Einfachstippen.com

 Lage Vaart, Almere 

 25 & 26.06.2016 

This weekend I'm going up to fish the Lage Vaart with Roger and Bruno. Günther Horler will also be joining us in his preparation for the 2016 European Champs, to be held here on 23 and 24 July. Collja and Eike Wöstmann are joining us as well, so hopefully we will have a chance to try a few different things.

Günther is a great angler, with lots of international experience, so I'm hoping to pick up a few extra tips from him regarding the Bloodworm fishing. 

I have already gleaned some fantastic tips from him during the Einfachstippen Masterclass 1 and Masterclass 2 last October. 

The sections on the Lage Vaart. Access by car is limited when pleasure fishing / practicing.

I've never fished the Lage Vaart before, so I'm looking forward to the experience. Parking is a little difficult, but I'm hoping we can fish in A or B sector and find a parking spot on Pythonstraat.

In the European Championships, Bloodworm & Joker are the main baits used, although worms and casters always play a part. There is a 2 1/2 litre bait limit, and a limit of 20 litres of mixed groundbait. 

The little red men - and the big red men. Thousands of litres will be thrown into the Lage Vaart over the next month!

For the fishing each day, I will be using just 1/2 litre Joker, 1/2 litre worms, 1/2 litre caster and 1/2 litre pinkies / maggots. I also have some hemp for loose feeding with the casters.

 Groundbait 

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to groundbait, and I'm no different. I like to keep it simple, so I don't over-complicate my groundbait mixes.

I take 2 kg of VDE Black Earth, run it through the riddle (there are never any large particles in it) and add 1 kg of Zammataro Kanal (or Brassen when Bream are more likely) and 1 kg of Zammataro Roach & Skimmers Natur. 

For most groundbaits the ratio of 1/2 litre of water to 1 kg of groundbait is usually about right.

You need a strong drill for this - I use a 20 volt Worx WX175 brushless motor drill - a bargain I picked up at OBI for €160 - with two 2 AH batteries and a whopping 60 Nm torque. (The 2 AH battery lasted for 2 days)

Power, power, power! You'll need one of these when mixing up heavy groundbaits containing earth!

The Black Earth has no food content, so when used neat to carry bait to the bottom, the fish just eat the bait. If the venue is really hard, and it is difficult to get bites, then using neat earth is a good option. 

My groundbait on Saturday - VDE Black Earth, Zammataro Kanal & Zammataro Roach & Skimmers Natur

Mixing earth with groundbait means the food content is increased, but other properties can be introduced to the mix - like aromas, active particles, etc. On this canal there are lots of fish, so I don't need an earth only mix.

 Rigs 

I'll have 4 pole rigs set up on my power top 4s which are 4 metres long. I hope we don't have a problem with setting up so many rigs - a maximum of 2 is normally the most you can have if you don't have a concession.

Two tops have No. 6 Preston Slip elastic and 2 tops have Preston No. 8 Slip elastic. Having the elastic through two sections provides for a soft elastic for the smaller fish, but powers up quickly for the bigger fish.

My top 2 is 2.38 metres, long, so there's about 2.2 metres of elastic through the sections.

Octbox Roost Kit with my top kits.

I don't want it to take forever to get a Bream out, so I'm using the heaviest elastics I can get away with without bumping-off the smaller fish. If I get a lot of Bream I'll go up to a No. 10 Preston Slip elastic to get them out quicker.

I have also set up a short top 4 (3.42 metres long) with No. 5 Preston Slip elastic for a 1 g Carbo rig that I will fish to hand close in.

Preston Slip Elastic in the power tops - fitted with an orange 1.8 mm internal bush

For me, the depth and flow are the most important factors when considering which size of float to use. 

I use heavier rigs for the Bream to hold the bait really still on the bottom. These rigs are either Drennan G-Tip 2's or the new Drennan AS6's. 

For the Bloodworm rigs I use the more sensitive (also carbon-stemmed) Drennan Carbo floats.

The AS 6 floats are excellent - and not just for Carp! Very strong and you can see the tips very well.

I just don't like wired-stemmed floats below 2 grams, as I find they bounce around too much. I've never had a problem with carbon stems, so I stick with them. 

 Saturday 

We managed to get some pegs in A section to the left of the Dutch team who were already there when we arrived. 

