FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 135



A Season of Stunners
(Left) Beach swim with a bit of rain.
(Below 23.10 stunner
the fish was. The wind was starting to
make the ball of weed drift out of control to my left, so I made a snap decision; I put the net under the weed
where the fish was, and then bit the
line, dropping the rod in the margins,
and the fish dived for freedom,
straight into the bottom of the net. It
was a big risk, but it came off. Hauling
my prize into the shallower water, I
tilted it onto its side and saw the sixpack of scales – unbelievably, I'd just
landed Bruno, the daddy of the lake!
After five minutes trying to get hold of
a photographer I weighed her in at
42lb 12oz, yet another PB, only one
week after breaking it with Bernie's
Linear. Those were eight days in my
life I will never forget.
I was now so keen and over-flowing with confidence, I just had to get
to the lake as often as possible, so an
overnight session on the Tuesday
night was planned, more bait went in,
and rods were cast to the usual spots.
It all seemed a little effortless and not
really the way I like to fish, but you
can't knock the results. At 3.45am I
had a 23lb mirror, which was wild and
crazy; it tail-walked five times, and I
mean clean out of the water – pretty
impressive in the middle of the night
when it's flat calm. On the bank the
fish just went rigid; all its fins were
permanently up, and I was worried it
was going to have a heart attack, so a
couple of quick snaps and we put it
back. On inspection of the pics, it
turned out this fish was one of the
1999 stockies, put in at 5lbs and it had
not been out before, so that explains
its reaction to being hooked. At about
7am I lost a fish on the left hand rod,
and then a while later I hooked into a
serious lump. This fish just plodded
off on a slow 50yd run with unstoppable power, and it just kept going. It
felt far heavier than the two big fish I
had caught the previous weeks, but
just as I was getting control of it, the
hook pulled. The feeling in the pit of
my stomach was horrendous – words
cannot describe how I felt. The next
weekend was a blank, but the lake
didn't fish very well at all, and the
weekend after that I lost one small
carp.
FREE LINE 135

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