Carp Fishing in Germany – By Dan Cleary
Dynamite team member Dan Cleary was fortunate enough to work in Germany over the last few years and in that time he got enjoy some of the incredible carp fishing that the country has to offer. In the extract below, Dan recalls a few of the memorable sessions he enjoyed whilst abroad including the capture of a very special mirror…
For people who don’t know, I was working in Germany, renting an apartment based near Frankfurt, but my job and work sadly came to an end in April 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. I had done a few trips to the rivers and canals in the region during my few months there, but only managed to catch a few chub and a solitary carp from the river Rhein, which I still think is a bit of an achievement personally. Whilst working out there I got to check out several club lakes, gain some knowledge on fish and their whereabouts, even going to an interview at one club, but this all came to nothing of course. I did find a few commercial waters dotted around Germany and found one that stood out the best for me, (if I was to return for a trip) was Carpnado in North West Germany, just over the Netherlands border around 5 hours from Calais.
So, this is exactly what I did when I decided to cancel a trip to Gigantica this October. As we all do in anticipation of a fishing session, I checked and kept are-checking all my tackle and bait, slowly getting more excited as the trip drew closer. The journey was straight forward with no issues thankfully and I arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning to fish boshing out close in front of my booked swim. The lake is booked Friday to Friday, but I didn’t have enough holiday left at work so had 6 nights in front of me.
The lake owner Oliver woke me up at 8am, he then took me to visit the lodge and facilities, made me a lovely fresh coffee and provided breads and croissants for us. By this point we were keen to get the rods out while the fish were still close by, so I flicked out a couple of rigs passed where the fish were showing, then wound the extra distance and let the rigs drop into the zone. Even though I took precautions not to cast on top of them, throughout the day they slowly moved out into deep open water.
Oliver left me to it and headed home, once he had provided me with everything I needed, and left me with a 14-acre lake to myself!
Mid-afternoon, I went to check out a few spots Oliver had pointed out and baited four areas with a 1kg mix of CompleX-T and Crave boilies, Hemp & Maize, and the lake pellet soaked in Robin Red Oil and CompleX-T liquid. I then placed three rigs onto three of the four spots, leaving one to potentially develop over the week and watch for any signs of feeding.
At 10pm that night I received my first take, the fight was something else, as the fish leapt out of the water three times, got tangled up in another line, before I slipped the net under her from the floating jetty in front of the swim. It turned out to be the only Sturgeon in the lake at roughly 40lb!
Nothing else happened that night but I received loads of knocks and liners on two margin rods which were fished with slack lines.
Finally, I received my first carp bite Sunday afternoon but it wasn’t a conventual take. I received a single bleep to the same right hand rod that had produced the sturgeon the night before and I was fishing a slack line with the hanger on the gravel. The single bleep got me looking at the rod and line and I then noticed the line was becoming even slacker and moving ever so slightly to the right. I picked up the rod and wound in, and kept winding in the slack line until I became connected to a fish under my feet. It had swam the 60 yards towards me, then all hell broke loose! The fish went charging off all over the place and once again I had to pick up one of my other lines that was back leaded. Soon though, I finally netted my first carp from the lake at 27lb – and relax!
Both the carp and the sturgeon fell to a 12mm Yellow Hit n Run popup.
Then later that evening it was the far margin Neville alarm whining away for attention, after another long battle, with the fish using all of the 30ft of water in front of me, I netted a larger fish of 35lb using a 20mm/12mm snowman Crave and Yellow Hit N Run pop-up setup. Then in the early hours it was the left hand margin rod turned to get into the action, this time the fish fished weighed 40lb, and I used a 15mm white hit n run pop, tied to hinged stiff rig. I couldn’t have asked for a better start with carp of 20lb, 30lb and 40lb proving to be my first three of the trip, but could I continue in the same manner?
The heavens opened not long after I returned the last fish at around 4am on the Monday morning and it continued to rain on and off for the next 48 hours. I hardly saw any signs of fish showing or bubbling and action just dried up with the rain. No knocks or liners. The lake just fell silent. The water temp had dropped from 16c to 14.2c on the echo sounder.
