Predator Tour 2018 - training day 6

It's busy this morning at the ramp. One boat is just entering the water as we arrive and another one is preparing its setup. It's Maurice who's setting up his boat. Maurice went a few weeks back with us to the Volkerak where we had an absolutely lousy fishing day. Hopefully today will be better. Ruud and I will be heading out to the Predator Tour track, but Maurice will be at the Biesbosch hunting for big pike. We agree to keep each other posted on how the day progresses.

Our battle plan for today states that we start with pike fishing. There will be quite a lot of wind, but in the morning it should still be acceptable. Ruud fishes with big lures and I start with small hardbaits and vary those the first hour with spoons. The sonar shows tons of fish but not one of them seems interested in what we have to offer. Ruud, as the pike-expert, is also not very enthusiastic about the track I selected to start with. After about two hours we drift along a small inlet that Ruud immediately qualifies as promising. And he's right when after a cast or two Ruud can land the first fish of the day. A small pike enters the boat. Although it probably isn't even big enough to enter the leaderboard, it demonstrates that Ruud's eye for pike-spots is working.

After this little fishy we decide we have battled enough for pike. It took us almost three hours to catch one fish so we will leave the pikes alone for today and move on to the zanders.

The sun is slowly disappearing and it's getting more windy. At the first zander-spot where we anker I get a tremendous strike on my first cast. Unfortunately, I only get a curled up shad out of the water.... no fish. But a little bit later Ruud gets a strike and his fish stays on.... zander number 1.

And 15 minutes later Ruud lands zander number 2, again a good fish.

I am not doing so well....... only one strike in 4 hours...... that's not much. And I am really looking forward to eat a peace of cherry-pie, that Ruud brought, but I feel morally obliged to catch at least one fish as well before we take a break. And then, luckilly, my lure is inhaled and I can also land a zander.

After this fish we take our well deserved break and then suddenly the fish decide that it's my lures they are after and I can land six more zanders.

Now Ruud seems to be out of luck and the collection of shads that are surrounding his chair is steadily growing....... One more hour and I suppose his whole tackle box will be spread out in the boat.

Time for a break again. I brought smoked sausage, but because I left the thermos out on the deck the sausage is stone cold..... that's a bummer...... Ruud however still enjoys the snack!

It's getting quiet again and we want to do the Dordtse Kil still, it's not part of the track but it's fun just to catch a fish over there. But before that, Ruud suggests to do one of the spots we discovered on our first traing session, as he is convinced we can catch some perch over there. I don't think we will, but trying never hurts. It doesn't take long before Ruud gets a very good perch on. I am reeling in my lure like crazy in order to net the fish, but then I hear Ruud say: Whooo, that's a really...... god$#^%$#$#, and something of the like. Fish lost, I didn't see it, but Ruud did and it was a 40+ perch, perhaps 45+. So Ruud was right, there are perch over here and he continues to get strikes where I do not feel anything. Just as I am wanting to give up I get a good strike under the boat and a fat 43 cm perch is landed.

After this fish we move over to the Dordtse Kil to finish the day. I hook just one fish over there but loose it, and Ruud manages to catch two more relatively small fish. When we return to the ramp Maurice also just finished fishing. He and Ruud stayed in touch in the morning, when Maurice caught a nice zander, but the pike had a day off apparently so his day was not very succesful. Anyway, we caught some nice fish and now it's time to enter the traffic jam and return home.

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