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Linford Finale
(Top) Nice and simple bottom bait rig.
(Above) Main rig ingredients.
rods sorted, and baited with about
100 boilies. Then I waded out to a
margin spot by a small reed bed and
placed about 1lb of particles and
boilies. Then I placed the hookbait
just to the near side of the baited area
to keep the line away from it. I sat
close to my rods watching both the
margin to my right and the open
water spot. It wasn’t long before fish
were visiting the margin spot, as the
odd patch of bubbles came up, and
the occasional reed stem would
knock. I climbed up a willow to get a
better look, but the water was all
murky and cloudy. I then got myself
under the brolly so as not to disturb
the fish. Anticipation of a bite was
high, and I didn’t have to wait long
before the margin rod was away. I
jumped straight in to stop the fish
making it around the reed bed; it was
a very intense battle as you would
expect when hooking a fish close in,
but I got the better of it and netted a
big lump of a mirror. It turned out to
be the Pretty One once again,
although very much down in weight
at 31lb 13oz. I got the rod back out
and turned in for the night setting my
alarm as usual for 6am. I shouldn’t
92 FREE LINE
have bothered this time, as at 5.50am
I had violent take on the same rod,
and another close-in battle with an
angry carp ensued. I took me several
attempts to get this fish in the net,
making me look like a complete
noddy. It was a mirror of 27lb 12oz,
the 15lb Amnesia rig with a supple
hair doing the damage once again for
me.
The following couple of trips I
blanked in the Canopy; the fish had
done the off! I had witnessed the odd
fish jumping out in the middle of the
lake, but I made the mistake of not
moving on them quickly enough. I
started fishing the Duck Hide one
overnighter a week, and I would also
bait up once a week, using about a
kilo of bait for both my baiting up and
when fishing. I caught regularly, and
landed seven 20’s over next few
weeks from this swim, on either bottom baits or a pop-up on the ever succ e s s f u l h i n g e d p o p - u p r i g. T h e
biggest fish was Rudder at a low
weight of 26lbs, as this fish is normally around 32lbs.
At the beginning of August I took
my daughter and girlfriend down for a
night. This was my daughter
Melissa’s first time fishing with me at
night, and she was really enjoying
herself. I taught her how to featurefind using a gravel seam at 20yds,
explaining how to feel the difference
between silt and gravel, and also
what it feels like when you pull
through into weed, and how to measure depths.
I got them set up in a two-man
bivvy, while I was underneath my oval
next to the them. My daughter
watched me tie up my rigs, and then I
cast out my first rod to the gravel
seam. My other two rods were cast
80yds to a clearing in between two
large weedbeds. I let my daughter
bait up the close-in rod with a catapult, while I baited the other rods with
a throwing stick, and then got dinner
on the go for us all. Luckily it was a
clear night, so I could point out some
of the star constellations, and Melissa
was hoping to see a shooting star, but
not on this trip. At 3.30am I received a
steady take on the close-in rod, and it
was all over the place, getting tangled
in my other lines. Eventually I got the
fish away from the other lines, and
then the lunges and runs got shorter,
and I netted a nice mirror. My daughter came out to help with the weigh-
ing on the fish. She read out 30lbs to
me, so I had to turn the scales to read
it for myself. It was a mirror known as
Two Tone. It was great to take them
fishing, and to catch a 30 was the
icing on the cake for me.
I c o ul dn’t ge t do w n fo r a fe w
weeks, what with the family holiday
and work commitments, so I only
managed a single overnighter in September, but I did manage to catch a
fish called the Linear at a spawnedout weight of 26lbs, again this fish
came from the Duck Hide on a hinged
stiff rig. I then went though a couple
of blanks in the Duck Hide. It was
mid-October now, and I moved into
the Bars, where I’d seen a fish roll in
the gulley area about 40yds out. The
gulley was silty but clear, and there
was a lot of weed on either side of it.
I fished both bottom and pop-up rigs
into the gulley. It was already dark
when I got my rods out. I got into the
bag as it was already getting cold,
with frost already settling on the
ground. During the night it became
overcast, and you could feel the temperature rise. Just after 5am and I was
away. I bent into the fish, and held the
line against the rod as I walked backwards to get the fish away from, and
over, the weed. The fish put up a good
account close in, but it was great feeling when I netted it. The fish went
30lb 14oz on the scales – what a way
to end my autumn on Linford. I hope
you can join me next month, as I take
you through the last 12 months of my
time spent on Linford No1 Lake. n
30lb 14oz. Oct. 2005

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