freeline-20 - Page 210



I’m Converted
The first fish of the session, a
stunning 16lb fully scaled.
towards the car park end of the lake,
checking out the Woods area along
with the Social, but again it was looking bleak. As I reached the car park
bay the wind was trickling in there,
and as soon as I sat in the first car
park swim I saw a fish stick its head
out. A couple of minutes later another
showed and I knew that they were
here. I quickly went back to my kit,
packed it up and headed back down
there. I stopped off at Matt’s swim
with my kit and had a brew but went
and dropped a bucket in the swim
first. I sat with Matt for about an hour
chatting before eventually going and
getting set up. I needed to keep disturbance to a minimum as I didn’t
want them doing the off, so I rigged
up three new chod rigs with 1.5oz
leads, attached two Amber Attract
Choc Malt corkball pop-ups and a
Tutti one and cast two rods out to
where I saw the two shows, and the
third out to the right.
By tw o o ’c l o c k the ro ds w e re
sorted, and just as I put the brolly up,
Neil arrived. He was down for a few
days and was having a walk round. I
made a brew, and just as I handed it
to him my left hand rod pulled up and
was away. It had only been out 20
minutes max, but I was into to a carp
and an angry one at that. At that time
Matt also arrived and was a bit surprised to see me playing a fish. What-
210 FREE LINE
ever I was attached to had the hump,
and it was a good 15-minute battle
before the fish eventually started to
tire. As it surfaced for the first time I
saw it was a decent mirror, but it still
wasn’t ready for the net. The fish
powered off down to my left and I
thought I was going to have to get
wet in order to keep it out of the overhanging trees, but luckily, with a bit of
side pressure, it came clear, and I soon
had it back out in front of me again.
After a few more last gasp attempts at
freedom I managed to slip the net
under it, and the fish was mine at last.
At this point Uncle Jim walked into
the swim as he too had been walking
round looking where to go. The first
thing he said to me was, “And you
said chods were crap! You’re converted now, mate.” He wasn’t wrong; I
was converted, and on inspecting the
hook hold I couldn’t get over how
nailed it was, and square in the centre
of the bottom lip too.
We weighed the mirror at 38lb
13oz, and then between the three of
them, together with Little Jon, I got
some cracking pictures and video
footage. Once the fish was returned to
the lake Jim said that a celebration
was in order, and as Neil hadn’t yet
got his gear from the van he should
go and get a bit of wine from the
shops. Well, half an hour later Neil
returned with 50 quid’s worth of red,
which was started on straight away
by Jim and me. Jim had set up a couple up from me and Neil dropped in
two up from him. I could see a messy
night heading our way.
While Neil was up the shops I
retied a new chod and got it back out
on the same spot. At five o’clock I had
a tench on the right hand rod, but
once that was sorted then our little
social commenced. We congregated
centrally between the swims so we
could be on the rods quickly should
anyone get a take, and then had a
right old evening. Matt joined us as he
was next to Neil, and by about eight
we were well into the wine. Poor old
Matt was the first to see the effects of
the wine and he was doing his usual
sidewinder stagger. We ordered an
Indian and sent Notty down to the
gate to get it for us, as he had popped
down to see us. I initially said that I
would reel in and go and get it, but he
said he would go. It was a good job he
did, as while he was off getting it I
had another take, again off the left
hand rod, and when he returned I was
still playing it.
Again it scrapped really well and
gave me a good ten-plus minute fight.
They were obviously here in this corner of the lake, as even while playing
it another fish topped out behind it.
Eventually though, one of the guys
netted a cracking 30-plus common for
me and my second fish of the day was
in the bag. I unhooked the fish in the
net, which incidentally was nailed in
the centre of the bottom lip again, and
then left it to settle while we ate our
Indian.
Once we had feasted on our food
we weighed the fish, got some pictures and then slipped it back. At 33lb
6oz I was more than happy, and this
called for more wine. Poor old Matt
was a little worse for wear though
after another glass, and we decided
he’d had his limit. We did have a little
wind up with him first though... As he
didn’t have Notty’s number, Notty
walked off and then rang Matt on his
phone pretending to be a guy from up
the other end of the lake and that he
had the Twin in the net and needed a
picture taking.
Well Matt, being half cut, thought
no more of it and tried to get on
Notty’s bike to ride up the top end to
do some pictures for this guy. Watching him trying to get on the bike was
something else and every time he
tried he fell over, which put us all in
stitches. He was determined to get on
this thing and go help out, but no
matter how many times he tried he
couldn’t do it. Eventually we had to
tell him because if he had managed to

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