I am glad to say we are getting on top of things and settling into life in the Netherlands, I haven’t been doing as much fishing as I would have liked but in truth, the weather has been quite chilly. Cold Northerly winds for most of the last few weeks has brought temperatures well below average for the time of the year.
Fishing on the Eem River
Since being back in the Netherlands it's been good to meet up with some fishing friends from the past and of course, do some fishing. A chat with one of Holland’s top feeder anglers; Jan Willem Nijkamp, had us arranging a session feeder fishing together on the Eem River, near to Utrecht. Jan Willem (JW) assured me that we would be in for a good day of fishing …and he was not wrong!
The River Thurne back in my home county of Norfolk, a river I fished many times in both match and pleasure sessions was very different to this River Eem. Simple feeder or pole tactics would catch us plenty of fish, but JW recommended using a ground-bait feeder along with some casters, maggot, worm and sweetcorn for the hook.
For anybody planning a trip to Holland to fish, coloured maggots are forbidden, dead or alive. Only natural white maggots are allowed but anything dyed is forbidden.
Best Baits for Silver Fish in Holland
Interestingly, JW chose a groundbait mix that didn’t include any fishmeal based ground-bait. He explained his preference to avoid fish meals when targeting silverfish on natural venues. I used a mixture of Sonuabits F1 dark and Superfeeder, both these baits are a blend of fishmeal and cereal and produce a nice dark mix perfect for the feeder. We both fed a mixture of chopped worm, casters and dead white maggot.
The first cast produced a line bite and the second cast a nice skimmer bream. To be honest, I think I had a bite indication or a fish every cast of the session, and whilst I was having to wait a bit for a bite, JW was bagging plenty, with a better stamp of fish, including some cracking bream with his bites coming much quicker than mine.
We both ended the session with a nice netof silver fish. A lesson for me from the Dutch Master. I will certainly be looking at more cereal-based ground-bait in my mixes in future when targeting silverfish.
Bizzare River Fishing Conditions
I had a few more sessions on my local river after barbel, but with the river level remaining high and the continuous cold North wind, it has made it hard for fishing. I did manage one nice barbel from a new area of the river but mostly, while some of the spots on the river look perfect for some good fishing it has proved otherwise which was very frustrating at times. Nevertheless, the river and its surrounding areas are a haven for wildlife with so many species of birds to see. A pair of binoculars are an essential item in my fishing bag!
A local friend of mine; Peter, joined me on most trips and he also has found very few fish and that fishing was unusually difficult for the time of year. However, Peter did have a couple of exciting catches. Whilst I was fishing for barbel, Peter hooked and landed a stunning sea trout. The colours and markings on the fish were amazing and truly an honour to see such a beautiful fish. Incredibly the next day Peter was fishing the same spot and hooked and landed the very same fish.
I am just hoping now that the weather improves and along with it the fishing, I am pretty sure it will, nature has an incredible way of balancing things out so I am looking forward to some great sessions over the next few weeks.
I have another session with the Dutch master Jan Willem and hopefully some carpand tench fishing over the next few weeks as the waters warm up.