Vantastic Lukas: Burnout?

Vantastic Lukas: Burn-out? | Hammer Tackle

Unknown land

On Friday afternoon, a day earlier than planned, Bruno and I said goodbye on the side of the road as my buddy began the 15-hour journey home and I was about to take a trip to the unknown Atlantic region. The sat nav showed 4.5 hours to Bordeaux. I was looking forward to the car ride through a landscape that was significantly different from the previous one. The mountains were replaced by flat, sandy land with large pine forests and ferns. France showed me once again how diverse this country is and I was absolutely thrilled by this area.

Of course, some waters that were on my route were on the agenda along the way. The lakes also differed significantly from those previously fished: the reservoirs in the mountainous region are rarely found there; instead, you will find large, shallow natural lakes. The signs posted at some of the lakes on my way indicated more complicated guidelines: In some cases it was necessary to register in advance with the respective “association” in order to be able to fish at the designated places. This was somewhat reminiscent of a Paylake and it was easy for me (as beautiful as the nature looked) to continue driving towards the ocean.

I spent the next four days spending time at different beaches where I was able to do sports and finally enjoy the summer weather. I drove to small coastal towns and was pleasantly surprised by the less touristy atmosphere - in contrast to the Mediterranean coast. It was much easier to find a parking space right by the sea there. The beaches are extensive and less interrupted by large vacations and hotel complexes. For me it made “van life” a lot easier and in many places there were other mobile travelers who had often come to surf. One evening, while taking an evening walk on the beach, I met a German holiday group in whose holiday home I found myself playing drinking games a short time later. All I had to do was get across the street to the parking lot and get into my van and start the next day with a jump into the sea and a cool beach shower.


After meeting nice people over the last four days, reintegrating myself into civilian life and visiting many of the large lakes near the Atlantic, I started to feel some motivation to go fishing again. The huge bodies of water didn't make the decision easy for me and it was difficult for me to decide on a body of water. The night fishing zones, which seemed almost tiny compared to the water surface, were often only accessible by long translations and I felt a bit underpowered with my electric motor.

Many kilometers passed as I drove up and down the waters looking for a satisfactory spot. I had no information other than what was available on the internet. My insecurity coupled with my reluctance to commit myself inflexibly to a body of water made me increasingly indecisive. Almost resigned to leaving the unfished waters behind me to drive a little inland again, I suddenly found myself with my van right on the bank of one of the last lakes in the area that I had reached. In front of me there were huge fields of water lilies that covered a large part of the several hundred hectares of water. A small carp jumping in the water lily field a few meters away reinforced my urge to try it there.

Carp everywhere

In the blazing midday sun, I pumped up the boat and went out on the water a short time later. My depth sounder showed me a maximum depth of one meter. I had to smile a bit, but from my previous research I knew that the lake was no deeper than two meters. While we were setting up, fish kept showing up - despite the hot duck pond weather. When searching for the spot, my first impression of the density of fish was reinforced when whirlpools of startled carp formed everywhere next to the boat. I have rarely seen such a high number of carp in such a large lake. The water gave me a completely unbalanced fish population, which probably consisted of 80% semi-strong carp. Nevertheless, the initially suspected mass catches of carp in the 2 kilo class did not materialize in the next three days. The average was wild carp, which barely exceeded the 10kg mark and felt like it was one meter long.

Burned out

The many hours of fishing over the last few months were slowly taking their toll and I was starting to get tired and bored. Although the spot offered pleasantly comfortable and relaxed fishing, the hope of catching a bigger fish faded more and more with every “torpedo slug” caught. After three nights and a number of hard-fighting fish that maintained the standard dimensions despite the steadily increasing bait size, my fish account was well filled and my hunger for fishing was satisfied, so I quickly packed my tackle in the car and left the lake without a new destination. I feel burnt out and close to “angel burnout”. I didn't really know what I wanted anymore and my unwillingness to fish could only have been appeased - if at all - by a big carp.

But - for some reason, in the last few days I still couldn't get used to the idea of ​​leaving one of the really big bodies of water here in the west of France unfished and starting the journey back inland...

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Best regards,
Daniel & Alex

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