FREE LINE 03 - Page 152

Flitting Around
The following week saw a nice low
pressure moving in, but unfortunately
I couldn’t get to the lake that day. I
could get down the following morning though, which wasn’t too bad, I
remembered on the Berkshire water
that it was when the air pressure
started to rise that I would get the
most action, even when it was freezing cold, there was ice in the margins,
and my unhooking mat was solid
with frost, so I wasn’t that put out by
missing the falling pressure the day
before. The low pressure would only
last for 48 hours, then we were back
to high pressures and frosty nights
once again. I cast all three rods out to
the spots that I had clipped up to on
my previous visit. I positioned my
baits early that morning and looked
for signs of fish. I fished my lines
slightly tighter than my usual, much
preferring to use slack lines to try and
get some indication of what was
going on out there. I use 18lb ESP
Ghost Fluorocarbon as my leaders,
which hides the end tackle very
nicely even on a semi-tight line. I do
tend to slacken the lines off every
hour or so, as with all our lines, the
line seems to tighten up when using
small bobbins. Around midday I saw a
fish over my right hand rod – nice, I
thought, and an hour later I had a very
small liner so things were looking up.
It’s strange how the action during the
winter and early spring can be very
localised, and you can set your watch
by it sometimes. Nothing more happened that day, but with the pressure
starting to rise, I was confident that
my chance, if it came at all, would
come the next day around midday
when I had seen the fish and received
the liner. I retired for the night to get
(Above) What I use for my leaders.
(Right) Awesome in her winter
colours, 40lb+.
some rest and set the alarm clock for
an hour before light, so I could once
again slightly slacken off my lines and
listen for any early morning fish
crashing out in the darkness. It surprises me how active fish can be in
the early hours on a winter’s morning
when we are usually tucked up in our
sleeping bag battling against the elements.
The alarm on my phone went off,
and I got up and made a nice brew
whilst still lying in my bed, it was
bloody cold I must say, and I was
starting to think that I was a little
early to be fishing the lake, as it really
does shut up shop ‘til around April at
best, which is due to it being so deep
in the middle of the lake. Not a lot
really gets caught between January
and April for the amount of rod hours
that get put in on the lake.
I had some breakfast and it must
have been around 11am when I saw
another fish show, but this time down
to my left in the general area of my left
hand rod. The good thing about this
time of the year is that due to it being
so slow there are very few anglers on
the lake, and you can spread your rods
out over two or three swims, which is
nice. My confidence was high as I
received another liner, but this time
on the right hand rod, which was
positioned in front of the next swim
down. It wasn’t long before I received
a couple of bleeps and the bobbin
rose to the top of the right hand rod. I
just had to hit that, and I was met
with a solid resistance at first as if the
fish was surprised that it had been
hooked so early on in the year, but
when I had gained some line on her
she started to fight quite hard. It was
as if she had been woken up by me
pulling her up and towards the winter
sun, which seemed to bring out the
best in her, and a strong hard fight
ensued. I finally netted a nice fish that
I thought I recognised as being the
Heart Tail Fish, but it looked so much
bigger than the mid-30 that I had
seen her caught at the year before by
my mate, Jon. I was the only one
there, so I hoisted her up, and the
scales swung round to between 40lb
1oz and 40lb 2oz, so I settled for the
lower weight as you do. It was one I
hadn’t caught before, so I was well
Maybe, just maybe, I thought, as I
called a friend on my phone to come
and take some pics for me, the one I
wanted might slip up out there in the
middle. As he arrived, the middle rod
did the same two bleeps and held at
the rod butt, and again I hit it. The
fight wasn’t spectacular until I got the
fish near the surface. I couldn’t really
tell how big this one was until she got
near the net, but it looked like a good
fish. Without much fuss we netted her
first time, and were both gobsmacked
at the action I had received. Nothing


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