FREE LINE 03 - Page 146



In Search of Monster Carp
on it. I couldn’t see them any more so
I thought well, I don’t know whether
t h e y ’r e t h e r e o r n o t , y o u k n o w,
whether they’ve drifted because the
sun was going and whatever, so I
chopped up a load of bait. I thought
that with the way they were acting
they were feeding big time, so I let
them have it with the chops.
That night I didn’t see much, so I
turned in. I’d got everything ready to
be up at first light because they used
to show. Back then you’d get your
skates on and get round the lake, so I
packed everything away in the rucksack ready to go in the morning just
in case. I was getting mullered that
year by the mosquitoes, absolutely
hammered, so I zipped up the old
mozzie net door and went to sleep.
Then I just heard this one toner and
bounced off the mozzie net door. I
unzipped it, dived down there and hit
the fish thinking it was down the
right hand side where the reeds were,
but all of a sudden the rod just
twisted in my hand and went left. I
was just using 2.5’s at the time, and it
was bent double; I couldn’t give it any
more if I tried, as the clutch was done
up tight. It just had so much power
146 FREE LINE
this fish; it just pulled some line off
the spool and did me under the submerged tree. I just stood there with
my line waving in the air, and I didn’t
believe it – my first take and I’d lost it!
So anyway, I rigged it all up again, and
I just flicked it back down on the
same spot. Perhaps there were snails
or something in the reeds, but I
thought I had to get close to the fish,
and I could see them going through
easily enough, so I knew there
weren’t any hazards there.
So I just dropped them in close, and
put another load of chops out. I
thought I had nothing to lose, as it
was not often you got two takes in a
night out of Horton. I was lying on the
bag thinking about it all, feeling sorry
for myself, when all of a sudden it rattled off again, and I was on it. I
stopped it but unfortunately it had
gone under a weed bed and over
another one, so I wasn’t getting a
direct pull, and it was lying on the surface just flapping. It was probably 14ft
deep there, and it wasn’t a great distance out, but it was too far out for me
to go out at night, so I was just holding it. I just had enough pressure on it
to take the curve up with the weight
of the fish, when all of a sudden it
started kicking and I could feel the
line pinging back. I was taking up
what I could of the slack, but all of a
sudden it did one more big kick and
that was it; it cut me off. So I lost two
fish in one night, but I loved the place.
I must be a sucker for punishment, as
I just kept going. I was learning so
much; it was a different ballgame, and
when you can only fish weekends and
whatever, it sometimes takes a bit of
time to get a pattern, but I was doing
a bit more than two days up there
then.
I didn’t fish it in the winter; I pulled
off and went to Sutton, but the following year I went back up to Horton,
and it was a bit of a slow start for me.
First time out I packed up at the end
of the session, left the swim, Del
jumped in, and he had the Parrot, but
that’s the way things go isn’t it? But
I liked it better when it started quietening down. I always remember
Frogger saying, “No matter how many
times you have to do it, walk that
lake.” I’d been round twice; I found a
couple of fish in the back of Church
Bay, but I didn’t fancy fishing it with
just two fish there. I thought I could

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