An Interrupted Journey
The big lake in Gyekenyes is a lake with huge potential, the potential to be amongst the very best lakes in all of Europe for big carp. It has had the potential for 20 years or more but for various reasons it has been squandered. Despite this it is still a stunning lake with some magnificent carp. Since first arriving I have learned many new things, it was the first time fishing a lake of this size and method of creating. What was originally to be a 2 week stay became 1 year, fishing almost every night. It was an unforgettable experience but I have to admit that after a few months I became stagnated, slipping in to a routine rather than working hard to learn more. Looking back, the best thing happened to me, the money was almost gone and I needed to go back to work. A year away from fishing allowed me to replenish the fishing fund and to return to Hungary to renew the challenge. Things didn't go exactly according to plan though as my heart decided to give me a different challenge, this one a fight for life though. I don't advise trying it. It took me 5 months before I was fit enough to fish again and I enjoyed a good summer and autumn catching many fish including 3 over 25kg but over the course of the year more and more areas where restricted for fishing until almost everywhere was lost to fishing from a bivvy. A lot of thinking went in to deciding on what to do next as the future for fishing the lake was uncertain. Fortunately for me very few people are willing to brave winter weather so I was very pleased to receive the offer from my good friend Laszlo to fish from his garden. I could fish from there until the winter turned into spring and anglers would start to appear from hibernation. Winter also had another attraction, the big common carp known as Buko although a very regular visitor to the bank in warmer weather had never been caught in winter so this would be the target I set for myself.
I had designed 2 new boilies that would be tested over the coming year or more so I chose the one I thought would be best suited to winter. Early attempts at making it had resulted in many kilograms of floating boilies but I had finally found a solution to the problem while retaining a high shellfish content. Initially I fished two times a day only and caught a small carp on both occasions so I was confident in the boilie for the winter campaign. The knowledge of winter fishing I had from fishing lakes in England had proved ineffective on a lake of this depth but the winter I had spent on the lake I had regularly seen a group of big carp together, their location changed regularly but they were always at a depth of around 8 meters and close to a shallower feature. All the carp I had caught came from a depth of about 10 meters so my tactics were very simple, to fish at depths of 8 to 11 meters near to features and to regularly move the baited position searching for carp. I would use 20mm dumbells to minimize the amount of food and feed only 10 to 20 each time. There are so many places in that area of the lake that match the description of my preferred spots and with only 2 rods it is always going to be a lottery but from the beginning I was catching fish. Sometimes it was only 1 fish in a night but often it was 2 or 3. In such cold weather it can be hard to get out of a warm sleeping bag knowing when you return everything will be cold and fingers and toes will be numb. Many nights if I caught a small fish I would not reposition the rod / as I believe now that the big fish are in separate groups from the small ones. Between January and early April I managed to catch nearly 150 carp, including on one occasion 10 carp in a 24 hour period. Most were under 10kg and nothing over 20kg but there were 2 of 19+ kg. There was one night that does stand out, I was woken by a gibbering Laszlo. He got something about a big carp before disappearing again. No matter what time of night, how tired I am or what the weather is like when a friend wakes you with such obvious excitement you know you have to get up and go to see what is happening. I was almost as excited as Laszlo to see this new 30kg common carp and a new personal best for him too. It is always a pleasure to see a lake you love producing new big carp and when a friend captures it, to share the moment is a privilege. The spring arrived and despite not catching Buko it had been a very successful winter that had done a lot to prove the quality of the new boilie.
The year passed by without being too eventful for me in terms of fishing so I was looking forward to November arriving and a new winter campaign. I would continue with similar tactics as the previous year but after each fish I would change positions if it was under 15kg. I continued with the same boilie as the previous winter as I felt it needed a little more work to get it to the stage where it would be suitable for putting on sale. Initial results continued on from the previous year and it did not matter where I positioned it. It was producing carp from every position I tried, often 3 or 4 carp a night. Fish over 10kg were not very frequent but I had managed a couple of around 14-15kg. Moving after a fish paid off when 9 fish in a row were all over 10kg and from the same location. It becomes very tiring after a while so I took regular breaks away from the lake for a day or two. Not wanting to overfish a productive spot I decided on taking a break but still feeding the spot. Unfortunately, when I returned so did the small carp. Things were going well but then another angler took advantage of an offer from Laszlo so the locations I could choose from were reduced for a while. This made me think about the tactics and results so far, I believed the water was still warm enough for the carp to be quite active. A change of plan came to mind. The area that had produced so many consecutive fish was covered with 5kg of boilies and not fished until the following afternoon. Over the next 24 hours it produced 9 carp. It convinced me that the change had been a good idea so rather than search for where the carp were held up, as they were obviously still moving around, I would bait a large area so if Buko did come into the area it would find a good food supply and not need to move away. I changed from 10 small baits in a small area to at least 5kg of 25mm boilies spread over an area of 70 meters long by 50 meters wide and feeding every day. Most fish were still coming from the same area that had been very productive up to now but regular fish were caught on the other rod. Now nights were producing 3 or 4 fish until a quick drop in temperature changed everything. The week before Christmas and up to the New Year was slow with only a few carp being caught around the lake despite quite a number of anglers fishing but I did still manage a few. I had begun to believe I would see the year out with my biggest being 19.8kg, I was a little disappointed but my target all along had had a fish over 30kg and specifically Buko in winter so 19.8kg or 25kg still meant I hadn 't achieved my goal. However, in the early hours of December 31 the trusted spot produced another fish. After more than 200 carp during winter months and another 80 or more at other times of the year I had my first carp over 20kg from this part of the lake laying in my net. Normally I much prefer mirror carp but this time I was really pleased. A long fish that I believe is still young and has the potential to become one of the queens of the lake.
The story continued in January with many more carp being caught right up until the moment previous wrong doings and mismanagement resulted in the authorization for fishing on the lake being withdrawn by MOHOSZ. I don't believe I will get to fish the lake again this winter so I can only hope a resolution is found and I can continue my quest for Buko in November. Until then I will fish new lakes to continue testing the GK4 spring, summer and autumn versions. More than 250 carp in winter leaves me with very high expectations.