FREE LINE 03 - Page 119



Wellington Boots and Waders
Catch results for the 2006 season
view of getting the rods back out for
the night by about 2pm. If I didn’t
need to go to the shops I would fish
through ‘til early afternoon and then
simply reel in and recast ready for the
night. Because I was baiting very
lightly during these winter sessions,
only sticking a pocketful of bait out
every couple of hours I was keeping
the disturbance down to a minimum.
The lines were fished slack, and with
the tips buried this helped the cause
even more.
The second night was soon upon
us, and not long after dark I started
getting the liners that I had experienced the night before. Whenever the
buzzer beeps, whether it is a single
beep or a succession of beeps we
automatically assume we have
received a liner, but more importantly
we believe it was from a carp. How
can a single beep be determined to
have been caused by a carp I don’t
know. Even if we get a succession of
beeps, or even a 10in lift of the bobbin, although it is a liner, how can we
be sure a carp caused it. There are
more than one species of fish in the
lake, and I can remember once fishing
down the margins at Horseshoe dur-
ing the winter, and receiving several
massive liners all through the day. I
walked down the margin and peered
through the trees to see exactly
where the carp were so I could reel in
and fish shorter to be on top of the
fish. I didn’t see any carp down the
margin at all, but did see a massive
shoal of roach, and as I watched them
swimming up and down the margin I
was getting a few beeps at a time. All
of a sudden the roach would dash
everywhere, and it would sound like I
had a run, only to see a pike coming
charging through the swim. I don’t
know whether it was the pike or the
darting roach that were giving me the
real savage liners, but what I do know
is, it wasn’t a carp like I first thought.
This must be happening in most
lakes around the country, and when
you think of the other species such as
tench and bream that also inhabit the
lakes you can understand how many
times our lines get picked up. It
would help explain when anglers say
that they have had loads of liners but
hadn’t managed to catch anything.
There will obviously be times when
the liners that we receive are caused
by carp, as we can see the fish in the
area or we are catching and we can
see carp feeding in the areas that we
are fishing towards. In the particular
area I was fishing I was pretty confident that the liners that I was receiving were from carp, as I was catching
at least one fish per night from the
area. The bird life would not swim
anywhere near the area, and always
looked very nervous if they got too
close to where I was fishing. This was
obviously due to a large number of
large fish in the area, as the birds
wouldn’t even go near the area to
dive into relatively shallow gin clear
water to pick up baits, when they
were more than happy to dive elsewhere around the lake and even on
other areas within the swim.
After a good stir fry for tea and several hot drinks I turned in relatively
early as there really isn’t much to do
during the long winter nights when
fishing on your own. As per the night
before I was up several times during
the night as yet again I was receiving
savage liners. However sometime just
before first light one of the liners
turned out to be a proper run; the
bobbin pulled up tight to the rod and
held there for a while like so many
times before, but on this occasion the
line eventually pulled free from the
clip and the spool on the middle rod
started to spin slowly as old carpy
went on its first run. On picking up
the rod I knew it was a good fish
straight away, as nothing gave and it
was like hooking into the bottom. It
didn’t take any line but just gave a
few slow nods on the rod before kiting
slowly down the left of the swim
towards Goose Shit. Once I had the
fish under control, or should I say
once I realised it wasn’t going off on
any long powerful runs I slipped out
of my bivvy slippers and into my
chesties. Moving to the left of the
swim and picking up one of my landing nets I threw the net down into the
water. I then reeled down to the fish,
and climbed down over the two steps
and into the shallow margins. This is
a really exciting feeling being in contact with a lump of a fish whether its
during daylight or not, and pulling the
chesties on and climbing down into
the water with the net is something
that I hope I will never tire of.
Once in the water I still hadn’t
gained much line back onto the reel,
and it was several minutes before I
heard and felt the line marker come
back through the rod rings. The fish
was down quite a long way down to
the left now in the really shallow
water in front of Goose Shit, and even
though it was still dark you could still
make out the water that was rocking
and being displaced by a deep bodied
fish coming over the bar. Once over
my side of the bar it dropped down
into slightly deeper water, but it continued to kite left into the margin. The
problem here is that there are several
overhanging trees, and I had no idea
how snaggy it was under them as this
was the first fish that had headed for
them. I felt that horrible feeling on
more than one occasion when the line
pinged off a fin, and for a split second
you think that the hook has come out.
I had the rod buried, and I could feel
the lakebed on the rod tip and I just
hoped I could keep the line out of the
branches. Every now and then I
would raise the rod above the water
to see where the line was pointing,
and once I knew the line was clear of
the branches I could lift the rod back
up and play the fish as normal.
This fish was being a real pain in
the arse, as now it decided to swim
over the top of the other two lines and
head for the supports under the boat
FREE LINE 119

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