Vantastic Lukas: Summer fishing

Vantastic Lukas: Sommerangeln | Hammer Tackle

What am I doing?

After I had caught a lot of half-strong wild scaly carp in three nights on a natural lake that was several hundred hectares in size, but my motivation was gradually running out of steam, I packed my tackle into the van somewhat haphazardly...

“First jump into the sea and mingle with the people,” I said to myself, so I drove to the beach on the Atlantic coast, ten minutes away.

When I happened to meet some German surfers on the beach that day and the beach parking lot increasingly turned out to be a gathering point, I spent the evening in the parking lot with the other “vanlifers.”

While I absolutely enjoyed the evening, I didn't really like sleeping on an asphalt parking lot. Waking up in nature, where I don't see 100 people walking along the car to the beach, is more my thing. The next morning I felt a bit out of place at the (park) spot again and somehow I didn't have much of a say in the circle of surfers, as I was more of an exotic figure as an angler. So after a coffee I left and spent some time the hot summer day again looking for fishing options. As has often been the case recently, nothing met my expectations. I was completely without a plan and was annoyed with myself for my lack of a plan. In such situations there is only one thing that can help: get back in your mood with some exercise. With the help of an app, I looked for a “Freeletics spot” that was on the way, worked out a lot of energy and drove to a popular, free parking space in a pine forest right by the sea. There, along with many other “vanlifers,” I watched the sunset on this mild Saturday evening.

I noticed how I was increasingly looking for the contrast between absolute isolation and civilization. Depending on what I felt like, I intuitively decided where it would take me. My decision could change several times a day and in the end I didn't really know what exactly I wanted: fishing? Beach? My peace or rather contact?? I realized again and again that the perfect situation never exists because I always imagined it as an illusion in my head and in reality it always turned out differently. Maybe that's one of the effects you get as a solo traveler, as I've been able to share these experiences more often with other like-minded people.

Au revoir Atlantic

For the next day I planned a final location check on one of the large bodies of water in the 1000ha category near me so that I could then decide how to continue my tour. When, after a bike tour in my favorite area of ​​water, I soberingly discovered that the night fishing areas there are only open from February to the end of April, I quickly checked off the “large natural lake” project and cycled along the coast via Biarritz towards the Spanish border.

The extensive beaches with the large pine forests were increasingly replaced by the rocks and cliffs of the nearby Pyrenees. Due to the heavy tourist development, it became increasingly difficult to find a nice parking spot in nature near the sea.

Disappointed, I headed back into the mountainous inland. “That was probably it for my stay on the Atlantic.” As beautiful as it was there, but without any satisfactory options for fishing, I didn't feel like spending any more time there.

…For a short time I even thought about learning to surf in order to better adapt to the lifestyle of this region…
(Editor's note: this probably had less to do with the lifestyle than with the chicks -> young gun)

Hot days

When I spent a restless night in a parking lot on the outskirts of a small town because French teenagers were rioting until late in the morning and had little regard for a German sleeping in the van, the next day I went on a water tour without any sleep. There were plenty of new reservoirs to discover at the foot of the Pyrenees, which seemed less fished to me.

On the third body of water I visited, everything was to my satisfaction and I was motivated enough to pump up my boat again, load it and look for a place on this deserted reservoir. As always, I took my time to see and fish close to fish. Due to the persistent heat of over 30 degrees over the last few days, the fish sought shade under the washed-out trees and bushes in the shallow water area. My depth sounder showed 25 degrees water temperature on the surface. Hardly any wind and no improvement in sight for the coming days. Not necessarily the best conditions to experience great moments. What the hell! I chose a spot where I could spot most of the fish and where there was plenty of shade due to its good location in the pine forest.

Summer, sun, playing fish

It didn't take long until a rod came along on the first evening, which I had basically put right in front of the fish in the shallow water. By the next day I already had 4 fish to my name. The warm temperatures seemed to bother the fish there less. The lake - like the last lake on the Atlantic that I fished - made a somewhat overcrowded impression on me, where it seemed difficult to catch a larger fish (if there were any there at all). Since I like to fish in waters about which I have little information, I again lacked insight into the fish population there. For me, it is all the more interesting to do some “pioneering work” on such waters and to personally get a rough overview of the conditions prevailing there. I also did that on this lake and I found myself fighting in the blazing heat several times throughout the day and was able to photograph one or two catches with a welcome cool down in the water. I spent the time in between in my hammock attached to the shade. My personal highlight of the day: “the one-eyed fully”. It could have been worse...

Just keep driving

On the second evening I was able to land one of the better fish on the lake, although it had gotten stuck in an obstacle after a short fight. Luckily, when I took the boat to the fish, it had already freed itself and I was able to net the fish relatively easily. The regular activities and the pleasantly shady place made me decide to stay another night. Even though the bites became fewer during the day, I was able to capture two more nice fish in the camera that night. Without knowing exactly where to go, I knew I just wanted to keep driving. While the tackle was being loaded, a nice Frenchman I met at the slip gave me some city tips that were on my roughly planned route towards the Mediterranean. I gratefully accepted this information and in return offered jump-start help for his car, which no longer started.

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Best regards,
Daniel & Alex

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