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In the shadow of Pyrenees
from Zsolt Bundik

I have written in the past in many articles, that the Hungarian waters are not a big challenge, not big enough, with a high stock of carp. This is the reason why I often travel abroad, where the lakes are huge, with a smaller population of wild carp. This is why I found myself on a 700 hectares lake in France at the Pyrenees over 600 meters up from the sea-level. I had known the lake for 3 years, but it was just now that I was getting to fish the water. One thing that you should know about this lake is that carp have never been stocked in the water by anyone, only predators have been frequently stocked by the state. The carp came throught open water ways into the crystal clear water, where the conditions were ideal for them. In this environment and thanks for the catch & release principle they have been swimming in the water since the beginning. There are some islands in the lake and depending on the water-level, they are sometimes visable.

The Pyrenees
1 A pireneusok

We departed from Hungary on the 20th of May, the 1900 km trip was exhausting. We had a lot of heavy rain from the Italian boarder to the sea, with many traffic slowing stops. Once we had to stop under a bridge, because of the pea sized hail, it was not safe for the car windscreen. The next unexpected adventure happened 500 km far from the goal. One lane on the highway was closed and I wanted to overtake a truck with a long trailer. The truck driver did not leave me enough room to finish the pass. I tried to avoid the crash, so I passed some road marker barrels which almost caused mass casualty. Fortunately nobody was hurt, when I parked I saw that the car was only dented. I prayed to arrive at the lake as soon as possible. After 20 hours driving we reached the town 14 km from to the lake, where we bought the licenses so that we could then get on the water. Our plan was to sleep next to the car, and the next day start the move onto one of the islands. I do not have to mention, that I was so tired after the long road trip, that the only thing I really needed was rest, but when I saw the lake my blood started to boil and I had an adrenalin shock, so I had to move! I did not care about how tired my body felt, we packed all the staff into the boats and we were at the target peg at 1900.

Nice backdrop of the snowed mountains
2

A small part of the huge water
3 A ha

Unbelievable view
4 a

The Paradise for me
5 ne

Packing the boat, no matter how tired…
6

I was weary as I built up the bivvy. I had my dinner, and then I slept, getting rest after the long travel in order to be able to start fishing at beginning of the next day. I woke up at 11 AM. The wind was strong, the weather was cloudy and cold. I was not too happy for that, but I started to prepare the rods, than to prepare the baits, particals and the pellets. At this time I had brought the time tested and proven Imperial Baits Monster-Liver and Elite at 22 and 28 mm size. When I finished all the work, I discussed with Andrew who will be fishing where. Both sides of the peg had bushes in the water and we had a huge surface of open water. We both wanted to fish close to the bushes, but I conceded to Andrew and I took the open water. When you have a partner with you on a tour, you have to compromise.

The adventure begin…
7 indulh

Small way out to the open water
8 egy kis nyilad

I was extremely tired, but also the happiest…
9 irtó

Arrival to the right place
10 me

I wanted to move to another location, but I won’t leave Andrew alone for 9 days. I was a bit angry when I started to search out the water front of us. It was 20-30 hectares of the bay. It was surprising that only 2 anglers were on the lake for carp fishing on the 700 hectares lake. This also reflects the difficulty level, sometimes people are waiting 2-3 weeks for only one carp bite and than it is not sure that they can even land him because of the obstacles under the water. For this reason only the dedicated, fanatic carpers are coming here. I find only an old creek in front of me in the open water, about 190 meters away, nothing else in the lakebed. The depth was 7,70 to 11,40 meters. I decided to put two rigs on the runnel sides, the other two I placed into the bushes, which were really too close to our bank. I was pessimistic about the short distance, because the noises of the boats are not the best in an abandoned natural lake! For the first time I fed a bigger amount (for me it means 3 kilograms) boilies of both flavours, with pellets and particals. Around the bushes just a couple of boilies.

