FREE LINE 03 - Page 142

Springing into the Valley
carp is a highly charged, often explosive, and never dull form of catching
carp, but patience not being my
strong point, after about an hour of
heart racing moments and brushes
with action, I was still fishless, and
the sun’s intensity was pinking up my
delicate physique with great aplomb.
The sweat was literally running off
my shaved head, the salt was stinging
my eyes, the Polaroids were steaming
up, and all in all an element of frustration was beginning to get the better
of me. I reeled in and sat in the meagre shade of the willow just content
to observe these coy feeders, and
then I noticed a group of half a dozen
fish to my right who were mouthing
at the surface with a certain purpose.
A cheeky little side-cast saw my
hookbait fly past them, I slowly drew
it back to their position, and as I
blinked to clear the sweat from my
e y e, I s a w t h e h o o k b a i t b e i n g
engulfed by a rather large mouth! The
strike followed, with an eruption of
water more akin to a whale breaching, then all hell broke loose as the
carp tore off across the very weedy
bay and made a profound attempt to
regain its liberty. The clutch of my lit-
25lb 4oz mirror.
tle Daiwa SS2600 reel was singing a
merry tune as the carp twisted and
contorted its way through every
w e e d b e d i n t h e v i c i n i t y, a n d i t
became clear very early on that my
choice of an 8lb hooklink might not
have been one of my better decisions
that day! Thus far the size 10 Fang
Uni had a seemingly good hookhold,
and I was confident enough in the
pattern, but the density of the
weedbeds was striking fear into my
heart as the carp eventually ground to
a halt some 15-20yds away at around
the two o’clock position to me.
Great plumes of bubbles were
being sent to the surface as the carp
powered its way further into the
dense aquatic forest of Canadian
pondweed and Milfoil, and the line
began to sing a strained tune as the
tension increased. My S1 Stealth
Stalker was piling on the pressure,
and after around five or six minutes of
the fish being rock solid in the weed,
it began to relinquish its position and
I was able to regain some line, inch by
hard won inch. All of a sudden the fish
hit the surface, and it was off again on
another powerful run, this time into
the open water to my left. It seemed
to have a renewed sense of purpose,
and any thoughts I had of being in
control of the situation were soon dissipated as the carp led me a merry old
dance. My thoughts were constantly
with the tiny size 10 Fang Uni hook,
which was keeping this brute on the
line, and I was amazed that it was still
holding out, considering the extreme
pressure I had subjected it to. After
several more surging runs, I had got
the leviathan back in front of me
again, and it managed to get back
under what was left of the first
weedbed it managed to find. This
time though, I felt more confident of
the extraction, and just kept the rod
on full battle curve until the aquatic
mass and my prize finally relinquished its hold, and I carefully
guided the whole bundle in to the
waiting net. Upon peeling away the
vegetation, I was greeted with the
mass of perfect bronzy scales of a
rather nice common that I was sure
would go 30lb-plus, and I was
ecstatic at banking my first surface
caught fish from the venue. I secured
the net whilst I went and set up the
tripod, but luckily one of the members, Wes, came along and offered to


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