FL10 (All 218 pages) - Page 100



International Virgin
Dutch couple to see what had been
occurring recently. They had taken a
couple of fish to 30lb-plus, and also
informed me the current Belgian
record fish had come out again a few
weeks ago at 76lbs, a couple of miles
away from where we were fishing. I
got my rods back out and baited up
for the night. I had a bream during the
night but nothing else, so I decided to
pack up and move. The Dutch couple
had a few bream during the night
also, and were now packing up as
well. I drove over to the quiet stretch,
pre-baited the spots again, and then
headed to the Dessel Canal.
The Dessel is a lot narrower than
most canals in Belgium, and much
more like the Grand Union back
home. I set up a few hundred yards
from the entrance to the Dessel before
the first lock, so it was still connected
directly to the Verbindings and KK,
and I still had a chance of a monster
carp. Once the evening arrived, I
placed both rods to the far margin,
and baited up with around 40 baits
over each spot. On the left had rod
was a bottom bait on a knotless knotted Amnesia rig, while on the right
hand rod I was using a pop-up on the
58lbs – yesssssss!
100 FREE LINE
multi-rig. At 5am I received my first
take, and the fish took some 20 or
30yds of line on its initial run. I started
to gain some line, but even when I got
the fish within a few yards of me, it
was holding bottom, and it took some
time before I got my first glimpse of it.
The fish started tiring; it was now
boiling and turning on the surface,
and then I managed to slip it into the
net. It looked a stunning carp; I think
you will agree. It took a bit of effort,
but I got the fish up onto the mat. On
weighing the fish, the needle settled
on exactly 39lbs. I took some pictures,
and then returned the fish to the
canal.
Then the big barges then started to
appear, so I packed up, baited up the
quiet stretch, and then went for a
recce on some nearby canals before
returning for the evening. I got the
rods back out just as the light was
fading. It was quite a warm evening,
and before long it started to rain, then
a storm moved in. I zipped on the
front to my brolly, and got into the bag
for the night. At 2am the right hand
rod was away. I struck into the fish,
and it surged off to my right, but the
fight only lasted a couple of minutes
before it was tired, and I netted it on
the first attempt. It was a nice common of 28lbs 14oz. As is the case
sometimes, it fought more on the
bank than in the water. During the
fight I must have switched off both
alarms, as I found I had slept through
a run on my left hand rod at roughly
around 4am. I awoke to find the rod
bent round with a very tight line. I
tried every angle possible, but it had
taken me through a snag under a road
bridge, and eventually the line parted.
Dejected, I trudged back to my bivvy
to get out of the rain and re-rig the rod
for the last few hours before the
barges began their daily trips. Not
long after this, around 5am, the right
hand rod was away, with the alarm
alerting me to the take this time, and I
gained control of the fish quite
quickly. A local perch angler, fishing
close by, watched as I played the fish
into the waiting net. I got all the bits
ready, lifted the fish out of the water
onto the waiting mat, and it turned
out to be a common of 19lbs. The local
angler took some pictures of the fish
while I unhooked it, then he left me to
take some pictures for myself – nice! I
returned the fish to the canal, and

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