FREE LINE 03 - Page 164



Grand Finale
look that big. That was when the two
lads started saying, “It’s only a pastie,
get it in!” I drew it towards me and
into the net first time, and it didn’t
look that small to me. Meanwhile I
was getting stick from the lads on the
bank about all that messing about for
a pastie. I looked into the net and said,
“It’s a good fish!” “Yeah, righto,” came
the reply.
All the way through the fight I
never once thought it could be my
target fish Benson. I showed the lads
and they said it looked 30! I thought,
The big girl.
164 FREE LINE
are they blind or what? I passed them
the net as I got out of the water to get
my camera gear and scales etc ready.
I put my mat under a tree, and went to
retrieve my fish to weigh it and hopefully identify it. I broke the net down
and rolled it down towards the fish,
checked its fins were ok, and proceeded to lift it. Oh my god, I thought,
this is a right lump! I waddled over to
the mat and laid it down, and it
looked massive. My two compatriots
still saying it was only a 30 – dear God
you’re having a laugh aren’t you? I’m
the one wearing the glasses; do you
want to borrow them?
I peeled back the mesh and there
she was, my target achieved – Benson, and she looked immense. A few
more lads turned up, and I put her in
the sling. I asked if any one wanted to
do the honours, as I’ve got a dodgy
back, and Big Bri said, “Dead right,
give us it here!” The scales swung
round between 58lbs and 58lb 4ozs.
Just call it 58lbs then – that will do
me, I thought; it’s more about the fish
than the weight with this fish. I still
couldn’t believe I’d finally bagged
‘Benno’ the biggest known common
in the country. I got a couple of mats
arranged, and Big Bri carried her to
them to do the photo shoot. I laid her
at my knees, looked down and she
looked awesome, what a sight – 58lb
of common carp on my mat, get in
there! I thought I’d struggle to lift her
bulk for the photos, but it was no
problem. I positioned my hands and
lifted her up no problem; it must have
been the adrenaline rush I was experiencing, and she behaved impeccably, thank god.
Once the photos were done and the
lads went back to their swims it was
time to tell the world, but I couldn’t
believe it; the screen on my phone
had decided to pack up! Good timing
or what, so I couldn’t phone anyone.
But once the carp grapevine got
going, I started receiving texts and
phone calls of congratulations, but I
couldn’t see who they were from! So
my good mate Mark who had done a
brilliant job with the photos said he
had an old phone in his van I could
use with my SIM card – job sorted.
Then I could reply to my texts and
calls etc. The first person I phoned
was my mam to tell her I had done it,
but she went to pieces and couldn’t
speak, so I had to call and see her
once I got home. I stayed for one more
night to let it all sink in, and had a

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