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Exclusive The Woodcarving… With Half a Worm
pretty much stranding itself on some
ribbon weed. It lay there unmoving,
displaying its whole flank, a long, dark
fish with a very obvious linear scale
pattern. I started shaking, clearly
attached to a Horton jewel, and at the
time one of only four proper linears in
there. Fortunately, it pretty much gave
up then, allowing me to lead it to the
net, almost sliding along the surface.
By the time Cyclops lifted the net
around it we knew exactly what it
was, and my shakes reached a whole
new level!
I left Cyclops guarding the fish and
set about organising the necessary
equipment. Once I was ready, I cut
my line, rolled the net down, checked
its pecs were flush and carefully lifted
it out, up the slope and onto the mat.
As I said before, we knew what it was,
but I still couldn’t quite believe my
luck and just had to ask, “That is definitely the Woodcarving, isn’t it?” The
answer of course was “Yes,” and I didn’t wake up! Wow, I’d spent hours
looking at pictures of it, imagining
34lb 2oz.
what it would be like to hold it for the
camera, and here it was, looking even
better in the flesh with the summer
sun glinting off of its mahogany flanks
and golden scales. Apart from one
dropped scale, due to (I imagine)
spawning, it was mint and I was
understandably buzzing. “Yup that’ll
do nicely for my first of the season; in
fact that’ll do as my only one of the
season,” I thought, with just that one
fish easily justifying my ticket money!
I unhooked it, then lifted it for the
photos and was about to return it
when another member, Graham,
arrived asking what it weighed. I
realised I’d totally forgotten to weigh
it. If ever there was one that didn’t
need a number it was this one, but
vainly I did, and it weighed an utterly
irrelevant though pleasing 34lb 2oz.
We carried it down the slope, still in
the mat and lowered it back into the
lake. I knelt on the platform in awe as
it lay there, shining almost the full
spectrum in the sun. I slid it off the
mat and held it steady until it kicked
and cruised off, disappearing into the
sanctuary of the weed and beyond.
As usual the photos, though certainly
good enough, don’t come close to the
real thing, and I’m still yet to see a
photo that truly does it justice! Within
an hour the lake had put big smiles on
two faces, and it was definitely party
I spent another night in the swim
despite the fact that it looked pretty
empty. I reeled in in the morning and
wasn’t at all surprised to find that
something had pinched my worm
hookbait overnight. I packed up and
left more than happy, itching to return
from the minute I’d locked the gates
behind me. As it transpired that was
my only capture from underneath that
willow, although I did have at least
another couple of chances there, even
once watching a thirty-pounder
shake my lead off the clip before
shedding the hook, crafty git! Happy
daze indeed!
RIP Cyclops… Thanks for the beers,
photos and the giggles! n


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