than plan would leave us plenty of time to arrive late afternoon at the Northern Angling Show, set some bits up with the Wofte boys and then go fishing with the iPhone Carpers. Guess nothing goes to plan when having to drive through the UK...

All went smoothly though until noon, when we met up with our friend Anthony from Johnsson Ross Tackle and Matrix Innovations. Had to pick up an order of our most popular collab hangers and monkey climbers we do, as well as have a sniff around in the shop. Our friend Phil bought himself some carpy mugs (which he broke later on the way anyway, anyone knows who designed these?), Ward some light in the dark plastic and I myself fell in love with some OG John Baker flavours. We had a quick meal at the local zero star restaurant and followed our way up North soon.

This is where all went a bit wrong. We know some major works were going on around Birmingham, with huge traffic jams. Despite Anthony's advice of driving up to Leeds and then going back, and despite my iPhone saying that too, we followed our personal satnav Phil aka P.B. This man being a true anglophile, doing a handful trips each years for the past twenty years or more, was totally prepared. Two pages full of written notes which we should follow strictly should lead us through the UK without any hassle...

To make a long story short it took us twelve hours since we left in the morning until arriving at the Northern Angling Show half an hour before closure time on the Friday night. Our dearest Phil sent us on a little sightseeing trip, through the Peak District and all. All in all very beautiful, with some legendary quotes and oneliners during that lengthy drive. At some point Ward said, totally out of the blue: "I could be sheep here.", followed only moments later by Phil: "Hold on, move a little to your side so I can put it in!" 🙂

Needless to say we arrived totally shattered, with no desire of fishing any more. Just wanted to have some food and sleep, so we went to the ASDA next door and put our bivvies up next to the show building 🙂

In the morning we met up with the Wofte boys and had the most pleasant day we could imagine. Met up with so many faces we knew from Facebook but never seen before, loads of people who fished our Eurobanx 1 spot too 🙂

Thx for your support and thanks for having us! Hopefully until next year!


Pic captions (from top to bottom):

1. Classic tackle shop pose at Johnson Ross.

2. "Morning peasant!" Classic Blackadder 1 quote Phil and myself always use.

3. Traffic sign's right!

4. Peak District...

5. ... never follow sheep a wise man once told me!

6. Ward aka President Tramp.

7. Midnight sticker pack making for the show! #dedication

8. 6.45am first people already queuing up and giving us strange looks.

9. Hotel NAS.

10. The Boys. Like crew, like glue.


Inner city vibes with Mathieu Denoyers

Inner city vibes with Mathieu Denoyers 

From time to time our eyes fall on special, undiscovered talent in this scene. One of our recent discoveries deffo is our French bud Mathieu Denoyers, a very skilled angler and photographer. 

We asked him for a special series for our Blog, to keep the vibe alive now most lakes are frozen over. So Mat sent us this great inner city series, watching and waiting on the big river, never knowing what is about to come...

#expectnothing

Going ape: The 1968 Jack Hilton Redmire files

Earlier this week we posted a quite unusual find – tbh, most probably the sickest thing in our collection over at Monkey Climber – in a Facebook group for old school afishionado’s: the original 1968 lease document for Redmire Pool between Jack Hilton and the owners of the property. Truly unique and a proper piece of carp fishing history. The post quite literally went red hot in no time, but since not everyone can see posts in this group we thought of sharing some images with you over here.

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Lots of people were curious as to how we came across this. The answer simply is ‘by eBay accident’. We think it was ten years ago when our editor couldn’t find his original copy of Quest for Carp, so we had a look on eBay uk searching for ‘Jack Hilton’. Couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this listed for a couple of quid in the general Book section of eBay (not in the angling listings). Waited until the last seconds of the auction, put 50 quid on it and won it for 45 🙂 We’ve been offered a good month’s wage for it since, but will never leave the Monkey Climber HQ, sorry!

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Note that Jack could lease the infamous syndicate for 500 quid back then, which must have been a lot of money in those days. For your interest, we did a Jack Hilton tribute for MC#5 couple of years ago, with this amazing cover by Stannart. Interviewed Jack’s son back then, truly inspiring stuff. This issue is long sold out though.

