Vantastic Lukas: Easter with obstacles

Vantastic Lukas: Ostern mit Hindernissen | Hammer Tackle

Away from the Easter hustle and bustle

When Michael and I finished loading our cars after our session together in the afternoon, I wanted to check out two new bodies of water in the area. They should only meet two important criteria: less wind and easy accessibility by car. Since it was Easter weekend and we both had some shopping to do, we decided to spend another night together at a lake that I found on my little water tour.

Here we wanted to bridge the time until the next day without much effort so that we could go shopping on Easter Monday - when most supermarkets here were open until lunchtime - and get gas bottles, which we both had used up. It is not possible to refill German propane gas bottles in France, but since many households in France still use gas for cooking, the availability of various gas bottles is much easier here than in Germany; Unfortunately, the consistency with the German systems is even less so. Even though I bought extra “Euro adapters” for this purpose in advance, they were of little use for the newly purchased gas bottle and I had to get an extra hose for the bottle that I could connect to my stove in the car.

Since this gas confusion had taken up a lot of time, all the shops were closed at lunchtime and my stove was still running - due to a missing connection. So I had to somehow bridge the time until the next working day.

Together with Michael I looked at two more bodies of water in the area and then settled on the latter, which I already knew. Here we parted ways and Michael drove back towards the Spanish border to do some water location work. We both wanted to get away from the “Easter hustle and bustle” at many of the region's waters.

Short session at the “Holzsee”

I just wanted to have a comfortable place for 1-2 days to kill some time. Since I had had a few "material breakdowns" in the past, I was somewhat tied to the Toulouse region, as my friend Sebastien's address was the delivery address for the spare parts, which I should hopefully have delivered in the next few days.

As is typical for the lake, a strong wind swept over the water again. Not exactly the weather conditions I needed after the last few days. Thankfully I found a spot that was in the lee and allowed me to fish in a relaxed manner. The first night was quiet and I was able to use the morning to do some things on the laptop that had been neglected lately. I had absolute peace and didn't notice much of the stormy weather in my corner protected from the wind.

After an actionless first night and a quiet day, I had a brutal bite on the second morning that I was able to keep out of the trees using hook and hold style. Since I had already been to this water twice last year, I knew how to proceed there without losing fish one by one, as often seems to be the case when you talk to other anglers here. After I was able to land the fish safely, I happily photographed a flawless mirror, which I quickly released back into the turquoise water.

Words about obstacle fishing

I always sleep and move in close proximity to the rods when fishing in front of obstacles. In fact, I am never in a deep sleep, which makes the whole fishing a bit tiring after a few days. With every beep I sit in bed and am ready to react. The rod is strapped tightly and is in a straight line to the obstacle. The brake is completely closed, only the swinger leaves a few centimeters of leeway. Decently thick chalk line at least 0.60 - preferably higher, provides a little stretch to avoid the hook splitting. As is often the case, I use my stone rig with a 50 mm mono leader and extremely robust four hooks. When the fish bites, it turns away from the obstacle or comes directly to the surface. I walk back a few meters because the normal pumping when lowering the rod would give the fish another opportunity to get running. This first escape must be prevented at all costs when fishing. In most cases, this “getting a running start” would be a loss because you can no longer stop large fish in particular and the fish would either get stuck in the obstacle, the fish would cut out due to even higher pressure or the material would not hold up.

The worst thing for me is when the fish get stuck in an underwater obstacle and you suffer a complete demolition. You never know exactly whether the fish will be able to free itself and what kind of injuries it will incur. This topic is often swept under the table and people convince themselves that the fish will get away without major damage... Unfortunately, some fish look completely different... Therefore, you should always be clearly aware of the possible consequences that obstacle fishing brings with it in advance assess the situation objectively without letting the “greed” win.

I absolutely don't want to portray myself as the perfect obstacle angler, but I have encountered many such "hook and hold" situations in the past - including at home - and often had to pay the price. These sometimes negative experiences have made me look at this type of fishing from a different perspective, so that I can now make objective and realistic decisions about whether it even makes sense to fish in certain spots in the given situation, without incurring a major loss take risk.

But a few days longer

After the fish in the morning it was quiet throughout the day and I decided to stay another night. I felt really comfortable in this place and the weather, which finally improved again on the third day, made me hold out a little longer. After a relaxing day in the hammock, the sky became dangerously dark in the evening. The rumbling in the distance made me want to make everything “storm safe”. Since the wind on this lake can reach impressive speeds, I wasn't sure what it would look like in the event of a thunderstorm. In my case, I had the car right next to the fishing spot and I was able to store my material in the car. So I still had enough time to run around in the wind with the camera and take photos. The lake appeared to split or redirect the storm. An effect that I have often experienced here in the south. Apart from a short hailstorm and a few good gusts, I was largely spared. A fall bite that I unfortunately couldn't “use” was the result of the short change in weather. But I was able to catch a beautiful mirror fish that night.

The originally planned short session turned into five days and after the successful night I decided to pack my things and visit my friend Sebastien, who had just had a week off from family - which he of course spent fishing on the water.

When I drove the first few meters along the dirt road from the water, I was not yet aware of the extent of the thunderstorm the day before. However, on a slight slope, the softened ground became noticeable and showed me once again how powerless I was with my overloaded “front-wheel drive car”. Even the coarsest tires are of no use if the entire tread is blocked by mud. After a few unsuccessful attempts, the path was so agitated that I just slid down the path uncontrollably despite stepping on the brakes. Damn!! I collected a few French words to ask a farmer for help. As I was already running towards the road to hire help, I noticed a small, almost overgrown path across the field that seemed a little more solid. Well, one last try.

I took another running start and actually successfully made my way up the last few meters of climb onto the asphalt road.

Man, how much I wish I had an all-wheel drive in situations like this...

The gas problem

On the concrete road I was able to free my tires from the mud again and drove to the next larger town to visit a “Bricomarche” – a French hardware store; after all, my gas problem still hadn't been solved.

About two hours later and with my nerves strained, I was at least certain that there was no such hose including an adapter for my German stove in France. All I had to do was cut my existing hose and install the connection for the French gas bottle - a friendly hardware store employee advised me to use a hose clamp. Certainly not the “finest” solution, but I didn’t think the idea was stupid, so I got myself a suitable hose clamp to finally get my problem under control.

In the afternoon at Sebastien am See the gas problem was tackled and with a little fiddling the two-burner stove burned again. Cooking with conventional gas cartridges simply became too expensive in the long run and the cheaper petrol stove was one of the utensils that had recently stopped working and I was eagerly waiting for spare parts to be delivered.

Two days without fishing

I spent two days with Sebastien, who was celebrating his family-free vacation by the water with his dogs. During this time I took a short break from fishing because the area did not offer the opportunity to fish there as a couple. After about 1.5 months of almost continuous fishing, I wasn't mad at just helping Sebastien photograph and net the fish.

After a relaxing two days of just sitting around with Sebastien, it somehow felt like a bit of wasted time. So on the second evening I planned to go back to my “PB” water the next day, where I escaped from the weather with Michael a week ago. Given the good weather forecast for the coming days, I wanted to fish a different area this time than last time...

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Best regards,
Daniel & Alex

Thank you for your interest in our articles. Would you like to stay up to date with Hammer Tackle? Then you can subscribe to our newsletter here: Hammer Tackle Newsletter

Best regards,
Daniel & Alex

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