freeline-20 - Page 91

Summer of Sam
elcome to my
first diary
piece with
BC. And what
a time to start
a monthly
diary with winter nearly upon us! It’s
going to be hard enough filling these
pages with big fish and interesting
content in spring and summer, so
winter should be very challenging,
but I’ll see if I can fluke a couple of
fish out and write some entertaining
material. Talking of winter, I left my
biography with a few winter captures
from Christchurch so I think I ought
to bring things up to date with what I
have been getting up to since.
In March I was offered some temporary work in Leeds doing some
project work on shelf life trials and the
package was too good to turn down.
It started as just a couple of weeks
but ended up being two months. They
still wanted me to stay on after that,
but travelling 180 miles a day, six days
a week and doing a day’s work in
between was starting to take its toll.
Not only was I knackered, but I was
also a grumpy sod because I had
missed the bulk of the two most productive months on my main big fish
waters. I did get a few overnighters in
on a local water and did really well,
but the fish weren’t of the sort of sizes
to get excited about, although I did
catch my first thirty from there after
20 years of fishing it, which was a
nice moment for me personally.
At the ended of May I managed to
get myself working closer to home on
my favourite shift pattern, four on four
off, which gives me a lot more fishing
time. So on my first chance to get
back on the road I loaded the car,
headed off to Cambs and started
what I thought would be a campaign
for the Fat Lady. It was no surprise
that I blanked, but I was lucky to see
her on the bank at 57lb 10oz. She
looked stunning in the flesh and not
(Above) Rods out on “The Ives”.
(Below) A new obsession begins… Or
so I thought. The Fat Lady’s last
capture. She looked awesome in the
as gutty as she can look in photos,
and what an absolute lump of a fish.
This really fired me up to catch her,
but it was not to be! I was gutted
when I got the text two months later
to say she had gone. I was glad I saw
her in the flesh on what turned out to
be her last capture though.
The death of the Lady and more
importantly the birth of my son, Sam,
really halted my fishing in the summer and the odd little sessions I did
manage were largely unproductive
because I couldn’t settle on a water
and I didn’t have time to work these
new venues out. I had joined a complex of lakes in the Nene Valley that
held some nice commons, and with
the Lady gone my only target left was
a 40lb common, so I set my sights on
Northants, but again I couldn’t settle
on a lake. I had joined with the Car
Park Lake sounding the most interesting because it contained the only all
year round forty on the complex. But I
didn’t really feel at home on there and
kept flitting between there and the
Big Lake, which had a better stamp of
fish in the main, with about 80-100 in
its 20 acres. I had a nice hit of fish
mainly off the surface on the Big Lake
whilst live on a feature with another
magazine, which included a cracking
32lb 8oz common, and then I did a
night on the Car Park and had two
fish in a morning, which I’m told is a


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