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Vantastic Lukas: Red Land

Vantastic Lukas: Rotes Land | Hammer Tackle

Meeting point Red Land

On a Thursday evening two weeks ago, after four days without fishing, I had had enough of the beach and tourists who were slowly gathering in the beautifully situated places in the south of France, directly on the Mediterranean, due to the beginning of the holiday season. The goal for the coming period was clear. So I headed towards Devil's Lake - one of the most famous lakes in southern France, which I visited three times during my tour last year.

On the way there I stopped at a small river in the evening to spend the night fishing from the car. I already knew this easily accessible spot from spring when I was exploring new waters in this region. Unfortunately, this time, unlike in spring, nothing worked at all, so after one night I decided to drive straight on to my actual destination. In the evening I arrived in the “Red Land” and joined some of the campers who are often present at the lake in large numbers. I didn't want to go fishing that night because I wanted to check the situation on the lake the next day.

The next morning I took my folding bike along the partly rocky hiking trail, which was only suitable for mountain bikers. I ended up cursing my idea of ​​taking the bike for the location loop because I had to carry it up the bluff to the paved path. As a sporty person, it was almost 40 degrees and I got a good gasp. At least I was certain about the current situation at the lake and was surprised at how little crowd there was at the moment. After I had acclimatized again, I drove to a slip point from which I could quickly reach the part of the lake that I had previously looked at with full physical effort. While translating, I decided instinctively which place I wanted to sit first. The choice fell on an area on the steep bank that I was unfamiliar with. Not necessarily the most comfortable place. Since my friend Michael wasn't due to come until the next evening, I wanted to try it there alone.

A typical sea-like Schuppi was my alarm clock on the first morning. Shortly before Michael reached the spot late in the evening, I was able to land another powerful shot. Despite the fact that the weather hasn't seemed particularly conducive to fishing lately, things weren't going so badly straight away. Due to the limited options at my location, we decided to change locations on the second night without further action.

Herb chaos

We stayed in the same area of ​​water, but our new spot was much more comfortable. The trees provided pleasant shade and the spots offered enough space to spread out 8 rods. That's exactly how we imagined this session: great weather, swimming in beautiful water with a beautiful backdrop and playing a fish every now and then - just enjoying the southern French summer. Almost perfect - until we had serious problems with our rods due to the wind: large fields of weeds were pushed into our lines by the waves, which inevitably caused even our heavy stone rigs to go crazy.

Due to the utopian high water temperature of 29 degrees, the weed had increased significantly on the lake this year and made fishing considerably more difficult in many places. Despite the weed problems, we were able to catch three carp at this spot.

Borderline move

After the second night, however, we changed locations again because fishing was hardly possible due to the increasing wind. Unfortunately, the wind also made translating extremely difficult. At first I was still in good spirits, after all, 30km/h wind speeds are still easily manageable – I thought. After just a short trip I noticed that this wasn't the case and my abused 44lbs electric motor only moved the loaded boat in slow motion against the half meter high waves.

Even at “lower” wind speeds, considerable waves can form on a large lake body and should not be taken lightly. During this more than 3 km long transfer operation, which lasted several hours with a short stopover, I was anything but comfortable at times and felt as if I was sitting in a small nut shell that was completely at the mercy of the weather conditions. If the water temperatures hadn't been so pleasantly warm, I would probably have stopped the action.

But no catfish

Thank God our batteries lasted to the new place, where we treated ourselves to a proper meal first. In the darkness, with the wind decreasing, we laid out the last rods and said goodbye confidently to our loungers around 2 a.m. Not even 20 minutes later I was woken from my doze by a continuous sound. The fish had a lot of power and I immediately thought of a catfish that was swimming in the depths - after all, I had already caught three of this type in the last few days. When I saw the side of a mirror glowing in the light of the headlamp, I reduced the pressure on the rod. I scooped up the massive fish after a good fight. Michael, who was already waiting for me on the bank, was just as happy about the first mirror of the session as I was and we immediately started a series of photos in order to then get a “cap” of sleep.

The wind picked up again on the following days and we were surprised the fish action didn't do the same. Apart from a few more catfish and a tench, we were unable to catch any carp during the three nights that we were inevitably tied to the site by the wind.

After 9 days at the lake, which we spent in three different places, it was time for us to leave. Michael's three-month tour of France was coming to an end and he had to head home. Personally, I recently noticed how the required breaks between fishing trips were becoming more and more frequent and I also decided to continue traveling. In any case, I was planning to take a break from my trip abroad at the end of July because there were some celebratory events coming up back home.

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