FREE LINE 03 - Page 209

In Search of Beasts and Beauties
as that could well have topped a redletter day, but that’s fishing, and I
couldn’t really grumble.
In preparation for the last night, I
got everything sorted a bit earlier,
making sure all the rigs were in position with plenty of bait out on the spot
well before it got dark. Almost immediately, the left hand rod was away.
The scrap wasn’t anything special
(Top) Returning the Hoover back to
the spot where it was hooked.
(Below) The Hoover in mint condition
after the tussle of my life.
really, but it did liven up when nearing the net. It almost got wrapped
around the line of my right hand rod,
giving it a few bleeps as it did, but a
short while later, a respectable 25lb
common was in the net. After returning the fish, all I could think about
now was whether I’d moved the rig
on the right hand rod whilst playing
the last fish? I was fishing my lines
nice and slack, but these things just
play on my mind, and if I’d had any
longer to think about it, I would have
probably reeled it in. But just as I was
setting the net back up, the right
hand rod was away. Again the fight
wasn’t spectacular, pretty much the
same as before. I had a quick glance
before sorting my mat and sling out,
and thought it was just a mid-20 common, just like the last, like so many of
them in the lake. But then as I turned
it over in the net, to make sure all its
fins were nicely tucked in, before
hoisting it ashore, I noticed the ring of
scales up by the shoulders. A quick
lift to check the sort of size and I
knew another target was in the net –
The Star. It was not as big as we were
expecting, but that doesn’t matter to
me, and at 33lbs, I was more than
What a session! It was hard to
believe I had gone so many blank
nights at the beginning of the year, as
I was now on six fish in three nights,
two of those being targets of mine. I
was sitting there about 2am, next to
the rods, having a cuppa and a smoke,
struggling to take it all in, when once
again the right hand rod was away,
with my seventh fish, and the biggest
of the bunch – a recapture of the
Hoover at 35lb 8oz. It wasn’t one of
the two fish left on my list, but it was
a nice way to end the trip. There’s no
doubt about it; it was a red-letter day,
being in the right place at the right
time, but also angling to the best of
my ability added to the end result.
Well, as I said earlier, I did a bit of a
deal with the fish gods (Jim Shelley
style), and I caught two out of the
four, so that was the end of my time
on the lake. Ironically, the two fish I
didn’t catch were the two fish I had
braced in a night five years previously. Who knows, a social session or
the odd night back in the future might
just see me holding Nina up for a
photo shoot. So that was it for me, my
time had come to move on, and that I
did, back to an old stomping ground
of mine. n


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