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Off The Beaten Track The Country Park
no one was fishing the park, and if
they did, they won’t even be on the
lake I had been walking round. I
couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I
knew if I introduced a steady flow of
boilies I could catch from the off. I’ve
always found other anglers to be the
main thing that slows down my fishing, so when I get chance to fish a
lake on my own, I take full advantage.
My first session was a 12-hour
work overnighter. I had been feeding
the middle of the pit with a heavy
scattering of bait for a few weeks. The
plan was to start by spending the
time I had learning what needed to be
done as the water warmed up and my
spring began. In my head, I was
thinking that maybe everyone could
be right; maybe I was to early. I’d not
seen anything to go on and was relying on bait application. As the
evening drew to a close I had seen
nothing but a few tench, but I was
woken at 3am by a savage take on the
left hand rod. The fish kited and came
towards me slowly. I’d only had my
rods out for a few hours, so it had to
be a tench, surely?
After scooping my net frantically
into the darkness I netted one of the
most amazing carp I’ve ever seen. To
114 FREE LINE
get a bite on my first night is one
thing, but to catch one of the scaly
mirrors is just something else! I was
blown away with what was sat in the
bottom of my net. All that walking
and baiting was worth it, as I’d
caught after just seven hours of fishing, so I could wait till it got light. I sat
there for three hours behind my net, a
smile from ear to ear, deep in thought.
The colours on this fish were incredi-
ble. Although it was March it almost
felt like a winter capture; the trees
were still bare, and the tufties were
still out in force. I was waiting for my
dad to do the 50-mile round trip to
come and photograph this scaly creature. I was over the moon and really
didn’t want to pack up and go to
work, but as long as I baited, I was
happy.
I returned the following night, keen

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