FREE LINE 03 - Page 65



Return to the Grand Union
didn’t get a minute’s sleep that night
with tench and bream to 4 or 5lbs
coming in thick and fast. By about
3am I’d waved the white flag in defeat
and duly wound in my rods so I could
get a couple of hours’ sleep before
heading off to work that morning.
I kept up the baiting pattern for two
or three evenings a week. I fished
either one or two overnighters a
week, and for the first couple of
weeks I was catching a lot of tench,
bream and the odd roach, but they did
start to slow up. At least the swans
appeared to have moved on, probably
preparing their nesting area somewhere else. Now we were moving
into May, and I was still to receive any
action from a carp. I was still baiting
with boilies and particles, and it wasn’t until the end of May that I received
my first action from a carp. I’d arrived
around 8pm, which is roughly when
the boat traffic stops. The towpath
rod was fished with 8ins of 15lb Merlin tied to an ESP size 7 Big T hook.
The other rod was fished with 8ins of
15lb clear Amnesia tied to an ESP size
6 Stiff Rigger hook. The rest of the rig
was the same, a 3oz Atomic bottle
lead attached via a tulip bead, 10ins of
Korda Khaki tubing with lead putty to
pin it down, and then finally 12lb
mainline.
I was fishing to my left, and I placed
the towpath rod in, pulling the rod
slowly to my right as I dropped the rig
down to the bottom, thus making the
rig lie flat. I then swung the second
rod out with an underarm cast, not
just straight across to the opposite
side of the canal, but at an angle, trying to keep it as straight with the
canal and the rod as possible, again
hopefully getting the rig lying flat,
parallel with the canal bank. I then
baited to the left of the hook baits,
hopefully reducing the chance of fish
rubbing against the mainline while
feeding. I’m not confident with using
back leads on the canal with there
being so much rubbish and rubble in
the margins, so I fish a fairly tight line,
and I find that placing the freebies
just past the hook bait and rig works
well for me. Then I sat back and just
had to wait.
It was the towpath rod that burst
into life first, around 2am. It gave a
good account of itself, and it took me
about five minutes to win the battle
and net my first carp from the canal in
over five years. I quickly rushed
around getting the mat, scales etc
ready. I got the carp on the scales, and
the needle settled on 25lbs exactly, a
nice short, pale, fat Italian type carp. I
received no more action that night
after returning the fish, but I was over
the moon at catching my first fish.
The following week and I fished the
(Top) 25lb
(Right) Little No Fins 21.08
FREE LINE 65

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