FREE LINE 03 - Page 125



Curse of the Black Swan
right hand rod, not really taking any
notice, as I was more interested in
keeping the swan at bay. Later that
evening while lying there trying to
think of a way of keeping the swan
away, my right hand bobbin rose to
the top of the rod and stayed there. I
picked the rod up and a fish was
attached to the end – result, I
thought. It felt like a good fish, and
was soon out in front of me gulping
for air as I slid the net under it. First
blood from the swim, and on further
investigation, I could see she was a
nice fish of around 30lb, my first mirror from the lake, and my biggest so
far of the winter campaign. I hoisted
her up, treating her with all the kindness and respect she deserved, and
weighed her at 33lb and ounces. I
slipped her into the sack, and texted a
friend who was due down in the
morning to see if he would take a few
photos. I took the air pressure at 998,
and the water temperature was still
nine degrees. That night I managed a
couple more fish to 29lb on the same
spot, which were both commons,
which was nice. On leaving the following morning I sprayed the area
with a couple of kilos of bait, and
looked forward to returning the following week. As I loaded the car up,
the heavens opened, and I felt glad
that I had timed it just right.
That following week the country
seemed to get more rain than it had
all year, with some serious flooding
going on, so it was no surprise that
the lake had to be closed due to heavy
flooding in the area, and most of the
country. The lake in fact closed for a
month, and I was gutted as I felt I was
onto something with that spot.
It wasn’t until early December that
I again pulled into the car park. The
weather had taken on its winter mode
with minus temperatures, easterly
winds, and high pressure was evident
for the foreseable future. Oh well, it
was nice to be back. I had a good
walk round, and found another angler
down the end of the lake where I had
taken a few fish the month before. I
didn’t want to encroach on him down
there, as it wouldn’t be fair to hem
him in, and that’s not what I’m about.
On walking round I thought I’d have a
look at the snaggy area, as I had been
told they did get in there in the winter. On approaching the set of snags,
which stretch for around 50yds with
various spots under them that you
could see and fish, I crept up and
peered over the ridge. I didn’t see
anything at first, but on looking closer
I could just make out a tail swishing
back and forth deep into the snag. I
sat there for another hour or so, willing the fish to move so I could get a
better look at it, when a very big common drifted in from open water. Phew
– that fish had to be over 40lb, and I
recognised it as the Small Tailed
Common from a photo I had seen earlier in the year. I sat for a while longer,
and a couple of 30lb mirrors drifted in
and began feeding. Just as I was
about to go and get my gear I saw a
log out of the corner of my eye, or
what I thought was a log. In fact it
42lb 8oz of winter carp.
FREE LINE 125

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