FREE LINE 03 - Page 206



In Search of Beasts and Beauties
conditions were right, I could guarantee a fish or two would be mooching
around the gap. I fished hard one
week in September, fishing every
night after work, then waking up and
going to work in the morning, and
also staying on for the weekend. (The
missus wasn’t to pleased, but I was).
I managed to take five fish from the
gap in that time, a couple of 27lb commons, Baby Baz again, a mirror called
Joss at 29lb 2oz (a little bit down), and
a very distinctive common with a big
disfigurement of its scales on one side
at 28lb14oz, a fish that wasn’t recognised by anyone, including the fishery
manager. The Gap swim was the
most productive swim for me; I managed 12 fish from there in total, and
after a while, I knew the swim like the
back of my hand. Right at the back of
The Gap was a lovely smooth silty
spot (really clean and quite hard). Two
rods were cast the 60/70yd right up
the gap, and this gave me perfect line
lay, whereas, if I had tried fishing the
same spot from the opposite side of
the lake, my lines would just be hanging midwater in around 14ft, not
good. I’d normally put a kilo of bait
spread all over the gap, and that way
any fish patrolling around the islands
40 minute scrap, stalked out the edge.
206 FREE LINE
and through the gap was sure to
come across at least one bait. There
was a cracking climbing tree to the
right of the swim, so after a short
while spent observing from the tree,
I’d normally know where to place the
third rod.
By this stage, I was starting to double up on a lot of fish, landing Baby
Baz four times, but there were still
four fish that I could really do with
catching before I did the off, and obviously, Nina was top of the list. Even
though I’d caught her five years previously, this was one recapture I wouldn’t mind. There was also a very elusive common called The Star, which
had not graced the bank for over two
years, the linear known as Lynn,
which had been out once since the
start to Si, and a common called LC,
which had also been out once since
the start, again to Si. LC (Long Common) happened to be the other common I had back in 2000, but it didn’t
grow on like Nina, but at 29-30lbs, it
was still a good fish. So there were
four fish left, and I recall writing in my
diary that two out of the four would
do, as the year was getting on and I
was catching all the mug fish over
and over, which is never nice. Around
the end of September, coming into the
best part of the year, Si and I had a
pukka little private job sorted, working flat out for ten days and earning
nicely, allowing us to take a few days
out to fish and take advantage of the
time of year. So Si and I started a
three-night and four-day session
towards the end of September, on a
Wednesday.
The lake was nice and quiet, so we
had the pick of the swims. Now at
this stage, Si was yet to bank the mirror Baby Baz, and was getting rather
annoyed that I kept catching it. Three
of the four times I had it were from
The Gap, so Si’s swim choice was
easy. I decided to fish a swim that I
had never fished, and probably the
most popular on the lake, called the
Tree Line. The name gives it away
really with an out of bounds tree line
stretching from the right hand margin
right out 80/90yds to the next swim,
which was the Point. There was a
corner of an island bang in front of the
swim at about 40yds, so there were
plenty of options. The thing to do in
this swim was to fish as tight as possible against the various snags and
overhangs that stretch along the tree
line, with all three rods, then go for

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