In Hungary, about 65 miles (105 km) from Budapest can be found the country’s most beautiful and biggest lake called Balaton (also referred to as Hungarian Sea). Its beautiful wild life, great fishing and other sport opportunities, fantastic wines, delicious dishes and active night life attract many people (both hungarian and foreigners) each year. The largest and probably most famous city around the shores of the lake is Siofok. It can be easily reached by car on the motorway M7 in 1 hour. If you have been to Hungary but haven’t yet paid a visit to Siofok I highly recommend you to do so, especially during the summer months.

I have many memories that bounds me together with this place. My first fishing experiences are linked to lake Balaton, all the way back to the age of 5 when I was chasing bleak and small roach on a short telescopic rod, following my father’s caring instructions and patiently teaching words.

Our first serious trip to Balaton that I can recall took place when I was 12. Remembering back, after a week of preparation for the 5 days trip, we caught so much fish that it was insane. Fishing is awesome on the lake Balaton. Virtually any fish that can be caught in European freshwaters – can be caught in there. The wate is famous of its silver fish (in hungarian:keszeg) stock, and due to its immensity they can grow to extreme figures. I remember catching bream that could barely fit into our large landing net. But we caught carp of up to 14 pounds, huge eel, massive roach, crucial etc.

Whenever I can, at least once in a year I visit this place. I personally prefer to go in May or September. There are less tourists at that time, weather is still nice and fish are feeding actively. In both times you can fish both the southern and the northern sides of the lake. The southern side (where Siofok is) is very shallow. You can walk in as far as a good half mile without getting the upper part of your body wet. But don’t get fooled by that, many would think that just because it’s so shallow it doesn’t hold fish. Wrong. Especially in spring months, most species (including carp) are moving to the southern, shallower side of the lake because it gets warm quicker than the much deeper northern coasts. In that period many silver fish, carp, zander and even catfish can be caught in shallow waters.

This year due to my limited time, I only managed to squeeze in a one day session (afternoon and evening) in May. Quality groundbait, maggots and some new line from a tackle shop nearby, and let’s go fishing!

The groundbait I used that day – I always add plenty of leam to my mix. Apart from making it heavy, it helps to keep bleak away from your feed.
Using water from the lake
Once ready, I always riddle my mix
The smell of the groundbait was so nice, like in a bakery shop: sweet cinnamon and plum. Had to control myself not to take a bite while mixing it 😀
Once ready, should look like this. With added live maggots, breadcrumb and sweetcorn – name me a fish that could say no to this!
When all settled and ready
Waiting for first bite

The first arrivals to the groundbait are usually smaller roach and skimmer bream. In spring months around breeding time they often seem damaged – they recover fast. After first feeding I usually throw a small ball next to my float in every 15 minutes to keep fish interested.

If you get it all right, within an hour you should start catching bigger fish
Nicer bream
Typical lake Balaton specie
Great roach
You never have to wait too long for a bite at lake Balaton
Chunky hybrid
Balaton fish love maggots
As it got dark on us, fish seemed to feed even more actively
These hungry guys often swallow the bait real deep
Beautiful Balaton fish
Midnight fishie


Last fish of the session. Love float-fishing at night!

Too bad it started to rain, I am sure later on some carp or larger bream would have turned up on my feed – I observed and heard many sightings of big fish nearby. This coming September I already have a trip planned with my friend to go back to the awesome lake Balaton. That time I’m planning to go specifically to catch carp and larger fish – hope you guys will follow me!

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