FREE LINE 03 - Page 124

Curse of the Black Swan
(Left) They are there in the snags.
(Below) It was getting cold.
have found the above to work very
Whilst fishing these first four sessions around the lake, I noticed that
no one was fishing down on where
the warmer winds blew, rather opting
to fish closer to the car park end.
Admittedly I had seen nothing down
that end, and had seen and caught a
small common from the car park end.
It was very weedy down the other
end, and setting up one day it took me
a good few hours to find three spots
to present a bait in between the
weed, but one spot shone out more
than any other I had fished on the
lake. It was only 20yds out, and I had
to don the chesties to be able to get a
bait comfortably on the spot as the
overhead shrubbery prevented me
from casting from the bank. It was a
lot of messing around, but the spot
was so good I just had to make the
effort of the long walk to fish this spot.
The only problem I had was that I
only really had one spot in this swim I
felt really happy with; the spot was 7ft
deep, and a nice silty smooth area. All
around was weed, and this spot was
about 2ft deeper than the other spots
I had found whilst thrashing the
water to a foam for the previous couple of hours. I didn’t catch that session, having various nightmares with
a rather stupid, overfriendly black
swan that kept taking my rods out;
the bloody thing just wouldn’t leave
me alone. I baited the spot with a couple of kilos of 18mm Monster Tiger
Nut boilies, and left to come back the
next week.
That next week couldn’t come
quick enough; I’d clipped up my rods
from the last session, and arrived just
before first light. The air pressure had
dropped to below 1000, with a nice
westerly wind predicted to get
stronger over the next few days. I
took the water temperature as I
pushed the barrow into the swim, and
it read nine degrees. Over the last
month the water temperature had
been slowly dropping from 12 degrees
down to nine degrees now – surely
the fish would turn on before the winter set in over the next month or so? It
was now the last week in October, so
things should be starting to happen, I
thought. The lake hadn’t fished as
well as it had in previous seasons,
with very few fish coming out over
the past month or so, and this managed to keep a lot of the regulars
away, which was good as it was starting to get less and less busy – just
how I like it.
I cast the rods out onto the spots
first time; it was all looking good, and
then I saw it! From 200yds away, I
could make out the shape of the black
swan, and it had its head down making a beeline for me. Surely not again,
I thought, but five minutes later it was
in the swim, going up and down and
taking my lines out. No matter how
many times I picked the landing net
up and hissed back at this thing, it
just didn’t go away. This was getting
silly, and I couldn’t believe that it had
travelled over 500yds just to see me!
Two minutes later it took out my left
hand rod, and whilst trying to untangle it from this rod I received a couple
of bleeps on the rod on the really good
spot I had baited the week before. I
thought nothing of it, as I was more
interested in getting my line off our
black-feathered friend. I managed to
untangle it from my line, and it drifted
out again some 30yds away, just sitting there watching me as if to say,
“I’m not going anywhere, mate.”
That evening just as it was getting
dark, the swan went on its way, much
to my relief. All day I had been trying
to get rid of the thing and all day I had
been having the odd bleep on my


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