FREE LINE 03 - Page 145

Springing into the Valley
at times and enjoy the fight because
with the lead gone, I was in direct
contact with the fish, and if the little
size 10 Uni was going to come out, it
would have done so by now. I did
breathe a sigh of relief as she began
to tire and took her first gulp of air,
and as I lowered the net in readiness,
she was all but done on the surface,
and well on her way to being mine. I
could see that it wasn’t a big’un, but I
did notice that the coloration was
awesome, so when she was finally
ensconced within the confines of the
net, I was well pleased to see her
stunning livery. When they look this
good, size is suddenly immaterial, and
although I did weigh her at 17lb 10oz,
the fact that she was so gorgeous
more than made up for her demure
stature. After a few self-takes, I
slipped her back to fight another day,
and I was pleased to have nicked
another fish on a different method,
when adapting to their position in the
I wasn’t in any hurry to get the rod
back out there as I was expecting a
visit from my mate Mark (aka Kodak),
and with the last of my milk having
turned to yoghurt, I was without a
celebratory cuppa until he turned up
with some new cow juice! We chatted
for several hours whilst sitting under
the dappled shade of the willow tree,
and when it was time to bid him
farewell, we had a brief look over the
other side of the spit into another of
the small bays, and the sight that
greeted us was simply phenomenal!
We had noticed a gradual decline in
numbers of the fish on my side of the
spit, and it seems that there were
absolutely loads of them all basking in
the calm waters of this bay in the mid
to late afternoon sun. We were both
amazed at the size of some of these
grey bathers, and when Kodak eventually left, I took the opportunity to
explore an overgrown margin area
where there aren’t any official swims,
except for one of the bailiffs who
announced that he and the rest of the
bailiffs are the only ones allowed to
stalk carp from non-designated
swims. Oh the duplicity of rules, you
gotta love ‘em!
When I went in behind the tree
canopy, I was blown away by the size
of the polished marginal area, and it
was as if there was a physical barrier
just stopping the Canadian
pondweed forest in a perfect line on
the edge of the trees. I could see vast
amounts of carp patrolling on the
open waterside, and decided to put a
few handfuls of my new bait in the
margin to see what sort of a reaction I
could observe. A good scattering of
baits was highly noticeable in the
crystal clear water (as can be seen in
the picture), which went to about 45ft deep prior to hitting the weeded
area, then as I sat back, content to be
a voyeur in the carp’s environment, a
group of around fifteen 20lb-plus’ers
just drifted in and began to tear up
the bottom, eating boilies fanned up
in midwater as well, and generally
creating a frenzied feeding situation
until only a few dozen baits remained.
Some of the bigger members of the
group were easily mid- to upper-30’s
with one possible 40 (I wasn’t overly
familiar with the famous individuals
at this stage), and the reaction to the
bait was unbelievable. When they
departed, I put some more in, and
decided to look at ways I could possibly get a bait in here from the other
side of the bay. I don’t possess a boat,
so I was going to have to improvise,
and after several practice casts, I was
happy that there was a solution at
hand. It was 5pm, and time was of the
essence if I was going to turn this
opportunity into a fish, so the camp
was moved in double quick time and
the casting began. Now a 35yd cast is
an easy prospect in anyone’s books,
but I had to cast it in to a 3ft gap in
the trees with a low punching trajectory in order to penetrate the width of
the canopy, thus avoiding the overhanging branches in the vicinity, AND
so I could retrieve the lead somehow,
then attach the rig! After approximately six casts it was nailed, and I
went round to retrieve the lead.
Well that was easier said than done,
as I couldn’t find the bloody thing in
the detritus at the entrance to the
spot, so I went back round, reeled it
in, and attached a white 15mm popup for the visual aspect, and after a
couple of casts, it was bang on the
money. This time, the lead was clearly
visible, and using my weigh hook
attachment on the end of my baiting
pole, I easily retrieved the lead, and
commenced assembly of the rig components on the bank. The lead I used
for the cast was a standard 3oz distance lead and Nash No.2 Link Clip,
but this was merely attached to a
swivel for convenience. The lead
arrangement I was using was an
inline discharge setup, and I simply
removed the lead and pop-up and fitted a new inline. Then I attached the
baited rig, which consisted of half a
20mm boilie mounted on a 1.5in hair
to a size 6 Nash Fang Uni hook, 6ins of
E S P S t r i p Te a z e, a n d t h i s w a s
weighted down with some rig putty,
absolute simplicity itself. I tackled
some branch removal to facilitate the
ease of manoeuvre of the baiting pole,
and removed some unwanted twigs
and debris where I wanted my bait. I
then put the baited rig, complete with
a small bag of broken boilies, in the
spoon, and topped this up with a
good handful of chopped baits. The
reason for the bag on the hook was to
further enhance the disguise aspect
of the rig, because the clarity of the
w a t e r w a s s o c l e a r, e v e r y t h i n g
needed to be very stealthy on the
presentation front. Once the pole was
guided into position, a gentle sideways tip was all that was needed to
send the bait to the bottom, and it
was now time for some fine tuning of
the rig. I carefully moved the lead so
the rig was absolutely straight, then


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