FL13 - Page 209



Sutton
nated by what they were doing. The
two biggest fish were trying to knock
mixers off the pads, while the smallest of the group were slurping down
the easy pickings. These were some
clever carp. It went quiet for a few
minutes, which gave me just enough
time to set up a simple hair tied onto
a size 8 Drennan Super Specialist.
Once set up, the fish were back, and
so were the huge lips, which kept
sliding under the pads to knock at the
more challenging mixers. I had to
wait ‘til one of them decided to feed
on the fringe of the pads, and before
long I saw a large common nosing a
lily leaf, trying to knock a mixer off. I
gently placed my mixers on the leaf
and slowly dragged it off. As soon as
the mixers hit the water the common
stopped nudging the pad and came
up to gulp mine down.
When I saw those lips come up I
realised just how big it was; they
were one big set of chops. As soon as
I struck into her, the common stripped
30yds off the spool – never have I felt
such power as I did that day. En route
she ploughed straight through the set
of pads, out the other side, and out in
front of the next swim, which was
occupied. This left me with the line at
a very ugly angle going into the padsnot the ideal situation. I managed to
pump her back to the pads and then it
all went solid. I shouted for one of the
locals in the next swim and before I
knew it, Shaggy was at my side. I
passed him the rod and started to
strip, but just as I pulled my trousers
off, Shags screamed in my ear, “It’s
coming out. It’s coming.” With that, I
grabbed the rod and managed to ease
her through the pads. With my lilywhite chicken legs and Calvin Kleins
hanging out, I was playing (at the
time) the biggest common in the lake.
I even had an audience in the pedestrian walkway behind me, and after a
few hectic minutes Shaggy slipped
the net under my prize. And, thanks to
head bailiff John Elmer, I got some
quality shots.
I had a really good season in the
end, catching 15 fish including the
Big Common again in March at 41lb
(Top) Dan with the gorgeous Baby
Blind Eye.
(Left) They weren’t all monsters, but
many were gorgeous like this 25lb
mirror taken from under the tips.
206 FREE LINE

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