Effort Equals Reward




Mandy Jellema, team member of Carpcrossing, mother and die hard carp angler. She fishes a lot and mostly with her partner Ray. You can find more of her adventures on her instagram page.



The Dutch winter at the start of 2020 wasn’t that cold, with the lakes not frozen up I continued fishing. In the colder months I don’t have a lot of time to be out on the bank, so I like to visit the smaller venues. In this time of year location of the bait is the difference between success and a blank, because I don’t think they move around that much especially at night-time.

In January I still managed to do one early morning and two-night session. I only landed smaller carp but with the counter already at six, I was pretty happy with the results.

There are a lot of carp anglers in the area I live, and it can be pretty busy around the lakes. With the soft temperatures and carp Zwolle kicking off the fishing season for most anglers, I found it was already busy in February. My husband Ray has been my fishing buddy for more than 15 years and together we searched for a spot that hadn’t been fished this winter. After driving along most venues, a smaller city lake caught our attention. The last time we fished there was more than 10 years ago. We walked around in search for any carp activity and to see what had changed over the years. Using the deeper sonar helped me find the best bottom spots and we even managed to see some activity in the sunny part of the venue.

We decided to do a couple of instant fishing sessions, learn by doing and just see what will come to the surface. The next weekend we arrived at the venue by midnight. I already made some new Ronnie rigs at home so the only thing I had to do was screw on a pop up. For the last couple of months, I have been testing a new boilie flavour. I was pretty confided about that bait because even in the most pressured waters I still managed to catch some bangers. Not knowing what kind of bait would work in this city lake I decided to start with that flavour.

There was a storm coming up and with the wind from the south-west getting stronger by the minute, I quickly put my rods out. Because the wind was blowing towards us, I decided to keep one bait close to the bank. That was the right thing to do because after a few hours I got 2 beeps from that alarm. I got up to take a look and my swinger had moved up very slowly. With no hesitation I picked up my rod, straight away it banded in a nice curve and I could feel the pressure coming from the other end of my line. The way it fought it knew it was a bigger fish. Adrenaline was flowing through my body and I didn’t give a damn about the heavy wind and rain nature was throwing at me. A beautiful mirror came to the surface and I safely got it in the net. With its weight of 18,6KG my old PB was shattered to pieces. Pictures where taken and with a big smile on my face I released the beast back into the water.

I was so happy with catching that mirror that it could not possible get any better right? The following week Ray and his mate went on a night – day session at another venue. The sky was clear that night and with the temperature just under zero they didn’t had any luck that night. The next morning, I dropped my kids of at school and went to join them with a single rod. For this short session I used a wafter on a German rig with a curve shank size 4. Just in time before the rain I found a clear bottom spot and placed the bait.

We were just about to eat some sandwiches I bought, when Ray got a take. After a good fight he landed a beautiful mirror. We were still busy weighing it when my alarm whistled at me. I didn’t know what would come to the surface because the drill was slow and easy. Ones I got it in the net I did a little victory dance. The guys helped me lift the mirror out of the water and with the pointer passing the magic weight of 20KG I was over the moon.

It’s always nice to be rewarded for the effort you put in your angling, especially in the colder months. Catching carp makes you feel good but the road you have to take to get to that point makes fishing special. What a great experience and it makes me wonder what the next carp chasing adventure will bring.

Much love, Mandy