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The Frozen North
mirror from the Spit swim, which was
the first one out for four weeks, close
to a baited area of mine, which was a
good sign. The next week I arrived,
and there was a really cold northwesterly blowing across the lake, and
the Spit swim was right on the back
of it as well. I had a stroll round, and
within seconds a fish boshed about
12yds out from the Spit; I couldn’t
believe it – the first fish I’d seen bosh
in ages. I got my gear, quietly set up
my rods, and flicked a Gazza rig out
with a 4oz running lead to where the
fish had boshed, firing eight freebies
into the rings left by the lead. This
winter had been hard up to now; the
weed hadn’t died off again, and it was
making location really difficult, so to
see one bosh seemed mental at the
time, and I couldn’t help feeling confident. My mate Ryan came down and
set up next to me for the night, and it
was nice to have company for a
change.
Three hours after I’d put the rods
out, the bobbin on the rod cast to the
showing fish hit the top, and I jumped
Coldwater 20+
132 FREE LINE
on the rod, struck, and felt heavy
resistance. I also had that same feeling I did when I’d hooked Gazza –
nearly a year to the day before – and
this was another lump. The fight
lasted a good ten minutes with the
fish repeatedly ripping line from the
reel, until I finally “dog-on-a-leaded”
it into the waiting net. At first I was
convinced it was Two Bleeps because
of its big shoulders, but on closer
inspection I didn’t actually recognise
it at all. I knew it was another 30lbplus though, and so did Ryan and
Richard who had also recently set up.
We weighed it at 31lb 8oz, and at the
time we all thought it was new 30 for
the lake, but it later transpired to be
one of the known 30’s, Sam, and the
first fish of my winter from Banton’s.
The date was December 7th 2007, the
seventh night of my campaign, and
once again it was the phase of the
new moon. Get in! Pictures done, fish
back and kettle on. I sat and relived
the capture with Ryan ‘til the early
hours that night, packing up the next
day at around 11am. A cold easterly
had started blowing at us, so it was
game over. The old Gazza rig had
scored again though, and the new
bait was working fine. Around this
same new moon period one of the
lads on Wyre, Mark Doodson, took a
new 30 from a spot he’d been baiting
with his trusted KG-1 for a few weeks,
again at a weight of 31lb 8oz –
strange but true – nice one, mate.
London Buses spring to mind…
Christmas was on its way, and over
the festive period I lost contact with
the lake a little, so I gave it a rest, and
had a few trips south to Sandhurst
and Swan Valley, which I have a ticket
for. I blanked five times in a row down
there, and my confidence was getting
a real hammering, so I called it a day
for a few weeks, got a few jobs done
round the house, and prepared myself
for the spring. I hope this article has
given an insight into winter fishing up
north, and at least given some people
the extra bit of enthusiasm to get out
and have a dabble themselves.
Best of luck, get out there and just
enjoy it. n

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