A few months ago me and 5 friends came up with a plan to fish for a session on a pay water together. Relaxation and fun would come first, but eventually for another reason it became a session never to forget... Quite unexpectedly a tornado came over the water during a violent storm! Read my impressive story below.

A year and a half ago, six friends, including myself, forged a plan to go to a payment water. No pressure, no expectations, just a nice holiday with friends among each other. We ourselves are not really big fans of pay waters but "hey, 'it's all fun" we thought. Relaxing in sunny France, good food with a cold beer. #Something to look forward to.

Once we arrived at the waterfront we walked around with the very friendly owner and the cuttings were divided. Time to install everything, you know what that means: the dragging and lugging of bedchairs and tents could start, but we were looking forward to it. The atmosphere was relaxed, nothing had to be done and everything was possible.

The weather change

Already in the first night several high thirty-somethings were caught and a forty. That's how it often goes on a pay day lake hardly any 'small' fish. The next morning we had a nice and quiet breakfast. The sun came up and we could see that it was going to be a blissful day. The whole day it was about 24 degrees with a radiant sun and we were chilling on our seats like a God in France. In the distance we saw some clouds and some thunderstorms coming. I remember saying to my buddy, "What a godsend!" After such a hot day (with minimal catches) a nice thunderstorm can 'wake up' the water, which often will bring in the catches.

Thunder and lightning slowly came our way. Two of our mates went quickly into the water to free a line. I said to myself "Let's put everything in the tent before it rains". Suddenly there was a fierce wind with heavy rain, so I crawled straight into my tent. Within seconds the wind turned into something that I had never seen before it was a struggle to even see your hand in front of your face anymore. All around me trees broke down like matchsticks.

I held the storm poles of my tent in the hope that it would soon be over. My bivvy clapped inside against my back. As if I hadn't figured out yet what situation I was in, this was emphasized once more. There was no way I could go, an extremely frightening situation.

With hailstones of up to two centimeters this was a true 'hell on earth'. I saw my dinghy being crushed by a tree and my boat flying away as if it was a leaf. All my hard-earned stuff was destroyed in no time, but that wasn't my worst worry. I saw that my buddy, who was sitting in his tent with me, was also safe. The boys who were on the water in a boat, didn't make it to shore in time before the storm to erupted.

Luckily they weren't hurt either. One of their bivvies was still upright, but the other bivvy had completely disappeared, just like the picnic table on the spot. Fortunately, the other anglers were also safe. The extreme weather continued for a few more minutes and then peace returned...

One thing I'll never forget: Mother Nature is the boss!

Cleaning up debris...

All those present were extremely frightened and the administrators were about to burst into tears. After a night without lines in the water we decided in the morning to make the best of it. We got in our boats took to the water to remove all the trees and branches. By the evening everything was on edge. We got the rods back out and immediately after on the other side of the lake four bites fell and on my side they managed to have another ten at night. It was only in the early hours that my fishing rod ran off and a mighty mirror of just under 19 kilos made us forget all our misery for a moment.

In the end the storm turned out to be a cyclone.

Wesley Crauwels - Belgium


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