20th November 2020

Sam Verstreken gets off to a great start on a new venue, with a trio of carp topped by a brace of lovely mirrors!

Catching on your first session to a new venue can be the fire needed to ignite a campaign. Sam Verstreken was lucky to experience just that on a recent visit to a public venue in Belgium. Having been reluctant to fish the lake in question during the busy summer months, he bided his time and decided to give it a go as the weather cooled and angling pressure was reduced. It turned out he couldn’t have timed his trip any better!

The Manilla is the ultimate in year-round boilie; using not only nuts but refined milk proteins and birdfoods.

Sam revealed:

“Upon arrival for my first session, I chose to fish a spot that had a good reputation for autumn, which also had some nice deep areas between the weed beds. Another big advantage was the fact that there weren’t any other anglers on that part of the lake.

“The weather forecast looked really good and with a full moon that weekend it seemed the conditions were spot on. I decided to bait up super tight with a mix of whole and crushed Krill Active and Manilla boilies. Over the top I used a simple Spinner rig, baited with a Peach & Pepper pop-up.

“The first night was quiet, it also didn’t help that a bream managed to hook himself and laid still in the weed bed for probably most of the night without me receiving a single beep! During the afternoon the day after, the weather really started to turn, a strong and mild south westerly was blowing over the water along with a big drop in air pressure. With the rods spot on for the second night I was quite confident of a bite.

“At around 3am, I had my first take and immediately it got stuck in a weed bed, luckily I was able to get it out and a slow but strong battle followed. Once in was in the net, it rapidly became clear that it had to be one of the good ones! This feeling was correct; it turned out to be a fish named the Leather Mirror at a nice weight of 43lb 10oz.

“As I finished dealing with that fish, my remaining rod burst into life, which resulted in a 24lb 2oz common. After putting my rods back on the spots, I went to bed a happy man, but the action was not over.

“Just before first light I had another take and after a short fight I was able to net another character from the water, known as Heinz at 36lb 2oz. Unfortunately, after that fish, it all turned quiet again but for me the session was already made. What a lovely way to start on a new venue!”