FL11 All pages - Page 80



Spring Tactics
save the day was the arrival of a fell o w s y n d i c a t e m e m b e r, w h i c h
prompted the kettle being fired up for
one last tea before a departure. I was
sat with him explaining how dead it
all was, just as the middle rod pulled
up tight and the tip began bending
down.
The clutch had no chance to give
before I was up and on it. Despite
being so early in the year, the weed
was right up, and after initially feeling
a couple of deep thumps I was soon
locked up solidly in the green carpet
surrounding the bar. I was well practised in this though, and soon paddling my way out in the boat to where
the line was cutting through the
lake’s surface, only about 6ft behind
the spot I had hooked it from. This
one wasn’t going anywhere though,
and I resorted to wrapping the line
around my hands and attempting to
pull slowly upwards. All I could feel
was a heavy weight until I gained
more and more line, then onto the
leadcore leader, until a huge ball of
weed popped up about the size of a
small car! There in the middle was a
big pair of lips with a Mugga sticking
out, and as we came face to face the
Margin caught common.
80 FREE LINE
fish shot off like a missile, showering
me with water. I frantically let go of
the line and grabbed the rod in an
attempt to slow it down. Several more
times it again locked me up in the
weed, and I repeated the procedure,
all the time my arms, back and knees
becoming more painful with the pressure being put on them as I kneeled
on the base of the boat, praying that
whatever it was wanted to give up
soon.
Each time I got it up to the surface
I had more than enough of a look to
confirm it was a good one, but the
trouble with boat battles is you never
seem to be able to apply the pressure
on a hooked fish like you can from the
bank. Also I was constantly throwing
in a number of complete 360 turns
requiring me to pass the rod back
behind me and over my head, and
frantically wind to maintain any contact. Eventually, and at the point of
backbreaking pain and housemaid’s
knee, the fish was up and wallowing
there, as I gritted my teeth and slowly
began inching it towards the net.
Again the boat posed problems and
as well as the unsteadiness of it all, I
had the rod so far back behind me to
try to get the fish close enough to net,
it felt like my arm was popping out at
the shoulder joint. Finally, in it went,
and I was elated. After excitedly
pulling the folds of the net apart I
could see an awesome dark coloured
mirror that looked impressive. It wasn’t all over then either, as I had to row
back to the bank with the fish beside
the boat, holding on to the net and
rod, and with the other hand rowing
with one paddle, all in a crosswind
after an already exhausting battle. It
seemed I was never going to make it
back, to much laughter from the bank,
unti l w i th s e v e ra l l ung-bus ti ng
strokes I made it in. I pulled up the
net and passed it to the other angler
on the bank, who quickly declared I’d
caught a 40. He was right too, and the
scales swung round to 40lb 6oz.
This one capture served as a good
learning exercise in spring fishing as
a whole. The advantages of observation and the opportunity of learning a
water well enough to predict a feeding area prior to the fish arriving,
results in making the most of any limited time you may have. Also the use
of bait and bait application at that
specific time of year, and tactics as a
whole to make the most of what is
without doubt a magical and special
time of year in the carp angler’s calendar. n

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