freeline-21 - Page 104



My Last Few Months…
First blood from the Road Lake – Star at 28lb 4oz.
and how I may have messed it all up.
He agreed and suggested that I reel it
in and switch it over to a bottom bait.
I agreed and said to him that as soon
as I hung up from him I’d reel it in and
change it over. Just as I said that the
rod hooped round and I was in. I
dropped the phone and on picking up
the rod it was evident that whatever
was attached to the other end was
determined to reach the safety of the
snags. I was locked up super tight
however and I didn’t give it an inch. I
kept the side pressure on and soon
had the fish out in open water in front
of me, but the fight wasn’t to be over
yet. For the next ten minutes the fish
was tearing up and down the margins
and every time I thought it was ready
for the net it proved me wrong by
going on another run. Eventually
though the fish tired and I slipped the
net under a decent mirror. On closer
inspection it soon became clear
which fish I had by three large single
scales along its right flank. I had
Three Scales in the net – one of the
main fish I joined the Road Lake for.
With assistance from a couple of
other members we weighed the fish
at 37lb, took a few pictures then
104 FREE LINE
returned it to the lake. I needed to get
the rod back out as soon as I could as
light levels were fading and fish were
still present. In fact even while I was
playing Three Scales fish were still
fizzing on my spot. One thing I will
say is that I was shocked at just how
solid the hookhold was, and despite
the epic battle the fish gave me there
was no way that hook was coming
out. My first attempt to get the rig in
position was a bad one and it ended
up in the tree! The second attempt
was no better as I felt I was under
pressure to get it done before the light
went. My third attempt went perfectly though, and even Baz, who was
in the No.1 swim whistled over to me
and gave it the thumbs up as if to say
it was spot-on. Once I was all sorted I
rang Clint back and told him what I’d
had, and we had a bit of a laugh about
how I so nearly reeled it in to put a
bottom bait on. How close was that?
I went to bed that night a happy man,
but also full of confidence that I could
be in with the chance of another fish
yet.
Morning came round and with it
came a whole load of liners off the
same rod. The liners started around
7.45am but I had to wait until 9.40am
before the rod hooped round once
more. Just as before the fish was
determined to try and reach the
safety of the snags round to my right
but with a load of side pressure I
managed to steer it away from them
and out in front of me. This time
though the fish really scrapped, and I
mean scrapped! It wiped out my
other rod and also picked up an old
rig that was laying on the lakebed,
which in turn all tangled round my
mainline. It was nothing less than a
bloody nightmare, and I needed some
help. Thankfully, Baz reeled in from
round in the No.1 and came round to
help. If it wasn’t for him I doubt I
would have landed the fish, but eventually, after cutting away all the other
lines, we managed to get the fish in
the net.
It wasn’t until we got the fish onto
the mat that I realised which fish it
was – the Missing Starburst, another
one I wanted. For the record the fish
weighed 35lb 4oz, but to be honest I
really didn’t care, as it was all about
the fish for me. That weight was a
good weight for the fish though. With
a few pictures taken and the fish

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