No. 1 Expert in Carp Fishing Holidays

Vismaten.nl at Windmill Lake April 28th until May 5th

During our altogether session at Etang de Mont in October 2011 my buddy and I were invited by Anton and Diaan, owners of Windmill Lake, for dinner and a visit at their French domain. After a pleasant afternoon and evening, nice dinner, a walk over the property and the essential pictures of their stock, we drank to the cooperation. Hans was immediately inspired, and he decided that evening to book the water for a week in spring 2012, and this week the time has come, he has traveled to Windmill Lake. With the company of his friends Hans van der Veen and Martin de Zwart they arrived last Saturday morning at the lake. Through Facebook we keep in touch... Below the report on the first days:
Finally, the time has come... actually I wanted to leave on Saturday, but Diaan mentioned the fact that it is vacation time in France as well... So I decided to leave Friday night. Around half an hour past midnight Martin and double Hans are on their way... it is a long drive but 'happily' as always we arrive at our destination. It is a good see-again... Diaan and Toon give us a very friendly welcome and together with last weeks guys we drink a cup of coffee.. They had caught 14 fish with 3 anglers. They had cold nights, but thanks to the mobile home Toon ownes, they had comfortable nights. After the coffee the guys left and Toon gives us a tour, after that we bring our stuff to the swim. Toon tells us that there is a speed limit on the property: 80km/h... I can easily go that fast with this car … only those curves in the roads.. ;)
Hans decides to rent a mobile home and we start off fishing, watching, depth marking, baiting up... once we have done that it is already dinnertime. As independent as we are, we leave the coocking to Diaan.... The result: a lovely chicken döner, which we really enjoy. We stick around for a chat and a drink and then return to the swim... we set the traps... once everything is in place the wind starts to blow very hard. This is a true party with 4 Delkim indicators and Martin catches his first fish, 14kg...
After another hour enjoying the wind and the Delkim concert, I fall asleep. At a quarter past 2 in the night a screaming Delkim... It's really raining cats and dogs but I have to get out... with a little less fun I can land a small 8,4kg mirror.. I am soaked. 2 hours later another bite, with the same fun I catch another 9,6kg mirror and again I am soaked.... I am very happy with the mobile home with heater. I sleep well until 9.05h when the third strike is a fact. Now I do enjoy this 8,2kg common... the wind is gone and it is sunny... life's good!
I spend the day with Toon, soccer Ajax-Twente, a bit of work and a Facebook update. Around 4 o'clock everything is set for the evening, and this time again we appeal to Diaan Ramsey, who prepares a lovely Dutch dish. Row out the lines and bungle at the banks... This time Hans catches a 10kg fish while he is putting his lines out. Slowly it is getting dark and I walk back to my mobile home. I have just took off my coat when I get a bite, I reach the rods very fast and I strike. I hardly feel any resistance and within a minute I see a grass carp in front of me, at the landing the trouble starts. After some struggling I manage to take some pictures and soon I put him back in the water. That's it, we have 7 fish and now I am going to take a nice nap...
Until 03.20h I am screwed and a 10,6kg mirror has been landed... I don't take any pictures and cast out single hookbait: back to bed. Around 8 o'clock I wake up due to the call of nature, I have to empty my blatter... I am thinking, but there is the answer... Delkim! A moment later I land my first tench. Now I have 2 rods on the bank, I decide to put them out. By the moment I have them both back in position the first one results in a bite already, a cracking 3tc rod and a tapping clutch are the answer... the fish slowly moves my way.
Cautious I play and direct the fish towards my position, by the bursts of the fish I can feel I am dealing with a big fish... after the first surfacecontact you know it. But the fish surprises me when he ends up between my other rods... there is only one place you don't want a fish to end up... An oldfashioned prayer from The Hague follows :( the fish shows 19kg on the scale minus the weighsling, that's 17,6kg what is left... This one claims a photo and video session. Fortunately I have everything good to go after 15 minutes of picking the lines, I will move all my stuff. After a walk around the lake I decide to row 2 lines out, and just when Hans arrives for a cup of coffee, I get a bite at red... my second tench... now I will prepare everything again for the evening!
Our 3star-restaurant offers spareribs, we enjoy the stories and the food and my thoughts wonder off to the water and her uncaught forties... the Mondaynight appears to be a quiet night, around 4 at night I catch 1 11,4kg mirror.. it was very chilly, I ran out of gas so the heater was off, once I got back in the mobile home I needed some time to warm up again. At 8,30 in the morning I get a false bite. In the morning I decide to take the floaterrod and catch 4 small koi for a change....tonight will be a new chance, but first we will eat lasagna in our favorite restaurant. It needs to be said that the food is really superb, everything is fresh every day, the lasagna is freshly-baked. We exchange some music and lifestories, soccer, politics, philosophy, economics... where would be those big fish?
