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Can we Catch it? Yes We Can! - with Michael Koester
Fishing in special lakes…sometimes you have to be a bit crazy to fish a water-skiing lake, but we did. Andre, a friend of mine, joined our local syndicate and was hot to fish there for the first time. Normally, we fish this particular water-skiing lake only in winter and early autumn, when the season is over. Last weekend however, we could not fish a favored venue because of a big regatta taking place. An idea was born; attempt to fish the water-skiing lake during the early evening through dawn when lake traffic was down, but things turned out differently.
On Thursday, Andre went to the lake to find it deserted…and this during the primetime for water-skiers! We didn’t know the reason for this, but on Friday, he returned to the lake at 7pm to find it empty again. Andre whacked out the first two rods and wanted to set up the third when out of the blue, the first run came. After a nice battle, the first fish of the session lay in the net. He had no time to celebrate though, as the second rod went off too. A better fish ran into a rope from the ski-jump and was lost. He called me to tell me the news. All in all, he had eight runs through the early morning; I met him at 2pm.
When I arrived, I could not believe the absence of water skiers on the lake…and on such a sunny day! Only a few people were out, but they were workers, busy repairing one of the steel structures lakeside. I immediately put out a few baits (ones that I was testing) which we did not prebait with. I felt as I had all the time in the world, so I made my setup without hassle.
At 4 pm, the water-skiers arrived and started to make their normal acrobatic rounds. Andre’s rods had been still up to that point, with his lines lowered in the water (backleads). A short time later, the rod pod moved forward (the spool was locked up) and we heard a few bleeps. He went out and struck into a fish. A problem arose in not only battling the fish, but doing so without coming into contact with the boat/ski traffic. So rod down and hoping, Andre did battle with his hook up. It came up one time and I knew: Pukka fish man...don´t make a mistake, please! The first netting was successful and we looked down at the new lake record of 27lbs 10 ozs!
The celebration, with beer, was in high gear when I got a phone call reporting that another friend of ours had just caught a big catfish. They wanted come down to the lake so I could take some pictures and video footage of their catch. We were about to continue celebrating a record catch with three more good friends; this is what carping is all about!
After a beer or two more, I fell down into my bedchair and was in the land of nod. At 1 am, I had a fast take and did not know what was going on ;-) The fish was a nice common around a mid double, which was released immediately. After 2 hours (it felt like only a few minutes asleep), I had another run. The fish felt like it was into the weeds or something, so I pulled hard with my 3 ½ lb rod; but there were no weeds. Suddenly I knew that this must be another good fish so I eased up and played the fish. As it came to the net, my headlight revealed another fine mirror. It weighed a shade under the new lake record that Andre had set. After sacking the fish, we did not celebrate with another beer, but I was well pleased that another big one was out and that it was caught on my handmade bait. On Sunday morning, we completed the photo session with my catch, not knowing the surprise that was to come!
A good session was now over and my new baits had once again been successful (I used the excel sheet featured in a previous article when I developed it). It was the third time for this old-school bait, which featured a high percentage of milk ingredients, re-hydrated with Corn Steep Liquor.
Once home, I uploaded the session pictures on my PC and printed out some of the big catch and…Pukka!! My big mirror was the SAME one which Andre had broken the lake record with some 9 hours before. After the heavy battle with Andre, the fish apparently swam away to go to another area where my baits had been and he/she was caught again! Come on that is curious, eh? In addition, my belief and confidence in my bait was now even higher.
The bottom line is, if we had not decided to go to the lake under what we thought would be less than favorable conditions, we would not have caught 10 fish, 3 over 22 lbs, not to mention breaking the lake record (later research uncovered that mirror being caught at 21lbs six years prior. I believe this carp was a feeding machine, being caught twice within a 9 hour period, but I still wonder why it took 6 years between captures). Even when the water-skiers had been active, the fish still fed and had no fear of anglers. That´s another weapon I will add to my armoury.
Well my fishing now will be completely different because I will begin to target another big reservoir with huge fish ...these fish are in the 25 region, and I mean kg ;-) One thing is for sure: Confidence is one of the key factors in fishing and if you are on a roll...enjoy it! Some people always want to convince you that you can´t do it…but if you don´t try, you won´t know for sure.
So what can you learn from my little article? Be confident and go out and fish. Sometimes you have to be a bit crazy, and you end up fishing a swimming and bathing area on a lake and you will get rewarded with a good fish.
If I can, you can….Come on, repeat after me: Yes we can ;-))
Carpe diem a carp every day