Belgian Road Trip

31st May 2022

Sam Whittaker embarks on a Belgian road trip, after seeing his friend catch a few earlier in the week, it all came good in the end for Sam!

Arriving at the first location just after 9am after absolutely no sleep for the past thirty odd hours, we managed to find some carp and make a plan, but as we were on the way back to the van some Belgian anglers passed us and plotted up around 20 yards from where we had seen the carp. We decided to set up at the lock and get some sleep. The night passed quietly but we were fresh the next day, and both decided we had to move on for now, as we hadn’t seen any in our zone, and the Belgians were on for another night.

We got to the new location before dinner time and spent a while walking multiple stretches – visibility was totally different to the last time we visited, we were expecting gin clear water, but instead it was like chocolate milkshake!

We saw a couple of fish in each stretch, so decided to set up in a zone we’d had previous success in. It wasn’t long until Ant had one in the net and the buzz was alive. Ant had a few from this stretch and I couldn’t buy a bite.

We moved to another stretch with rumours of big commons and black mirrors and we did see a couple of fish here. While we were there Ant had 4 bites in total and amongst them was a very cool carp, I on the other hand had a bream in the night and just couldn’t seem to make it happen.

It dried up there and we moved back down a few stretches and got settled in. I felt confident of a bite, unlike the rest of the week really. The rigs were simple hinges with a yellow hookbait as always, size 4 Out-Turned Eye hooks and Think Link booms.

At midnight I got a bite! I could see my rod slowly bending round – I was finally doing battle! It went in the net fairly easily and turned out to be an absolute dinosaur.

After slipping that one back, in the morning, my middle rod was away and another old mirror rolled into the net. A few hours passed before the left rod pulled up tight with a single bleep on the neville, and a long common was in the net.

We committed to another night there but nothing happened after that – the next day our Belgian friend “Wes” was coming to see us. After he arrived it was clear we had to move, so he spent the day on the move with us until we ended up on the stretch we’d begun on 6 days before.

It was a reasonably featureless stretch, other than two trees close to one lock. I placed one rod out in the middle of the lock gates, a yellow hinge again over a good spread of boilies. The other two were up against the two trees – it felt good for a bite. Just on dark the lock rod was away and while putting that rod back out, one of the tree rods was away too. I had 3 more bites through the night; all commons but all very different in their own ways.

So on the final morning I had 3 fish to photograph and the drive home wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it would be earlier in the week!


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