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Wesley Lagaert's Carp Diary - Jan & Feb 2013

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Last Updated: 14th March 2013

Just before New Year I received a phone call from a good mate of mine called Mike Brown. He and his mate Andy had planned a few days fishing on a river system in Belgium, but due the amount off rainfall we had received in the couple off weeks leading up to their trip the flow of the river was far too fast for them to fish in. So they had 2 choices, or they had to cancel their planned fishing trip, which meant they would lose their money, or secondly come over to my place and fish here, on Integra, for a few days. With my last three months fishing-wise being extremely difficult, I informed them that it would be a miracle landing a carp over the next few days from Integra, but on the other hand, you have to be in it to win it! Their reply was simple, at least they would be fishing and not sitting around bored at home.

They arrived well before dark and when I came home from work, I saw two caveman-like figures wandering around at the lakeside. Andy was angling for pike and Mike would be angling for carp using single pop-ups on chod rigs. Honestly, the weather looked really good for a bite, a strong and warm southwesterly was blowing over the lake which could definitely activate some carp. Standing outside with the boys, one of Andy’s pike rods registered a take. After giving it some line he struck but the fish fell off immediately. You could see that the mackerel tail was damaged a bit and soon it was out there again on the exact same spot. An hour later and Andy was in again, this time playing a hard fighting pike in the margins. It weighed just over 18lb and was 1metre in length. Not a bad start to the session!

By morning just before I headed off to work I heard that Andy had lost another one while Mike was still blanking, but he was now also thinking off getting a pike rod sorted. During the daytime the wind got worse and worse and the heavens opened resulting in heavy, and sometime constant, rain showers.  On the other hand, Mike had seen a carp stick his head out and he put a bit of bait in that area hoping to tempt it into feeding. Two days later it was time to pack up and although no carp were caught Andy did manage a few more pike. We said our farewells, wished each other a happy New Year and our paths would again cross in February at the Zwolle exhibition.

Once the obligatory family visits were out off the way it was almost three weeks into January 2013. Sunday the 20th was marked on the calendar with a big dot as this would be the day we could extend our licences on Integra lake. In the early morning anglers from all over the place were gathering, so a really social midday was a guarantee. There were quite a few regulars who didn’t prolong their licences, so there was a window of opportunity for new members being subscribed. Everybody who was there did receive a license and all went home very happy. The following Friday saw me again attending an angling evening organized by the regional VBK-organization called OVK. A decent meal was had, a short movie including a photo competition was shown and, as luck would have it, my fishing mate Alain and I were a couple of the winners.  We gave our prizes to a young lad though accompanied by his dad, so I assume he was the real winner off the evening.

We left the place well after midnight having enjoyed plenty of social entertainment. Now, next week the Zwolle-show was on the program. Alain and I left Friday evening after work heading for the North off Holland. We arrived almost three hours later at our bungalow where most off the Solar crew were already installed. The other lads had already arrived a day beforehand as they had been building up the new stand, so by the time we arrived everything had been well and truly sorted. After a couple of beers it was time to get to bed as by early morning we had to be on the stand giving the best of ourselves.

We arrived at the show around 8am and we we’re soon to be greeted by the sight of a brand new Solar stand, including a mixing table where DJ Lockey played his best tunes for the whole weekend. Over the weekend a few off the Solar team members provided all the lectures, including Alijn Danau and Arjen Uitbeijerse about Rainbow, Roderick and Ronald about South Africa, Gunther Poelmans showed his own DVD première and the boss Martin Locke also gave an interactive talk with the crowd. All the talks were a big success as you could easily be seen by the amount of anglers attending.

Over the weekend we displayed the new Titanium Indicator system, some of the new baits, the Seafood Take Away and of course the now already famous Nick’s Stick Mixes. With Saturday more then 6500 visitors on the Saturday, the Sunday was in my opinion a bit less busy, but it was definitely a really good show which came to an end all to soon. Sunday late afternoon saw us breaking up the stand, wishing our farewells and heading back home.

Meantime winter was well and truly up on us, freezing temperatures accompanied with quite a lot off snow for Belgian standards. In these conditions there wasn’t a hair on my head that was even thinking about angling. With the pregnancy of my wife developing and the birth of our first child on the horizon I didn’t even mind, as I still had lots of work to do in the house to sort the kids-room and a completely new bathroom with that!

Luckily in between work there were enough fishy weekend talks to go, just to keep the sparkle burning while waiting for the warmer weather. By now, all three private licences are sorted and I honestly can’t wait to get back behind the rods. Hopefully the second half of March will be mild and I can sneak in an opportunity to get out there somewhere!

Wesley Lagaert