freeline-20 - Page 220

Elstow 2009 Season
this, but I had learnt fairly quickly that
the carp in this lake are not generally
swimming around on their own; they
are without a shadow of a doubt shoal
fish. I had come to the conclusion that
sometimes the more bait you can put
out, the better the results could, and
can be. Sometimes the sound of the
spod and the food being released
from the spod can actually bring the
carp to the area, and it also holds
them around the spot for quite a
while, which only increases your
chances of catching. The other component of the spod mix, which I
haven’t mentioned in the previous
articles, is the boilie powder. This was
used to help cloud the mix up and put
some colour into the area of the lake I
was fishing. I did this because the
lake is crystal clear most of the time;
it’s like having your very own aquarium.
To achieve this I run a couple of
kilos of boilies through the food
processor at home, reducing it to a
fine powder. When all this is added to
the spod mix that I was using, after I
had finished spodding, it ended up
with me looking like someone who
had taken part in some sort of mad
paintball game – splattered from head
to toe. During the warmer months I
would take my T-shirt off to do the
spodding, and during the colder
weather it was just a case of putting
some waterproofs on and then giving
them a wipe down once the spodding
had finished.
I got the rest of the camp sorted out
and was just pouring some water into
the kettle when the left hand rod
screamed off at a hell of a speed. I
picked the rod up and was kind of surprised at the way the carp came in,
not really doing anything. That was
until it got into the margins where it
woke up, and after a mad brawl in the
edge a rather large carp was safely
netted. I was left kind of doing a double take, looking at the spot where
some 20 minutes earlier I had been
spodding and then looking at the carp
in the net. It just shouldn’t happen –
20 minutes of spodding, 15 minutes
markering up, and then three rods
with rigs cast out – how much disturbance are these carp willing to put up
with? Madness! What a mental lake.
I got everything ready for the
weighing and pictures and was more
than happy to record a weight of 36lb
on the nose in my diary; it really was
a cracking carp. After getting the carp
back into the lake, I was thinking negative things, as I have found on previous occasions that when you get a
run that quickly it can sometimes be
your only fish of the session.
After attaching a fresh hookbait I
got the rod back out to the spot. Well,
at last I managed to have my cup of
coffee, and after getting a small liner
on my left hand rod I got up to have a
look at the lake and could see that the
area was slicking up quite nicely – so
much for my earlier thoughts! It was
to be slightly over an hour before the
left hand rod once again decided to
start screaming at me for some attention. Now this carp gave what I would
describe as a normal scrap – no mad
dashes for freedom, just a few lunges,
which had me pulling back a little bit
harder, and it wasn’t to be that long
before a nice sized carp was netted.
This one managed to pull the needle
on the scales round to 27lb 2oz, and a
couple of pictures were taken before
getting it back in the lake. After sorting the rig out and attaching a fresh
bait I got the rod back out to the spot,
and I also put a few more spods of
bait out to the area.
It had just started to get dark and
was almost 9pm when the next run
came. I ran over to the rod, picked it
up and just held on as the carp tore
off, peeling line from a tight clutch. A
few minutes later I had managed to
gain some control over the carp and
started to relax a bit. Even though it
was still a fair way out, maybe the
carp sensed that I wasn’t giving it my
full attention, as the next thing I knew
the bloody thing was pulling line from
the clutch again, and that’s when the
hanger on the middle rod started to
go up and down. When the hanger
went up to the top and just stayed
there I knew that the carp had picked
up the other line. I don’t mind admitting I was in a proper strop, swearing
and cursing, more at myself than the
carp. I took the bail arm off the other
reel, pulled the hanger out of the line
clip and hoped that by doing this I
would at least be able to get the carp
into the edge where I might be able to
sort things out. I then heard a familiar
voice asking if I was okay and did I
need a hand. “Yes bloody please,” was
my reply – two pairs of hands making
light work of things, or so I thought.
We tried our best to untangle the
two lines, but it just wasn’t happening. I had managed by this point to
gain a fair bit of line and had caught a
glimpse of a pretty big carp as it came
into the margins, but from then on the
crazy fish just went totally bloody
bananas and for the next ten minutes
it was all I could do to just hold on. All
the time I was thinking either the line
is going to cut or the hook would pull
out. The other line, being tangled
around the line I was playing the carp
on, was really restricting the way the
fish could be played. I don’t mind saying I was amazed and knackered a
few minutes later when I eventually
managed to net it, and all I could say
was “’kin hell fire”. We got everything
ready for the weighing and photos
and once in the weigh sling we
recorded a weight of 35lbs 7oz –
bloody fantastic. I was over the moon,
and after a few pictures we soon had
it back in the pond. I thanked my
mate for his valuable help with the
netting and for helping take the photos. There’s no doubt in my mind that
without his assistance I would have
lost that fish, so I owe you one, mate.
If at some point in the future I can
return the favour, I will.
After sorting out both the rods,
which took a fair old time, I got some
fresh baits attached and sent them
back out to the spot followed by a
couple of spods of bait. It was pretty
late by then so I got my head down for
the night. I was woken at 2am by a
few bleeps coming from the left hand
rod indicator, and by the time I got out
of bed and over to the rod it was ripping off at a really fast pace. After
picking up the rod, it didn’t take long
to realise that this carp was not going
to be a huge fish. It was zipping about
pretty fast, but there didn’t feel to be
much weight to it, and a few minutes
later I had one of the littl’uns in the
net. Just to keep a proper record I
weighed it, and the needle on the
scales was pulled round to 17lb 10oz.
It was a nice little carp and I’m sure
that at some point in the future it will
emulate some of the other older and
bigger carp that are in the pond.
I got my head back down for a few
hours – well, quite a few, as it was
gone nine when I got up. One thing I
did notice when I got up was that the
wind direction had swung into a
straight southerly. Another thing I
noticed when looking out over the
lake was a small but constant slick
coming from the area. I managed to
have some breakfast and sorted some
other bits and pieces out all the while
peering at the area. The slick was get-


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