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Understanding Why And How You Are Catching
just hit the deck. At first I thought
that it might have fallen off the line
with all the added weight I had put
onto it due to the strong wind. I was
fishing long, and had even dropped
my hook size down to a size 8 and
used a smaller hook bait so that I
could hit the spot in the rough
weather. I had a fish pick the bait up,
and even at range thanks to the extra
heavy bobbin it just hit the deck. I
wound down, and eventually caught
up with the fish and then all hell
broke loose. I had managed to get my
chesties on and wade out into the
shallow margins and take a landing
net with me, but because of the
strong wind the net was getting
washed away from me. The fight was
spectacular, and whatever I had
hooked was not having any of it and
was intent on staying out in the lake.
I was now dreading the decision I had
made to use a smaller hook than
usual, and I was waiting for the tip to
spring back at any time indicating
that gut wrenching moment of a lost
fish. This I didn’t want to happen, as I
knew it was a good’un. Every time I
relate this story I’m sure I exaggerate
over the time it took to land, but trust
Another new water whacker.
208 FREE LINE
me it went on for ages. The fish made
several long powerful surges, which
just wrenched the rod down and
ripped line from the reel. Every time
this happened you could see huge
boils of water and splashes come up,
lit by the brilliant moon.
Once the fish was on the surface I
could see a huge pair of shoulders,
and I was now convinced I was
attached to the big mirror known as
The Turtle, which would explain why
it had been fighting so well. I eventually netted the fish some distance
down the bank from where I had
hooked it, and immediately put my
head torch on to look at the huge mirror. It wasn’t the Turtle, but the
biggest common I had seen. As soon
as I had collapsed the net, bitten the
line and lifted her from the water, I
knew I had broken the 35lb barrier, in
fact I knew I had broken the 40lb barrier, and on the scales I was proved
right. She was sacked, and I went
about calling all of my mates irrespective of the time to give them the news
that I had just landed the first 40lb
common from Welly. The rest of the
night passed in a blur, and after doing
the pics in the morning, albeit not
feeling very well, I was back home
before lunchtime and by the end of
the day had been rushed into hospital, but that’s another story altogether. A couple of things stuck in my
mind vividly about that capture. The
first believe it or not was not the fish,
but the actual brightness of the moon,
and me being stood out in chesties in
what seamed like daylight while
being battered by huge waves. The
second thing is the actual capture of
the fish. The fish by the way was
called The Big Common –original, I
know.
Over the next few months I was fortunate enough to bank some cracking
fish into the big 30’s, but the next big
common came in the spring. I had
been catching very well fishing long
from the side of a swim call Boathouse. I had been catching mainly
mirrors with the odd common thrown
in up to 29lb. I was fishing mainly during the week, as the swim was always
taken at the weekend due to the success I was having in there during the
week. I arrived for an overnighter; in
fact it was to be two full days with the
night in between. I knew the angler
who was fishing on the Boathouse

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