05

North Face Extreme

Well, guess you all know our Italian buddy, overall respected author and globetrotter Enrico Parmeggiani (in our minds we always pronounce it like some Italian speaking Brad Pitt in the legendary Inglourious Basterds, just kidding mate) and his tales of adventure and fortune, in the seeking of carp that is, from all over the Continent.

The big man recently embarked on a month long trip and has just let us know that he’s fulfilled one of his fondest dreams, catching carp from the northest of north, in the deepest of Finland. Here’s what he has to say about his encounters with Frodo and co:

“As promised here’s some pictures from my last trip to the extreme north of Europe, where I’ve been spending some nights in Finland challenging some of the most unknown and pristine carp you can find in Europe these days.

The outcome was far better than expected. I’ve been fishing three different lakes, but one in particular gave me some really good results with carp up to 17.8 kilos (read.: high 30lb fish). I know this may sound like a normal weight in Europe these days, but believe me in a country where lakes are solid frozen for 4-5 months a year this is a true specimen!! Moreover, the atmosphere up there was second to none. A feeling in the air, that nothing can compare to, you know.

No bivvy, no chair, no bedchair, nothing here, as most of the time you need to hike half an hour between swamp and forest. So I had to review my gear to travel as light as possible, sleeping on an air mattress in an ultralight trekking tent, a different way of doing it and not comfortable at all, but really worth the effort in the end! Some of you might know I am constantly travelling across the globe for my work at Prologic.

As product development is a big part of my role (sorry for the product plug here, but I am overexcited about these), this extreme trip was also the perfect opportunity to test our new SNZ bite alarms that will be available from September this year. They truly did what they needed to do in really the most demanding conditions, which makes me an extra happy chappy.”

Sounds like some proper MC adventure man, hopefully the full story will roll off our printers one day 🙂

FĂĽhrerschein und Fahrzeugschein bitte!

Flarden uit een vissersgeest,

iets om over na te denken

 

Rustig tikt de slip. Zware bonken volgen op de top. De hengel gaat zo krom als een hoepel. Man, wat is het koud! De rillingen die over mijn rug lopen zijn evenwel absoluut niet van de kou. Nee, dit is pure adrenaline, het zijn déze momenten dat ik als ik karpervisser écht lééf…

De duizenden sterren die helder aan de hemel staan zijn de enige getuigen die zien dat ik op een verboden watertje mijn ding doe. Voor even sluit ik mijn ogen en geniet intens, wat hebben we toch een geweldige hobby! Een paar minuten later geeft een zwaarlijvige schub zich gewonnen, en ontwaak ik weer uit mijn roes. Een paar zelfontspannerplaatjes later mag de vis weer zwemmen. In al mijn enthousiasme wil ik de prachtige schub op FaceBook knallen, mijn vreugde delen met anderen, maar weet me ternauwernood – of was het nu ternauwerdood – in te houden. Nee, nu nog niet, Mark, wacht nou toch even! Die grassprietjes linksonder op de foto’s herkennen die echte IT-vissers toch meteen. Laat ze toch nog maar effe wegblijven.

Erg dat je tegenwoordig zo moet denke, niet, maar het is helaas wel keiharde karperrealiteit anno 2015! Claimen kun je niet, hoogstens in goed overleg voor een tijdje, maar beter maak je geen slapende honden wakker. Afromen en wegwezen, en er werd niet meer over gesproken.

Er is al veel geschreven over de invloed van de media en commercie op de karpervisserij. Deze schijnen tegenwoordig hand in hand te gaan en dat brengt voor- en nadelen met zich mee. Maar wat mij vooral zo opvalt, is dat in verschillende magazines – zonder namen te noemen – de commercie ook al in de artikelen de boventoon voert. Het merk beetmelder dat het uitschreeuwt, of de geweldig sterke haak van nu eens het merk X dan weer Y of Z waarin o-zoveel-vertrouwen is, of je geacht wordt dat te hebben. En dergelijke voorbeelden kan ik eindeloos blijven opnoemen. Met naam en toenaam, desnoods met de paginanummers erbij, maar laat ik hier vooral beleefd blijven. Ben ik dan de enige die zich hieraan mateloos erger? En die zo benieuwd is naar het échte verhaal achter de vangsten. Het bloed, het zweet en misschien ook wel de tranen? Of ben ik dan gewoon een ouderwetse romanticus? Het oude, het mystieke, de spanning en de ontknoping. Ik snap dat er in de bladen van tegenwoordig reclame moet worden gemaakt, maar alsjeblief, kan dit niet gewoon op aparte pagina’s tussen de verhalen door?

