How does it feel to have just caught the biggest, baddest, blackest carp in your motherland? Kenneth knows... We spoke to him a few weeks ago now for the original interview, but given that since then he's gone and caught the target of all targets at just over 84lb, we asked him about that as well. Dutch pride, and good vibes all round from Kenneth and some incredible carp as well.
Same drill as ever, kettle on, kick back, and enjoy
Can you introduce yourself for us, what's your name, how old are you and where are you from?
Hello! My name is Kenneth Wiessenberg, I am 32 years old and live in the Netherlands. I have been with my lady Abigail for eight years now I am proud father of a stepdaughter Ava who is ten years old, and a son, Linc who is just one year old.
What do you do for a living, how do you get your angling to fit into life and work?
I do administrative work and I have worked for the same company for 12 years now, Profish Food BV, a company that grows and purchases fish worldwide, the fish is processed for consumption, and is therefore not angling related!
How many nights a week do you fish on average?
On average I fish one day/night a week, but I try to go for three days in periods that are productive, usually this works for me.
Do you do extra time every week to bait, walk, watch or socialize?
Yes this is more important to me than the fishing itself, I get the most information from these recce trips and can catch up by listening carefully and watching the water at the right times and planning trips accordingly. Pre baiting is something I like to do when I can, but in small amounts. I will often feed small amounts a week before I go fishing, up until the day I go, when I actually arrive with rods, I don't feed at all in the hope of catching a fish quickly. Pre-baiting and being on the water to observe as much as you can make it possible to catch fish quickly, when you finally have your plan aligned with what you see.
How did you get into angling/carp fishing?
I got a fishing rod in my hands at the age of 5 that had been my grandfather's, from that moment on I can say that it has determined a large part of my life to this day. I started fishing for whitefish and predatory fish, since I was 8 years old I have completely switched to fishing for carp now. The carp give me the most satisfaction as a quarry mentally because they are very smart animals.
How long have you been doing it?
From the age of 8, so that is now 24 years.
Where do your inspirations come from? Who are they and why do they inspire you?
My inspiration has changed a bit over the years. The first carp angler who really inspired me was Piet Vogel, a Dutch product developer and master of making end tackle. When I was 15 when I attended a lecture of his and I was sitting with goosebumps, and even today I can still remember what information he shared. Later I can say that I can add Darrel Peck to that, I love his optimism and how he targets carp to follow.
Are there any local anglers you have had an influence on in terms of approach, attitude etc?
I learned a lot as a young angler from people around me, the guys I was socialising and fishing with were older and already had a lot more experience than me, and the sharing of that information and experience has that got me to the point where I am now. What I have learnt is that if you share confidential and hard earned information you will learn much more, and more important information, faster. The really important things to me are where the fish show themselves, and what times they are active. I like to know everything, but will still always approach the water in my own way - copying is not my thing. I always try to have my own approach, that way I know best what I'm doing, but of course, I always take all the information I get from friends and local anglers.
Can you describe your local scene - is there even such a thing on your home waters? Are your waters public, or syndicates or clubs? Are they busy, is it a thriving scene?
The waters where I have been fishing in recent years are very busy and I have had to get used to this, now I accept it more easily because I know that everyone is there for the same purpose and those are precisely the beautiful and exclusive specimens to catch. Everyone does it their own way and that's nice to see. And also you always learn something from the people you meet as you go.
Do you have a social group of friends who also fish? Or do you mainly fish alone?
I do 90% of my fishing on my own, mainly because I can then draw my own plan and I feel that is necessary to catch the hardest fish, on the hardest of waters. Going alone has many advantages, you make your own decisions and can quickly respond to the situation without taking anyone else into account. The other 10% of the time I fish with a small group of friends, usually a week a year, and some weekends here and there to catch up.
What kind of carp and locations do you like to target?
