freeline-20 - Page 174



One Last Season On The Church Lake
ticked a lot of fish off my wish list but
unfortunately not because I have
caught them. After seeing so many of
the fish I had dreamed of catching die
in recent years it struck me that it
really was now or never more than
ever, and after saving some funds
through the winter and close season I
quit work. I was hoping to make my
last season on Horton really count,
intending to do some serious time
and had just over a grand to last me
as long as it could. Horton’s facilities
meant that this would be quite
civilised and comfortable; my shopping could either be done at Horton’s
corner shop or on the way to or from
Yateley, and with the angling centre
there it meant everything I needed
was en route. I had all the necessaries
in my van and was planning to pretty
much live from it. Over the winter I
had made up a nutty base-mix (if you
can’t beat them, join them) using egg
powder and had my rolling kit in the
van so I could sit in my swim and roll
my bait using lake water instead,
meaning I wouldn’t need a van full of
eggs.
I finished work at 2pm on Friday
July 2nd, jumped into my fully loaded
van and hit the road, next stop Horton. After two hours of 70mph
karaoke I arrived at the gates. The
plan was to do a few days here then
go to the Car Park for 48 hours midweek then back to Horton for a week
(maximum stay permitted) and con-
174 FREE LINE
tinue this until something forced me
back to Suffolk.
This looked like it should be good
but I knew that finding work again
come the winter might cause me
problems. However I thought that
bagging one or two of my targets
would make it worthwhile. My boss at
the factory had said they would take
me back if they could, but I had
noticed that they quite often talk out
of their arses and I wasn’t going to
hold my breath. Anyway this was an
issue for later, and as it was I had the
summer and hopefully autumn in
front of me, and for a while at least I
had no worries except for where the
fish were!
(Above) Comfy!
(Bottom) Full-timing made easy!
Of course I was expecting some
action, and based on what I had seen
of the three previous seasons ten fish
a year had been good going on there
with only a handful of people achieving it in my previous three seasons.
So I set myself a target of ten fish,
hopefully including the Thorpe Park
Common, Black Tail or the Boxer. I
had caught three in June with a
repeat of the smallest mirror, a repeat
of Dumpy and a new one in the shape
of Uno at 43lb (caught by Del nine
days later, post spawning, at 34lb
14oz), and though I was expecting
action to slow up considerably as
usual by the end of July, I thought
seven more throughout the year
should be doable. As it turned out the
stockies had a right good spawn in
late June after I had returned home,
resulting in a lot of the bigger ones
dropping up to 10lb. Consequently
afterwards they were very hungry and
the lake did a lot more captures than
it had for the last few seasons. The
majority of the original mirrors though
didn’t appear to have spawned; it
seemed that Dumpy couldn’t cope
with the extra weight and after a couple more captures had been found
dead. Big Paul had caught Wallace at
43lb and the Boxer at 38lb (both well
above their previous top weights) in
an eight-fish hit from the Plateau late
June, so there was still a 40lb original
mirror to go at after all, a stunning
40lb zip linear, what a fish!
Those first four nights at Horton I
blanked and went to the Car Park for

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