freeline-20 - Page 179

One Last Season On The Church Lake
style than all that bait and wait. There
are three swims in Weedy Bay but
only for one angler, so you get a
choice of line angles. I liked to fish it
from the middle one, finding it easier
to hide my lines. My right hand bait
was placed just this side of the edge
of the weedbed and just off of a set of
pads onto a nice clean yellow patch in
four or five feet of water. After a quick
run round to the Willow to watch my
foam surface and catty some hemp
and corn around it, it was sorted. My
left hand bait was put up in a bag
against the weedbed but further
along to the left in deeper water. They
continued to show that evening and
well into the night, and only stopped
after I put some mixers out. Thinking
those mixers had blown my chance
and moved the fish, I decided to try
and get some sleep when, bosh,
another one launched itself out.
I eventually fell asleep and woke to
a liner just before dawn. Casually
creeping down to the rods I saw in
the blue glow of my LED that it
wasn’t a liner but a take, and as I was
fishing almost locked up, the fish
must have tightened the line and
stopped in the weed. After grabbing
the rod and holding it high, the fish
started kicking itself free and popped
up onto the surface to glide straight in
over my other line, completely missing it, and was soon at the net. As I
tried to lift the net I could feel the fish
on the drawcord so eased it a few
inches closer and lifted the net again,
but I could still feel it on the cord.
Although it was still dark I could see
its nose was right near the spreader
block, and lifting the net one last time
felt its tail slide in. From that I knew it
was going to be a hefty fish, and was
shocked to see a common show up in
the torchlight.
Thinking it may be Hazel or Pimple
I lifted it out onto the mat and the
length of it confirmed a reality I still
couldn’t quite believe – there on my
mat lay the Thorpe Park Common. Oh
yes – happy daze indeed! The scales
read 39lb – that will do me nicely – my
biggest common by nearly three
pounds and certainly my best. I put it
back into the net where it was very
well behaved and far more relaxed
about the situation than I was. After a
cup of tea and a smoke to try and
reduce my shakes I shot up to the
Captor’s swim to explain my expression to Peter Kingsbury and ask him
to help, and he and little Phil came
round and took the shots for me. I
released it and grinning like a fool
watched it swim away. An awesome
creature, and having been uncaught
for thirteen months I was struggling
to believe my luck. If I had caught no
more for the rest of the season I would
leave happy, but fortunately there was
more to come.
Incidentally that was the first fish of
the season from Weedy Bay; my third
in four seasons from the swim and the
lightest of the three. Unfortunately
though, it quickly turned into a bittersweet day. As the light improved we
could make out a fishy looking shape
bobbing about in the middle. As Wallace was spawned up and had been
seen regularly near the surface up to
some unusual behaviour, even waving its top lobe out of the water, it was
most likely to be responsible. As it
turned out though it was No Name, a
Fox Pool original that hadn’t been
caught for over a year, and so a very
unpleasant surprise. As if that wasn’t


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