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21 June, 2024 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles

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Claudia Darga: River Elbe Carp Fishing

In her latest report, Claudia Darga takes a leap out of her comfort zone by giving some River Elbe Carp Fishing a go. The Elbe is a formidable river but get your tactics and presentation right, some fantastic fishing can be on the cards! Did Claudia manage to crack this mighty river? Read below to find out…

 

Claudia says: 

Leaving the Comfort Zone

 

Since last year, I planned for June to be my main fishing month. I wanted to fish at a few different venues with a friend who would help film the trip.

In May, I started to plan the trip, trying to make the most out of my free time. I scheduled the different locations with enough time to drive there, set everything up, and so on.

I began this trip by immediately stepping out of my comfort zone. For those who have been following me for a while, you know that I prefer to place my rods from a boat. I understand that in the UK, anglers mainly cast from the shore, but in Germany and surrounding countries, you can usually use a boat. Therefore, my personal comfort zone is placing the rods with a boat.

The first fishing spot for me was the River Elbe. I received some recommendations for the place and saw some nice captures, which motivated me to try it out right away.

Fellow Dynamite angler Radek Bis has caught some amazing fish from the River Elbe before.

Even though I was informed that fishing there would involve only casting and Spombing, I was eager to test my luck.

The spots on the Elbe are heavily fished and the fishing pressure during the summer months is very high.

My friend and I arrived at the fishing spot, which was still occupied by an old man who had been fishing there for two weeks.

After some conversation, he showed me how he had been fishing the spot over the past few days, including the rig, hookbait, distance, and how much he fed. He was very kind, answering and showing me everything.

He knew my husband and, therefore, he knew me. He was happy to share his knowledge of the spot but kindly asked me not to film or photograph the place too much to prevent other anglers from recognizing it.

Sometimes, that is a difficult situation for me. Of course, I 100% respect his wish and understand it as well.

On the other hand, I planned to show on social media and in this report exactly how I am fishing. It is more difficult for me to share all the details when I am not allowed to show the place. Then, I get messages asking why I am not showing this or that, and others complain about it, which I understand as well.

Since the Elbe is a public river, the rules state that you are only allowed to fish until midnight and can start again at 4am. The controls are strict. If you are missing your papers or items like a measuring tape, they can revoke your fishing license for the rest of the year!

After a while, the old man packed his stuff, and it was my turn to fish. As I am only allowed to fish with two rods, I decided to fish one rod with a snowman tactic and the other with a Sweet Tiger & Corn pop-up and some corn. The man recommended trying a rod with corn as he had some success with it. When it comes to fishing, I am always open to recommendations and willing to give them a try. However, it later turned out that it wasn’t a good tactic, but I will explain that a bit later.

 

I needed to cast my bait approximately 70-80 meters. While this is doable, there were precise spots I needed to hit, so distance wasn’t the only thing I had to focus on.

During the first few hours, I cast as long as needed to get my bait in the right spot. It took some time until both rods were out, and then I had to start Spombing, which was actually the worst part! I definitely underestimated my personal strength.

After the first 24 hours, my back was sore from all the casting. It was very exhausting, but at the same time, I really wanted to continue and catch a nice carp!

The first few hours, I had no action at all, which may have been caused by the fact that I was casting too often and probably scared the fish. Therefore, I didn’t expect anything. Punctually at midnight, I took both rods out and went to bed to re-cast my rods at 4am.

Around midday, I finally had my first bite, and I was completely shocked by the extreme power of the carp in the river!

The fight took quite a long time for this “small” distance. It was like a beautiful play between me and the carp – always trying to balance getting the carp closer to the landing net and giving the carp enough time and line to tire it out.

After a long fight, I was able to safely land a beautiful wild river carp with a very large back fin. It is always incredible to see and recognize how different carp are shaped and how they develop the best shape for their living circumstances.

It was a very long common carp with big fins and, unfortunately, some sore spots. When I see this on a carp, I always wonder what it could be and what caused it. At the beginning, I didn’t think much about it, but when I landed the other fish, I became aware that it might be a disease.

Yes, you read right; I was able to catch two more fish at the wild public river spot!

The second one came in the late evening hours. It fought vigorously, and when I first saw it, I couldn’t believe it. It was a small mirror carp.

In general, I am not picky about which kind of fish I catch. For me, every kind of carp is special, and I don’t mind whether it’s a mirror or a common carp. But the old man told me how much he would have loved to catch a mirror but couldn’t. Therefore, I had a big smile and thought about him. I sent him a picture, and he was truly happy for me that I was able to land such a rare fish in the river.

The last fish I caught was right while I was packing my stuff. As my fishing trip was planned to visit three different venues within 10-12 days, I didn’t have much time to spend more time there.

Therefore, it was a real surprise at the end of that spot—again, a super strong common carp.

 

All of these carp had two things in common. First, all of them had these sore spots, which might really be some kind of illness, and second, they all took the same hookbait.

As I mentioned earlier with my corn rod, I like to adapt fishing tactics from others and always try them out first. At this place, I had one snowman rod and a corn rod, as recommended by the old man.

After 24 hours of fishing, I decided to switch the spot and the tactic. I changed to another snowman and fed only with boilies. I used only Peppered Squid and Hot Crab and Krill.

As soon as I changed the second rod, I finally got some bites on it as well!

All in all, I had over ten bites during that time on my rods, but unfortunately, I lost most of them. In the middle of the river was a huge tree on the ground, and most of my takes got stuck right there. As no boat was allowed, it was very difficult to navigate the fish safely to my side. Of course, the wild river carp knew exactly where to swim and hide.

Anyway, in the end, I was very happy about the start of my fishing trip, especially leaving my comfort zone, even though I could have chosen easier fishing spots.

I enjoyed every moment of it, and I will remember this trip for a while, mainly due to my very sore back muscles from all the casting!

-Claudia

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