Vantastic Lukas: Rainy start to the journey towards Greece

Vantastic Lukas: Regnerischer Reisebeginn Richtung Griechenland | Hammer Tackle

Looking back on days gone by on the Elbe

A lot of water flowed down the Elbe the last time I hit the keys. This was about summer days in my hometown of Wittenberg on the Elbe. As slow as fishing on the Elbe was over the summer, things continued to be slow into the fall. At times it was almost frustrating to spend one night after another without carp. Instead, the barbel bit in large numbers and it was not uncommon to think that there was finally a carp at the other end. Nevertheless, I didn't give up hope until the end and drove south in the van until the start of my annual winter trip to the Elbe to try my luck again. I caught the last carp at the beginning of October.

This year everything is different

After the year was quite turbulent, marked by some highs and lows, we finally went on tour again at the beginning of November. But this year everything was a little different: This year I wasn't supposed to make the journey into the warm alone with my dog ​​Mara. I wanted to go on an adventure for several months with my friend Alice. It was definitely a real challenge for both of us to live in such a small space for a long time for the first time. I was looking forward to the time together and the moments that I could now share with one person - something that I had missed in some situations in the past. In addition to starting the journey together, the destination country for this winter was also different: it was time to take different paths and explore new countries.

We decided to drive through the Balkans to Greece and spend the winter there. Even though the weather there in winter would be significantly more changeable and cooler than in recent winters in Spain or Portugal, we will start our tour at the beginning of November. From northern Italy via Slovenia and Croatia we continued south along the coast. Unfortunately, we were hit by heavy downpours from Croatia, which intensified as we continued our journey through Montenegro and Albania. Instead of staying there longer as planned, we drove through the countries in just three days. As a result, after only three weeks “on tour”, we ended up in Greece, hoping for nicer weather there. The first stop: A large reservoir in the mountains of Greece where we were greeted by the sun when we arrived.

On the trail of Greek carp

Without any information about the lake, I wanted to try to outsmart my first Greek carp. The place I chose via Google Maps looked promising. A large, long bay in the middle part of the lake. We parked on a headland at the entrance to the bay. The backdrop was fantastic: a wide view over the large lake, on the other side a mountain range that kept us away from the bad weather most of the time. The whole bay just didn't seem to be full of fish! I watched the water a lot, but there was no sign of carp. On the other hand, I was able to catch a few perch and a small pike with my spinning rod during my exploratory walks. At least something!!

After a week (without carp) our food and water supplies were empty and we moved on. The temperatures should drop significantly in the mountains next week, so saying goodbye wasn't particularly difficult. After a short city visit in Thessaloniki we continued to the next lake. A large natural lake that reminded me of my previous fishing in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Huge fields of reeds lined the shore and gave me the impression that I would find more fish there. After a week of “Blank”, I had to revise my first impression of this lake too. Apart from a perch there was nothing going on at this lake either. The fishing conditions were great and ranged from initial sunshine to strong winds and continuous rain. The latter was also the reason for our departure. The entire place was under water and the power in the van became scarce, meaning that Alice could no longer work.

Wellness by the hot stream

From this point we decided to continue our journey further south - roughly heading towards Athens. Along our route, Alice found a place at the foot of a mountain where there was a hot spring. The water was channeled over a small stream for several kilometers. In a spacious area, along the stream, we spent four days - together with other campers - with regular jumps into the 39 degree warm water - simply wonderful.

After four days, the hot baths were no longer as special as they had been at the beginning (at least for me), so we continued our journey.
Above Athens I picked a lake on Maps where we wanted to stop. After initially being hesitant to unpack the rods, I prepared my carp rods shortly after we arrived. With much smaller hook baits and finer bait, this time I wanted to try to catch a small carp or even a white fish. I couldn't really assess the fish populations of the Greek lakes yet and so I hoped to be able to get a better picture...

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