FREE LINE 03 - Page 169



Grand Finale
behind it and unload the car. The
other plus point was that it was quite
weedy as well, which put a lot off too.
I don’t mind fishing in weed, especially Canadian pondweed, if it isn’t
too thick of course.
I created my usual feeding area
with my main rods about 60yds out
with the usual scattering of mixed
sized Indulgence boilies, my mix of
Dynamite’s mixed sized pellets, and
plenty of hemp to get them grubbing
about and hopefully start to make a
clearing in the weed for me. I always
have one rod in the margin area
somewhere so as not to put all my
eggs in one basket, and this rod was
cast about 10yds to my left on a hard
area amongst patchy weed. This rod
had a 10in hooklink on with a balanced bait and rig foam so it would
sink slowly, and would still be fairly
easy for the carp to find. I scattered
about 15-20 freebies around this rod
just to get them mooching about. This
was the rod that went first, and after a
good scrap in and out of the
weedbeds, I landed a nice two-tone
mirror with big scales on its flank – a
good start in my new swim. I had two
more fish off that spot during the first
20 hours or so, a double and another
25lb mirror – a parrot mouthed linear
with a few big scales on its flank.
At 8.30am the following morning
one of the rods on the baited patch
shot off. I hit it and felt a solid resistance – my God not again! I pumped a
(Above right) Top pellets.
(Below) My favoured pellet combo.
dead weight in for about 10yds then
all hell broke loose; it went off on a
50yd dash – amazing power, and I
couldn’t slow it down no matter what
I tried. I finally gained about 20yds by
just pumping in this dead weight, but
it shot off again on mad runs. This
happened about five times, and then
it surfaced about 40yds out – a very
big catfish! Oh well, that explained
the manic scrap! One of the lads
down the bank came down to give
me a hand to land it.
Ian grabbed my net and positioned
himself ready to land this catfish. I
finally brought it to him, and what a
beast. I thought I’d get its head on the
block and lift, but no chance; it was
too long, and kept sliding out backwards! “Oh God Ian, don’t let this fall
off!” After a few attempts I said to Ian,
“Just keep your net where it is.” I
drew it towards the net, threw my rod
on the floor, jumped into the lake fully
clothed, and bundled it into the net.
That’s how you do it Ian! He just said
I was a ferking nutter. I managed to
get it weighed, and it was 64lbs, a PB,
and at the time a new lake record! I
measured at just over 6ft long too, and
that was it for that session. What I’ve
found when creating these feeding
areas on Swan Lake is that sometimes
a catfish will move onto the baited
area waiting to pick off any unsuspecting silver fish that are attracted to
the hemp and pellets. The downside
to this is that the carp won’t come in
either, so you either have to catch the
cat or wait ‘til he vacates your swim.
Another way of telling if there is a
catfish out there is when the tufties
and coots dive and then they come
out of the water like Exocet missiles.
I was back down the following
week, and a strong chilly southwesterly wind was blowing, which suited
my new swim. I got the rods back out
to the same positions as last week, as
my lines were still marked up. At
4.45am one of the rods on my baited
patch shot off, and I felt a dead weight
again, but no long runs though. Still, I
thought it was a cat again until it
came to the surface, when I could see
it was definitely a big mirror! I was
hoping it was going to be a fish called
‘Dave’ or the ‘Z Fish’, which usually
only comes out once a year. It just
plodded up and down the margins for
a bit then surfaced, and tried to net it,
but was just too far out. This seemed
to wind the fish up and she fought
hard for quite some time. I prayed
she’d stay on, and she did, and came
straight in the next this time – result!
I thought it looked like the Creature
but a lot smaller, and after a good look
it was indeed the ‘Creature’ again,
well down in weight and well
spawned-out, but more importantly a
healthy 48lbs. In just over a month
s h e ’d g o n e f r o m 5 9 l b 4 o z t o a
spawned-out 48lbs.
The wind had changed to a strong,
but still chilly for the time of year,
westerly wind, which was blowing
straight at me now, but the water still
felt very warm still though. At
10.10am any my margin rod was
away with a one-toner. It was a
dogged fight, and didn’t do a lot, coming straight to the surface again. A lot
FREE LINE 169

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