Mat's Latest European Adventure
Avid Carp’s Mat Woods has just returned from a trip to the German countryside where he spent his time fishing with Bjorn Brandt in a very special network of lakes.
The lakes he visited are nestled in what is referred to as The Forgotten Germany, out in the sticks where there are more animals than there are carp anglers!
Despite lots of rotten luck, Mat slipped the net under three gorgeous characters. Small fish for this lake, but incredible nonetheless.
The biggest was a fish known to Bjorn as 'The Early Grey'. Mat was only its second ever captor, making the result all the more special.
“I was pestered by tench for most of the trip and had to change my approach to get amongst the carp,” recalls Mat. “Unfortunately I lost what would’ve been the biggest fish of the trip, a carp that could well have been over the 20kg mark.
"The Early Grey fish has been caught by Bjorn three times in 10 years, and in that time the next bite has always been from a big brown fish that looks so much like the Colnemere Black Mirror its stupid. To have been cut off on such heavy braid on such a powerful fish was devestating.
“The carp here don’t get caught from one year to the next, sometimes, so they fight like no carp I’ve ever confronted in the UK. Fishing locked up with heavy braid made every battle a hairy one, but seeing those German fish in the net is a real buzz, and worth every missed breath and heart beat.
"You pick up the rod and try to walk backwards and it just gets ripped out of your hands and they literally drag you down the bank. It's ridiculous! The only time I've ever felt that irresistible power before was in Germany, when I landed a 22kg (48lb 5oz) fish last spring.
“I’ll be back soon to hopefully set the record straight, and get amongst the larger residents in the lake. Bjorn was a gentleman and a great host, so I can’t wait to go back if only for the ColaBeer and German BBQ.
"As always, the people in Germany treated me like a King. I cannot wait to get back out there."
All of Mat’s fish were landed on stiff rigs tied from a prototype fluorocarbon with a braided hair, connected to a size 6 LSK hook. Code Red hook baits were tipped with homemade 10mm fluoro pop-ups and fished over small beds of bag mix, hemp and crushed tigers.
At the lead end, Mat used a 6.5oz Flat Swivel lead on a Zig Clip, using a 45lb Pindown Leader and 1oz backleads to pin the line out of sight. In such clear water, it was essential to hide everything from view.
"These carp knew we were there, the whole time. We barely saw a fish show, let alone swimming around, so it was like living on tenterhooks the whole time. It was a shame to have lost a unit this time, but I'll be back. As a good friend of mine used to say, 'Don't get mad, get even!"