Bruno and Roger to my right and the Dutch Team in the background.

You can drive along the cycle path to your peg, unload the car, and then park your car in a parking slot on one of the side roads.

The Lage Vaart - I wouldn't mind fishing here again.

The Lage Vaart is a nice looking canal - reed fringed, and quite picturesque. We were all six in a row, with Günther on 3 and me on 4 in the middle. 

Roger making up his initial feed bombardment!

When I plumbed up, I found a fairly flat bottom out to 11.5 meters then a drop off to a very uneven bottom with lots of sludgy areas. As you went from left to right the bottom undulated  - it was like the bucket on a dredger had gouged out chunks from the bottom.

Günther preparing some chopped worm.

From about 3 metres out to 11 metres there was a more-or-less constant depth. 

I decided to fish a short pole to hand, a line at 10.5 metres and at the bottom of the shelf at the maximum allowed 13 metres. 

Rogers groundbait choices - the lower one was too light in colour for me.

I fed 10 balls full of Joker, caster and chopped worm on the 13 metre line, and 6 balls of the same on the 10.5 metre line. 

I then started fishing the short pole feeding a small nugget of groundbait with joker ever minute. I started catching small Perch straight away and had 20 in the first hour.

Bruno setting up his kit on Saturday.

I then went out and tried the 13 metre line, but after 10 minutes, I hadn't had a bite. A switch to the 10.5 metre line brought a couple of small skimmers, but it was slow so I switched back to the inside line. 

I swapped lines regularly and managed to put together 37 small fish, but it wasn't easy. 

Not great, but these 37 fish were more than most had caught.

To the left on the end peg, a few bream and some big Perch and loads of small Perch were caught. Günther had some skimmers, but it general it didn't fish well. Let's hope it gets better tomorrow. 

I had a friendly chat with one of the Dutch anglers who came by for a visit while I was fishing. They have the six countries match next week so were practicing hard. I hope the venue fishes well for you all.

 Sunday 

Today, my peg was right at the end of Pythonstraat. 

After seeing so many Perch yesterday I changed my tactics to fish for them today. 

It is much shallower here - only 1.8 metres deep at 9 metres, so a change to just the power top 2 was required. It was 1.8 metres deep just 4 metres from the bank as well, so a short pole to hand was also set up.

I stayed away from the bottom of the shelf at 13 metres and just fed a line at 9 meters with 8 large balls groundbait with chopped worm (two large pole cups full), 1/4 litre casters and 1/4 litre joker.

VDE Black Earth - Normal and Heavy - straight onto my 'must have' list!

The groundbait was VDE Black Earth, Zammataro Bream and Zammataro Roach & Skimmers Natur. I really like the VDE Black Earth. 

Again, I started on the short pole with a 1 gram Drennan Carbo feeding a small ball of groundbait with joker every minute. I caught straight away and after an hour I had 30 fish in the net. 

After an hour, I had a look on the 9 metre line and caught small Perch straight away. After about 10 fish I went back on the inside - I continued to feed the inside while I was out on the 9 metre line. 

Roger's hemp- he uses turmeric to colour it. I didn't use much hemp this weekend - too busy with the Perch!

This time I had a few small Perch, then a larger Perch and then a 2 kilo Bream - result! The Bream do love the chopped worm. I fed another ball of chopped worm and went back on the inside.

Collja and Eike preparing for a good day. They had a few Bream on Saturday.

The fish were there, and I carried on catching. Small Perch on worm and small Roach on double Bloodworm. After 2 hours I'd had about 60 fish and went back out on the 9 metre line. 

The others came down one by one for a chat and they were all struggling. It seems I was the only one really catching. 

Posing with my fish. The others really struggled today - but we all left the Lage Vaart with a smile on our faces. I will definitely be here again.

At the end of four hours, after alternating between lines I had managed to get 94 fish for 5.020 kg. It was a good day for me with bites all the time.

There are a lot of Perch, and when you fish for them with the chopped worm, there's always the chance to snare a Bream!

Roger had 7 fish and Bruno about 10 and the others further to the left were not as lucky. It was not good fishing all the way along the canal. 

I had a good weekend, and a good laugh with the guys on Saturday night with a good meal and a few beers. I'm looking forward to the next trip.

If you have a match here soon - don't ignore the masses of Perch! 

Tight lines,
Steve