freeline-20 - Page 66



Is Spring Finally Arriving?
(Above) Southlake’s Pub Roots swim.
me that one had been out on the end
of the wind. Although a pretty strong
wind, it was also a warm wind so with
this in mind I went in a swim known
as the Pub Roots. I had a quick brew
with Simon before going and getting
the rods sorted. I didn’t want to start
leading around so late at night as it
was now about 11pm, so I opted to
fish three single pop-ups on multi rigs
for the balance of the night and have
a proper feel about come the morning.
I left it until just before lunch before
reeling the rods in and getting the
marker out for a proper lead about. I
soon found a lovely little hard patch
amongst some silt out to my right and
popped the marker up at a depth of
7ft. I cast a Choc Malt snowman
hookbait out with a small bag of broken freebies then fired out just half a
dozen 15mm baits around it. After a
few further casts with the marker I
found another little hard spot down to
my left towards a small island, and
this also saw a snowman hookbait
and bag as well as a few free offering
around it. The remaining rod was cast
out as a single pineapple pop-up at
about 30yds.
With the rods now sorted and on
spots that I was more than happy
with, I settled down for the rest of the
afternoon watching the water for any
signs of fish. Just on dark one rolled
out to my right in front of the swim
next door, but with the wind blowing
66 FREE LINE
from right to left, I felt confident that
any fish could easily end up in front of
me during the next 24 hours. Nothing
happened that night but as day broke
I witnessed another fish show, this
time out in front of me just to the left
of my right hand rod. I felt confident
of a take not being far away, but no
further shows were forthcoming, and
as the day turned into night I
remained fishless. The night also
passed without any action, and as I
started to pack up early on the
Wednesday morning, that horrible
feeling of yet another blank session
was hitting home. What was it going
to take to get a bloody bite from this
lake? It had to have been over a
month since I had my first bite, which
resulted in a lost fish, and although I
felt close to a fish I did beat myself up
about it. After all, this water has previously had good winter form.
From Southlake I headed off to the
Car Park, and on arriving I decided to
spend the majority of the day walking
the lake and checking spots in search
of carp. I must have done a good half
a dozen laps of the lake all without
any sightings of fish, but it really felt
warm in the Island swim so eventually, at around three o’clock I decided
to drop back in there. I could always
move if I saw anything as there were
only three others on; Marcus, Shaun
Mooney and Mark. I fished the same
spots as I had fished the week previously, as I was sure that they felt
cleaner than before. With everything
sorted I set about setting up camp
and getting some food down my neck
as I was starving by this time and I
tend to get a tad ratty when I’m hungry, as Jon Mac will tell you.
With food sorted I sat watching the
water like a hawk for the evening and
at 10.10pm a good fish rolled out at
long range to the left hand side of the
Trumptons swim. I sat up till just after
three in the morning watching, but
saw nothing else. However, just as I
woke the following morning at about
seven, the first thing I saw was a carp
stick it’s head out once again to the
left of Trumptons. That was enough
for me, and as soon as I felt bite time
had passed I reeled in, packed up and
then moved round there.
I cast my marker out towards the
pylon at about 30yds and got a satisfying drop first time. I then went back
round to the Island and had a look to
see if the marker was anywhere near
to where the fish had showed. I
wasn’t far off, so I decided to fish a rod
on a pop-up out on that area together
with about 20 Choc Malt freebies. My
middle rod was cast out long, about
60yds on to the oak tree spot with
another pop-up attached. I also fired
out about 20 or so freebies out around
it just as I had with the first rod. My
final rod was put in the little swim
that sits alongside Trumptons, the
Beech. I had a cast about with the
marker and found a small gravel
patch surrounded by weed at roughly
20yds. This rod was baited with a
Choc Malt bottom bait topped with a
trimmed-down White Chocolate popup so that it was critically balanced
and cast out with a small PVA bag of
crushed Choc Malt boilies. By about
1pm all the rods were sorted, and I
could now just relax and watch the
water for any signs of activity.
As I sat there looking out over the
water I started to notice a small patch
of fizzing coming up from behind the
weedbed out in front of the Curly. This
area was roughly 20yds away from
my longest baited rod, and as I sat
there watching the bubbles were
slowly moving closer to it. It was late
in the day though, and as the light
faded away the light levels dropped to
the point where I couldn’t continue to
see the goings-on. Just when I
thought that I wasn’t able to see any
more a fish stuck its head and shoulders out slightly right of where the
fizzing had started. I couldn’t see
whether it was a decent fish or not,
but it was definitely a carp and that

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