FREE LINE 03 - Page 148

Springing into the Valley
rapher. Normally I don’t mind selftakes at night, but 30lb-plus fish can
prove a tricky proposition, and this
one was anything but sedate! Luckily
my mate Ben Owen came to the rescue, and drove from his house in Richmond to do the honours with the
camera. When we got her on the
bank, it was clear that she wasn’t the
big’un as I first thought, and I felt a bit
of a twit to be honest, but she went
33lb exactly and Ben took some great
shots all the same. I was elated that
my little trap had worked, but the spot
was unobtainable until the morning
due to the effort involved with the
retrieval and placement etc. I was
now left with two rods on the spots,
and hopefully the remainder of the
night would get me some more
action, not that I was displeased with
the result already.
The night passed uneventfully, and
the early morning brought on some
tremendous shows over the chod rig
spot, but they just weren’t interested
in eating; it was playtime for the
chunks, and food wasn’t on the
menu! With breakfast out of the way, I
29lb 2oz surface caught common.
reeled in, went round to the margin
spot to check the bait and trickle
some in, and there were at least eight
to ten big carp in there, milling around
and actively seeking food. I put some
more bait in, gently eased them out of
position, and repeated the same casting, retrieval, baiting spoon routine
until the spot was primed once more.
At 1pm, the right hand buzzer went
into meltdown, and this time, I could
see the carp from the off in the crystal
clear waters. Another spectacular
battle ensued, I slipped the net under
a feisty 25lb mirror, and Gypsy John
did a sterling job with the camera.
Each re-baiting cycle was somewhat
time consuming, but if every cast produced a take, it was well worth the
effort. 4.30pm signalled another take
on that rod, and I had another mid-20
in the net after a hard won battle. This
spot was really starting to kick into
gear, and I was just a tad miffed that I
hadn’t chanced upon it earlier, as my
time on the spring permit was fast
expiring. That short session produced
five fish for me, and I went home well
pleased that I had adapted to the fish
and caught on three different methods.
My final stint on the lake was looming (before my CEMEX Gold Card validated), and I was fortunate enough to
get back into the same swim as the
week before, which boosted my confidence massively. I had put some bait
in before I left previously, and prior to
setting up camp, I went round and
put some in the spot to let the carp
know that grub was up. The weather
was slightly overcast, so I didn’t really
know how the spot would perform,
but if the last session was anything to
go by, I could safely assume that the
carp loved the bait and that they were
happy to eat in that location. I basically adopted an identical approach,
but the carp just didn’t seem to be frequenting the area as regularly as they
w e r e, a n d t h e b a i t r e m a i n e d
u n t o u c h e d, e x c e p t f o r s o m e
unwanted attention from persistent
coots as they were feeding their offspring. The first night proved fruitless,
and the next morning didn’t improve
matters, although the carp seemed to
have eaten more of the bait. I decided


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