10.03.14

Part two - Couple Quit Their Jobs... To Fish Full Time.

“It was unbelievable, the last five minutes made no sense. What had happened? It was very hard to get the meaning out of it. One thing was clear; my net was still as dry as the rocky ground of this Southern French reservoir.

The one and only bite came during the last rain of a warm thunderstorm in February. We were still lying in the VW transporter snoozing and listening to the drum sounds of raindrops. Suddenly, the Delkim Box gave a one-tone run. I slipped from the bunk bed, directly into my shoes that were on the kickstrip of the van.

The Delkim alarm stopped, I ran to the rod and it was bent over double to the right, whipping downwards. When I took the rod, I had no doubt that this was an enormous carp. No head or tail shaking, just massive amount of power digging towards the ground, right in front of me.

The fish didn’t swim into the depths, heading more towards open water. He wanted to fight where he was at home; between the woody debris and rocks at the shore. He already swam around a branch, but thankfully I managed to free the line. Just moments later he was stuck again; this time maybe around a rock. I could free the line a second time, he was immensely powerful and large torrents of water came from the depth, still without any sight of the fish. Suddenly, the inevitable happened: the pressure released. I tried to get tension by reeling in a bit; still no contact.

Something exploded inside of me; I threw the rod into the water and walked away, trying to calm myself down. When I returned, Caroline was holding the rod and said that it was stuck somewhere. The hook was in the water plants some five metres to the left, from where I had played the fish. What? Was the fish still hooked when I threw the rod away? Or had the fish swum to the left and the line was once more stuck making me believe that he was still in front of me? Actually, it does not matter and I will never know it, but one thing I am sure of - it was a gigantic carp and most likely far above 20kg.

I immediately realised that it was a unique chance for a very special catch in the middle of February in novel water to me. I was not ready for it, had chosen too small a hook and too fine a fluorocarbon rig. You can never give old warriors like this too much line especially when they decide to play with you between snags. New water, new experiences and I will be better prepared next time.

Indeed, this run was special and it turned out to be the only action of the following six days. Every day we moved to another spot and fished the shallow margins with greatest care. The small American catfish and crayfish were already very active and obviously liked our bait. This made fishing tricky. Special rigs and baits had to be used to assure a safe 24-hour fishing, without recasting too much. What really troubled us, were the masses of broken bottles and plastic rubbish we saw at the shore of the reservoir. It made us so angry and sad that we wanted to move on. However, we had to wait for our friend Daniel, who would bring a gearbox and a clutch for the car. We had ordered these parts from the Internet at the waters edge and with help of friends. Thankfully, it all worked out ok. Daniel has just arrived safely with his fishing tackle, a 49kg gearbox and a clutch. The car parts were handed over at night to Stephane, a friend, carp angler and mechanic of the region. This took place on a parking place in a boar forest at the reservoir. Stephane would take care of my car in the next few days. Hopefully, I ordered the right parts! Until then, I don't give up the hope for another magic bite.

Tight lines,
Alex and Caroline

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