Welcome back Gentlemen.
As you are aware, we had the Gigantica European Match here last week.
Unlike last years English ‘annihilation’, this year was a somewhat more taught affair.
With the swims being a rotation from the previous match, all teams knew exactly where they would be fishing throughout week and so could make appropriate plans too suit. I had high hopes for all teams, knowing that each member was well suited to the swims they would be fishing and it would suit their styles in angling.
So, the awesome Darryl Peck was in Pole Position. Ed ‘the mad professor’ Cramer was in Alcatraz for the Dutch team. Next was ‘the dove from above’ Tom in the Beach along with Etienne Gebel in the Tree line for the Germany team.
On the North bank, we had Germany’s Jens Berntsen in Co’s point with Ernesto Kamminga for team Netherlands.
On the East bank, firstly we had Micheal Koster in the Pink for team Germany with Englands team leader, Danny Fairbrass fishing in the Alamo. With, finally, Chris Ferenschild fishing for the Dutch in Oblivion.
With the teams installed and ready, the match began, and what a battle it was was right from the off !
With fish being caught from the very first night, the leader board changed on a daily basis. Quickly, it became a two team race, with team Netherlands struggling to hold the pace of both England & Germany.
The sleeping giants, Germany, really got into a powerful swing, banking fish on a regular basis with some very impressive fish too boot.
Even after consuming his own body weight in food then in Beer, Jens ruled for the German team banking a huge 51lb mirror ( Chunky – well spawned out ) and then, later an awesome 49lb common ( Nude patch – looking well after a huge spawning ) to top an awesome week for Jens.
Etienne caught the well known, but still, beautiful Black eye from the Tree line. Danny caught the amazing ‘thick wrist fish’ at an unbelievable 43+.
I wont list all the fish, as it has all been filmed, as usual, for British TV and the Thinking Tackle series.
What I will write is the amazing run of fish that Darryl caught…..on zigs ! Now, we advise our clients that zigging can be a very successful alternative to bottom fishing in the right circumstances. However, very rarely, do client either actually fish zigs, or fish them correctly.
Darryl however got it very right. Fishing size 10 Wide gape B hooks with light Guru N-gauge hooklenghts. Fishing with 21ft hooklenghts and extreme range Darryl caught several fish with, at one point having a 38lb leather and an absolutely stunning 29lb linear on at the same time. Danny helped him with the smaller of the fish, ending up with both on the mat at the same time – simply awesome angling, and it shows just how well Zigs can be when fished well…….there has been some many times in the past when clients have struggled when, in reality, if they had had the faith in Zigs or simply just asked on how to fish them correctly, a meager week could have turnt into an amazing week. “never look a gift horse in the mouth” so the saying goes……there in endth the lesson !
Im waiting for the digital images to come in from the anglers and will update this report as and when the images arrive. I do have Germany’s team leader, the very capable Etienne Gebel with ‘Black eye’ at 42lb from the tree line for you. An amazing fish that is very well known, being a PB for several of our clients.
Eventually, the final whilst was blown and England rose victorious ! But only just…..
Had Germany continued their run of 2 fish per night and not blanked the final night, the result could’ve been so different. However, England did what was necessary and won with over 60lb too spare.
Like Ive wrote, the whole match will be aired on terrestrial TV, as part of the Thinking Angler series for future viewing and be available, Im sure, on DVD when released.
The late spawning here this year, came back to haunt me when we found a beautiful unknown 41lb mirror dead, full of spawn. Its such a shame when any of our fish die, and in such a wasteful circumstance such as the weather had held them back from naturally spawning the first time.
Now, we wont hide the fact that one of our larger inhabitants has died – unlike other lakes- it happens. Nature has a way to replace that fish with a smaller, more naturally installed grower in the place of the fish that has died, so Im certain a new big fish will join our library of fish that we keep here at Gigantica.
Its unrealistic to file all the 20lb fish as there is just so many, but all fish over 30lb get there own individual file so we can track their ( Hopefully ) growth through their lives. We use these files to manage our stocks for the future and happily, the last few weeks has seen several of our known fish move from the 30lb file into the 40lb file……..such as the ‘Thick wrist’ fish. 38lb+ last year in Sept, it has been caught this year, over a month earlier than last year at 43.08lb A clear ‘natural’ growth of over 5lb ( since this fish has already spawned ) a solid 5lb growth for the year past which is proving throughout our stock this year.
So with the growers, we have had 2 totally new 40lbs. Seeing fish that have no file at all, amazes me. I see ‘new’ fish throughout the spawning times but until they are landed ,weighed and recorded by photo, they are just ‘ghosts’. But when they are banked, it’s a great feeling that, after almost 2 years of ownership, we are seeing new fish. Long may it continue. With that in mind, weve had 2 fish push through from the 40lb bracket into the 50lb folder. Chunky and Discus now moving into a bigger weight folder. Just how many more will make the move this year into the 50lb folder, only time will tell but Im excited by the thought, and will report all ‘big movers’ as and when they happen here on the weekly report.
So, another great week over and done with, great times, great fish and great friends. I look forward to meeting you all in the near future and as usual…..
Be safe, be lucky.