The camp was in a small clear field in the forest
11 A

Camp overview
12l

I left the bushes to Andrew
13 a bo

I had the open water
14 Neke

I had brought with me for this adventure 10 kilos of Monster-Liver and Elite boilies, 10 kg IB Amino Pellets and 20 kilos tiger nuts. Seeing as how the lake is high above the sea level and the water will be cold, more would be sensless. It was getting dark when I finished with everything, I smoked a cigar after the dinner and I went to sleep. Nothing happened during the night and the weather did not change for the next day, so I stayed in the bivvy. When I decided to refresh the baits, it was late afternoon. After lunch I pulled in all the rods. There was no baits on 3 from the 4 rigs. I did not understand it, I had not gotten any bleep. I suspected crabs, but Andrew had caught some breams, so I think the breams had also visited me. I could not do anything to avoid the attack, I did not used dips and paste, only the naked baits. We spent the 3rd day on the lake and when the wind calmed down I went to search the water with the echo sounder, maybe I find something I have not seen previously. After this I could refresh the baits. Searching, I found a bush on a 50 cm hump 15 meters far from the ditch. After a couple minutes of examination, I put one of the closer rods there.

I suspected a fish from here!
The other rods were refreshed with boilies. It was getting dark when I returned and had finished. I drank a wine, and the weather was comfortable so I just listened, maybe I could hear a carp. A careful bite alerted me from the movement on the rod which was placed near the bush. I could not belive of my ears after 3 days of silence. I quickly jumped into my waders, than I ran to the rod. I did not strike, because of the slack line, and I approached with the boat keeping the line slack. The line was stuck at halfway, but when I was over it, the line escaped and I continued towards the direction of the fish. When I was close to the bush the fish changed his direction towards the brook. The depth was 11 meters. The fish went deeper, and swam towards to open water. I did not know how long the fight was, but the fish kept the depth despite all of my attempts to pump it higher. I was worried that sooner or later the fish would find a snag because the creekside was full of trees and bushes. To avoid that I tried to pump as hard as the line strength would allow and some minutes I saw bubbles were coming from the depth, the unknown opponent getting tired. The fight had lasted a long time, when I saw the coveted carp… that is to say catfish under that headlight. I was disappointed a bit, but really I was happy about the action. The first attempt was a success with the landing net, and the double Monster-Liver was still on the hair in the catfish’s mouth. Andrew was waiting on the land waiting to see the result, and he was surprised also when he saw the cat.We weighted the fish, it was 21 kilos, and I was proud to have caught it from such a difficult water.

One side of the old creek
15 a

And the other side
16 és a másik

Underwater bushes
17

I searched the lakebed, nothing was interesting, except the creek
18 az el

Unfortunately the bushes at right side were too close to catch any carp.
19 sajno

After the action we talked a bit and we went to sleep. The weather turned again windy and cloudy, so the fish were not so active. There were a lot of spin fishermen who were boating over our lines on the holiday which further reduced our chances. Over the next few days nothing happened, just the one fish and the police controlled us. On the 8th day Andrew could catch a carp with 18,6 kilos and a catfish from the bushes with 26,6 kilos. I was so happy to see a carp from this water. That is why I always highlight, that the value of the carp captured depends on the difficulty of the water! We had no more action until the end of the tour, the weather was cloudy, windy and cold except one and a half days.

I was not waiting for him.
20 ugy

But I was happy
21 de örültem neki

It was a hard fight at night22 j

The heaviest rain was falling as we packed, so all our stuff was wet for the long trip back. After the 20 hour drive all our gear was musty. But we had a new experience, and I was especially happy that both of us could catch fish on the huge and beautiful lake in the mountains.

The weather was mainly like this
23 legtö

The wind was rarely quiet24 t

Sometimes the sun was visible
25 néha ki sütött a nap

Than the wind died down
26 ma

Had to explore the islands quickly
27 ez

Most of the lake was natural beauty28

I saw the port from the island
29
Zsolt Bundik
Imperial Baits Team Hungary

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Hier klicken zum Bildvergrößern
underwater scene

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