Iedereen beleeft zijn visserij op zijn manier, en dat heb ik ook maar te respecteren. De een zit twee weken achtereen aan een betaalwater de ene veertiger na de andere binnen te harken, zonder dat het zijn waarde verliest. Voor mij is een bak dan weer de ultieme beloning aan het einde van een lange reis vol moeite. Iets waar je later nog met trots op terug kunt kijken. Maar ook dat is persoonlijk! En gelukkig zijn we niet allemaal hetzelfde, dat houdt het interessant. Wat je ook doet, als je er maar plezier in hebt! Zo laat ik me nog altijd leiden door dat kleine jochie van vroeger dat op jacht ging naar karpers met een telescoophengel, het pennetje en een potje maĂŻs!

En zo geniet ik van de kleine dingetjes. Vaak zijn het niet eens vangsten, maar wel een leuk verhaal, een grappige belevenis, iets dat je je hele leven lang bijblijft. Zonder dat daar merken of namen hoeven bij gesleurd te worden. Toch? Net zoals deze korte anekdote van dit voorjaar die ik jullie wil meegeven. Op een frisse dag in maart besluit ik een watertje bij mij in de buurt lichtjes te bevoeren. Eerst nog effe snel in Duitsland tanken, ik woon per slot van rekening aan de grens!

De zo rustige grensovergang waar normaliter geen hol te beleven is, blijkt nu een redelijk grootschalige controle post te staan. “Führerschein und Fahrzeugschein bitte!“, vraagt een van de Duitse agenten mij op een norse manier. Nadat blijkt dat ik in orde ben met de papieren, wil diezelfde agent ook een kijkje nemen in de kofferbak, waar op dat moment nog mijn complete karperuitrustig in ligt. Nadat de man mijn complete vistas op de kop heeft gezet, en zelfs mijn onthaakmat heeft gechecked, wil hij als laatste controle toch nog even in de goed afgesloten emmer kijken. De emmer bevat in krill gesoakte bollen, ik kan een kleine glimlach reeds niet onderdrukken.

Wanneer de Duitse agent de emmer opent is hij duidelijk zichtbaar onder de indruk van de bedwelmende lucht van de krill. En als hij ook nog eens met zijn blote pollen een van de bolletjes oppakt moet ik echt mijn best te doen om mijn lach in te houden. In je steenkolen Duits uitleggen dat je karpervisser bent, dat je gaat voeren en dat het in krill gesoakte bollen zijn is niet zo eenvoudig! Uiteindelijk is alles toch in orde, en kan ik mijn weg vervolgen. In mijn binnenspiegel zie ik de agent nogmaals aan zijn handen ruiken en nu kan ik mijn lach niet meer onderdrukken! GUTENTAG!!

Love Carp.

Appreciate Nature.

Respect Each other.

 

Mark Rinsema

A Frenchie in Ostend pt. II: Watching, waiting

I have now lived in Belgium for 30 days and have spent almost the same amounts of nights on its banks. As I continue to discover this lovely country and its very diverse fishing spots. I am constantly looking for new windows of opportunity, new experiences and of course new captures. These past two weeks have been characterised by new discoveries, encounters and friendships.

Before I arrived in the low land of the North I got in contact with Matt, who like myself is an avid AlliancepĂŞche member. We had exchanged texts messages prior to this a couple of times, but nothing more. My stay in Belgium gave us the perfect opportunity to meet up. After a couple of phone calls all was planned to spend two days and one night on a totally non typical Belgian venue. The high cliffs and the surprisingly clear water made me think I was actually back in France! Matt and I share the same spirit and passion for angling, the same will to understand and above all the same desire for forbidden fruits, which is somehow the sole refuge for anglers who want to fish in peace these days. After spending the whole afternoon in search of carp and the most adequate swim for the night, we found a shallow area in front of one of the cliffs where several groups of fish had been hanging around and occasionally feeding. A rod each, a compact bait boat and a couple of beers was what we needed. By early morning we both managed four carp each so our approach had worked and we were more than happy to have shared the moment.

