Morocco Carp Blog

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Leon van der Graaf

Leon van der Graaf
The year 2018 started cold, the waterlevel of the lake was extremely low, there was snow, hale and some cold rain. Not the most ideal conditions for a good fishing trip to BEO. Nevertheless we went. It was our first trip to Marocco. As expected we did not catch much, to be precise only one carp in the last hour of our trip. It came on a chod in shallow water.

Despite the weak result and the hard conditions the magic of the lake caught us. BEO is not only about catching carp. It is an experience. Tasting another culture, a magical environment, uncountable carps from different sizes and shapes. Although it has been fished for numerous years now, the size of the lake in combination with the number of fishermen keeps the fishing real. Enough space to do your own thing. Exploring spots, prebaiting and no one who bothers you. The guides are great. They help you in every way they can to make your stay unforgettable. Because of the size of the lake, fishing results can be really varying. That is something you have to accept. There are easier ways to catch more or bigger carp, but for me, carp fishing is more than catching alone, the picture has to be complete. The search, the struggle, trial and error, weather influence, it has to be all there to make the adventure complete. BEO has all of that. That, in combination with the support of the guides who bring you everything you need on a daily base, makes the BEO experience really great.

Months in advance it is impossible to know what will happen in terms of weather, water level, spawning or water temperature. But we wanted to eliminate the risk of real cold weather. So we decided to book our trip a little later. Good results are possible at every time of the year, but this is what we chose for in 2019. As explained, we are not the kind of fishermen who are only there for results. When we are on the bank, we try to get as much carp out as possible. Also, we try to filter the big guns out. That is something that kept our mind struggling the months in advance of the trip. Feeding tactics, rigs, bait, the whole package has to be perfect. When we had to choose a fishing spot, we decided to go for spot the Grant, this time of the year it is an island with some plateaus around it. The rest is very deep water. We hoped to find some fish on the plateaus. The plan was to find the fish first and then start feeding them heavily on the good spots. After two days and nights of fishing we had two small commons at a 3 meter range, the other rods were quiet. Although we saw some fish jumping over deep water, we could not get them feeding on our baits at our spots. Maybe this was not the best spot at this moment. Another thought that crossed our minds was that we had to feed one or two spots and wait. That tactic might work on BEO, but we already spent two days here. Always that doubt….

We decided to change spot and with the help of Grant and Florian we chose a new spot. It was a narrow spot in BEO perspective. But I would drive 1200 km from my house to the south of France to get a spot with so much free space without a doubt. In terms of depth it was a boring spot 8-10 meters with a small river bed. As it was an end of the lake, we had to be a little lucky to meet some fish over there. As we already spent two days on the other spot we had to speed up a little bit. We both chose 1 spot to fish with two rods. Also we chose 1 spot to fish both with one rod. So we had three spots to feed. We also fed a spot at a range of 10 meters from te shore only with maize. Two of the main spots we fed pretty heavily with maize and Atlas boilies, the other one with boilies only. To summarize the rest of the trip. Spot 1 did not produce 1 fish. We moved the rods a bit, stopped feeding, bottom bait, pop up, nothing worked. Spot 2 the same story. Although fish jumped around both spots, we didn't get them to feed on our baits. It was a bit frustrating to see.

The maize spot did work. The first fish here was 11 kg, after that we caught about 100 smal fish. Because of the short range, we were able to feed periodically with space of 30 minutes. That way we got to feed them all day. And most important, we kept the small fish and ourselves busy. After a while we caught fish with fresh hook wounds. The fishing here was killing time, we hoped to catch a bigger in the night on the spot with a bigger hook bait, but that did not happen.

Spot 3 was a different story. At the start we fed about 8 kg Atlas boilies. After 24 hours the first bite came. After that there were about 3 bites a day. Only fish from plus 10 kg came from this spot. Because of this we tried to use this tactic on the other spots, but with copying the tactic alone, the results did not come. Spot 3 was a real good spot. Fish visited that spot on a daily base. The Atlas boilies did the trick perfectly. We topped 1 25mm Atlas boilie with a black pop up.The pop ups we used are from a Belgium company, Forgotten Flavours . 

We used black Squid pop ups, a really good pop up with most important a real constant buoyancy. The idea was to improve the effectiveness of the rig and hopefully to give the hook bait that little bit more attraction. The black colour is maybe a bit different, I think is is important to contrast with the environment. Black is in my opinion a good colour on a sandy bottom, especially in water with a depth of more than 3 meters. Yellow and red loose their colour at a certain depth. Black, white and blue keep their colour. I think that pop ups of all colors do work, but sometimes the colour itself does not contribute to the effectiveness of your tactic as a whole. But this is just a thought. We caught some fish, so we think our thoughts are the best. In reality, there are more tactics that work. A good working, preferably resetting rig is important. A bait that is accepted is important. 

But the most important three thing are stil: location, location and location.(I read this quote somewhere, I think it was from Steve Briggs. (It is so true!)

In terms of bait, we thought till the last day, that maize is the perfect bait for smaller fish, also to keep the smaller fish busy and leaving your main spot to rest so the bigger fish can feed there. The first fish from the maize spot was 11 kg, but after that the spot was dominated bij fish from 3-5 kg. The bigger fish just weren't there. 
The boilie spot on the right location produced only bigger fish. That sounds pretty logical. But when we put our last fish of the trip on the big fish boilie spot in a sack for an hour or two, after releasing the fish we found about two hands of maize flakes in the sack. The fish must have been on our maize spot. This could not be the only big fish who did that. But why did we not catch any big guns there?

In carp fishing you never can be so arrogant that you think you cracked the code. You might have found a way to catch some fish. We might use the experiences in another trip, but always keep in mind that there probably is another way that works better. In carp fishing there is always a better way. For me this is the beauty of carp fishing. This is what keeps me thinking about it every single day. And when the moment finally arrives that we could put our tactics to the test, there's always something that you overlooked. In BEO you can worry about these things like this exclusively, something I missed in other fishing trips. You can do that in a really magical environment. The guides will help you with everything, the food is just great. They come once a day and the rest of the day you are on your own struggling with the elements. This is just how carp fishing was meant to be in my opinion and the luxury is just a little extra. This is just what will keep me going back to this beautiful place.

Cheers Leon

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