FL12Sept - Page 157

Made In England
Right) Records all the way for Colin
(Below) Stunning return for David
crept back to his other rod, at the far
end of the channel, and slipped a couple of grains of sweetcorn on the hook
before flicking the peacock quill five
yards out into the lake. Once the line
had been mended, the red tip of the
float was just a couple of yards out,
just beneath the leaves of the oak, and
he settled back against the trunk to
A splash from his left had him peering out to see where the ripples were
coming from, and they weren’t too far
from his other bait, which filled him
with hope. He was so certain that he
was going to get a bite he almost
wanted to scream, but he concentrated on the float and tried to calm
himself. The tip was wobbling and
dipping ever so slightly, but he put
that down to the attentions of the
shoals of small rudd that the lake
held. Was sweetcorn the right bait?
Should he switch to a boilie? Should
he run maniacally through the trees
to quiet that screaming alarm?
The bait runner was singing and he
carefully applied pressure to the spool
as the fish tore off towards the far end
of the island and out towards the dam
wall. Due to the trees there was no
way he could follow it down the bank,
and the margins here were at least
three feet deep, and pretty silty, so he
didn’t fancy a dip. The only answer
was to hang on and hope for the best.
He had to keep the rod tip low
because of all the grasping branches,
but the grating sensation coming
back down the line did not fill him
with confidence, and he knew that
the fish was past the end of the island,
and using it as a very abrasive fulcrum. Harsher tactics were required,
so he clamped his hand over the spool
and tried to get the rod tip as far to
the left as possible. The grating continued, but he felt the tip pulling
round, then it pulled down hard and
he had to give a little line. The tactic
seemed to have worked, as the grating sensation was no more, and the
fish appeared to be heading further
into the corner nearest the cabin.
Slowly, so slowly, Stan eased the
rod back, gaining line two or three
turns at a time, until he could see dark
swirls in the shadows beneath the
bank side trees. A long, lazy roll
showed the fish to be ten yards away,
and Stan scrabbled around behind
him for the landing net, cursing as it
caught in some brambles before
being wrenched free and settled into
the water. It was very difficult to raise
the rod above head height because of
the branches overhead, and he knelt
down as low as he could to help bring
the fish under control. Three or four
times the line caught in one branch or
another, and Stan swore profusely on
each occasion, whilst flicking the rod
tip madly to get the branch to release
its hold. Eventually, however, the fish
was there, and with one desperate
swoop he bundled it into the net and
gave a small whoop of delight.
He had no idea how big it was, but
the success of his tactics was reward
enough, although he was sure that
this was no boisterous double. On lifting the net from the water, that
became a certainty, and when he laid
it on the unhooking mat, his eyes
sparkled and his heart raced. This
was so far removed from a double as
to be from another planet. The length
of the fish was immense, its mouth on
one side of the thirty-six inch mat,
and the tail hanging over the other
side. It was huge, surely the biggest
carp he’d caught for many years, and
he didn’t know whether to laugh, cry


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