Stunning big Belgium V Channel mirror for Pete Castle!

Pete Castle had a fantastic result during a trip to the famous V Channel in Belgium, landing a stunning 49lb mirror, known as the Painting.

He had been planning the trip for more than six months with his friend Francis Bayliss, and everything came together in spectacular style when they managed to land ten fish from this very tricky venue.

Pete explained: “A few anglers were going on this trip but we knew that we would be spread over a large area and there wouldn’t be much socialising. All the info I had was that the fish were moving in the V Channel rather than the other areas of this water network, and some spots had a few anglers fishing them already.

“I thought that local knowledge is king in this type of fishing situation and unlike some of the other anglers on the trip, we waited 24 hours to get into the area that we wanted to fish and felt confident in.

“On our first afternoon fishing I caught a cracking 20lb-plus common, and although it wasn’t a monster we knew that the fishing wasn’t going to be easy and this was a real confidence boost. The next day Francis managed a couple of 30lb-plus mirrors, and this drove me to want some of the same!

“The railway bridge where we were fishing is known as a bit of a big fish hotspot and we baited little-and-often with 18mm Red Spicy Fish boilies to get any fish that moved through the area interested. There were long periods with no activity and then we’d start getting the odd liner – sometimes this would materialise in a run and other times the fish would simply move on.

“It was a couple of days into the trip when I caught my first ‘real’ V Channel carp when my rod near the bridge screamed off and I had a real battle from a 30lb-er, which was all I had really wanted from the trip.”

Pete was using size 4 Wide Gape hooks to 20lb Dark Matter hook links and Safe Zone leaders with Kontour main line, and when his next bite came he was certainly glad to have strong, reliable gear on!

He continued: “After another long period with no activity that same rod was away again, but this time it was a slow, deliberate take and I ran to the rod as I instantly knew that it was a better fish.

“Whilst filming the fight two Police cars came round the corner on the cycle path, and although I knew we weren’t doing anything wrong they certainly added to the tension throughout the fight, as they all got out to have a look!

“The fish was on for a good 20 minutes and I was very happy to finally put the net under the fish, as it was quite a battle. It weighed a little over 49lb, and I later found out that it is known as the Painting and is very sought after – it certainly left me shell-shocked as I watched it swim off into the dark depths of the channel.

“We had a great time fishing urban-style next to the factory, and although to start with the noise of the trains, cars, factory and people put me off, I soon found beauty in this concrete jungle, and it is certainly a trip that I’ll never forget!”