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Linford Finale
December 21.
patches in holes in the weed. It
wasn’t until about 9am the following
morning that the alarm signalled a
take on the right hand rod. The fish
tried to get into the weedbed, but I
just held on as the weed was floating
up; this was a mental fight. It then got
caught up with line from my middle
rod. I managed to get that out of the
way, and then the fish managed to get
into another weedbed. I kept the
pressure up and got the fish moving
again with more weed coming free.
The fish started to tire now, with the
lunges getting shorter, and with weed
over its head the fish calmed down
and I could net it. It was a lovely
chunky common of 30lb 15oz.
My last session of the spring was a
few days later. There was a north
westerly blowing, and so I set up in
Teddy Bear bay right on the end of
the wind. I had Lee to my right on the
other side of the bay. I fished two rods
to the reeds and one on a clear patch
close to weed. I fished boilies only,
deciding to fish the hinged pop-up rig
on two rods, and a bottom bait on the
third. Lee and I talked about our
prospects before getting under our
respective brollies for the night. One
of Lee’s alarms shrieked, waking us
up in the early hours. The fish gave a
good account of itself before I lifted
the net around a lovely fat carp,
named Fatty Arbuckle, at 31lbs. Not
long after, and I was also away, on my
middle rod. It was another hard tussle, with the fish telling me who was
boss for a while, and it felt like it could
be a fish of similar size to Lee’s. Once
in the net, I recognised the fish
straight away as The Pretty One, and
it wasn’t our first encounter, it being
something of a pet for me. She went
36lb 5oz on this occasion. We both got
the pictures done, packed up and
headed off to work for the day rather
pleased with our results.
I returned to Linford that winter
after the spending the summer and
autumn elsewhere. It took me a few
weeks to locate where the fish were;
they appeared to be holed up in the
middle of the lake. I decided to bait up
a couple days a week with about a
kilo of boilies on each trip. When I did
fish, it was over about a 1lb of bait,
from the Duck Hide swim. I did this
from December to the end of February
every week, having the lake to myself
on several of the trips. I took five 20’s
that winter, with the largest being a
29lb common at the end of February.
Due to work I didn’t get to fish during March, but come April, the fish
were a lot more active, as were the
banks with anglers. Both the Duck
Hide swims were taken, and so I
elected to fish from the Woods. Fish
were showing from in front of the
Duck Hides to the Woods area. I
fished my rods spread out just beyond
the weed that was already getting
close to the surface, and I baited each
rod with 50 baits. It wasn’t long
before I had a screaming take, but I
struck into thin air. This has occurred
to me on a couple occasions from this
swim in the past. It was one of my
rare visits that I actually fished the
day as well. A few hours later and the
right hand rod was away. I tightened
up the clutch and put pressure on the
fish, as it was zipping all over the
place, but then it started to slow up, I
slipped it into the net, and a very welcome 22lb common lay in the folds. A
couple of nights later and I was in the
Sticks, as there was a south easterly
blowing into that end of the lake. I
fished two rods at 60yds range to the
back of a shallow plateau; the third
was placed close in to a gulley, and I
baited with just boilies. Just after
midnight, I was away on the middle
rod, and after a short scrap I landed a
Linford 29lb 10oz.
FREE LINE 89

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