After this session I tried a couple of nights here and there, mostly on nearby venues, with nothing to report unfortunately. The fish were right in the middle of spawning so it seemed and their interest in feeding was zero. So I decided to take vengeance on a local canal where I had prebaited quite a few of times, it was a good bet as now I had already had a few good nights on there with an average of 4/5 fish per night. The carp had already spawned on the canal and they were massively shiting bait out onto my unhooking mat, always a good sign!

Next I returned to the smallish canal where any industry is now non existent. It felt good there and the stock of fish had a lot of my interest. They are all character fish in terms of scaling, colours, age and morphology. I spent two nights in a particular area, but in vain. Nothing had been welcomed into my landing net, except for a couple of nuisance fish. Despite the sunny weather and the many hours spent walking its banks I could not find any sign of fish. I ended up neglecting an area which I didn’t have any interest in… my bad. Once back home, I ended up returning straight back to the canal as Wim, the owner of the house where I am staying, suggested we went for a walk. We started walking along the stretch I had avoided earlier that day and no less than a few minutes later we stumbled into several groups of carp, left and right. No need nor time for doubt this time and we both started prebaiting this holding area before returning home. It was very hot that day, we waited till 7.30pm and headed back to the canal. No less than ten minutes later Wim had already welcomed a magnificent black common, a fish to die for! On my side it was calm throughout the night, but when the sun started to rise… a double take! I now had this amazingly scaled mirror in my net and a typical younger fish of the canal with its typical canal shape. The following night I returned with Gio this time and the same thing happened in the morning. Another two carp graced my unhooking mat, one being a very old fish at just over 15 kilos.

The adventure continues and a new update will follow in two weeks time, hopefully with a couple more nice fish to share with you…

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Cela fait maintenant trente jours que je vie en Belgique et presque autant de nuits que je suis au bord de l’eau. Je continue d’explorer le pays et ces divers lieux de pêche, à la recherche permanente de nouvelles captures et de nouvelles ambiances. Ces deux dernières semaines ont étaient rythmé entre découverte, rencontre et amitié, je vais tenter de retransmettre tout cela à travers ces quelques lignes…

Avant d’arriver au plat-pays, j’avais contacté Matt qui comme moi fait partie d’Alliancepêche. Nous avions eu l’occasion d’échanger quelques messages mais rien de plus, mon séjour ici fut donc l’occasion de le rencontrer. Après quelques coups de téléphones, tout est planifié, nous partons pour deux jours et une nuit sur un lac belge pour le moins atypique. Des falaises et une eau d’une clarté surprenante, j’ai l’impression d’être en France ! Nous partageons le même esprit vis-à-vis de cette passion, la même volonté de compréhension et surtout la même attirance pour les interdits étant donné que c’est aujourd’hui un des seuls recours pour pêcher tranquillement… Nous passons l’après-midi à chercher les carpes et la zone la plus propice pour la nuit, visiblement c’est un plateau en pied de falaise ou plusieurs groupes de poissons se succèdent et ne cessent de s’alimenter. Une canne chacun, un petit bait-boat et quelques bières sont les composants de notre logistique. Au petit matin nous totaliserons 4 poissons chacun, notre approche semble avoir fonctionné et nous sommes combler par ce moment de partage.

Après cette pêche, j’ai tenté quelques nuits par ci par là en eaux closes mais rien à déclarer, la période de fraye semble bien installée et les poissons ralentissent considérablement leur rythme d’alimentation. Je décide donc d’aller me venger sur le canal local ou j’ai effectué quelques pré-amorçages, et ce fut une bonne chose puisque j’aurai la chance de faire plusieurs nuits avec à chaque fois 4/5 poissons à la clé. La fraie est terminé ici et les carpes rejettent mes bouillettes en quantité sur le tapis, c’est bon signe…

