The free time formula
"You're off next week, right?" my friend Vivian asks me. "Yeah, why?", I answer with a questioning undertone. "And what are we doing then?" Crap, I could have guessed. Now tact and the right tone at the right time are required. Tilting my head slightly to the side, with a trusting look and a low voice, I reply, "Fishing?" "Yeah, sure!" my better half replies. The irony is unmistakable. "Look, what do you think: we go to the Sorpesee, enjoy the sunrise with a cup of coffee and fish a little from the shore? And if the fish don't cooperate and we don't catch anything for the kitchen, we'll stop at a nice country inn for lunch on the way back." "And if you do catch something? We haven't had lunch together in a while!" "Then we'll just drop the fish off in the kitchen," I reply with a grin. She's not convinced yet, as her look reveals. "Look, we'll go fishing including sunrise at Sorpesee, followed by lunch at a country inn and a trip to Arnsberg's Altstadt." "Agreed!".
The early bird catches the worm
When the alarm clock rings, I feel like I'm getting up before the birds. The alarm clock shows a painful 4:15 am. As a precaution, I didn't mention to my girlfriend last night how early it would ring for our outing. Outside, the morning dawns. The first rays of sunlight tickle the green summer grass. As I open the window, I do hear the familiar chirping. The early bird catches the worm, I think to myself. That goes for both of them today: the feathered friends outside as well as for me. Even though my goal today is not in the ground, but in the water. A look outside confirms yesterday's weather report: bright blue skies. A good motivation to fire up the coffee machine.
Short vacation on the doorstep
Even if we get up so early, our way is not far. Today at the waterfront and later in Arnsberg will be a short vacation on our doorstep. Between us and our destination is only the A45, the Sauerland line. The name of the highway says it all, because the road leads us to the lakes of the Sauerland. After about an hour's drive, we stop on the shores of the Sorpesee in Sundern. The lake is known to anglers in particular for its stock of whitefish. These silvery schooling fish in turn are the prey of larger predatory fish. Pike, lake trout and pikeperch move through the clear lake with their sharp teeth on predatory expeditions. Pike up to well over one meter are caught by anglers every year! Will we also be lucky today?
Fishing at sunrise
The anticipation rises as I set the blinker and pull over. The fishing tackle is quickly taken out of the car and it's off to the water. I have a spinning rod about 2.7 meters long with me. Anglers are sometimes "spinners" in the positive sense, but here the name comes from the English "to spin", which means "to turn something". Because in so-called spin fishing, that's exactly what you do: you cast out the lure and reel it back in with the fishing reel that grips the line. To do this, you turn the crank of the reel. In this way, the angler imitates a swimming or fleeing prey animal for the predatory fish.
Despite summer vacation time, the lake lies quiet and untouched in front of us today. But who is up this early on vacation? Slowly, the sun moves over the deep green trees that line the shore and the Sorpesee with its emerald green water. A great sight that alone makes the trip to the lake worthwhile. And so the hours at the lake fly by. Vivian casts her line a few times and has a good nose for suitable bait. She chooses a small, silvery rubber fish from my bait box and says: "Can you mount it for me? It looks a lot like the small fish here in the shore area." I mount the bait and reply, "Right, that one might actually work well." Sure enough, several bass follow the rubber fish. Only they don't want to really grab.
Fresh fish at the country inn
We try for a while at the spot where the perch swam after the bait. But unfortunately no perch bite, they are obviously not hungry. But we are all the more hungry. The clock is already on noon and slowly it is time to turn our backs on the lake and its fish for the time being and to stop at a country inn instead. Vivian is already looking forward as we park in the parking lot of the Hoffmann country inn. "They run their own farm," my co-driver tells me, what she has just read on the website of the country inn operator.
We get a nice place in the courtyard garden. The cool drinks taste all the better here. The country inn looks back on a long family history that goes back to the 18th century, we learn. We tell the waitress about our unsuccessful attempt to catch sight of a fish. "If you still want to see fresh fish today, just come with us to the kitchen!" We gladly accept the offer and so we can personally look over the chef's shoulder. We both ordered a trout. In the kitchen, we learn that the fish come directly from the regional pond. I ask if, with more fishing luck, I can also deliver my fish directly to the kitchen. "Well, sure! That works too!" Meanwhile, Matthias Hoffmann explains how he prepares today's "substitute catch." In any case, it already smells excellent. That it also tastes very good, we can convince ourselves shortly afterwards.
And the best thing is that our day doesn't end here. In a moment, we will stroll through Arnsberg, take a look at the medieval town center and enjoy the view of the landscape from the castle ruins. At the same time, my thoughts will surely wander to the next fishing day in the Sauerland. Because sometime he bites, the big fish! I am looking forward to it.
Text: Clemens Strehl
Photography: Ralf Litera
Video: Jannik Jannik Fischbach