FREE LINE 03 - Page 113



Wellington Boots and Waders
There are some big ghosties in Welly.
hadn’t planned on was the sheer
number of fish that I had caught over
35lbs. When my surgeon gave me the
bad news I had already caught 14 or
15 over 35, and I can remember driving home and telling the wife about
the possibilities of catching 20 over 35
in a season - in fact my season was
only going to be 11 months.
I can remember phoning Ken Beech
that evening and hastily arranging a
trip down to Welly for the forthcoming
weekend, I would finish work on the
Sunday morning, head straight up the
lake, and fish for 48 hours before
g o i n g h o m e. T h a t w o u l d m e a n
another tough week trying to work
through the nights whilst doing PVA
stuff during the day, and then getting
the gear together for another couple
of nights including food shopping and
air-drying baits. When you fish in this
manner and with this sort of regularity everything without exception
seems to become twice as hard. You
are surviving on very little sleep and
you look forward to getting the bivvy
up so you can crash on the bedchair
and catch up on the sleep you have
missed over the previous 96 hours.
Why on earth do we do it? And when
we do, why do we complain? When
did I actually think that turning a
hobby into a living was going to be a
good thing I don’t know. I do know
that unlike so many of my mates in
the trade I have a very understanding
wife, and I actually manage to fish an
immense amount of time.
Ken arranged to meet me midmorning on the Sunday, and he had
the added advantage of an extra night
over me, but considering he travels
down from up north from somewhere
called Stoke wherever that is he probably deserves it. After I had finished
on the Sunday morning I was
changed and in the car by 7am, and
heading for Welly absolutely flying up
the A33 towards Reading. I came off
the roundabout, unlocked the first
gate, drove through the park and past
the reception through the campsite
gate down towards the anglers’ car
park. The car park should have been
almost empty, as we are allowed to
park down by the lake whilst the park
is closed, but as I came up to it there
must have been at least ten or 12 cars
present. Bloody hell it must be packed
I thought - if there was this amount of
cars up here, then add the five or six
from down at the lake, and that must
be every swim on the lake taken.
I left the car at the top car park and
walked down to the lake, but as I
walked down towards the café area
there were only three or four cars
d o w n t h e r e. A s I w a l k e d d o w n
towards the Boathouse I noticed that
there were a lot of anglers fishing in
the Finger to my right, and it turned
out they were having an annual pike
match, which is what all of the cars
were doing up the top. None of the
cars in the top car park belonged to
anybody on the syndicate, and were
all down as guests, which meant that
there were only four carp anglers on
the lake, and being Sunday I wouldn’t
have been surprised if they were all
going that day. I turned around and
w e n t s t r a i g h t b a c k f o r m y c a r,
brought it around to the café, and
parked up before walking down to the
Boathouse. There was an angler in the
Boathouse but he was packing up
later in the morning, so I secured the
swim by leaving all my gear behind
him, and had a cuppa and went for a
walk around to see if I could find any
fish. I don’t really know why I walked
around that morning as I wasn’t
going to fish anywhere else because
of my health, and the angler who was
vacating the swim had caught so I
knew the fish were still out there from
my last few trips.
I walked around to Bramble Bay
and continued around the lake in a
clockwise direction, and as I came
past the Sluices, which is opposite
FREE LINE 113

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