mandag den 6. oktober 2014

Lakefishing Denmark in the pursuit of monster pikes in Rügen!

Rügen is an island in Germany known for its world class pike fishing. Every year, a large amount of monster pikes are caught and some even longer than 125 cm. The dream of catching a monster pike is what draws hundreds of fishermen to Rügen and quite often their dreams come true!

This year, I joined my two friends Marc Hansen and Rasmus Troelsen on the hunt for big pikes!
Months of fine tuning the gear, making rigs and discussing strategies were over and we were on our way to Rügen. The car was completely stuffed with rods, bags and more bags :)
        6 hours later we arrived in Schaprode where we met 18 other Danish fishermen who signed up for the trip. We were then shown to our rooms and we could finally unpack and prepare for the next day.

At 8 am we met at the harbour and we were quickly introduced to our guide Torsten Schneider (TS) from  Team Bodden Angeln. Team Bodden Angeln is the biggest guiding company in the area. Superb fishing boats and experienced guides have made Team Bodden Angeln to the no. 1 guiding company in Rügen.

Team Bodden Angler fishing boats.

With a 70 HP motor it did not take us long to reach the fishing area. We were finally there and the fishing could begin! I knew it was gonna be difficult because the weather was actually way too good for pike fishing. 20 degrees water temperature, sunshine and not a lot of wind are not the ideal conditions, but TS assured us that the conditions were not that bad and that we would see some big fish.

We started fishing with big shads (Mcrubbers and Dexter) mounted on a 15gr jighead. I watched TS's techniques, but I quickly realized that 90 % of the time he would just reel in with a steady retrieve. Once in a while he would speed it up a bit and then back to the slow retrieve, but that was about it. I asked him if he ever made spinstops or jigged the lure, but that hardly ever happened, he said. Being a jerkbait fisherman, where variation is key, I was a bit surprised. Was it really that easy?
      When fishing new waters local knowledge is essential to success so naturally I copied his "technique" and soon after I was hooked up! YES! A small pike but so strong, We quickly released it and back to fishing. As I expected it was difficult and at the end of the day we caught a total of 10 fish up to 90 cm in length. The other teams caught about the same, so all in all a tough day for everyone! However, a lucky fisherman caught a big pike measuring 114 cm! A fantastic fish!

One of the smaller pikes ~ 85 cm.

Next day the weather conditions were the same. TS sailed us to a new area where a lot of big fish were caught in the past. Optimistic and full of hope we started fishing. Fishing was slow as expected, but once in a while we would get a fish. TS borrowed a handmade jerkbait and within 10 minutes he caught 4 fish on it! He had to own it he said, so we made a quick trade :) He got my bait and I got some of his homemade soft baits. 
All of a sudden Marc yelled FISH ON! He could not really feel if it was big, but it went deep. As it got closer to the boat it was obvious that this was a very big fish! Marc could not pull it up the surface! A couple of minutes later he managed to get it up to the surface and what a fish! Built like a tank, long, wide and with a huge head! TS was just about to net it when the fish took off and destroyed Marc's leader.... We were all extremely disappointed. Especially Marc and TS were completely devastated... TS said that had never happened to him before and it was obvious that he felt responsible for losing the fish. We took a quick look at Marc's fluorocarbon and it was now clear; the knot had come lose and the pike even managed to destroy the wire rig. Marc was of course not happy about that and he started checking his other rigs. He managed to pull them from each other so I offered him to borrow one of mine. TS and Marc were quiet for some time after losing that fish.

Not long after I saw a huge pike following my lure. I would estimate it to 110 cm+ and 12-14 kilos, but unfortunately for me, she did not attack the lure and swam away :(! SH..! The fish was gone and all I could do was continue fishing! The day ended with 8 fish in total. 

The last day the weather was completely different. It was windy and once in a while it would rain. It was a good sign and we had very high hopes for the day! TS decided to take us back to the place where we were the first day. The conditions were good and the water seemed clearer, so today was the day!
We fished hard, but we did not have a lot of contacts the first couple of hours. Although TS had decided to downsize I decided to put on a big MCrubber 25 cm White/Pearl and that was a good decision! First cast and I was into a fish! It was a better fish, but I could not tell how big, Suddenly she jumped out of the water and what a fish! Not a monster, but over 90 cm. She then crashed into the side of the boat! I never tried that before, but TS later said that the brackish pikes are totally different compared to freshwater pikes. They are stronger, crazier and they tend to jump a lot more. :) Just how we like them!

95 cm Pike. One crazy lady!

The day ended with a total of 8 pikes with mine as the biggest, but I think we all thought about the fish that we did not get in the boat the day before! Thanks to TS for some superb guiding and one thing is for sure; we will be back to get our monster!

- Ole Nørskov. Team LakefishingDenmark

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