Favorite rig: Standard confidence rig with a snowman presentation, but it depends on each situation.
Favorite fishing spot: big rivers and canals
How did you develop an interest for carp fishing?
As a toddler I was obsessed with everything that swam and crawled in the small ponds and streams near my home. I used to catch crayfish, small roach and tiny perch, but the bigger fish always seemed to outwit my home-made landing net approach. When I was 7 years old I participated an angling initiation day at a local angling club lake. This is where I received my first piece of kit, a 3m pole. From then on I was starting to catch average size roach and perch and even the odd small bream. But that still wasn’t good enough. I was seeing all those older anglers with proper rods and reel catching much bigger fish, so it didn’t take long before I convinced (begged) my parents to get me one of those. I quickly learned how to use it properly and before I knew it I was catching good sized fish. I did however experience a line break from time to time, coming from an unknown force. I didn’t know what it was, until a certain summer morning, that is. I was fishing for bream and roach when I heard a high pitched tone coming from a wooded area to my left followed by a strange man dressed in camo clothing running to the water’s edge. After about ten minutes I could no longer suppress my curiosity and went for a look. It was there and then that I got my first glimpse of what was to be my obsession: carp fishing. My angling was never the same!
Elaborate on your type of angling, your angling style.
I love all aspects and forms of carp fishing. From small, pressured venues to large wild waters and everything in-between. After several years of angling the great Albert canal (Belgium) and a small heavily pressured lake, I was looking for a new challenge. The obvious choice for me was the Belgian part of the mighty river Maas, so that’s where I’ve spent most of my angling time for the past two years. I just love the combination of the brutal nature of the river and the urban environment! Catching a big, old warrior in the gloomy streetlights of the suburbs… That’s magical! I believe a good preparation and being mobile are the keys to success on these waterways, so I bait up when I can and I seldom fish two consecutive nights in one swim. It can be really tough at times but this style of angling gives me a lot of satisfaction!
What is the most memorable angling moment thus far?
The first memorable moment that comes to mind was when I went on my first French solo angling trip. A good mate had shown me some pictures of carp he had caught on a big public lake in France. Amongst all the beautiful fish there was one that really stood out. It was a big, deep bodied and ancient looking mirror. It looked totally different than all the other fish in the lake. I just had to have that carp in my photo album! I knew in advance this wasn’t going to be an easy task because of the size of the lake and the large fish population. I gathered as much information as possible and planned a two week session during my annual leave. I arrived late in the afternoon, and because I came prepared I knew exactly which part of the lake I needed to cover to have a chance in catching the old mirror. Luckily the swim I had in mind was free so I wasted no time in setting up and getting the rods out. It was close to midnight when everything was spot on. The moment my head hit the pillow I was fast asleep and before I knew it I was awoken by a screamer of a take very early in the morning. The fish felt heavy from the start and because the lake doesn’t hold many big ones, I was beginning to wonder if I could be so lucky… The moment I saw it for the first time in the clear water I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t still asleep because there it was, the old mirror! By the sight of the carp, my legs turned to jelly. Luckily everything went smooth and I netted it first time. I couldn’t believe my luck! First night alone in France, first night on a new lake and at the first take I had my target! That memory will stay with me forever. It’s moments like these that boost your confidence and show you that everything is possible in carp fishing.
Because of the brutal nature of some of the swims I fish, my gear has to be up for the job. This is even more so for the terminal tackle I use. I just cant’t afford to use less than super strong and reliable end tackle to prevent me from losing precious fish. Fish safety is a big priority too. NTEC products are designed to perfectly withstand even the toughest conditions and are tested in the most extreme situations, so my confidence in the brand is sky high!
Which quote suits you best?
“There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.”