FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 130



A Season of Stunners
(Left) 32.02 fully scaled.
(Below) Bernies Linear.
least four different 40's in the first five
minutes watching. They were all
nearly on the surface, so the plan was
going to be 2ft suspended hooklengths (zig rigs) with some bright
orange peach or banana hookbaits. I
flicked both bait out to the reed line,
and tried to find some shade to hide
in. It was almost unbearable, what
with the dryness of the heat and a
complete lack of wind. That afternoon
produced nothing, but the fish were
130 FREE LINE
still about all evening, and when I got
up the following morning, the same
thing was happening, so I put new
hookbaits on, cast one back by the
reeds, and one out to the main lump
of weed in front of the plateau.
At 2.30pm the reed line rod just
wrapped round in the rests and line
started pouring from the spool, and a
huge bow wave tore across the lake
heading for the middle. It stopped
after about 45yds, then kited left pick-
ing up weed as it travelled. After a
few minutes little Ben turned up and
netted the fish first time. It was a
stunning linear; 29lb 8oz of testosterone-charged muscle, and he was
not happy, but we got a couple of
quick pics and put him back as
quickly as we could – the heat was
bad for us, so the fish wouldn't be
happy out of the water. About an hour
later the same rod was away again,
but this time a much bigger fish was
heading straight over the plateau and
for Ben's lines. I tried to stop it before
it cut me off, but the lighter line just
wouldn't take the strain and it parted.
I'm convinced that was a 40-plus; I
could see the big black shape in the
shallow water, and it still hurts to
think about what might have been.
The following morning at 8.30am I
had a belting take on the weedbed
rod. This was another angry carp,
tearing through weedbeds, smashing
into the reeds, and thrashing the surface with its tail, but eventually after a
few heart stopping moments Ben did
the honours with the net again, and
inside was a beautiful fully scaled

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