A cold day, fortunately the brolly provides protection from the wind.
Fishing in winter is not always a joy. Weather conditions often create an uncomfortable situation, not to mention the fishing itselfs… But of course, when a fishing day succeeds, the satisfaction is even greater. This session on the Gat van Wamel, a tributary with an open connection to the River Maar, certainly falls into the risk category. A frozen landscape on arrival and a cold wind blowing from the front, that is not very promising. Fortunately, a watery sun did break through.
This water is known for its erratic catches, something that also sounds logical when you see the large opening to the river. This flows very hard at the moment and it could just be that more fish were drawn to this place as a result. A good tip regarding the spot i got in my pocket, as Manuel Riket passed on the exact location where he caught a good net of bream recently.
I deliberately start the session with a large caged window feeder liberally filled with casters. This approach is aimed at roach, because this fish species is often the first to arrive at the site. At the second cast it is already a hit, a beautiful roach has caught the 2 maggots with a spaghetti, something I honestly did not expect. Soon a few more follow and I am glad that I have brought enough casters. However, after half an hour the bite suddenly drops completely. No worries, in winter that can just happen.
The first roach is a fact, immediately a nice fish!
The rod I am fishing with this day is the new IDentity Tolerance in 3.60m. A rod that is perfectly suited for somewhat rougher fishing. Think of flowing, deep water and the use of large pots in combination with a not too fine line. The rather strong wind causes movement and waves on the water. I therefore decided to leave the 1oz top for what it is and opted for the 1.5oz version. This somewhat stiffer Fast-Taper top reacts much less to wave action and line pressure, something that actually makes the bite registration clearer.
Suddenly after 30 minutes and a few fruitless casts, the top warps considerably only to spring back again. A liner! There are probably some bream around and I immediately decide to fish with a large speed basket. This holds a lot more food, which, moreover, gives off a trace while sinking. As if it was meant to be…. The first speedbait that hits the bottom immediately produces a beautiful bream. Out of convenience, the same bait was still hanging on the hook, a few maggots with a spaghetti. Time for some worms….
A light tip requires more eyes for a optimal bending and is perfect for calm conditions. On a heavier tip, fewer eyes suffice and is just right for rougher conditions.
As hookrig material I like to use the INTENZ Powermono. With a wide choice of diameters, high knotstrength and abrasion resistance for me a simple choice for me. The Advantor XT-S 5500 is filled with 0.08mm Resilence 8-Braid. So far, no standouts. As a shockleader I very much like to use an Accelerate Tapered Leader. The transition from nylon to braided line is very smooth thanks to the tapered leader, which offers great advantages when casting.
Meanwhile, I have already cast several times with a worm on the hook, twice I see a small tap on the tip, but a good bite remains out. No more waiting, change immediately. If you think you have to change something, do it immediately, I was once taught. I often think back to those words. It does not take long before the next bream reports on a bunch of maggots. A period follows in which every cast gets a good bite. I put more and more casters in the basket, this seems to have a positive effect on the fish present.
The Advantor XT-S 5500 is the ideal reel under these conditions in terms of size and retrieval speed.
One of the best facets of fishing big and on water is that you can almost never estimate in advance what type(s) of fish you are going to catch. Even if you are convinced of something, sometimes they come up with surprises. Like today, the fishing can change completely during the session. It is very important to keep thinking and responding to the conditions. Therefore, always make sure you have plenty of leaders with the necessary variation in hook size. For me, the 2210B is first choice. That well-known model from Gamakatsu possesses a relatively long point that stands slightly inward. Once hooked, this allows a lot of pressure to be exerted on the fish. This is often not a luxury with mussel beds and slopes nearby. Also choose your underline material 1 or 2 sizes thicker than usual.
After a series of 6 bream it falls silent for a while. Would I have fed too much? I decide to slow down a bit and vary my hook bait. I also change the basket for a completely closed window feeder. With a few dark casters on the hook I manage to catch a few roaches, but this way of fishing does not yield many strikes.
Then back to the open speed basket, this time filled mainly with food and only a few casters. I also lengthen the line by 2 meters. The wind has started to blow harder, creating more bend in the line. I leave the basket for about 3 minutes and keep a close eye on my watch for this. The third basket hits the bottom and while the underline is still sinking, the top is completely bent. The biggest bream of the day is a good moment to call it a day.
A beautiful fishing day is over, now quickly clean up because the predicted rain and snow showers are coming.
A beautiful big “river” bream to finish.