A season’s opening session in shades of “Red” and “Black”

Seeing how Moara Vlasiei 2 Lake needs few introduction words (for Romanian anglers at least), I intend to use this opportunity to walk you through the story of how the only unknown variable of my 2014 season debut – the PvTv “The One” Boilie Range – turned out to be a most pleasant surprise. I had at my disposal the entire range (dips, pop-ups, hook-baits, shelf-life boilie bags and the producer’s kind words of advice) and exactly 36 hours (14-15th of April) to try and solve all variables, under the slight pressure of not failing my first session after a rather long winter.

1

A breath-taking “Welcome Back!” moment the lake greeted me with

For those less familiar with this particular lake, let me start off by saying it puts an angler in the most pleasant of debacles: loads of fish or (more often than not “and”!) isolated, larger carps? In my case the matter had been settled quite a long time before the session – I opted for “The Black One” Boilie, a high-protein bait (on the classical fishmeal structure and squid bait the producer improved by adding Liver Powder) with an interesting mix of condiments (the classical Black Pepper Oil prominent among them), which aims as much as possible to try and “appeal” to bigger carp and their known appetite.

The peg was also selected in the same strand of thinking – pontoon number 2 in the lake’s opening part, an excellent spring-time choice due to its opening to deeper water areas. A very double-minded springtime weather meant that trying to target bigger fish by increasing hair- or hook-bait-size could be a double-edged blade and scare off the otherwise still weary carp. This is why I opted for a classic snowman (12-14 or 14-16mm combinations) or isolated bottom-bait hair-rig, 12-14cm in length with Suffix Black Silt 15lbs coated braid (the crucial bit of the puzzle here is that I had consistent bits of information about Peg 2 being a silty area, so the 6-8cm classical spring length had to be improved on) and no. 6 hooks (Gardner Talon Tip).

2

Moara Vlasiei 2 – a lake that doesn’t require any fancy approaches, just good, strong materials springtime choice and reliable rig mechanics!

3

Peg 2 – a pontoon in the deeper area of the lake, a good

Now, on to the serious stuff – baiting strategies. I told myself I’d cast aside any early-season precautions and go slightly larger – this is why I put out aproximately 2.5kgs of boilies (exclusively with the baiting stick), 30% of them soluble (here a slight disclaimer for all UK anglers – the Romanian branch of a soluble boilie is one that completely dissolves) and the rest bottom baits (”boiled boilie” to use the producer’s term; in both sizes of the range – 18 and 20mm). Moara Vlasiei 2 is a lake with an outstanding fish stock (numerous 3-day competitions have seen the 1000kg benchmark broken here!), which means two things: a) you normally don’t need a spread-bait strategy to intercept loads of fish (here a slight linguistic disclaimer again – for all anglers less familiar with the Romanian carp-fishing scene we generally use “spread or extended baiting strategy” to describe a Tim Paisley type of approach for big continental lakes where you delineate a large area and unevenly spread boilies to intercept the largest possible number of fish and “direct” them to your rig); b) singling out larger fish is a challenge amidst shores of every-hungry 3-7kg small carps.

Thankfully, the lake is so well-known that I had good information to build my approach on: I concentrated 1.5kg of boilies on the left side of the peg which had at about 70-80m a slightly-deeper spot, and spread the remainder of the bait on the right side of this feature with the idea of fishing isolated baits at the margins of the baited area (a known big-fish strategy). I put out 2 roads on the main area and 2 on its margins, each with a snowman and a single bottom-bait. Thus began the waiting period.

The first hours were a bit of a pain as despite its outstanding stock of fish the lake seemed unwilling to share. But I knew it was just a matter of time for my bait to start working – 5-6hours into the session two beautiful commons at 13.2 and 13.0kg respectively topped the catches on my side of the lake. Any lingering doubts on a bait range that was new to me (and the Romanian market to a certain extent) was quickly shattered as hours passed and me and my partners starting reeling in carp after carp – whilst “The One” range were instrumental in singling out large carp in my peg, Peg 1 on my left quickly got on to a strong rhythm of 3-7kg carps after they took my advice and my hook-baits. Slightly off the expected pattern, but fully understandable if one factors in the cold weather, the larger carp didn’t go for the snowman rigs, but for the isolated bottom-bait solubles (which I sometimes dipped for extra flavoring).

4

Guilty as charged – “The Red One” Soluble 22mm – first take…new personal best – 13.2kg put up a hell of a fight!

5

13.0kg -”The Black One” soluble 16mm

6

Peg 1 got off to a flying rhythm on “The Black One” – ending the session with over 30 carps!

An arguably heated debated on the Romanian carp-fishing scene between home-made, ready-made and shelf-life boilies in what concerns the use of preservatives is elegantly solved by “The One” producers by using salt as a natural preservative. Neither the space of this brief review, nor the short 36h session are adequate for putting forward a complex answer to this debate, but there is one thing that I can safely argue – “The One” Range has an optimum balance of all-natural ingredients and can give an angler his most prized ingredient – trust in his baits! Granted, there is one distinct feature within the range that needs to be held in mind- “The Red One” (a classical fishmeal mix with a squid main-flavor but a distinct fruity topping to it!) does have a slight edge in early- or late-season colder waters. However, this doesn’t take anything away from “The Black One!” and both baits seem to perfectly complement each other.

7
Double take – Gorgeous 7.0kg mirror fooled on a “Red One”, Perfect 11.0kg common tricked on a “Black One”

It seems that one (or more!) of my tricks and strategies were perfectly complement by the chosen bait – albeit inevitable in a heavily stocked lake like Moara Vlasiei 2, the small 3-7kg carps were NOT over-running my peg and thus preventing the larger, more territorial over-10 carps from getting to the baits. Yet, while helping my Peg 1 neighbors with their double and triple takes on “The One” I had the strong realization that any prejudices on “big carp baits” (and conversely exclusively “rhythm baits”) were terribly misinformed – used correctly “The One” Range is a great boilie that can be used with great success in a variety of strategies and carping styles. Now that my opinion is out of the way, I leave the pictures to speak for themselves concerning the bait, lake and session in the hope that next time we meet I will find each and every one of you with a big smile on your faces and a new personal ” The One” in your arms!

Delcea Sergiu

...