Lake Goslawice-Polska Fishing
A little over 12 months ago I received an invite along with my husband Dave to fish the mighty Lake Golsawice, rumoured to be the best carp fishery in Poland.
Golsawice is a relatively unknown lake to most but with its resident carp now in excess of 76lb its popularity is growing fast and what was once a hidden Polish gem is increasingly featuring week in and week out on the Carp front with some truly stunning looking and monstrous carp!
The lake itself is a little over 90 acres with depths between 4-11 ft and dependant on the time of year can be heavily weeded, particularly in the shallower areas of the lake.
The lake has 20 fishing stations capable of occupying two anglers comfortably, all of which have electrical charging points for all your bank side gadgets and is stocked with over 2500 carp , with at least 5 over the 60lb mark and is situated in Konin, which is approximately 100 kilometres from Poznan airport.
Travel to the lake can also by way of car, but is some what more arduous, with an initial ferry journey from the U.K. and then a 6 hour drive from the port in Hamburg.
This was to be my first time in Poland and with coverage and information about the lake coming from limited sources I did my best to gather all I could prior to arrival.
The opportunity to fish this fabulous lake was gifted to me by one of the most kind hearted and welcoming people you are every likely to meet, namely Mr Jaroslaw Pietrak, who is not only affiliated to Golsawice, but is also the Mayor of Dobrzyca a small semi-rural, town approximately 45 minutes outside of Poznan.
As well as being Major,business man, father and husband,Jaroslaw is a very keen and proficient angler and now annually runs the “Major Dobrzyca cup”, which takes place over 4 days , and consists of 20 pairs of competing anglers from all over Europe.
What we didn’t know was that as part of our itinerary during our stay we had been entered into the competition by Jaroslaw! Talk about being thrown in at the deep end in what was to be our first international participation!
Flying from Manchester to Poznan with a connecting flight in Frankfurt took us a little over 4 hours and so leaving early Sunday we arrived on time in Poznan and were met by our hosts.
With the competition on Goslawice beginning on Wednesday, it was Jaroslaw’s intention to show us a little of what else other than monstrous carp Poland had to offer and so after meeting his lovely family and being welcomed into his beautiful home in which we were to stay for the next couple of days we were whisked away into the centre of Poznan where I sat in the historic square,under blazing skies sampling the local cuisine Whilst Dave got to grips with the free flowing Tyskie! 🍺
Monday we awoke to glorious sunshine and we were treated to a another day of soaking up Polish culture with an initial trip to Dobryzca Town Hall and then onto Dobrzyca Palace , once home to the Polish aristocracy, occupied by German forces during the Second World War and now a museum filled with antiquities, set amongst glorious gardens and estate for all to see and marvel – a must see!
To keep the element of fishing well and truly alive Jaroslaw also gave us a guided tour of his Bait company ZUZA BAITS and manufacturing plant.
ZUZA baits is very close to Jaroslaw’s heart, is something which he is very passionate about and is named after his daughter.
What Jaroslaw is aiming to achieve with ZUZA baits is to produce a high quality bait free from preservatives and with an immediate freezing process aims to maximise and lock in all those natural and key ingredients!
The results of ZUZA baits speak for themselves and is the go to bait on Golsawice and with some old school classics such as Strawberry, Pineapple , Mulberry and Sweetcorn to name but a few it is easy to see why more and more anglers are adding it to their arsenal when in pursuit of those Golsawice giants!
Needless to say, with an eclectic smell coming from the freezers I had every confidence ZUZA would bag me a whacker!, 👍🏻🎣🐳
Mid afternoon saw us once more visiting Poznan and finally as the evening set in we were treated to a taster of what was to come as we paid a fleeting visit to the banks of lake GOSLAWICE!!! 🎣🐳
As I stood in the still evening air,looking out onto the glassy waters of lake Golsawice, with the the sun setting I caught a glimpse of a carp as it porpoised towards the middle of the lake.
Then another head and shouldered in the shallow bay to my right. I was so eager to get my rods out but unfortunately I’d have to wait as another competition was is progress on the lake and I was unable to fish.
Despite not being able to fish we were treated to a cursory tour of the lake by Jaroslaw and was introduced to the bailiff and was even fortunate to catch a glimpse of a Golsawice carp as it’s captor proudly held it up for the camera.
Now by Golsawice standards this was no monster and was a little over 20lb , however the fish was a lovely deep, dark coloured, plump mirror without a single mark on it. I crossed my fingers at this point and prayed to the carp gods that come Wednesday a fish like this would grace my net……
Back home for the remainder of the evening myself and Dave were treated to another taste of Polish cuisine as Jaroslaw’s wife Ilona cooked up a storm in the kitchen and brought out the Polish Vodka which ensured both myself and Dave enjoyed a good nights sleep! 😂💤
Tuesday was somewhat of a lazy day as we were treated to a lie in before a hearty breakfast and then down to the local tackle shop to stock up on those all important essentials.
