FREE LINE 03 - Page 153



Flitting Around
had been out for around two months,
and I’d had two in an hour – maybe
the lake was waking up early. I made
my friend swear he wouldn’t tell anyone for a couple of weeks. I held her
up to be weighed; she went 36lb 4oz,
and again I was blown away by the
fish’s winter beauty. Don’t they look
so much better in their winter colours
at this time of year? But it wasn’t to
end there, as I managed a nice upper20 on the only remaining rod half an
hour later. They are like buses; you
wait ages for one, and then three
come along at once. I packed away a
very happy man indeed, that was for
sure. All the fish had come on single
20mm bottom baits on a short 6in
25lb Atomic Fuze-wire hook link,
which is quite a stiff hook link and
ideal for anti-eject rigs. I coupled this
with a size 7 ESP Longshank hook
with a Drennan mini rig on the shank,
which creates a blowback element to
(Above) 25lb Atomic Fuzewire, ideal
for anti-ejec rigs.
(Below) On a zig, would you believe?
the rig, and uses the weight of the
20mm boilie to set the hook. It’s also
worth noting that I stripped back the
last inch of the hook link, so I had a
degree of movement, which I think is
essential in allowing the rig to work
so well. It just shows you that a single
bait on the right spot is all you need
sometimes rather than loads of bait.
I managed to return a week later
and again positioned the three rods
on the same spots on the clips. Again
I had baited before I left, but was only
using single 20mm hookbaits, and I
was rewarded with a scaly 33lb-plus
fish. Things were definitely starting to
hot up out I the middle of the pond. It
was now mid-March, and whilst I
tried I just couldn’t get down ‘til the
start of April, by which time the news
had got out, and everyone and their
dog had been fishing out in the middle. By now the weather had turned
somewhat milder, and even though
still cold, it had definitely turned more
towards spring-like conditions. I’m
sure the extended daylight hours
make all the difference to the fish; it’s
nature’s way of giving everything a
wakeup call. It doesn’t seem to matter
what the temperatures are, it’s the
sunlight hours that make the difference. As I pulled into the car park it
was as if the lake had transformed
over the past two weeks; no fish were
showing, but by the look of things the
fish had woken up and a few had
been out. I decided to give the zigs a
go early this year. I remember a good
friend of mine Ash Bradbury had
absolutely hammered them the season before at the beginning of May,
but it just looked right. There were
flies buzzing around, and the odd
swallow was swooping down to pick
the flies off the lake’s surface. I
decided on a swim that gave me
plenty of water to go at, as I was
going to go for it and put out three
zigs. My zig setup is probably different from a lot people’s in that I like to
fish the adjustable zig, the one with
the Drennan sub-float on the line so I
can set all three zigs at different
depths and move them about without
having to reel in and change the hook
length – it just saves so much time.
Well, three zigs were slung out
there with different coloured cut
down pop-ups on, and at different
depths. By the time I got the third rod
out and sat down to put my umbrella
up and have a general tidy up, the
first rod cast to 3ft below the surface
on a cut down 15mm Dynamite Fresh
Squid pop-up was away. I couldn’t
believe it, and to say I was surprised
would be an understatement, but I
wasn’t complaining, for over the next
five hours I managed to get 12 takes,
with ten captures to 39lb-plus, which
was the Big Lin. It was a repeat capture, but a welcome one, as it was my
PB zig-caught fish, and still is. It was
just going wild over there; I couldn’t
keep three baits in the water at once
after I had changed the depths on all
three to 3ft below the surface, and the
slightly darker fresh squid pop-ups
were doing the damage. Well after 24
hours of that I can tell you I was shattered, and I slipped off home a very
happy chappy indeed. As is usually
the case, the rest of the lads rightly
got on the zigs and hammered them
for a few weeks, but it did slow down,
and I changed over to fishing for them
in the edge now as I was sure I
wouldn’t catch the one I wanted on
the zigs.
The lake was fishing really differently to the previous season, and on
closer inspection of some of the spots
in the swims, they just didn’t seem to
be there this year. Whether this was
due to the farmer lowering the water I
don’t know, but lots of bait was going
in on the same old spots, and it wasn’t
getting cleared – in fact it was starting to pop up. I did manage to find a
couple of nice spots in the no1 swim
near to the car park; the fish were def-
FREE LINE 153

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