Lukas Krasa a Ed Skillz
The Earth is spinning at an incredible speed and our life is like just a quick visit to somewhere in the world. Work, family, work, and family. Our children are literally a treasure to be cared for with great interest. This should be the mission of every living creature on earth.
But there is one other thing that we were born with. And that’s the desire to fish. We love fishing and what’s more, for both of us, it is the lifestyle we live with our families. While each of us is engaged in other work, we basically do the same thing. The result of our fishing is not only pleasure but also an effort to pass on our message to the next generation of anglers. That is why neither of us blindly goes after record carp weights, which in the media fool all anglers. We are looking for the absolutely different values that fishing brings, but most do not see them. The beauty of angling is hidden at the beginning of the journey, and it is up to each of you how much will you open your mind.
It was late evening. The kids were already sleeping, and this is usually the time when me and Ed discuss on Facebook Chat fishing activities, new tactics, business issues, and our plans to go on a new trip. Each of us agreed that we needed to be on the bank again and a week later we met in France at an amazing place. The fishing heaven called Hidden Paradise near Trois Fontaine is not a typical venue where most anglers head for when fishing in France. This unique fishing paradise is hidden among hundreds of hectares of old forest where you immerse yourself in absolute silence.
Just like we did with other friends from England, Holland and the Czech Republic. We were looking forward to a few days of fishing in this breath taking countryside. When fishing in such a place it’s just like you needed only to be there, sit on the bank and perceive the forest music. And that’s why we definitely did not started hot-headed search for carp. On the contrary, we set up our bivvies next to each other on the small lake, enjoying the nature and trying to forget the remains of the busy world. In a place like this you soon forget your day’s worries by snapping your fingers. It was a special time when several nationalities met in a fishing paradise to enjoy a few days of undisturbed fishing together.
The large lake covers 4.5 hectares and the small one not even a hectare. We were expecting a real challenge. Each of us had half a hectare of water to themselves, which was not much. We mutually agreed on the tactics and the distribution of the lake. The small lake has a real advantage in that the carp are always within reach, but it also has its own drawbacks. In fact, the carp swiftly exchange information in a small area. It was clear that after the first bite, we would give ourselves away and then we’d have to figure out new tactics to trick the carp.
Every one of us tries to catch, but it’s not the most important thing for us.
Ed Skillz: “We divided the lake in half; Lukas was fishing in the deeper part and I was in the tributary. On the opposite side of the picturesque lake there were overhanging trees above the water, which are among the HOT SPOTS and carp can be expected to travel under them and feel safe. I always think about how best to present my rig and bait. In such a small area, you have to think in a lot more detail, because every bad step is a great warning to the carp. I decided to try smaller boilies, as for example 14 millimetre ones. I have experienced in the past, that big carp on heavily fished waters more easily accept smaller bait. I also chose sweet-dairy boilies because I think it’s unnecessary in very nutritious waters to try to compete with the natural food with fishy flavours. Lukas, on the contrary, opted for larger diameters and fish-based boilies. I have also pointed my rods in a similar way to the river fishing, with the rod tips high in the sky, so that the line would go as little as possible under water and I would be in direct contact with the fish. On the other hand, Lukas have tried to pin his line as much to the bottom as possible, by using back leads. Each of us trusted in something different, but we both were determined to land a unique character carp.”
Lukas Krása: “I like to get up early to enjoy the sunrise. The forest awoke very noisily and it was literally a balm for the soul. In one of the bays a Kingfisher hunted, in another was a Heron, and a great predator circled in the sky. Fishing offers much more than just catching carp, even though I was watching my rods impatiently and wished to step in to the local nature´s events. And that really happened. As if in a second you turn off a natural science film with a switch. Bite alarm sounded and everything became suddenly silent. The only sound was my heart beating. The fish made the first move, but I did not give her a chance. A beautiful carp ended up in the landing net and at the same time the spool of Ed’s reel started to rattle. All nature, at that point, was looking for food, and obviously the same thing was happening under the water. I watched Ed from my place, and his clenched fist after grabbing the fish, signalled something special. We both had our fish in the net, but Ed’s was a real brute and character. A beautiful linear with almost chest nut golden colouring. What an incredible double, which really deserved a joint photo!
