freeline-20 - Page 156



One Run And Out
tle had gone, I had begun to wish I
hadn’t bothered to watch the pathetic
attempt by England as they limped to
a draw, but within half an hour I was
at the lake in the fading light to get
the rods out. The same angler who
caught the previous session was
already set up in the same peg, fishing
the shallower water, and I set up in a
similar area to last time and got the
rods out without any hiccups.
That morning I woke up and not
long after focusing my eyes on the
water, I was sure I glimpsed a carp
poking its head out about 60 yards
out slightly to the right of where I was
fishing. I wasn’t 100% and the rod
wasn’t a million miles from it anyway,
so I got a brew on the go and had a bit
of breakfast. With no more shows and
the sun warming up nicely, I wound
the rods in to nip to the car to get the
surface kit just in case the opportunity arose and had a quick scout
round. I also dropped a bit of bait in a
few margin spots.
With nothing to make me move I
got back to the swim to redo the rods
and just as the first one was about to
go out, another fish showed on the
same spot as before. That was enough
to convince me where to put it, and
within a few seconds a fresh choddie
was landing just short of the fading
rings, accompanied by another 20
freebies.
Within the hour that rod was away,
and as I lifted into the fish it actually
cleared the water like a marlin, which
is one of the tricks of the big old linear
156 FREE LINE
– nothing like a bit of
pressure. Not taking a
lot of line off the
clutch, she decided to
s ta rt k i ti ng o n the
tight line, gradually
making her way to
the near side margin,
which had plenty of
overhanging trees
that could spell disaster. There was no time
to think about it so I
slid off my shoes, and
narrowly avoiding a
inconveniently placed
cowpat, made my
way to the edge of the
marginal shelf to get a
better angle on the
fish. One day I’m sure
I will master the art of
putting on waders
whilst playing a carp!
From that point,
and with disaster
averted with the net
already at my side, it
was just a case of
leading her in, and the
first time I saw that
big dark head pop up I knew that I
had done the unthinkable and hooked
the big’un as my first fish, and with
that she was safely in the bottom of
the net. I just stood there for a second
chuckling to myself at my good fortune. I quickly secured the fish in the
sack whilst I nipped round to fetch
matey on the other bank to help with
(Above) Back she goes.
(Below) Carnage in the swim, but did
I care?
the photos and weighing. He had
been blissfully unaware of the morning’s events as I woke him up with
news that I had one and thought it
was the big’un. I’m sure he was
thrilled...
Anyway he was soon on his way
round, and the well rehearsed procedure of wetting everything and zeroing the scales began, then it was time
for the star of the show. On the bank
you could see she really was black on
her back, disappearing into a creamy,
podgy belly – a real old English warrior with a lot of history.
On the scales she went bang on
35lb, a little down on weight from
spawning, but I wasn’t there for the
weight, but rather the fish itself, so it
didn’t stop me smiling like a madman
on the pictures. Within a couple of
minutes she was safely returned and
it was time for a celebratory brew. Sitting down and seeing rods, bank
sticks and all sorts scattered over the
swim it looked like the local bull had
paid me a visit – it was chaos. But did
I care? n

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