freeline-20 - Page 175

One Last Season On The Church Lake
Alfie, 30lb 8oz.
another two-night blank then
returned to Horton on the 8th. By the
10th I had moved into the Slope swim
in Dog Bay. I put my right hand bait
(trusty old sweetcorn) in line with the
Gate on what I hoped was a slightly
cleaner area, then put my left hand
bait out towards the Lookout swim,
on what felt like a nice clean smooth
spot that was little bit firmer and
where the lakebed seems to level out
after gradually sloping up a foot or
two. One of my nut mix cork ball popups on a sort of stiff rig, thirty-odd
baits spread around it and job’s a
good’un. I woke up to find it was dark
so something had probably woken me
up, but what? Then I heard a horrible
grinding noise and thought, that
sounds like my clutch. I looked at my
hangers and thought they were still in
the same position so put my head
down and there was that sound
again! Right, that really does sound
like my clutch.
I flicked my head torch on and saw
that my left hanger was jammed into
my alarm. Oh dear! I jumped out of
bed and grabbed the rod, and luckily
it appeared the fish hadn’t taken
much line, but it had kited left a fair
bit. If it kept it up it would be headed
for Church Bay and could potentially
cut me off on the margins of
Springate’s. Keeping the rod low I
refused to give line, and after a few
savage thumps eventually the fish
started coming back towards me. The
magic marker knot plinked through
the tip eye so we were back where
we started. I started thinking it may
actually end up in the net, and after a
bit of a ruck under the rod tip it did.
Nine nights in for my first one of the
trip, a stockie of maybe thirty pounds,
and on the scales it went 30lb 8oz. I
nipped next door to ask the Cabbie for
shots, and it was soon back on its
way, none the worse. It was later
identified as Alfie having dropped 9lb
of spawn, but looking much better for
it. I recast and double-checked that
my alarms were switched on this time
before going back to bed.
That was the only action I had that
week despite a few moves, and after
another 48-hour blank at the Car Park
I was back at Horton, and surprised to
find the Slope empty again – lovely! I
dropped my bucket down and continued on my lap of the lake. I found Bod
asleep in Phil’s Corner and thought it
wise to leave him to it. When I got
back to the Slope with my gear I
noticed another bucket in the swim. I
went to see if Bod was awake and to
ask who had been past and bucketed
me before I’d even set up, and it
turned out it was him, and he hadn’t
seen mine. After managing to persuade him that mine really had been
there before his, I set up and put my
left hand rod out to the same area that
I had caught Alfie from with the same
type of rig and bait on and pinged
thirty freebies around it. On my right
hand rod I decided to fish a bag of
groundbait and ball some in around it.
Most of the bottom out in front at this
stage (or so I thought) was short
straggly weed, and I hoped the bag


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