FREE LINE 03 - Page 208

In Search of Beasts and Beauties
The Star, first time out in over two
kind (submerged), and there is also
the 80yds of snag haven tree line to
contend with, so the old arse was
twitching before I’d even picked up
the rod. But thankfully after ten minutes of to-ing and fro-ing a familiar
face looked up at me from the bottom
of the net; the Black Common, a little
up in weight at 29 lb 8oz. It’s always
good to have a result early on in the
session, it sort of settles me, and gives
me that extra bit of confidence in
w h a t I ’ m d o i n g, a n d i n s o m e
instances can determine the rest of
the session.
First light the following morning at
about 6 am, the same rod was away
again. It was quite a breamy take to
begin with, just pulling up a couple of
inches then dropping back down a
couple of inches, repeating this over
and over, but not taking any line, giving me time to get my boots on for a
change, and to make sure the sleeping bag was still on the bed and not
o n t h e g r o u n d b e h i n d m e, h a l f
attached to me, and getting soaked. I
picked up the rod, leant into it, then
wallop – the rod went over and all
thoughts of bream were gone. The
fight was good, and all I could think
about was the twitchy take, and
whether this could be one of the old
clued-up carp that never get caught –
was it Nina? Was it The Star? I love
that feeling – the anticipation is
amazing. Well no, it wasn’t The Star or
Nina, but it was a rare visitor to the
bank, a beautiful mirror called Petals
at a shade under 25lbs, and my capture was its second time out in two
years. After returning Petals, that
morning’s cuppa and smoke seemed
that much sweeter, first night in and
two fish – happy days.
Thursday was spent with the rods
reeled in to rest the swim, and with
me sat in the bushes up the other end
observing about every fish in the lake
mooching around the snags, including both the fish I had caught the previous night, so that was nice. Everything was sorted just like the previous
night, and about an hour after dark I
scattered a kilo of 15 and 12mm baits
all over the area covering the three
rods. Only 15mins later I was just sitting down next to the rods with a
cuppa and a smoke when fish started
boshing as they moved round the
island, obviously in numbers, rolling
and leaping as they got closer and
closer to the corner where my traps
were. It was really mad; I can remember sitting there feeling like a gambler
at the races willing his horse to romp
home – come on, come on! Then as
they reached my traps my actions
and presence had calmed somewhat,
and on picking up my jaw from the
floor the liners started up. It was
exciting; the stuff dreams are made of,
and I just knew it was going to happen – it just had to. I wasn’t wrong,
and after ten minutes of sitting on my
hands, watching the water rocking
and the indicators dancing, the right
hand rod was away at an alarming
rate. This fish did not mess around,
and ran me ragged all over the swim
stopping my heart at every opportunity. Even after a good 20-minute
scrap, just when I thought it was
mine, about a foot or two away from
the net, I’d clocked which fish it was.
Off it went again on a 30yd run down
to my right, trying to gain sanctuary
in the snaggy bay. The feeling as I
bundled it into the net was amazing,
and after a quick peek when the big
plated scales of Lynn shone back at
me, a big shout went out to alert Si.
The Lynn is a real stunner, and size
really isn’t an issue, but on the scales
she went 30lb 4oz. This was another
fish that could evade capture for
Things were going well, and I was
definitely buzzing; these sessions
don’t come around all the time – there
may be a small window of opportunity when the carp just let their guard
down, and when they do, you’ve just
got to take advantage and fish to the
best of your ability, getting fresh rigs
tied up and positioned back out on
the spot as soon as possible, keeping
bait on the spot (not loads but being
able to judge when you need to trickle
a bit more in just to keep the spot
topped up), and sleep definitely goes
on the back burner. Around midnight
the middle rod was away, and after a
good scrap, another familiar face
looked up at me from within the net, a
fish called Arthur, and one that everyone else wanted (sorry, lads!). I didn’t
really have time to take it all in; I was
sat there on the bed chair with a rod
propped up against the Titan, sorting
a new rig out to get the rod back out
there, when the right hand rod started
roaring. I connected with the fish and
made no impact on its power. After
ripping 40-50yds off me, I eventually
stopped it just short of a very nasty
snag, right at the end of the tree line. I
was worried and rightly so, when five
minutes later the hook that had struggled to stop this immense fighting
machine came out, and I had that horrible sinking feeling wash over me as
I skipped the rig back across the surface. Enough said about the subject


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