It's been nearly two years already since I last met up with friend Yannick over in the Netherlands, we had threatened to do a few trips in between, but the closest we got was a failed attempt last April due to the ridiculously poor weather. This time around everything looked good and we both got a few days off at the same time.
|Beautiful place to spend a couple of days.|
After a relatively quick journey to Stanstead Airport and then a 40 min flight to Eindhoven it was time to get started. Yannick met me at the airport and we drove about an hour south in search of our first target, Grass Carp. I had a desire to catch a 20lb specimen and by the end of the evening I had the pleasure of banking a 22.00 personal best, this was backed up with another at 16.02 which also was a PB as it was caught prior to the "twenty".
|One towing me around.|
|All hell braking loose as another is hooked.|
|Yannick with a mint Dutch specimen.|
|The smallest of the visit.|
|22.14 and a new PB for not very long.|
What a start that was!. We had another 3 days, so the grass carp specialist decided that we should give them another go to see if we could get something even bigger and it was to be an inspired decision as I landed another five Grass Carp weighing: 14lb, 16lb, 20.3, 22.14 and 23.4, the sport was brilliant. We were however made to work hard for them as the dense pads which lined most of the waterways made capturing and landing a very difficult challenge. As dusk approached the showing fish became almost constant which was quite awesome, so many big fish and not enough hours in the day to catch them all. We left around sunset and got back Yannick's house around midnight or so.
|My Personal Best at 23lb 4oz.|
In the evening we decided to leave the carp and head over the Waal river which is a very busy
tideway which is primarily used to allow freight liners and fuel barges to connect between Holland and Germany. To think in all of that our target was an Ide, a species I have never had the pleasure of catching or seeing. Just as dusk was settling in that all changed as I was in contact with a fairly powerful fish which stripped a few yards of braid on numerous occasions before the net slipped under my prize. Quite an awesome fish to be fair, the surrounding environment isn't what I'd call safe for them, clearly this isn't a problem. 3lb 9oz new and only PB for the specimen. There was to be no happy ending for Yannick as his valiant effort to woo an Ide ultimately was cut short by the lack of light, at gone 11pm !
|Very happy with that!|
The first part of the morning yielded very little apart from the odd fish bubbling. By around 10am we decided to come away from Rotterdam and head back toward Yannick's village where we continued to stalk carp and two out of three were successful, for me, my first ever Dutch king carp.
We spent the rest of the day under no pressure and proceeded to knock a few beers back and a BBQ! The Dutch way. Great successes for me certainty! Many thanks go out to the main man for making it happen and in October there will be some British species which will be targeted, like the Barbel and Grayling.