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VISpas Hotspots: De (Utrechtse) Vecht

VISpas Hotspots: De (Utrechtse) Vecht

The Vecht starts at the Weerdsluis in inner city Utrecht and wends its way northwards towards Muiden. Upon reaching this fortified town, the river, which is more than 40 kilometres in length, flows into the IJmeer. This river offers plenty of variety for anglers looking for predatory fish, coarse fish and carp.

Almost the entire length of the river can be fished with the VISpas.

Thanks to its varying width, meandering route and diverse surroundings, the Vecht provides a wide variety of fishing waters. For example, the distance between banks is 15 metres in some places, but up to 150 metres in others – the further away from Utrecht, the broader the river becomes. Between 2010 and 2015, the entire length of the Vecht was dredged. This has made the water deeper and cleaner. Although there are roads along almost the whole length of the banks, the verge is very narrow in many spots, and parking is not always possible or permitted. This is partly due to the estates, castles, country houses and gardens that sprang up alongside the Vecht during the 17th century.

Coarse fish

Using a pole or feeder rod, you can easily catch bream and roach along the Vecht. When using a pole, use a rig with a float weighing at least 1.5 g due to the considerable depth at a distance of 11 to 13 metres (three to four metres) and the light current. The bream can sometimes weigh up to three kilos and are strong, so don’t go too light. You can also get good results with a feeder rod on the Vecht. Choose a main line that sinks well – a good tip is to consider using nylon instead of a braided line – so you can also fish undisturbed when there are lots of recreational boaters about. The ‘keep it simple’ motto applies for both techniques. In addition to bream and roach, you may also land other coarse fish such as ide and gobies.


The carp stock in the Vecht consists of fish weighing between 20 and 30 pounds on average. Thanks to stocking of carp in the Amsterdam and Utrecht regions, it is possible to regularly land mirror carp in addition to common carp. While pre-feeding increases your chance of success, the carp – which often swim in groups – do tend to move on quickly. This means that catches on the Vecht can be variable: you can either catch multiple carp in a short period of time, or catch nothing at all. Feeding with particles can be tricky due to the big bream, which may interfere with your plans. For this reason, many carp anglers choose to use boilies instead. Broaden your chances by dropping one rod in the navigation channel and using the other to fish alongside the water lilies. Also take the time to use sinker or fishfinder to check for obstacles along the river bottom. Because the river has been heavily used for centuries now, there may be remnants of old retaining walls and poles at your spot. Finally, you can use your NachtVIStoestemming all year round for night fishing along the northern part of the Vecht.

Predatory fish

In places where the Vecht flows through a built-up area, bridges, quays, houseboats and mooring posts create interesting spots for perch and pikeperch.

You can use a dropshot rig for successful fishing, and you will be less likely to get caught up than with other techniques for fishing on and around the bottom. During the winter, it can pay off to fish for pike with dead bait at these spots, where the water is a touch warmer (and don’t be surprised if you land large pikeperch as by-catch!). In rural areas, good spots include junctions with other waters, outflows from pumping stations, bridges, bends and places where the waterway widens. Where the river narrows, the current becomes a little faster and you can expect to find asp too. A lot of boat fishing takes place on the Vecht, with trolling for pike using plugs and soft baits being the most popular activities. Boats can be launched in the Op Buuren (Maarssen) district, at the Oud Zuilen public boat ramp.

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