Ensuite, je suis retourné sur ce petit canal ou les usines sont inexistantes. Je m’y sens bien et le stock m’intéresse puisqu’il est composé de poissons particuliers que ce soit au niveau de l’écaillage, de la couleur et de la morphologie. Je passerai deux nuits sur une zone, en vain rien n’a effleuré mon épuisette si ce n’est quelques poissons blancs. Malgré le soleil et les heures passé à chercher les carpes sur les bordures, je ne trouve rien, à tort, je délaisse une zone du canal qui ne me semble pas intéressante… A peine rentré à la maison, me voilà reparti en direction de celui-ci puisque Wim me propose d’aller s’y balader. Nous marchons le long de la berge sur la partie que j’avais délaissée, et après seulement quelques minutes, nous apercevons des groupes de carpes à droite à gauche. Inutile de les contempler plus longtemps, nous pré-amorçons la zone où elles se tiennent et nous rentrons. Il fait vraiment chaud, nous attendons donc 19h30 pour partir les traquer. Wim réalise un run après une dizaine de minutes de pêche, c’est une commune superbe avec une couleur sombre qui laisse rêveur ! De mon cotés c’est le calme plat durant toute la nuit, en revanche au lever du soleil j’enregistre un run sur chaque canne, j’ai alors au fond de mon épuisette une belle miroir écaillé et une miroir plus jeune mais avec une morphologie typique de ce canal. Le lendemain, je repêcherai cette zone mais cette fois-ci avec Gio, verdict, même scénario le matin, deux carpes viennent s’échouer sur mon tapis de réception dont une commune de la quinzaine que je pense avoir aperçu la veille.

L’aventure continue, et un petit recap sera de nouveau disponible d’ici deux semaines, avec je l’espère quelques belles photos de carpes…   #LoveYoung #iKnowYou #LewisTheHomo #DrinkBeerWithTerryHearn

Lucas

 

 

 

A Frenchie in Ostend pt. I: Explore

It’s been fifteen days since I first opened my eyes in the all but scruffy Belgian town of Lichtervelde, where I am enjoying Wim and Sarah’s hospitality. I will be staying here for months, as an intern for Monkey Climber magazine which is located further down in Ostend, at approximately 150 metres from the beach. I am discovering a whole new country and, above all, a whole new kind of carp fishing. Quite contrary to what I am used to really. In this blog I will do my very best to give you an update every week or two on my encounters with old Belgian carp living in its jawbreaking canal systems and other nearby waters.

In France, the majority of my angling takes place on the river and inland seas, 100% public places by the way. I always try to seek for the most savage places, often with very low or even non existent angling pressure. I simply love the feeling of being on my own and fishing for carp which have no names nor battle wounds. What a rude awakening that was when I first saw miles and miles of canals, often filled with anglers on its banks and carp that are constantly trying to avoid your rigs and baits. The atmosphere is so different but still I like to discover new places and there’s a real challenge to be had over here!

Probably the hardest thing for me was scaling my rigs down. Out with the faithfully n°1 to n°4 hooks and my trusty Varivas 50lbs shockleaders, in with the new miniature stuff. Once that had been sorted out, Gio showed me not only how he usually tackles the different types of canals, but also how the others do and how you can make a difference. Now the adventure could really begin!

The first nights were spent on a local canal where I generally fished on my newly prebaited swims. Unfortunately, I lost my only bite on a hookpull only inches off the landing net. The first weekend Gio and myself left for a really big canal at the other side of the country. This time we used a Zodiac and somehow it felt more like home, finding and fishing spots like I am used to. I was lucky to find two interesting spots and no sooner than dropping my rigs and returning to the bank, I had a double run! Finally there it is, my first Belgian carp in the net. In the end I managed three carp including two nice mirrors on this first weekend outing.

A new week lays ahead and this time I am more determined than ever to tempt some of the local canal carp. I then prebaited a few new interesting areas and I planned to fish them, nights only, in between my day time work for Monkey Climber. It seems the couple of kilos of bait I invested paid off big time, as this time the carp were feeding with big confidence resulting in no less than eight takes on my first night back, another three on the second one

Moreover, the carp are just awesome. Very strong and dark coloured. During one of these nights, however, I did manage one common quite contrary to that norm, totally pale and its head very peculiarly shaped, which makes it quite recognisable as well. Upon taking pictures, Gio recognises it immediately – he had it twice as well – the last time being over ten years ago at exactly the same weight!

