FREE LINE 03 - Page 146



Springing into the Valley
21lb 10oz Chod caught common
pushed the lead further into the
gravel/sand bottom and pulled some
detritus over the lead to ensure it
wasn’t too obvious. I then straightened out the 6ft length of leadcore,
then pulled the bullet braid taut and
pushed that down in certain places to
the edge of the weed and finally, I
scattered some freebies further along
the margin spot, in the other entrance,
to get them interested before the
main feast. Then I retrieved all my
baiting paraphernalia and slackened
off the Bullet Braid so it was just resting on the Canadian pondweed right
up to the gap in the canopy.
The middle rod was cast to a clear
area on the open water side of the
trees, and this was baited in an identical manner to the right hand rod.
The left was baited with a chod rig,
and this was cast parallel with a big
snag at about 70yds range on the
same margin, to an area where there
were multiple carp shows. With the
bobbins set and the buzzers on, I sat
back to indulge in a spot of gastronomic pleasure, and rustled up a
superb king prawn stir fry with a
sweet chili and garlic sauce, washed
down with a rather nice Pinot Grigio,
146 FREE LINE
and waited for the buzzers to start
singing. The phone went at around
9pm, and I was just excitedly relating
the day’s events and trap setting scenario to my mate Mick, when the
right hand rod just ripped off! The
phone was tossed to the back of the
bivvy, I lunged forward to pull into the
fish, and the rod immediately took up
the full battle curve as the carp
headed out to the open water on the
surface. It didn’t pick up the other two
lines on its travels, which was a great
relief, as there was no way they were
getting back on those spots in the
dark, even clipped up. The powerful
surging runs with the braid had the
reel clutch absolutely screaming, my
excitement level had reached its pinnacle, and I was just grinning from ear
to ear about the success of my
stealthy trap. The thing with using
braid is to be able to react instantly to
the fish, and have the clutch set perfectly in order to reduce hook pulls,
but the fight you get is simply unbelievable; you can feel every flinch and
ping on the line, and it is certainly not
for the faint hearted. The initial run
must have taken around 50yds of
braid straight away, and after six or
seven minutes I was only just starting
t o r e g a i n l i n e, w i t h C a n a d i a n
pondweed strewn up its length like
wet washing.
A few bleeps on the other two rods
had me worried, but luckily the fish
took the fight back into the bay on the
right of the swim, and it was nearly
done. In the darkness I could tell it
was not too far out, and I readied the
net to land the weed and the fish. It is
moments like this that I was thankful
for having two nets, with the option
on my Century version to have an
extra 2ft extension on the handle,
which means you get it in 2ft sooner!
All went well; she went in first time,
and I was absolutely buzzin’. I
unhooked her in the net, and I noticed
she had a distinctive lump on her
right rear flank, and my thoughts
were that I had hooked one of the
famous big’uns. Every time I tried to
tilt the net to gauge her depth, she
went ballistic, so I couldn’t get a real
idea of her size, but her width was
impressive enough for me assume
she was the Big Nokia, especially
with the lump as well. I sent out some
texts and phoned Mick with the
news, but I was stuffed for a photog-

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