Wednesday; the promise of the next round isn't awarded, just like the sunny day with matching grade 9,..... 1 comfort; the meteorologist can't help it, it is cold and grey outside. The only thing smelling like fish I get to look at is a small tuna salad made by Diaan that makes up... exept the puller around 11 o'clock... that is pretty shitty. It can get even worse... just drinking a beer at the neighbour... I hear one beep, I arrive back at my swim, rod gone... I do not want to think about that with my set-up.... I decide to tease some kois in the little pond and I manage to catch 4 more... time to get my line out!
Rescue 911 (Toon with a boat and a rake) is enabled to find Hans his rod, he manages to get it. Everybody is relieved and happy. Martin and I walk to Toon's stock pond to see if we see some fish . It is a triangle-shaped water about 2,5 acres with a lot of lilies. They say this used to be Russian ground and after a coup by General Toon, the left a secret weapon behind called 'De Koersk'. At the first inspection of the margin we see a big wave made by a fish who wants to get away. I see different sizes of koi and I feel my heartbeat increase....
A little later Toon stops by and tells us about this water, without our only philosopher who is recovering his rod, we philosophise about what you could do with such a water. Bas has enough examples in his 'The Carp Specialist' package on how to exploit such 3 acre water. Toon tells us that he nets the water at the end of the season and he puts all the nice fish in the lake... the only thing is, he has no clue what swims in this pond, but he has got a couple of pictures of De Koersk, swimming with his upstanding dorsal fin in the surface eating some floating catfood. I offer to give it a try, but Toon doesn't seem to like that, it is like a gift which he is curious about, but he doesn't want to open it. Lucky me today his curiosity wins and by high exception he allows me to go float fishing for a couple of hours... I walk along with Toon to get his sons fishing car, I walk along my mobile home and gather the needed stuff and I walk to the stock pond. I prepare my rod, first I want to try it at the surface. Spreading out some dog biscuits, put my hookbait in between and wait. A couple of minutes later it is very busy at the surface, a lot of small fish is enjoying the biscuits... suddenly a big whirl out of nothing. I drop on my knees and try to something of the fish. At that time I see a 10kg+ koi in the margin... he remains in front of me, hanging under a twig. His head goes down, I see his lips and gills moving.... hmmm. Surface fishing was never my favorite. My friend Henny Janssen is very good at it, but unfortunately he isn't in our company. I keep trying but I get some kind of a déja-vu. In a local park I could throw kilo's of biscuits on the water, and the fish would take everything without that one most important biscuit... the same story here.
When I see a couple of minutes later the koi feeding again I put a float on my line, throw a couple of hands of food at the spot where I saw the koi return a couple of times... floater with a maggotclip and some maggots... and wait. A couple of minutes later the brightcolored team is back, I bend a little more to make sure they don't see me... I can see the big one enjoy the group when my float disappears... it is a small ghostkoi, I guess about 1-1,5kg. After release I see all the fish is gone. Again some food in the water, add my float and wait... a couple of minutes... same ritual, and another small koi is caught... I decide to get my camera, because these fish are really beautiful. When I return in about 5 minutes the fish including the big one are back. Throw some food in, add my float.... the koi's don't move and hang in the water.. BANG!! a giant wave and my float take off like a mad one. I strike... the 12' 2tc Strategy, the Fox Stratos and I have to work very hard. The rod bends heavily and cracks, I have to change the clutch 3 times, but the fish continues to the lilies. The next correction of the clutch is served with a little prayer... F*CK, what a power!
I can see the first lilyleaves, but the fish changed its direction towards open water. When the fish returns to the lilyfield I close the clutch once more, the rod is heavily curved till the handle, fortunate I have chosen the thick barbless Gardner hook so I don't have to worrie. Slowly it loses his power. Eventually I can direct a nice good size mirror towards my net. When I have the fish in my net I perform a little dance.
Without the weighsling the fish was 17,5kg, Toon arrives to make some pictures, then I say goodbye to this beautiful creature... a last stroke of the fin, a last whirl, a shadow: Ciao Bella! When I am landed 10 minutes later, not only Toon is disappeared, also the fish is gone... I try it for a couple of minutes, but I feel that I do not want to exceed this success. I return to the lake and prepare everything for the night... But first have a good dinner. Diaans cokkery brings us fries with chicken and salad and I need my fingers ;). Hans and Martin stay to watch soccer and enjoy the fact that Ajax is champion, this is a big grief for true Feyenoord supporter Toon, and I... I look over the water. There is some more to see on the water, several beeps on the Delkim confirm it. I stay awake until 11 o'clock to grab an early take, but unfortunately, nothing happens.. after eleven, it will be 2-3 at night before a bite will happen and after that at 9 am I experienced. I wake up around 8 o'clock and I take a look outside.... it is foggy. I get up and make some coffee and get dressed, quickly I bait up a little and I hope Toon allows me to do another floatersession because at the lake nothing happens anymore.
The score is Martin 5 fish: 2x 15+; 15,5 and 18,5kg/ Hans 2 fish with 12kg maximum and me (not including the koi): 8 fish with twice 17,5kg!
