freeline-21 - Page 124



Elstow 2009 Season
the agro of it picking one of the other
lines up. Once the carp had gone over
the top of the other lines I tried to
show it who was boss (ha ha). This
was one very irate carp; the harder I
pulled the stronger he pulled, and so it
settled into one of those drawn-out
affairs where I would gain a bit of line
then he would do the same. Slowly,
ever so slowly he started to ease up,
the manic fast runs getting slower
and shorter, but, my god did he still
have some power in reserves once he
got into the margins. The only way
this carp would be lost was if the
hook pulled or there was some other
cock-up on my part.
It was then that the hanger on the
middle rod went up a couple of inches
and the alarm gave out a few bleeps.
How in the hell had it managed to
pick that line up? Oh, bollocks. The
middle rod then just went into meltdown mode and the carp I was playing popped up to the surface. A modicum of calm enveloped me as it
dawned on me what was happening.
I grabbed the net and just heaved and
prayed that everything held, and I
was so relieved when it went into the
net. I grabbed a bankstick and
secured the landing net with the carp
in it and picked up the middle rod.
Whatever was on the end was
weeded up big style. Now, I had a
choice to make – either I slackened off
and put the rod in the rest and hoped
that it would come out in its own
time, or I could tighten right down on
the clutch and exert as much pressure on the weeded fish as possible.
When I say put as much pressure on
as possible, I mean tighten the clutch
down as far as it will go, then put the
butt of your rod into the right hand
side of your thigh, place your left arm
around the rod in between the butt
ring and the reel, drop the angle of
your rod and slowly walk backwards,
and just keep walking backwards.
One of three things is going to happen: the hook may pull, the line may
part, or the there will be a juddering
sensation come through your line and
rod, then you will feel a little kick as
the carp tries to go even further into
the weedbed. At that point it is game
over for the carp as long as you keep
maximum pressure on the rod and
line, and the carp will come out of the
weed. A word of warning here –
slacken the clutch off a bit because
when they come out of the weed they
are a little angry to say the least, and
124 FREE LINE
will go off on a run that will have you
hanging on for dear life. What I have
described above was learnt during
the previous two years of fishing the
l a k e, a n d i t w a s t h e m e t h o d I
employed on this occasion. Well, after
getting the juddering sensation coming through the rod I felt the carp
c o m e o u t o f t h e w e e d, a n d j u s t
watched opened mouthed as it
exploded on the surface taking line
from the clutch as it did so.
The carp didn’t really do much
more after that and stayed on the surface all the way in to margins where it
went into the waiting landing net at
the first attempt. I went to the bivvy
and got my head torch and phone,
and after checking that both of the
carp were okay I looked at the phone
and saw that it was almost half past
midnight. My mate had said that if I
got any carp then I should ring him. I
made the call, and he asked, “How
big?” I explained what had happened
and that I had two in the nets and I
hadn’t weighed either of them yet,
but that they were pretty big fish. A
few minutes later my mate arrived
and gave a hand sorting the first carp
out. After getting him into the weigh
sling we hoisted him onto the scales
which spun round to 36lb 12oz, a carp
named Stumpy Pec, and after a few
pictures we got him back into the
pond. Well, we got the other carp
sorted out and up on the scales,
which went round to 39lb 8oz, a carp
known as Dark Cloud. We tried doing
some pictures but my camera battery
was empty, so we tried the spare one,
but that was flat as well.
My mate said he was using a similar camera and he would go back to
his swim and bring his battery down.
I got the carp back in the net and
placed him in the margins until my
mate returned. When I looked up the
track I could see this head torch bobbing up and down as he ran back to
his swim. I then watched gobsmacked as he ran back from his swim
with the battery to help do the photos. After getting the carp back on the
mat we got some cracking pictures
before getting it back in the lake. My
mate left his battery with me saying
that I would probably need it, and he
made his way back to his swim. Seriously, I couldn’t believe what had
happened, to catch two big carp and
then have that man running up and
down the lake was just mental. I just
hope some of the pictures I have
taken for you since are as good as the
ones you took that night (cheers,
fella). The two rods had fresh hookbaits attached before launching them
back out to the spot, and I also spodded out the last of my bait. I stayed up
for the rest of the night and although
I didn’t see any carp, I heard a couple
crash out a tad further out from where
I was fishing.
Just after first light I received a run
on the right hand rod, but a couple of
seconds after picking the rod up the
bloody thing fell off. My final run came
just after 8am from the left hand rod.
The carp gave a really good account
of itself, and everything held firm. It
managed to weed me up for a little
while when it got in the margins, but
after a bit of gentle persuasion, I soon
had it on the surface where it gladly
went into the net on the first time of
asking. After getting a few pictures of
it I soon had the carp back in the
pond, it had spun the needle on the
scales round to 30lb 4oz. It wasn’t to
be too much longer before I had to
pack everything away as my 72 hours
were nearly up. I got everything
loaded onto the barrow and made my
way down to the car park. After getting the van loaded, I walked into my
mate’s swim, returned his camera
battery and thanked him for his much
appreciated help the night before. I
was looking up the lake thinking,
that’s it for a while, because as of the
next week I would be off to pastures
new.
The following Monday, I made the
hideous journey down to Wellington
Country Park near Reading, a journey
according to the sat nav of 92 miles,
which should have taken about an
hour and 45 minutes to complete. I
eventually arrived at the place and
pulled into the secure car park three
and a half hours after leaving home.
There were roadworks everywhere
– the A1, M25 and the M4. I have
never had to travel too far for my fishing, so it was a huge eye-opener for
me. So, to all the lads out there who
have to travel distances to be able to
fish the lakes they want to – respect!
After loading the gear onto the barrow I made my way out of the car
park and down the track towards the
lake. I got half way round the lake and
had only met one other angler. We
had a little chat, and he told me that a
mate of his was in a swim called Hole
In The Bush. I left my gear with my
newfound friend and told him I was

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