By the middle of the week I felt like discovering a totally different canal nearby, one with a total different look. Its big reedbeds and brick houses replacing the factories and industry I was getting used to now. My first night on there was sterile, but countless hours of observing allowed me to see what I needed to see. Hence on the second night I could place both rods on tiny gravel and sand spots close to the opposite bank which had definitely been cleared out by the carp. Around midnight I was rewarded with my first carp from this new venue. Not the biggest to say the least, but a carp with really awesome colours.

At the end of the next week I planned to go back, but this time my approach would be totally different but still allowing me to carefully place my rods in the open gaps. Not long after sorting out my first rod, my buzzer goes into meldown and in total panic I start combatting a rather generous common. Making me really happy and feeling confident for the rest of the night, but unfortunately there’s nothing else to wake me up, except for small groups of carp starting to spawn. I decide to leave their little party and leave them to it. For now.

So I am now spending nearly all my nights on the bank, working the days on a rather special project. More information on that will follow soon.

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Voilà maintenant 15 jours que je suis arrivé en Belgique, et presque autant de jours passés au bord de l’eau. Je découvre donc un nouveau pays mais surtout une nouvelle pêche, vraiment différente de celle que j’ai l’habitude de pratiquer. Je vais essayer de retranscrire et partager via ce blog, toutes les deux semaines, mes diverses pêches en canal et en eaux closes.

En France, je pêche majoritairement les rivières et les grands lacs, uniquement du domaine public. J’essaye de toujours fréquenter des lieux sauvages ou la pression de pêche est faible voir quasi inexistante. J’aime me retrouver seul et traquer les poissons qui n’ont ni cicatrices, ni noms. C’est donc un véritable dépaysement qui a opéré dès mon arrivé car je me suis retrouvé face à des canaux, à des carpistes alignés sur les berges et des poissons qui ont l’habitude de voir défiler des bouillettes et des montages au quotidien. L’ambiance est différente mais j’adore découvrir de nouvelles eaux et c’est un véritable challenge qui s’offre à moi.

La chose la plus dure pour moi à était de miniaturiser mes montages pour troquer mes hameçons n°1 contre des n°4 et délaisser mon Varivas de 50lbs. Une fois cette chose faite, Gio m’a fait un topo sur la manière dont il a l’habitude d’aborder les canaux et dont les autres carpistes les abordent. L’aventure peut enfin commencer !

Les premiers jours, je tente plusieurs nuits sur le canal local ou j’ai pêché sur des amorçages réalisés au préalable. Malheureusement mon premier run se soldera par une décroche à moins d’un mètre de l’épuisette. Le weekend nous partons avec Gio à quelques heures d’ici sur un canal de gabarit plus important où la navigation est intense. Cette fois-ci le zodiac sera de la partie et j’ai l’impression de retrouver mes repères, les types de spots s’apparentent plus à ce dont j’ai l’habitude de pêcher. Après avoir trouvé deux zones qui me semblait intéressantes, j’y dépose mes montages et c’est seulement après quelques minutes que j’enregistre un double run. Je tiens enfin mon premier poisson. Durant cette courte session je totaliserai trois poissons dont deux miroirs.

Une nouvelle semaine s’entame, cette fois-ci je suis déterminé pour en découdre avec les carpes du canal local ! Je pré amorce donc de nouvelles zones et j’y pêche uniquement la nuit. Les quelques kilos de bouillettes déversées semble avoir fait l’affaire pour mettre en confiance les poissons, je ferai une première nuit avec 8 run puis une seconde avec 3 run.

Les poissons sont vraiment combatifs, et ils ont une couleur sombre qui est superbe. Durant ces nuits, je prendrai une commune un peu différente des autres, elle est blanchâtre et sa tête à une forme assez particulière qui la rend facilement reconnaissable. Gio m’informe qu’il connaît ce poisson, il l’a pris au même poids il y a plus de dix ans !

