FREE LINE 03 - Page 172



Grand Finale
an absolutely stunning fish, which
was also well spawned out as it’s
usually 30lb-plus, but I’m still not
complaining, as it was a stunner and
it didn’t fall off. I lost quite a few more
fish during the day to hook pulls, and
by now I was starting to change
things to try to rescue this hook
pulling fiasco. I tried longer hairs,
shorter hairs, longer and shorter rigs,
different hook patterns and sizes, but
nothing seemed to make any difference. I noticed that the last fish I
landed had quite a soft mouth, and
whether this was due to the spawning or the amount of hatches that
they had been feeding on over the last
few weeks, I don’t know.
The next day I had a steady take at
6.45am, and this one came in steadily
through all the weedbeds, just
another plodding weight. It surfaced
about 40yds out and looked to be a
big mirror, and got it in closer where it
was just plodding up and down the
margin. Please stay on, I thought, like
you do, especially after all those hook
pulls yesterday! It came up again and
I knew it had to be either ‘Dave’ or the
‘Z Fish’, but a definite 40 either way. It
went straight into the net – yes, fantastic, another one off the list. My
good buddy Mark came to do the
honours with the camera, and I was
dong the crouch dance as he
approached – I was buzzing. It turned
out to be Dave at 44lb 2oz – brilliant
stuff. Whilst we were doing the photos of Dave my left hand rod started
beeping, so I told the lads it would
probably just go into the nearest
weedbed and wait for me to finish
doing the photos.
After putting Dave back I picked up
my other rod, and pulled into it,
increasing the pressure, and the fish
started to break away bringing
masses of weed up with it. It finally
broke the surface 30yds out, and Mark
said, “It’s a long common.” Nah, not
that big surely, it’s too long, and it
turned out to be a big grassy. Mark
managed to get it in the net, turned
round to say something, and it shot
out of the net and flat-rodded me.
Luckily my clutch was set quite slack
from earlier in the fight, so I got my
waders on to meet it with the net as
far out as I could go, just to make sure
if it went in the net it stayed there this
time, as this was my first grass carp. I
finally got it in the net, and it tried to
power out again almost pulling me
172 FREE LINE
over with it – what an animal. I got it
on the mat, and the scales etc were
already out from Dave. On the scales
she went 35lb 8oz, my PB grassy, and
another complex record to boot. If
your luck’s in…! I only did a quick
shot of one side as it was going ballistic on the mat, and I knew how
stressed they can become on the
bank. I still had one night to go, and
no more hook pulls either, which
really was bizarre.
At 7.30pm I was on the phone to
home after just re-baiting all the rods,
and the middle one was away again.
This turned out to be another mint
spawned-out common, this one going
23lb 8oz. I managed a double and
another bream during this session,
and this one was also re-housed.
Back down on the 1st July and I
had a mid-double, but it was just too
hot to fish for me, a proper heat wave,
so I went home. I wasn’t too fussed
after the excellent run of fish I’d had
this year. I didn’t go back ‘til the 11th
August due to the extreme temperatures we were having. A visiting
What a lump.
angler took my usual swim, so I went
just down the bank from him to where
I could almost reach the baited area I
had been fishing. At 7.45am my middle rod close to my usual spot was
away, and after a decent fight I landed
a nice half linear which went 25lb 8oz.
A good start back, as I hadn’t been for
a while. I lost a fish the following
morning, which weeded me up quite
badly – you can’t win them all, I
thought. This ended up being my last
session of the year, but what a year I’d
had in more ways than one!
I’ve got no plans for next year really
(2007), as there is only one big fish
from the complex that I really would
like, and that’s the Z Fish, which only
comes out once a year, so the chances
of catching that are quite slim really. I
really need to get back on a syndicate
after the chaos of fishing day ticket
waters. I’ve had some proper nightmares down there I can tell you, but
I’ve also had some great times, and
met some great lads. I hope you all
get your target fish, and ‘til next time,
best wishes and big fishes. n

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