Finally, mid afternoon it was time to get the rods out as we were privileged to fish a small commercial carp water run by the local authority and saw me bag my first Polish carp ,in the form of a chunky, humped back mirror! He was lovely and along with a few of his friends up to mid-doubles my Polish carping campaign was well and truly underway! A really fun day! 🎣🐳🐳🐳🐳
That evening ,hopes and expectations were high as we sat on the patio watching the sun go down,discussing all that lake Goslawice had to offer.
So excited, Dave and I found it hard to sleep that night and as dawn broke the household was up bright and early.
With breakfast out of the way the tackle was packed into the cars and by late morning we were finally on route to Goslawice!!! 🎣🐳🇵🇱💥
As I was going to be fishing with Dave for the duration of the competition, Jaroslaw would be teaming up with his brother Mateusz who was quiet a character! 👍🏻😂😂
With just over an hour spent on the road we finally pulled up to the gates at Golsawice and already cars were begging to que.
It was “Sweaty palm” time as we drove along the dusty track leading to the lake lodge and I could hear my tummy turn over with nerves !.😬
The crowds were gathering and if I wasn’t nervous enough Dave kindly advised me that he had nominated me to make our draw for pegs! “ no pressure then” 😢
With the temperatures in the 30’s and from my observations from my recce early in the week, I noted that the most productive spots were those towards the middle of the lake and into deeper water.
With fingers crossed 🤞 I first had to choose the order in which I was to draw.
Number 8 came out of the bag and so eighth in line I was ……
Surprisingly most of the pegs we had favoured were still available when it came round to my turn to choose, not that I was complaining of course.
Eyes closed and hand into the bag .
Number 5!!! A great result, middle of the lake, with deeper water to the left, heavy weed beds to the right and clear spots at range, we were in with a chance!!!
Dave was happy at least 😂 and with vehicular access around the whole of the lake it wasn’t long before we were setting up, things were looking promising!😉
The nature of the fishing on Goslawice dictates that a boat is to be used when landing fish but can also be used when placing rigs and during bait application.
Finally with spots baited the traps were set – now to sit back , relax and wait for the alarms to sing!! 🎶
As the sun beat down we found it hard to keep cool and to be honest conditions didn’t look favourable………
As the first evening on Goslawice drew in the temperature finally cooled and just as we set about making that all important cup of English tea, Dave’s left hand rod burst into a flurry of bleeps and then melted off at a rate of knots !!!
Dave bent into a good fish but immediately if went solid in a weedbed.
Without further a do Dave got in the boat and I followed shortly behind.
Slowly winding down to the fish we made our way out to out first marker at over 100 metres and gradually picking off lumps of weed from the eyes of the rod.
Dave keeping the pressure on, manoeuvred into position and I slowed the boat directly over the fish, at which time we could see that the fish was heavily weeded but owing to the lead being fished drop off style ,direct contact with the fish was maintained.
The rod hooped over and the fish surged suddenly and went solid.
Having found sanctuary in a mass of weed we were left with a bit of a dilemma as weed around the top eye was preventing Dave from gaining line and a carp wallowed at the side of the boat in a ton of weed!
With Dave holding the rod high, with arms out stretched I managed to dig deep into the weed and lighten the load.
Momentarily the fish was free of its burden and boiled on the surface!
“Now” shouted Dave and with a slip of the net the fish was ours!!! Yes! Our first Golsawice carp!🎣🐳
What a start! We were ecstatic as we made our way back to shore 👍🏻😉
As we approached the front of the staging a welcoming party along with the marshals had gathered and assisted me as I clambered from the boat.
Net, fish and weed finally on the mat and as Dave peeled back the mesh and cleared the weed we could see that it was a lovely, pristine mirror.
On the scales is went a little over 20lb and with photos quickly done, the fish was returned and rod back on the spot.
Needless to say we went to bed on a high!!!!! 👍🏻🎣🐳
The rods fell silent during the night, but as the sun poked its head over the distant tree line, it was my turn for some action as my Right hand rod woke me from my slumber with a blistering run!!!!
Into the boat once more, I wound down fast to keep in contact with the fish and with a liitle help from the boat motor I was soon battling an angry Goslawice mirror at close quarters!
Again the thick weed was proving difficult and Dave more than once had to free the fish from the weed by hand.
I could see that the hook had taken a good hold in the fish’s bottom lip and so kept the pressure on as he tried repeatedly to dive deeper and deeper into the weed! 😢
After a few nervy moments I finally got the better of what looked to be another pristine mirror and Dave did the honours with the net.
As his head hit the spreader blog I could see that he was a better fish and I couldn’t wait to have a proper look at him on dry land!
