Ever fancied something a little on the wild side and a bit more adventurous instead of the usual French holiday venue? We spent half an hour chatting to our friend Jakub over in the Czech Republic about the new venture he has set up with his dad and friend Radek. The Czech Republic might not be on your radar for places to visit, but the fishing and scenery offered is something special. Couple that with the perfect craft to fish from, at great prices, and you have an adventure waiting to happen. As soon as we have a spare week we'll be heading over there ourselves to experience it first hand. For now, here's Jakub with some insights and history behind the motivations for the project
Hey Jakub, thanks for doing this with us! Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself, who are you, where are you from and how long have you been fishing?
My pleasure, I would like to thank you very much, guys! My name is Jakub Gregor and I'm from the Czech Republic. Probably a few readers will stop now and double check where I'm talking to you from... I consider myself to be a completely ordinary lad who, like all of you, lives for his fishing. I love nature and I try to perceive and experience it with the deepest possible feeling. I have been fishing since I was a child, and it is just something we have had in the family for several generations now.
I only recently graduated from college, studying a completely different direction to fishing. It was an economic field. I know nothing interesting… anyway, back to the fishing!
I am really interested in carp fishing and enjoy everything about this branch in general. I am interested in the technical stuff, new products from various companies, the history, the underground scene, in short just everything about it really from A to Z.
The perfect platform to start a project like this then! Tell us a little about your new venture, LOV Z LODE? How did you set it up and what is the history and motivations?
Angling, and the waters on which fishing is done in the Czech Republic have a slightly different character than in your country in the UK. There are a lot of private waters, but it is much more common to fish on public waters, and especially on our rivers.
The longest, and at the same time, the wildest river in our country is the Vltava river. To be more specific, it is the Vltava cascade, which consists of 9 large dams. Every single section is a little bit different. For example, the longest stretch measures 68 km with an average depth of about 30 meters and the deepest part about 70 meters. Rocks, hills and forests line the river corridor. There is so much water, and for us as carp anglers, what we are constantly attracted to are the many ‘never-before-caught’ treasures. It really is a pure natural environment, and absolute wilderness.
'It really is a pure natural environment, and absolute wilderness'
My family and I live really close to the Vltava, so you could say that I grew up on river. But why am I talking about this? The water is really big, so it might seem that there would be a lot of places to fish from the bank, but that's exactly what we've always struggled with. Access to the water, or to put a bivvy or brolly somewhere, is the main problem. It is the rocks and steep banks that make fishing almost impossible in most places.
"Yes, that's right… exactly! Fishing from a boat would be awesome." That's exactly what we had been saying for several years. My Dad always talked about renting some boats, or a houseboat maybe, he was always tempted to start something like that… A few years ago, my long time friend Jirka 'Chorchito' Šulc took me on his own proper fishing boat and that’s where the seed was planted. We started talking about it, and today the whole idea and project is up and running.
What does the name mean?
The exact translation of 'LOV Z LODĚ' is ‘hunting/fishing from the boat’. So, nothing special… but we wanted to be straightforward.
Ah, it has a lovely ring to it and look from a non-Czech speaker anyway! What made you want to set up a venture/business like this?
From the beginning, I saw an advantage in terms of fishing opportunities, primarily for us. Gradually, I began to think of other opportunities that could be achieved together with running it as a business. One of them was to show what fishing opportunities the Czech Republic could offer to anglers from other countries. I've always dreamed of working full time in the industry, being in touch with the same passionate and like minded people every day, and this was a clear opportunity.
'I've always dreamed of working full time in the industry, being in touch with the same passionate and like minded people every day, and this was a clear opportunity'
"From the LOV Z LODĚ point of view": Everyone imagines adventure and adrenaline a little bit differently. However, we are convinced that with this project it can be easier to achieve. Our goal is to inspire, motivate and bring these experiences directly to all anglers.
The Czech Republic isn't on the radar yet for many English carp anglers, what makes the fishing in the area so special?
In my opinion it is the nature, the beautiful landscapes, and wildlife – mouflons (wild sheep) and deer jumping over rocks, and the sense of the unknown. Pristine carp with no names that have probably never seen a hook and never experienced a fight with a rod and line. At least as far as the Vltava river is concerned. There are also several huge lakes, with countless large carp, as well as narrower rivers with a stronger flow, there is a little bit of everything.
What can customers expect from the fishing there?
An escape. The camaraderie of fishing, the breath taking vistas, the warm embrace from the wild nature around you, this is our passion and it can be yours too. Let us take you to another world and inspire you in yet undiscovered ways, and build memories and awaken new passions as you escape this crazy world with your new friends in this shared voyage. Is that enough?!
What is the best aspect of fishing from a boat, what makes it special?
As I mentioned the issue of access to water and to get fish safely, that is one of the main aspects. Another aspect is to be able to get on the fish easily or to go and look for them, because there is no way to walk or even drive around much of the vast river system. A huge advantage is also the ability to anchor exactly where one needs. And moving? That's incredibly easy - there is no need to pack down anything, just raise the anchors, start the engine and move a few kilometres away.
'A huge advantage is also the ability to anchor exactly where one needs. And moving? That's incredibly easy - there is no need to pack down anything, just raise the anchors, start the engine and move a few kilometres away'
What options do you offer, is there any local knowledge and guiding you can offer?
Regarding our boats, we have two different options named “Freedom” and “Passion”. Equipment specifications about each of them are in full on our website.
Of course, we are always willing to provide advice and information about the selected location and since we take the boats to the chosen location, it is always on an individual agreement and basis. We don't yet offer guiding similar to what you know back in the UK, but we are always open to agree on something similar or come up with a solution suitable to individual customers.
What would you say to anyone who might be nervous of fishing from a boat for the first time?
Probably just don't be. Yes, it's a simple answer, but isn't it just the undiscovered and raw experience that makes adventure, the right adventure? As I mentioned above, we always provide all the information and advice on anchoring and steering the boat, so there is nothing at all to worry about. And hey, there's a first time for everything. Freedom and adventure - that's what it's all about!
Any last words you'd like to offer?
I should like to mention that it's not just my own thing. My dad and our friend Radek and I share it together. We have already planned several interesting projects, shoots, etc. Therefore, I believe that it is worth following us on social media to keep up with the project.
We are new, we are passionate, we are dedicated, and we exist only to bring all these joys I mentioned above to you guys.
I really appreciate it and feel blessed when writing these words. Thanks Gaz and SUB for this opportunity and above all thank you to my greatest supporters, my family!
Check out LOV Z LODE here for prices, more images and info;