I like waters that have a lot of obstacles and challenges to them, I like to observe carp and then come up with plans to catch them safely – maybe from up against large trees and snags, or other features. I fish on all different types of waters from canals to sand excavations and enjoy the challenges each present.
Are you interested/enthusiastic about the history of the carp in your region/country?
I have only been immersing myself in the history of carp in the Netherlands for a few years now, partly because I realised more and more of the older fish are dying that are on my wish list and then I started looking for information about the origin and age of these fish. I dearly want to catch some of the very beautiful ‘monuments’ of my own country, these count the most for me. I think the special thing about Dutch carp is that they still have a lot of character, the waters are difficult and often very low stock, and for me, that makes a Dutch catch even more special than one from abroad.
'I have only been immersing myself in the history of carp in the Netherlands for a few years now, partly because I realised more and more of the older fish are dying that are on my wish list and then I started looking for information about the origin and age of these fish'
Do you encounter many traveling anglers on your waters?
Yes absolutely, the waters I fish now are fairly well known among the big fish target anglers. I speak to people from all over the country, and also regularly Belgians and Germans.
Do you travel a lot for your fishing, if so, why?
Yes, the waters where I fish are often more than an hour's drive from home, but I don't mind, I enjoy the travel and love being on the road, it's become part of the adventure for me. Why? That is easy to answer, it is because then I have set my goals to catch a certain fish that appeals to me. I could catch plenty of carp, and easier, close to home, but that has no value to me. I want to angle for certain carp, and that means I have to travel now.
What are your personal goals and objectives in carp fishing?
My goals have changed over the seasons, I always wanted to catch the most fish, wherever I went I had to, and would try catch more than the people around me. It got so bad that I started to see it as a competition, looking back that has always made me sharp and always think hard about the right approach. That knowledge I didn’t often share, and in hindsight I think that was my biggest tipping point in carp fishing. Now in 2021 my fishing is very different, I share my knowledge and I get a real satisfaction from it. Positive feedback from people gives me a really nice feeling.
'Now in 2021 my fishing is very different, I share my knowledge and I get a real satisfaction from it. Positive feedback from people gives me a really nice feeling'
You recently caught the biggest carp in your homeland, was that a long standing target? Where do you go now, once you've caught the biggest, and possibly best, in your land? Congratulation from us on that!
Thanks! Yes really it was the capture of my life so far. I only decided a year ago to have go for this fish, when it was well over 35kg I wanted to catch it but I didn't want to spend all my time there though and therefore only fished at times where I had a lot of confidence, and felt the time was right. I didn't dare to dream that I would succeed in just seven nights on the water. I still have a lot of other targets I would love to catch, so I'm definitely not going to sit still. There are so many beautiful fish swimming in so many different waters that are all new to me. The journey to catching a target is often more beautiful than the capture itself, so I will still enjoy all the moments in between.
'I didn't dare to dream that I would succeed in just seven nights on the water'
'There are so many beautiful fish swimming in so many different waters that are all new to me. The journey to catching a target is often more beautiful than the capture itself'
People in the UK often talk about the past as the 'good old days', would you take yourself back 20 or 30 years if you could carp fishing in the 1980s, or are you quite happy with 2021?
This is an easy question for me and maybe not the answer you expect: I am happy with 2021, yes it is busier everywhere, but it is now also much easier to share knowledge. Also, you often meet people who pursue the same dreams and that was not the case in the past. Of course the peace and the unknown of 30 years ago certainly had its charms, and I am also glad that I have grown with the times. I can certainly talk about the good old days, but for me every day by the water is still a good day.
Perfect, we had a feeling you might say that! Thanks for talking to us and sharing some of the incredible carp you’ve caught
'I am happy with 2021, yes it is busier everywhere, but it is now also much easier to share knowledge. Also, you often meet people who pursue the same dreams and that was not the case in the past. Of course the peace and the unknown of 30 years ago certainly had its charms, and I am also glad that I have grown with the times'