FREE LINE 03 - Page 190

Right Place at the Right Time
at long range, so I blasted single hook
baits as close to them as I could. The
result was a few carp; they weren’t
big, but it was pleasing, as I’d never
fished there before. I was raring to get
back after Star, as she was yet to be
caught, and was due out any time.
Other carp were getting caught, and
as Star is a regular visitor to the bank,
rumours were starting to fly round
that she was no longer there after the
flood. Although this was possible, the
venue had flooded many times before,
and she has stayed put. However,
weeks went by and Star was still
uncaught. The fact that I’d not been
able to find her put that bit of doubt in
my mind, and I was beginning to
question whether she was in there or
I fished a few more weeks and still
didn’t find Star, so I decided to pull off
until she got caught. I was also starting to get annoyed with how busy the
lake was getting. It wasn’t so much
the amount of people fishing, but the
fact that a few of them needed a lesson in bankside etiquette. I remember
sitting under my brolly one morning,
watching a bloke work his way round
the lake, thrashing it to a foam with
one of those Smartcast gadgets. He
got closer and closer, and would have
probably cast it into my swim had I
not stood up and given him an
annoyed look. I’d have loved it if a
pike had taken his Smartcast. I was
also getting very wary about baiting
up, and had started to do it at night
when no one could see what I was up
to. I know you can’t guarantee that no
one will unintentionally fish over your
bait on such a small water, but I saw
no point in making it obvious what I
was up to.
I didn’t have to wait too long for
Star to turn up, as a local fella caught
her, and publicised the pics erasing all
doubt in the process. I was back
down there like a shot for a two-night
session, and arrived at first light after
a night shift as I usually do. A carp
nutted out in the middle area of the
lake, so I launched a bag and a single
pop-up to the area. I set up camp, and
retired for a few hours’ kip, but was
rudely awoken by a tench angler,
manically raking a swim out less than
(Above) One of these caught a 45lb
(Right) The floods.
30m away from me – not what I
needed, but I just put the kettle on,
had a bite to eat, then wound in and
went for a walk. I did have a little
word with the tench bloke as I
passed, but I doubt it got through his
thick skull. I only had to walk as far as
the shallow part of the lake to find
several carp milling around in a set of
pads. I watched for several minutes,
and although I only saw small carp,
I’d not got off the mark at that point,
so I decided to go and get my gear.
I was going to fish from the nearest
swim, but some dirty bastard had
taken a dump in it. Instead I set up
I threw the net
over a barbed
wire fence, and
set about getting
over it myself.
right behind the pads in the cow field,
and placed a small bag of chopped
boilies on one side of the pads where
I knew a small gravel patch to be. A
single pop-up was placed on the
other side in only a couple of feet of
water on a messy bottom, but I had
watched a couple of fish leave and
enter at that point. I sat well back
from the water and made a brew. The
pop-ups I was using were 15mm
Scopex Squids, which had been in a
soak for nearly a year. The previous
year I’d started using Scopex Squid
with Robin Red, so I’d put some neat
Robin Red into the food dip soak. This
created a nice sludge, which stained
the baits red, and gave them a lovely
smell. In less than an hour it was this
pop-up rod that tore off, and a large
bow wave appeared on the surface. I
was on the rod instantly, but the fish
was still a good 40m away, and was
kiting right round to my left. Before
long the fish weeded me up, which
gave me a chance to follow. I threw
the net over a barbed wire fence, and
set about getting over it myself. I was
halfway over the fence when the fish
broke free and was off on another run.
I was now stood on tiptoes, with
barbed wire between my legs, hoping
I didn’t slip. Thankfully I didn’t, and
managed to follow the fish past the


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