It wasn’t until Wednesday when the clouds parted and I started to see a bit of blue sky along with the odd sign of fish activity, albeit at the opposite end of the lake. Just into evening however, I noticed some fizzing over my left hand spot. It took nearly another 24 hours on the Thursday evening, after seeing more activity in front of me, to get a run again, and it was from the left hand spot at around 6pm. This fish went on a long run out into open water so I dipped the other rods and jumped into the boat to do battle.
The fish took me all over the place but after a few gulps of air, I managed to secure a large fish into the net. As I lifted the fish out of the water onto the unhooking mat on the boat, I knew it was bigger than the last fish. When I arrived back at my swim, I hoisted the fish onto the scales and couldn’t quite believe it. I achieved my target of catching a 50lb+ fish from Germany which is now my fifth country to catch a 50 from! Weighing in at 52lb, it was a lovely, long grey fish, caught using the same 15mm white pop up on hinged stiff rig over Crave and CompleX-T boilies.
A 20, 30, 40 & 50 now, no surely not!
In the early hours just before first light I received another blistering run from the same rod again. The fish went on a very long run with me not being able to do anything about it. I thought it could be one of the two catfish that reside in the lake such was the power of the runs.
The line at some stage had got lodged in a sandbar so I had to get my life jacket on and out into the boat. The fish was still taking line but was still caught on a marginally soft sand bar. As I got nearer, the line came free, and I was now in direct contact with the fish out in open water. It went on several deep runs and I was soon playing the fish in front of the lodge, some 200+ yards away from my swim. It was here where I eventually got a glimpse of another big fish. After a few more minutes, the carp was secure in my net, once again the 15mm white popup, proving to be its downfall.
I struggled to heave the fish into the boat and onto the mat and retainer – this felt heavier again!
On the scales it read 57lb 8oz…not quite the 60lb I thought it might go following the weights of the previous four fish, but this one has actually been caught over 60lb before, so I was very close to doing the same thing I did last autumn in France, which is just bonkers really if you think about it.
Now it was Friday morning and I should have been packed up and been away from the lake by 10am, but both Oliver and Dennis who own and run the lake, were going on holiday and so no one was booked on the following week, so they allowed me to stay an extra night or two. I had planned to fish a Dutch canal but couldn’t refuse the offer, and decided to stay for one more night.
I started winding in my rods around 11am to go and get some supplies from the local shop. I just placed the second rod on the bivvy and was walking towards the last rod when two bleeps registered. With the line slowly tightening, I struck and was into another fish.
I played the fish from the bank for a while to get it into open and safe water then got into the boat to make up some of the ground quicker. While the fish was fighting deep, it just suddenly rose up to the upper layers and charged off towards the boundary wooden pole and somehow got around it in only a foot or so of water. I was still about 50 yards away and so slackened off the line, and turned the outboard on, before making my way over to it, slowly winding in line, but not letting the fish tightened up. When it did, I slackened off the tension so i didn’t lose it.
Once at the pole, i could see the line had cut into the soft wood and following a couple of flicks and tugs it was soon free. I didn’t know if or how badly the line was damaged so I took the fight easier than normal.
The fish took me down to the opposite end where both Oliver and Dennis were trimming marginal branches making the area safe from losing any fish for future clients. The fish fought hard like every other, but I won the day… It was a long grey mirror of 42lb and fought with every ounce it had.
On the final night I received another bite from the far margin rod but this fight was bit more straight forward. Although I struggled to see the fish in all the mist and fog over the lake’s surface at 3am, I easily guided her into the waiting net at the side of the boat. At 37lb I was over the moon!
I was a little surprised I hadn’t received another bite from the left hand spot that had produced three of my seven fish as I had heard a fish bosh out in the night, and was seeing fizzing over the area, but when it came to pack up and wind in, I felt instant resistance. It turns out I was snagged on a fallen branch. Oh well.
I did top up each spot with 1kg of the same mix of bait after every fish and I did put in quite a lot (4-5kgs) on the right hand spot on the Monday, but that never produced another bite for me for the rest of the trip.
Not spreading yourself too thin was the key to success during this trip and thankfully I had a few spots to work with, despite only one spot really producing the goods.
Until next time…