freeline-20 - Page 178

One Last Season On The Church Lake
would help my rig stay clear of it. I put
in a dozen-odd balls of a nice black
groundbait that I had concocted
especially for the job and sat back
expecting to stay put, as it was likely
that at some point over the week the
Slope would do a bite or two.
I have often made the mistake of
moving out of a good swim through
not being patient enough to wait for
them to turn up or return, preferring
instead to spend my time searching
for them. Although this had paid off
before, I think you are not so likely to
experience a big hit by chasing them.
For a big hit it is generally better to
pre-empt them and get sorted before
they turn up, so that was the plan.
Bod moved into the Dip next door to
the right, Ronan dropped into
Springate’s to the left, and after one of
Bod’s fantastic barbeques and a few
beers it was time to collapse. I woke
about an hour or two later to a fast
take on the right hand rod, and as
soon as I opened my eyes I noticed I
had a banging headache. I am lucky
in that I don’t usually get them, but
this one was making up for those I
was due and was easily the worst I’ve
had for years, which made playing
that fish decidedly uncomfortable and
now hard to remember. What I do
remember is that it kept on fighting
hard close in, and when it finally did
(Top) Weedy Bay from the Willow…
(Right) …and from the Long Boards.
succumb I secured my net and had to
lie on my bed for a few minutes before
I could face sorting it out. A peek in
the net revealed another stockie, and
it was time to wake Bod. After he had
finished swearing, he got out of bed
and I went to stop Ronan snoring too.
It turned out to be Lester at 31lb.
With the photos done and the rod
recast (of course!), I was back to sleep
to try to escape the pain. I woke about
an hour later to another take on the
same rod, and this was much more
pleasant. I had recovered and could
enjoy it this time. This one did its best
to pull my arm off, but again it ended
up in the net, another stockie, and
cause to wake Bod and Ronan for
some more verbal abuse and photos.
It was the Dynamite Fish at 31lb.
After a brace of 31lb’ers in less than
two hours, I started thinking there
was potential for a hit here, so I introduced a little more groundbait and
blanked for the next two nights! By
now I was getting itchy feet and had
nipped round to the van to stock up
on what I had run out of. I had got into
the habit of taking my rods and bag
with me if I was fishing either of the
dodgier banks. After sitting in the
lodge for a while and chatting, I
started to make my way back round
to the Slope but only got as far as
Weedy Bay’s Willow when I spotted a
group of eight or nine fish mooching
around in the weed. That was good
enough for me especially as the
majority of them were commons and
so mostly original fish. Chucking my
rods and bag in the swim I went to
tell the Mexican he could have the
Slope if he wanted then went to fetch
the rest of my gear.
Back in the swim the fish were
clearly still there and it was getting
exciting – much more my preferred


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