A partir du milieu de la semaine, j’ai eu envie de découvrir un autre type de canal, avec un paysage différent, ou les roselières et les maisons en briques remplacent les usines. Ma première nuit fut stérile, mais plusieurs heures d’observations m’ont permis de voir des éléments intéressants. La seconde nuit, je déposerai mes montages sur des taches qui ont clairement étaient réalisés par des poissons en extrême bordure et je prendrai en plein milieu de la nuit ma première carpe sur cette eau. Certes pas des plus grosses, mais un vieux poisson avec des couleurs vraiment sympa.

Le lendemain en fin de journée, je décide de retourner pêcher ce canal. Cette fois-ci je l’aborderai de manière différente mais toujours avec une pêche à vue en bordure. Peu après avoir déposé ma première canne, mon détecteur s’emballe et je cours pour ferrer une commune aux proportions généreuses. Je suis vraiment heureux et confiant pour le reste de la nuit. Malheureusement rien ne me réveillera, hormis au petit matin les groupes de poissons entrain de frayer. Je comprends mieux la situation et je décide de partir pour les laisser tranquille.

Je passe donc mes nuits à la pêche et mes journées à travailler sur un projet un peu spécial sur lequel nous communiquerons plus tard.

Désormais il me reste de nouvelles eaux à découvrir et quelques objectifs à remplir… J’espère pouvoir les retranscrire ici de la meilleure manière qu’il soit.

Lucas

A Tail of Friendship

Well, friendship is everything, right? When we saw this absolutely banging mat shot by Adam Snowden last week, we simply wanted to run a nice mini series of pics on the capture here. So we kindly asked Adam who agreed to it and told us the following.

The few days I spent at Croft Pool were some of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had. The venue is a stalking angler’s paradise and if you enjoy getting up close and personal with your quarry like I do then I can’t think of a better place to spend your time. After lots of frustration and watching a smaller fish eject my hookbait, a few tweaks paid off when this old warrior came along the margin, slowly gliding through the overhanging branches and lily pads. I’d flicked a few broken freebies around the area and we watched with an incredible sense of anticipation as one by one they were taken. We held our breath as a large mirror moved closer to my hookbait, no more than a couple of feet from the bank. Closer and closer, shaking inside. The fish dropped on my hookbait, devouring my trimmed down wafter and tiny bag of boilie crumb in one go. Slowly righting itself, the fish didn’t panic or bolt, the drop off inline had done its job and the clutch on the SS2600 ticked so sweetly as the fish headed calmly towards the nearby snags. Grabbing the rod we both jumped in and a short hectic battle ensued beneath the rod tip. The fish went for the snags using all its power but thankfully I kept it moving, although all the comotion had clouded the water badly and knowing exactly where it was while ducking and diving amongst the branches was difficult. At first glance Dave expertly netted the fish and we both let out an emotive shout.

It had been the most intense few moments of my fishing life and an overwhelming feeling of elation buzzed through me. We knew it was big and we knew it was special, but we didn’t know exactly what we had and I was in no fit state to deal with the fish just yet. Dave waded back over to his swim with the fish safely laying in the net and I made my way back round on foot. I was absolutely drenched as I’d jumped in fully clothed but my squelching feet and sodden clothes just added to the moment. By the time I arrived at Dave’s swim the fish was resting in the sling and I took a few moments to have a brew and gather my thoughts. We sorted the mat and camera, made sure everything was ready and then it was time to truly appreciate my prize. Together we lifted the sling from the margin and placed it on the mat. Once the sling was open we were both rendered speechless, this was exactly what we had hoped for in the build up to the session. All the planning, talking and preperation lay before us, personified in the form of one of Oxfordshire’s finest old carp, an incredible fish known as The Classic Mirror. I think anyone who appreciates carp in the way I do can see exactly why. I proudly held the fish as Dave clicked away with the camera and it just seemed right to don the chesties for a few final water shots before releasing the fish and watching it slip back into the depths. I can’t thank Dave enough for all his help, I would never have caught this one without him, or certainly never have got it in the net at least. It made the capture even sweeter sharing it with you mate. Thank you so much for everything you did. I guess that’s just what proper fishing mates do. I also owe a big thank you to venue owner Nick Bassett and his lovely wife Michelle for inviting us down and making us so welcome. You have a very special place indeed guys. I’ll see you again soon!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the venue, which has been an exclusive syndicate for many years but opens its doors to all in June, check out their page www.facebook.com/croftpool

Adam