Up on the scales he was a little under 28lbs! Finally off the mark and what a beautiful fish 👍🏻❤️
With a fish a piece the pressure eased a little and as the sun once more shone bright, we sat back to enjoy a well earned breakfast.
By late morning the temperatures were soaring and the lake appeared lifeless and the surface like glass …..
With no further action expected, myself and Dave were invited for a guided tour around Goslawice and it’s surrounding estates and so wound in to rest the swim.
Now for those of you that know little about Golsawice as did I, the lake is only a pin prick by comparison in what is a huge expanse of lakes, waterways and canals which stretch as far as the eye can see. It is only from the air I guess that the scale of this watery network can be appreciated, it is truly vast!!!
This along with lake Goslawice is owned and managed by Antoni Lakomiak.
Antoni is not only a fanatical fisherman but also the President and owner of Goslawice Fish Farm and more importantly Antonius Caviar, which is not only a Polish brand of the most desirable delicacy- “caviar” but the third largest producer of caviar in the world and a multi million pound business!!
Beneath the surface of every surrounding piece of water swim Sturgeon in all shapes and sizes, which in turn are ultimately bred and harvested to produce this fine delicacy.
Unfortunately you cannot fish for these sturgeon in the surrounding lakes as they are a precious quantity, but at night as the sun goes down on Goslawice you can see huge shapes like missiles furrowing through the surface in adjacent lakes and holding pools.
We were privileged enough to be given a guided tour of the fish farm where we witnessed first hand every stage of the sturgeon’s life cycle, from being nurtured and cared for as a egg, nursed as a tiny sterlet in clinical like holding tanks, too finally being placed in outdoor pools where they are fed on a strict diet and schedule to ensure maximum growth and quality to the stage of maturity at which time they can ultimately grow to enormous proportions!
To conclude our tour we were even invited to meet Antoni where we chatted over coffee, – a true gentleman.
Antoni went on to tell us that for him Lake Goslawice was very close to his heart and for him he applied the same principles and clinical attention to detail that he does to the sturgeon as he does to the management of the carp which he also grows and ultimately stocks into Goslawice.
For him the key to Goslawice is to being able to nurture from the egg, every carp that is stocked into its waters and being able to watch that fish grow year after year , something which is rare in today’s world of carp fishing.
All to often these days we see instant carp fisheries springing up with instant stocks of 30lb plus fish not knowing in most cases where they may have come from or how old they are?
Goslawice is the complete opposite and judging by its current stock Antoni ‘s formula is definitely working! couple this with a rich environment in which to grow and warm water fed from the local power station in which to thrive and you ultimately have monster carp!! 👍🏻🎣🐳💥
By early afternoon and after a spot of lunch we were back fishing but still the blistering sun beat down with not even a glimpse of a carp anywhere…….
Hard conditions meant hard fishing and other than the mosquitoes we couldn’t buy a bite 😢 and as we baked in the heat, evening time and cooler temperatures couldn’t come soon enough.
A cool shower and suitably refreshed we scanned the horizon for any signs of fish and just at that moment Dave’s middle rod was away!
Once more Into the boat and with it the haul to the middle of the lake as the weed was really becoming troublesome 😡
Sure enough on reaching our marker the fish had found sanctuary once more in a dense weed bed .
With no other option Dave drew the fish as close to the boat as possible and then it was down to me to literally scoop the weed ,fish and all. Thankfully she went in first time and we could see that she was a beautiful looking common.
Again back on dry land the marshals had gathered to weigh our prize and at just over 28 1/2lb we were informed that we were now in third place overall! Result!!! not that I’m competitive of course 👍🏻😉😂😂
Unfortunately that night just as things were looking up I received a blistering take at just gone midnight but just as we were about to net the fish it rubbed up tight against a marker cord and with what must have been already damaged line, the line parted!
My heart sank as glimpsing it in the darkness it looked like a much better fish 😢😢
That was the only action we received that night and into Friday our alarms fell silent as the Polish sunshine did its best to roast us to a crisp! ☀️☀️☀️🔥
The heat on the final full day was unbearable and the only respite we had was to dip our feet in the water in a hope we’d cool off 😎😨☀️ needless to say the extreme heat did nothing for our fishing and with the majority of action coming at night we just hoped and prayed that would be the case on our final night?
As the sun went down on the final evening on Goslawice we had nothing more to show for our efforts that day and we learnt that a few fish had been caught in the shallower area of the lakes therefore pushing us out of a podium finish and right down the field 😢😢
With a heavy heart we both got into our sleeping bags thinking of what might have been, myself contemplating my loss and praying 🙏🏼 for just one more bite….
Darkness turned to light as we entered into Saturday and with the competition drawing to a close at midday our tally remained the same.
Dave was up bright and early that morning and sat looking out onto the lake as if willing something to happen however the clock kept ticking and our prayers to the carp gods went unanswered 🙏🏼😢
A cup of tea to make everything alright , but come 9am nothing..