Ed Skillz: “Carp are very smart creatures, and when I do not have a bite, I think about how to be one step ahead. I often fish on large rivers where you can just wait for a group of carp to return to your spot. But you need to be much more creative on such small venues. The carp have obviously trailed us and took to their hiding places under the overhanging trees and bays. They did not go out at night or during the morning for food, and it was up to us to react. At this point, you just have to do something different. Interestingly, on the nearby large lake, life underwater was absolutely different, because the English angler Paul, who sat at the dam, had regular bites from carp of various sizes. They visited his spots regularly. Lukas and I agreed on a strategy – we would let the lake and our swims rest for a while so we reeled in our rods for the day and decided to fish only a single rod each for the night. I also changed my rig and did not feed near to the presented rig.
Lukáš Krása: “I slept well that night, which meant that the carp still had the upper hand. I looked up at Ed, and his rod was also in the bank sticks. I went to have a look at one of the bays where I had a single bait with an attractive PVA bag. Under the overhanging tree I saw a shadow. Very cautiously, I approached the water so that I could see more. Unbelievably, there was a beautiful mirror about 15 kg. My bait was about two meters from him. He ignored it absolutely. In my head, I started to make plans for the local clever stocking. Use a Zig Rig higher off the bottom? Or just wait and believe he will make a mistake? Each cast of a rod can mean more hours or days of waiting before the fish calms down. That’s why I decided to keep the bait in the water for another day. Just to sit on the hands. Ed set out to take pictures of the angler on the big lake where there really was activity. While he photographed Paul with his huge mirror, his bobbin dropped. I ran to his rod to see what had happened. The tip of the rod was straight and the line loose. Maybe I had seconds, so I quickly struck. I am in! Contact! He was there. Ed ran to his rod and landed a gorgeous carp on his extended 60-cm-long rig and small bait on the bottom. I was very happy for him and Ed, he just laughed … Bingo! “
Lukáš Krása: “It is incredible how smart carp are and how they can torture us. For the last few days, I decided to stalk and try to surprise the carp with some attractive bait. The whole morning, I tried to find them. I did not see anything at all in my small area. So I went to see the bigger lake to see how active the fish were there. As I walked on the dam, I noticed that the water was rippling beneath an inclined oak. For a moment I did not know if it had been caused by falling acorns or fish. As I approached, I saw a group of carp. Many anglers claim that carp feed on acorns, but I have never been successful with them. The old mirror carp stood a short distance from me, looking as if it were looking into my eyes. I almost did not breathe, I slowly retreated and went back to my swim to pack the most essential things so I could cast under the overhanging tree and try to catch the carp. Ed was also packing up because the big lake was free. It was as if this knowledge about the coming change had poured energy into our veins. The sun had already set, and soon the forest kingdom turned on an incredibly powerful full moon. Ed placed his bait right in the water lilies and I was waiting under the oak.”
Carp fishing is a wonderful sport, passion, hobby and, in fact, our lifestyle, style, life.
Ed Skillz: “Hidden Paradise offered me incredible relaxation that was augmented by the arrival of my pregnant wife Lara, on the very last day. She truly also loves sitting on the bank and fishing for nice and unique carp. I wished she had also enjoyed the local nature and, of course, caught a carp. When the reels of the two rods rattled for a while after breakfast, I looked at the lake for what this false alarm might be. Since there were no boats on the lake, no angler spinning, it was becoming clearer that we had to get into action. Lara picked up my rod, which I had cast away and left me the other one. At one point, we managed to land two beautiful mirrors and I can tell you that this moment will always be memorable for us. Lukas was also staring at the old mirror under the oak, and it was a great pleasure for all of us. We all enjoyed fishing and were delighted to enjoy it in such a good company.
Carp fishing is a wonderful sport, passion, hobby and, in fact, our lifestyle, style, life. We enjoy it with everything it involves. Each of us tries to be successful, to catch the carp, but it’s not entirely the reason why do we do it all. Maybe we have opened our eyes to understand that no record fish or victory in any hectic fishing race will ever compensate for the moment when you can fish freely, perceive nature around you and more, share the pleasure with your friends.
no record fish or victory in any hectic fishing race will ever compensate for the moment when you can fish freely, perceive nature around you and more, share the pleasure with your friends.