Brian Skoyles Taking Lure Fishing to another level

Most of my lure fishing takes place of small still waters, local rivers or canals, so it’s fair to say that the next two days will be taking us out of our comfort zone as along with my son Martyn we’re fishing the Haringvliet in Southern Holland. The Haringvliet is a very special water, huge in size, huge in potential. We’d travelled through the day to get here, and we were both tired, but as we stood looking out over a vast stretch of water, I knew we wouldn’t get much sleep, we wanted to get started.

Early morning and we’re on our way out of the harbor, slow passing hundreds of moored up luxury yachts. We are in the very capable hands of Rob Kraaijeveld, a top Dutch guide, it was time to hold on, as Rob opens up the throttle and we power off across the Haringvliet.

Depending on the time of year the Haringvliet provides plenty of options re species and tactics. Martyn and I had had a discussion with Rob previously and we had opted to target three species. Perch, zander and a new one to us the asp

Fishing for asp was to be both hard work and exciting. Basically, we were casting surface lures and winding them back fast to create as much movement in the lure as possible. This was repeated nonstop, as the boat slowly drifted with the current, except for when out of the blue the water would explode, and the rod nearly wrenched out of your hands as an asp hit the lure with incredible speed and power. It’s fair to say the gear was put through its paces.

After the Asp fishing, we moved to an area that Rob really rated for zander and he was right, and again some nice fish came to the net. Of the three target species, perch proved to be the trickiest, to both locate and tempt. This was what Rob had expected, as they tend to be very spread out at this time of year, but we still caught fish to well over three pounds. Beautiful, hard fishing fish, magnificently coloured stripeys that didn’t know when to give up. Day one was coming to an end, we were tired and happy. Time for some food, some sleep and a recharge of our batteries for day two!

Day two started as day one, and once again we left a sleepy harbor and powered off across the Haringvliet. Day one had been brilliant, particularly for the asp and zander so day two we hoped to spend a bit more time after a bigger perch and after an hour of so on the surface lures for the asp where Martyn had two and Rob one, we moved to one of Robs favourite spots hoping for some better perch. We hadn’t been there long when Martyn was in and it was obviously a much better fish. It’s a big perch as we all went quiet and crossed fingers. First time and it was in the net. Cue lots of high fives and back slapping. 4lbs- 8oz of fabulous perchy pb …. Magic!

We caught some more nice fish, zander and perch. I lost a good pike which tail walked and shed the hook, before we moved back for some more asp action. Rob and myself had fish and Martyn several follows that just missed the lure.

All too soon we were running out of time, we’d both had pb asp, pb zander and Martyn also a pb perch. Not bad, five pb’s in two days. It was time to say our farewells to Rob, guides do not come any better. It had been a brilliant trip, we’d had a great time and we were both shattered.

Neither of us would claim to be experienced lure anglers but with Rob’s help and advice we’d taken out lure fishing to a new level …. We hope to do it all again in the future!