What happened then with less than an hour to go you couldn’t have written!
Suddenly My left hand rod gave out two intermittent bleeps and the hanger pulled up tight and froze..? Jumping to my feet I hung over the rod waiting for the inevitable but instead nothing happened? Seconds latter a further bleep and
so seizing the moment I picked up the rod and connected with a fish.
Straight away I could sense that the fish was heavily weeded and wouldnt budge.
Into the boat once more we went.
As we got to the fish I could see that it was a much better fish which was engulfed in a mass of weed. Dave expertly managed to clear the raft of weed however and allowed the fish to swim freely.
The fish pondered hard and deep trying once more to seek sanctuary in the weed but I kept the pressure on and eventually broke surface at which time a big fat mirror carp slipped into the net enveloped in a carpet of weed and what we thought to be either a snagged or stray line?
With a big mirror in the net, a mass of weed and a stray line to contend with we were in a bit of a pickle and to add further to our problems the weed had snagged the motor and was preventing the propellor from turning ! 😡
Dave to the oars it was, but as if things weren’t hectic enough Daves remote signalled a violent take on his right hand rod but we were still a good 50 feet from the bank!!
Suddenly the line which we still had hold of (believing it to be a snagged or stray line) began to pull at which time we realised that some how what ever fish was attached be it the first or second had some how kited on a tight line and at some point had crossed or become entangled in all the thick weed which would account for the peculiar and some what hesitant take ?.
Realising what was happening Dave hurriedly rowed to shore at which time a few friends realising what had happened came to assist.
Dave lept from the boat and picked up the second rod and realised there was a lot of slack line and as he wound down it became evident that it was in fact as suspected our second line and a fish was still attached but was now only a couple of rod lengths from the bank!
With my fish occupying our only net Dave could see as the fish neared that between them they’d woven a twisted web of line and weed making it impossible for him to gain line further literally feet from the bank!!
Dave sighted the fish and could see it was a heavy set mirror and was not gonna
With no other option Dave downed the rod , the eyes now snarled up with weed and jumped into the margin and took hold of the line and left with no other option attempted to hand line the fish, only problem was we only had one net! Nightmare!
Frantic scenes called for frantic measures and as the marshals sourced another net, Dave before they had returned had somehow managed to tame the fish and with a well timed swoop, now cradled an absolute cracker in his arms!!
With fish safety paramount Dave bit through the second snagged line and coaxed his fish into awaiting
retainer to recover!!! 👍🏻😉💥💥
With emotions running high and adrenaline pumping we eventually managed to make sense of what had just happened and as a result of an unforgettable double take myself and Dave were soon stood in the margins with a brace of Goslawice crackers, Dave’s weighing in at 38lb 2oz and mine a very respectable 34lb 8oz! 🎣🐳🐳💥
With seconds of the competition left we celebrated with some water shots and the cursory soaking on my part with my new Polish Pb and my first thirty ever!
We were over the moon and to be honest didn’t really care about where we may be placed In the competition anymore…💥👍🏻
With the final whistle imminent we were in a state of euphoria, what a way to finish!!but with the scores now in we held our breath, – had we done enough? 🤞
The crowds gathered for the results, we waited…..
Jaroslaw and his brother Mateusz came in as out and out winners and also took the prize for the biggest fish during the competition, a result well deserved as they had fished consistently throughout 👏 🏆
Then came the body blow!!! 💥 2nd and 3rd place were tied and left us in 4th place beating us by a mere few ounces!! 😢
Obviously I was a little disappointed to have missed out on a podium finish but I think I was a little more down than Dave as I really wanted a trophy 😢🏆
Dave soon put things in perspective and he was right, to come and fish a lake you have never fished before, compete in a field of 20 pairs of competent international anglers and finish fourth was a massive achievement! 👏👏 and you know what he was right!!
My disappointment was short lived as anglers were more interested in congratulating us on such a fantastic finish and the tale that went with it 👍🏻😉
Presentation ceremony over, the crowds dispersed and soon we were the last men standing.
As I looked out over the waters of Goslawice for the final time my heart sank a little and was missing it already 😢
Goslawice is a very special place with some very ,very special fish.
There are massive plans in place in the coming months for Goslawice which will only see it go from strength to strength and I’m sure in the very near future you will be hearing a lot more about this fantastic venue.
I would like to say a massive thank you for all involved at Lake Goslawice and making us feel most welcome but more importantly I would like to thank Jaroslaw and his beautiful family for welcoming us into his home and treating us like royalty during our time spent here in Poland. 👍🏻❤️❤️
This was my first time here in Poland , a beautiful country with beautiful people and some truly spectacular carp!! 👍🏻 we cant wait to get back! 🎣🐳🐳❤️😉