FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 150



A Personal Best Common
a write-off, and I was gutted! I nearly
always keep a spare net in the car, but
I’d taken it out the day before. Obviously I couldn’t continue fishing, so I
begrudgingly packed away at just
5pm. There were still fish feeding as I
walked away from my swim, so god
only knows how many I could have
ended up on if I could have carried on
fishing. Mind you, I couldn’t complain
really. Six fish on my first session was
more than I could ever have hoped
for.
I planned to return the following
morning, but someone had moved
into the swim, so I gave it a miss. In
fact I couldn’t get back to the lake for
another four days. Foolishly, when I
did return, I went straight back into
the same swim as before without
even looking around, hoping that the
fish would still be in the area. To cut a
long story short, they weren’t, and
after winding in and going for a wander, I found them in the shallows.
Unfortunately, the swims in the shallows were all taken by that stage, so I
left with my tail between my legs and
planned an early return the following
morning. The next day I arrived nice
and early with Matt, and we decided
to set up on opposite sides of the
shallows. There were more fish on
Back she goes.
150 FREE LINE
show over Matt’s side, but my side
wasn’t completely devoid of fish, so
things were looking good. I flicked
one rod amongst a patch of bubbles
and the other out to a big clear area
60yds out. I had no idea how shallow
it was as I didn’t want to use a marker
rod, but it must have been pretty shallow as twice seagulls picked up my
rig during the course of the morning.
I’ve never experienced it before; it
was quite bizarre. I actually saw one
of them try to fly away with my rig in
its beak! At about 11am Matt climbed
a ladder in his swim and told me
through the walkie-talkie that there
was a good fish heading towards the
clear area in front of my swim. He was
giving me a running commentary as
the fish inched closer to my hookbait
until I actually saw its tail come out of
the water as it began to feed. Seconds
later the water erupted and at the
same time the buzzer burst into life.
The fight was nerve-wracking
enough in the shallow water, but it
was made even worse by Matt on the
walkie-talkie saying things like, “It
looks like a good’un,” and, “You don’t
want to lose this one,” etc. When he
could see that I was beginning to get
on top of the struggle, he wound in
and made his way round. By the time
he arrived, the fish was about 20yds
out and holding its ground. Painstakingly, it edged towards Matty and the
waiting net. There were big clumps of
weed hanging from the line preventing me from winding, so I had to keep
walking back as far as I could until he
managed to scoop up my prize. It
was a common, which we both
g u e s s e d t o b e i n t h e u p p e r- 2 0
bracket, but as we lifted it out I realized that it was a bit bigger than we’d
thought.
My PB common had stood at 32lbs
for quite some time, and I could see
that this was there or thereabouts. I
didn’t want to look as Matt hoisted it
onto the scales, although I had a feeling that I knew what was coming. At
34lbs 6oz it was indeed a new personal best common, and another personal goal had been achieved. I did
fish on for a couple of hours, but the
fish looked like they were thinking
about spawning, so we packed up
and left the lake earlier than planned.
When they are over their yearly ritual,
I plan to return and try for some of the
other stunning fish that the venue has
to offer, including a couple of bigger
commons, so hopefully you’ll be hearing from me again soon. Until then, be
lucky and enjoy it. n

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