Following a trend - Holland 03.2023

Following a trend - Holland 03.2023

Netherlands aka Holland - closer than most countries I fished before with hundreds of lakes to fish on. They might have the same species than we have in Switzerland but the average size and slso quantity exceeds our waters by a lot! Thats probably the reason most of the fishermen here and from the neighboring countries go there for fishing. At times my instagram is full of giant Perch, Pike and Zanders, all caught there. 

That's the main reason it took me a long time to finally fish there as I dont like to fish where everybody else fishes. Especially not where all the wannabe, self-called pros and youtubers fish. 

Also I have to add that prior I never really informed myself about the specific lakes and so on. As mentioned before, theres a lot of fishable lakes but not all are good fishing lakes. I was told that theres different spots for quantities, big fish of a certain kind etc. 

Fishing there has definitely been on my to do list for a longer time now especially the huge perch from there caught my eye over and over again. Also, it's one of the closer destinations from where I live which makes it even interesting for a weekend trip plus its affordable as you even have a good chance to catch some fish from the shore. Rent for a boat or even a guide isnt necessary (even though I would love to go out with somebody experienced to learn about the lakes itself). 

To make it short, Holland offers nice fishing to an affordable price which on the other side makes it appealing to a lot of anglers which then again made it less appealing to me. With that, I don't mean to say that the fishing there should be made more expensive - hell no, I can't afford those fancy exclusive waters neither and think it's unfair that your chances on catching big fish more and more depend on how much money you can spend - but the easier the access to something the more people are likely to do it which then again sometimes makes it less attractive to me. 

Anyways, a friend asked if I wanted to join them on 4 day shore session there over a weekend. He had been there before and knows some spots so I couldnt pass on this great opportunity. 

We drive over night, arrive at the cabin we rented early in the morning and go straight to preparing tackle. Still in the dark we walk to the first spot, sleepless but driven by motivation to catch some big perch. In the dust of dawn we are already wading in the ice cold lake, heavy winds and later on rain don't really make it more comfortable. With the first daylight I can finally see where I'm casting and start to look for the most promising spots. By this point my feet are already frozen and walking from one spot to the next is the only way of slightly warming them up before they go numb again within seconds in the water. The hope of catching a big fat perch is the only thing keeping me going despite nasty weather and basically no action at every new spot. By lunch-time I've had one promising bite which didn't stay on. The afternoon gets even worse without any bites at all. Of course I'm fishing until dark but nothing seems to work. At least the rest of our group doesn't do much better so we are all a bit clueless but with high hopes for the coming day. 

wading fishing daiwa emeraldas air graphitleader silverado
wading in the freezin water

My friend suggests to try out another lake the next day which we do. There as well it looks all promising and from my impression I hit a couple of really promising spots with my rigs but more than I shy bite isn't on the menu. For the afternoon we once again change waters, on the first couple of casts my friend finally catches a really nice perch whichis the perfect motivational boost for the coming hours. We split up and run up and down that lake but nothing seems to work. At least it looks like as the fish aren't too active in general, a boat, completely covered in logos, crosses the lake just to fish right in front us. The lake is pretty big and mostly empty so we both can't really understand why these, we assume, wannabe pro-anglers who maybe get 15% of some shitty products in exchange for defacing their boat, have to fish exactly in our spot when there's so much water to fish that we can't even reach from shore... It doesn't really matter as both parties don't catch anything.

dead fish perch graphitleader silverado daiwa
closest I've come to a perch after two days

So two full days of fishing and freezing but not one perch for me, I know that from fishing at home but I definitely expected a bit more here. Not that I would catch one after another and but at least some action from time to time I was hoping for. Well, hoping alone doesn't help a lot and so I get my feet cooled early in the morning of day three once again. We are back where we started on the first day, we decide to split up our group of four to cover more water. I decide to take the long walk to a spot with trees in the water. Why? - because the thought of catching a big perch out of dead wood is appealing to me and because I had my only bite there on the first day but this time I don't even feel one nibble. So I head back to the others and try it in the opposite direction where I haven't fished yet. After a quick talk I'm on my way again but just so far away from the other so that they could still hear me in case I finally get one - gotta have a picture of my fish! :)

All of a sudden there's a big houseboat sitting where I wanted to fish, nothing unusual in this region ad the people on it seem pretty relaxed. A friendly "Good Morning" later and I fish around their junk of metal. The bottom there is sandy so that nibble out of nowhere shouldn't be a rock. An overly excited hookset later I finally have my first fish on the trip on! Before the trip, my friend told us that in this lake there wouldn't be tons of perch but if you find them its mostly +40 fish so I was definitely surprised when the fish I land measures barely 25cm. Must have caught the smallest perch in the lake but at least finally a fish contact, it only took me two and a half days!

