FL09June - Page 172



In Search of Monster Carp
where it caught, and I could see it just
behind. It was the silliest little branch
that the leadcore had got clipped
onto, and I remember walking back
round to the rod. I thought, this is do
or die, and Dan said, “Just lean into it,
it will give.” I don’t play fish hard, but
I had to lean right into this one, and as
I leant into it, I felt that initial ‘ping’,
and I thought that’s it, it’s gone. Actually it had just pinged off and was
away again, so I got it in, and it was
one of the stock fish, a nice, short,
dumpy mirror of 24lb.
As you can imagine after three
months of not having one, I was
absolutely buzzing. I photographed it,
put it back, and, as in the old saying
that they come along like buses, it
couldn’t have been more than two
hours when the other rod ripped off
on a one-noter. After another quite
good scrap, I landed what was probably the smallest one in here – a beautiful jet-black 12lb mirror. Like I said,
not the biggest, but certainly one of
the prettiest I’ve caught. I took a lot of
positives out of that session, and I
thought great, the bait is right now.
I’d not got it sussed by any means,
but I was along the right lines; I’d just
Missing Starburst, 36lb, Road Lake.
172 FREE LINE
had two bites so things were going
not too bad now.
I kept coming back up to the Road
Lake, and I was doing a lot of time in
Chestnuts at that point. It just
seemed every session I went in there,
I was catching, and in the end I just
couldn’t put a foot wrong throughout
September and October. I think I
ended up with eight bites out, and I
dropped one. I know it’s the old cliché
– oh, I lost a good fish – but I’ve
hooked enough big fish to know
when you’ve got a decent one on. It
was about 1am, which is a rare time
to get a bite up here; you don’t get
many night time bites, which is very
strange. It’s mainly from 8am to 11am,
but I had this bite about 1am off the
back of the island, and it just one
noted. I remember picking the rod up,
and I could just feel the weight on it
from the instant I picked it rod up. The
lunges were not like those of a 20lb’er,
which are sharp quick lunges; it was
just all weight, and it was just plodding. It was a bit of a tussle, but I got
it back to this weedbed, when everything stuck fast, and I thought, great.
I thought don’t panic about it, so I put
the rod down, sat on my bedchair, had
a fag, and just set the clutch.
I think it was about ten minutes
later that it started ticking off again,
so I picked the rod up, got it back to
exactly the same place, and it locked
up again. So I went through the same
procedure, and it started to move off
again, so I leant into it again, and got
it back to the same place. Whenever a
fish had weeded me in there before, I
had just put a weed rake out, and in
the end I was just getting the whole
weedbed coming in, and then I’d
peeling the weed off. Obviously
though, being 1am, I couldn’t see
exactly where it was, so I wasn’t
going to start chucking the weed rake
out there to try and get the weed
moving. Looking back on it, I was
probably a bit impatient; I should
have waited until the morning, but I
gave it one more heave-ho and the
hook pinged out. I know for a fact that
it was a good fish, but you win some,
you loose some, and I lost that one.
That must have been about 2 or
3am in the morning, and at 6am, right
on cue, I had another one noter. It was
weird, but the bites times in the
Chestnuts were either 6am or 9am,
and it was bang-on. I think it was

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