FREE LINE 03 - Page 73

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rig was safe. I put it down to the lead
getting buried into the clay, then the
fish belting off so fast that the lead
stayed put, while the fish just pulled
the leadcore and line straight through
the tulip bead.
Another week went by and the
same thing happened on the first take
of the next session. Then an hour later
I got another take, but the hook pulled
as I was playing it under the rod tip.
Another hour passed by and I managed to land a mid-double linear. All
three takes came to the towpath rod
using the leadcore setup. The final
take came at about 5am on the tree
spot. I got to the rod late; the fish had
already passed the tree, and had
made about 30yds on me. I slowly
pumped the fish in, and I was close to
getting it through the tree, but on the
final two branches it got snagged up.
It was swirling around under the surface, but no matter what I did I couldn’t free it, and eventually the line
parted. I kept a close eye out for a
while, making sure the fish had got
free. It must have been one of my
worst night’s fishing, losing three fish,
and having the line part on one fish.
After that night I didn’t fish that
stretch again; I just couldn’t risk tethering up another fish, so I decided to
go back to the first stretch.
Over the next few weeks I suffered
blank nights with no signs of fish, and
it wasn’t until the end of May that I
received any further action. It was
starting to get warmer at night, and
the days were getting longer. I had
arrived just as the light was fading,
and I placed the two rods in their
usual spots with around a dozen
boilies over each rod. As bite time
approached the rod on the far margin
registered a drop back. I quickly got
out of the bag, wound in the slack,
and struck into the fish, which was
still on the far side but making its way
past me to my right. Another good
fight took place and after four or five
minutes I had the fish under control,
and into the net on the first time of
asking. I got everything ready for tak-
ing some self-takes, and the scales
registered 26lb 14oz of mirror carp.
The following week I was back,
hungry for more action, and I got the
rods back out on their spots. I decided
to bait up the reeds with a few more
baits than usual, just to be different,
and I placed my usual dozen freebies
on the towpath rod. At about 3am I
got a steady take on the reed bed rod.
It was another hard fight, but it was
over quite quickly; it came past quite
close, and I managed to scoop it into
the net as it tried to pass me. It was a
familiar fish; the fish with no fins,
which weighed 26lbs last summer,
and this summer it was 8oz heavier. I
took a quick snap of each flank just to
compare photos in my album.
The next time down and it was an
overcast day. It had been raining during the day, but it was now starting to
clear as I trundled up to the canal
with the gear on my back and under
my arms. Conditions were looking
good to me. I set up as I usually do,
but I decided to use a helicopter rig
Cluster 38.13


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