Motivated to finally catch a "countable" fish I step back in the cold water and a few meters of wading later I get another bite, this time it feels way heavier and after a fun fight I land my first proper dutch perch! 42cm and definitely hasn't missed a single meal in the last few days - now we're talking!

perch fishing noike smokin dad
my first proper dutch perch!

While some of our group already head for lunch, I decide to get a couple more casts in before warming up my feet. This becomes my best decision on this trip so far as my lure seems to land perfectly in a whole group of perch. Within three casts I get three good bites, the first two I land and both of them beat my previous dutch personal best with the bigger one measuring 47cm. These are the fish I've been hoping for on this trip!

perch holland netherlands fishing
my biggest perch out of holland so far - 47cm

The third bite feels even bigger/heavier but unfortunately some dumb mussels decide to cut me off mid-fight. I definitely would have known how big this one was... Since everyone else is already at lunch I decide to take a quick break as well. Not that I'm really hungry but at this point I barely can feel my feet, the excitement of another possible bite made me just ignore the cold for a while. 

Even before my body can fully warm up I'm climbing back into my waders to almost run back to the spot I just discovered before. A quick glance on the depth map of the lake made it obvious why I found fish there - with structure like this, as a perch I would hang out there too!

One of the guys joins me while the other two want to find their luck on another part of the lake. For once even the sun shows up for a bit and witnesses me hooking another perch and missing a bite or two.

perch fishing noike smokin dad craw
another well fed beauty - I have a special passion for craw eating perch!

The whole afternoon is pretty entertaining as my partner fishes another point along the stretch and whenever one of us gets into some action the other would immediately drop everything and run up or down in order to help with pictures. If you have ever been packed up in layers of clothing plus waders you might be able to imagine how difficult running like this can be, we definitely had something to laugh that afternoon. 

We might not have the feeding frenzy that we were hoping for but at least the both of us finally got some action which makes for a fun afternoon.

perch in the net fishing daiwa emeraldas air
sparking joy - nice perch safely in the net

Sunday comes and it's time to head back home as we have a pretty long drive ahead of us. Of course it's also the first day which starts with sunshine, finally good conditions on the day of the departure. Which angler doesn't know that?! We decide to fish until noon, pack up and leave. My goal is clear - to catch one last fish and I know exactly where I wanna go. Back on my spot the fish seem to enjoy some sunday sleep-in and the first hour passes without a single bite. By now it's already too late to walk to the next free spot, the sunday crowds show up and there seems to be anglers everywhere, so I decide to just wait where I am until the perch show up, my legs freeze or go home time arrives. Luckily the first happens and I get to land another nice fish! It would be the perfect ending but I still have some time left as I already packed all my stuff early in the morning.

perch fishing noike smokin dad simms costa del mar
I wish I could start all my days with a good craw-eater perch like this!


As I make another cast towards my by now favourite structure in the lake, full of hope to get another bite, an elderly angler shows up, asks me where I'm fishing just to cast his dead bait seconds later all over where I just pointed to... 

As he sits back in his chair, I don't really know if I'm pissed or impressed of such confidence, arrogance or plain stupidity... There's hundreds of meters of free shoreline next to me but this guy has to cast his frozen fish spiked with trebles exactly where he had watched me fish for the last 10 minutes.

People like this are one of the main reasons why I prefer lesser known waters. Of course even in the most remote fishing locations exists a chance to meet with some ignorant idiot but chances are just way higher the more popular a lake/river gets...

On the bright side, his action forces me to cast in another direction where I pick up another beautiful perch while his deadbait rots on the ground untouched! 

perch fishing graphitleader silverado daiwa emeraldas air noike smokin dad
great way to end this trip!

Shortly afterwards it's already time to pack up and get in the car. With the best weather possible we leave the lake behind us and I already ask myself when I will be able to come back, I reached my trip-goal of catching my first proper dutch perch, now it's time for the +50 fish!


In conclusion I'd call this another great experience to join my fishing memories. Time well spent on the water in good company, got to learn some new tricks and new waters and in the end even caught a couple decent fish! I'll be back!


Thanks for reading!



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