This time the forecast was right, 8/10 for a sunny day... it will be a 9/10 with a 20kg+ fish... Together with Martin we are floatfishing at the stock pond, but now it is different than yesterday, every now and then we see some movement on the surface, I throw a hand of bait in the water and put my floater next to it, and after about 10 minutes the floater lays down and then disappears, fish on.. after a less spectacular fisht, I can land a small common of about 1 kilo. I constantly change my way of fishing, first float fishing, then surface fishing.. and Martin tries his best at the other side, but we can't catch The Koersk... around half past 4 the sky is getting dark and it looks like it is going to rain very hard, it is time to pack our stuff and leave... we return to base camp and Toon disappears into the kitchen to prepare "The Windmill Special" for tonight.
On the menu..."The Windmill Special" duck chest made by Toon, completed with a couple of lovely wines from Hans... Dinner was really delicious and a lot of stories about the hotel, Toon's mother is on a visit and she can tell a lot too... The water is calling and at a quarter past 8 I say goodbye to these lovely people... Luckily I don't need a ship's passport, because the baitboat isn't really navigating in a straight line this evening.
It is about 3 o'clock when I get a bite, after a short run I can grab the rod, it is a clear night and an allmost full-moon.. while I enjoy the sounds of the night I guide the fish to my net, and a couple of minutes later I can write down a 12,2kg mirror... picture... nehh only when they are really special at this size.
It isn't really cold, so I decide to put the rods back in place. After some clumsiness in the dark the new boilie is on the hair and I can put out everything... This time the boat navigates in a straight line, everything is back in place and I return to my bed, I can't catch any sleep though... half past 5 at my watch... gone... Once again the nice sound of the Delkim wakes me up... 06:00h, I have an headache and after a short run the same ritual but now it is getting light... The fish takes line, I lower the rod and win some line but during the third time a puller... S*** with a capital S. Nothing is as frustrating as in the morning watching at the whirl of a carp who got away... And again, I need a couple of minutes to realize what just happened... I have to make a choise: floatfishing at the stock pond, or put all my rods back in place. Because I had a terrible night, I choose the last option, in combination with my bed... 10 minutes later I am back in my bed.
A quarter to 10 I wake up and make me some coffee and I start writing today's report, when my Delkim starts screaming again... Close the clutch and strike... I keep the line tight to prevent losing the fish, slowly the fish takes line... this might be a bigger fish, the game of giving and taking takes about 10 minutes and the fish doesn't give up at all... when she passes I can see her back and at first sight this doesn't seem to be a really big fish, I can see how big she really is when she enters my net. When you can't succeed in lifting the fish from the water with only one hand it is getting exciting... The Fox Digital Scale shows 22,2kg at the display, without the weighsling this will be 21kg... With the sun, this is 9/10.
I was lost,
and I am still lost
but...
I feel so much better now.... ;)
Unfortunately I loose at a quarter to 12 another fish.. well. The score after six rounds is: Martin 5 fish with 2x 15kg+; 15,5kg and 18,5kg / Hans 2 fish with max. 12kg and I (everything <2kg not included) 10 with 2x 17,5kg and 1x 20,7KG
Actually I want to do a lot of things, but I am running out of time... I have to pack already and prepare for the journey back home tomorrow. I decide to leave 2 rods out for the night, I prepare the sets and put away the rest. I walk with Toon to the stock pon and we throw some bread in, the fish totally ignores this... We put away our stuff. It is really warm and at about 3 o'clock the first thunder... Thunderstorm, and not even half an hour later it starts to rain, I walk to the beginning of the lake to return some lend stuff and to take a shower, after all it is allmost time for dinner. On today's menu: chicken saté with noodles, but at the last minute we open up the well earned bottle of Champagne. During the delicious dinner we talk about anything and I can recommend 1 thing to the new anglers at Windmill Lake... If you don't want to be faced with the fanatism of General Toon, DON'T mention the words soccer, Feyenoord, dish washer... or a combination of those... So don't say anything like:"I know why Feyenoord didn't had the chance to play soccer this year... That is probably because they have no dish washer at the stadium" ;) It is half past 9 now and dry, I am curious if the night will bring us some fish...

Saturday May 5th

Unfortunately 1 false bite and our philosopher had a puler, well you can only philosophise about that, but I am familiair with those periods too. After packing our stuff in the morning and eating our last sandwich and drinking our last cup of coffee, we will face the 780km long ride home.
And we had to say goodbye to 2 new friends and their lovely domain... Windmill Lake and the fish who live there, I was able to see a couple of them these days. With a lot of respect I released them back in their habitat after we had caught them, and the slowly started to move again, the last shadow, the last swipe of the tail... Sometimes we sat at the bench or on our knees at the platform and we enjoyed the water and the moment. To know that we stopped for a moment... to meet and to share. Windmill has passed, and now a valuable moment in my memories, a short interlude, which was really worth it... My idea to end the season just the way I started it, and to be united, with the domain and its lovely residents.
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