Hungarian Sea – Balaton

I love angling. I like catching fish at little ponds, little rivers as well as at huge reservoirs or lakes. Each fishing venue brings different opportunities, demands and experience enjoyed while angling. A picturesque little pond caress my heart and brings me appease, a great river causes me an unrestrained vigor feeling along with sense of infinity and excitement. Huge reservoirs fill me with immense respect and mystery. Each one feels it in a different way. Maybe that’s why angling has won in my life. Wherever you go a new adventure and a new story arises. Back then, coming back from the River Danube, I felt certain I need to suck an atmosphere of a huge unrestrained and wild lake. My choice went to the largest lake of the Central Europe nicknamed Hungarian Sea. Balaton is really a huge challenge for any angler.

Each venue requires its own preparation. There was a slight advantage in comparison to other new expeditions in the past, as I had enough information about Balaton from my Hungarian friends. While these bits of information are very important, though, you must rely only on yourself at such big waters. You must expect taken rods out with the boat, but also, you have to be ready for long distance casting, in the case of stormy weather. On such big waters, it can easily happen, that because of strong wind it won’t be possible to go out in the boat for few days. Preparations for such dynamic lakes can’t be underestimated in any case where we should begin with things that provide us with safety, starting with a quality boat, anchors, a life jacket, GPS, a quality accumulator battery and electric motor or rout-guidance lights for nigh fishing. You must be ready for the worst and I recommend don’t underestimate anything.

Preparing for Balaton I casted my mind back to large lakes where I had fished while continuously projecting the experiences which could be handy. I have fished different large lakes almost all over Europe, as for example Bulgarian lakes, Ukrainian or French ones. I remember also Austrian and Italian lakes or Czech Novomlýnské Reservoirs. Fishing different big venues resulted into many experiences when catching carp at such huge waters. Whereas Balaton brings a quite new dimension in carp angling as you hardly find so huge while shallow lake with rich stock of superb carp and unexplored shores after all. Simply said, it is a challenge! The most important of all is the good luck with the correct place selection. Nevertheless, where is the correct place or spot at a venue bigger than 600 square kilometers? The direction where winds blow that means where powerful waves go the direction can tell us a lot. There would be most of natural nourishment near the shores. Balaton is an extremely shallow lake. It is not rare if you wade through some hundreds meters into Balaton without dipping your shorts. So it is helpful if you find parts deeper than two – three meters. It seems if you find a deeper water patch along with the correct wind you have a chance to catch carp. Then it is a matter of good luck for the carp to be near this areas. Fish migration in large lakes is well known and it may happen you will spend some days or week on the bank while the fish are kilometers away from you. It is a simple fact.

A picturesque little pond caress my heart and brings me appease, a great river causes me an unrestrained vigor feeling along with sense of infinity and excitement. Huge reservoirs fill me with immense respect and mystery.

I took off for Balaton with my family and a friend Petr Novotný who had his son along with him. Wife and children enjoyed hot wheatear forecast. But, it was not an ideal fishing wheatear. However, what is ideal…? Sometimes we are surprised by carp catches at moments when we wouldn’t expect them at all. We started the preparation. Taken out the rods with a boat is allowed to the maximum of 350 meters. At such a maximum distance we positioned our marker and we placed our rods. The rods were placed at 350 m, 250 m, 150 m and at 80 m. We created a rout made of food in between the rods. The feeding strategy had been proven by us at all large lakes. You have the best chance to catch a migrating fish in this way while you might have the chance of takes from more than just one fish. The bait placed closest to the bank may also be used at the moment, when you cannot go out with the boat and the online possibility is casting. The selection of bait was absolutely clear for me. I knew a lot of corn had fell in Balaton every year, so the carp consider it almost like natural food. That was why we took Record Corn boilies with us as we had developed it for those venues, where corn was extensively used for feeding. We have packed also boilies with crushed mussels in it. There are a lot of mussels in the Balaton so the bait would be close to the carp’s natural food, I thought so. Of course I brought Nutric Acid boilies with me, which caught huge carp all around the world. I would never go fishing without it! A lot of anglers are thinking about the amount of bait. What would be an amount suitable for baiting up a huge lake like Balaton? Have you ever seen Balaton bottom? It literally moves with natural food! I have hardly seen more trophic lake around the world! That is why you should consider very carefully the amount and type of bait. For the first baiting up we had ready fifty kilograms of mixed boilies and few Record Corn boilies, which are more expensive. After baiting up we just waited what will happen.

The weather wasn’t favorable to us. The surface of the lake didn’t moved at all and the heat was exhausting. The rods didn’t moved at all for the first three days, so we used the leisure time for trips with children and wine tasting in the local wine cellars. On the fourth day we began to catch smaller carp from the closest marker, but only because we have tried to catch them off the top and by using Zig Rig tactics. The ZIG-RIG method works even for Balaton! It didn’t make much of a sense to bait too much as the carp didn’t visited our spots and we had all of our carp so far by using highly attractive Zig Rigs flavored with Compot NHDC. There wasn’t much to do in the hot days so we enjoyed even the middle sized carp of about eight kilograms and from time to time we succeeded with a carp above 10 kg. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the type of captures because of which we had arrived to Balaton. I appreciate each fish but I must tell you that I had my objectives set up slightly higher / bigger. My dream was a nice mighty leather carp so characteristic for Hungary especially for Balaton, so I stuck to it. That was why I had fished with a 30 mm Nutric Acid hookbait topped with a 24 mm Pineapple Pop-Up. The days were running like water and we still didn’t had a good carp on the bank. But the wheatear begone to change and the wind picked up. Before the beacons signaled the ban to go out with the boat, I managed to bait up once more with a line of 20kg boilies between the rods. I felt it could come.

Balaton got moving and it was not possible to go out with the boat. Just before the morning the rod furthest away from the bank got a take. The wind had weakened slightly so I took on the life jacket and went out with the boat. Twenty meters away from the bank I dropped an anchor, not trying to go further. I was in the battle with a carp and I was thinking, if I should go for it or not. Eventually, I decided to return to the bank in order to try to battle the carp from the bank. Balaton shouldn’t be underestimated! Petr rushed to help me, as the carp managed to get into his line. Thanks to his help, I have managed to get the carp in the net. And a series of takes started. In a while, all of our rods were on the bank and we hadn’t the possibility to take them out with the boat. So we decided to cast one rod each on the nearest baited spot. How good it felt to catch carp after carp, after few days blanking. The day after Balaton calmed down and we could take the rods with the boat. Because we lost some fish due to sharp edges of the local mussels we used leaders from cords and our toughest hooklink Gladiator. We also selected the bait which worked the best. It was a combination of two 24 mm boilies Corn/Nutric Acid and also neutral balanced Balanc boilies Nutric Acid/ Pineapple. Maybe because the Balanc boilies which behaved just like the free bait we managed to get on the bank some true and awesome Balaton carp.

Everything beautiful ends one day and the trip to Balaton too. The children had to go to schools and we had to return to work. Truth is, Balaton caught our hearts. There are no venues like Balaton. I am aware, that Balaton will become one of the most sought carp venues of the world. Its beauty and awesome looking carp are just phenomenal. See you soon at Balaton.