FREE LINE 03 - Page 70



Return to the Grand Union
No Fins 26.08
each rod, but I didn’t bait up with any
hemp or tigers while I was fishing.
Just before 1am the left hand rod registered a slow take. I got out of the
sleeping bag, struck the rod over my
head, and felt the fish instantly; it took
line at pace, nearly flat rodding me.
The usual fight occurred, with it running to the left, then me frantically
winding as it swum towards me, and
then taking line as it passed me to my
right. This fish was hugging the bottom, trying to find anything to part
the line and free itself, but after a few
minutes it started to tire, and its runs
got shorter and shorter. Then the fish
started swirling and boiling under the
surface, and as it took a couple of
gulps of air I coaxed it into the net.
The scales read 26lb 8oz; it had a nice
big moon shaped scale on its left flank
to identify it with, and I was sure I’d
caught it before.
After the fish was returned, I set
about getting the rod back out and
70 FREE LINE
putting another six or seven baits out
just past the hookbait. At 4am and I
was away on the same rod, although
this time it was a drop back. I picked
up the rod, wound in as fast as I could,
and made contact with the fish,
which was now on the far side of the
canal opposite me. How it didn’t
catch the line on my other rod, I don’t
know. A nice fight from the fish
ensued, a fight that was all under the
rod tip, heart in the mouth type stuff,
and I was relieved once I got the fish
into the net. A 22lb 4oz mirror was the
scores on the doors. At 6am I was
away yet again, but this time on the
far margin rod. This fish zigzagged
about like mad, but eventually I
slipped the net under a streamlined
mid-double common carp. I quickly
unhooked the fish and returned it to
the canal.
Another week flew by at work, and
i t w a s ba c k o n the c a na l fo r a n
overnighter. As usual, I had baited up
a couple of times during the week to
keep the fish visiting the area. The
rods were out as usual by about 8pm,
although it was now starting to get
dark as I arrived, with autumn now
setting in. Crab apples were falling
onto my brolly from the tree I was
installed under for the night, occasionally making me jump – probably
not the best area to set up in. Around
2am and the towpath rod once again
signalled a bite, with the line peeling
of the spool at a rate of knots. I was
slightly scared to disengage the
baitrunner, but I had to of course. The
rod pulled over straight away, with
me loosening the clutch as soon as
possible to avoid pulling the hook out.
I stood there with the sweet sound of
the Shimano’s clutch spinning away.
As it started to slow down I tightened
the clutch a touch and started to gain
line on the fish. It got caught up with
my other line for a moment, and the
other alarm let out a few disgruntled

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