freeline-21 - Page 146

Horton, Fosters and Midnight Mixers
door to reel in my bottom baits.
When I got into my swim I thought
I’d better have one last check that
they were still feeding as I didn’t want
to move my baits if the fish were
going to do the off (once bitten!).
Back in Springate’s it looked as if they
had indeed gone, but after about 15
minutes they returned, and by the
look of it they had only gone to get
their mates, who were all hungry too!
After reeling in and grabbing the necessary floater gear I was ready for my
giant grassy. In the dark I could see
inky black bow waves where they
were sniffing out the mixers and sets
of little rings as they took them. As I
was hoping they would hook themselves I opted for a hair rather than a
band and a shorter hook length than
usual. The plan was to keep firing
mixers in line with a nice obvious tree
on the skyline then cast there too –
simples! After a while it was getting
frustrating and I could see loads of
fish about, far more than just the
grassies. Due to it being a nice, flat
calm night I could see where my float
and line was if I tweaked it.
Sitting on the platform and looking
through my binoculars (helps night
vision) I could see a group of them
getting close, maybe half a dozen of
them, headed towards my bait. Still
watching through my bins I could
make out a fish take a mixer. I thought
Horton’s smallest grassy?
to myself, that must be close’, and out
of the corner of my eye saw my line
shoot tight. Yeah, boy! On the strike it
became obvious that it was a grassy
as it just kept on coming, allowing me
to pretty much skim it into the net.
Not the beast I wanted, but I was
more than happy with what is possibly Horton’s smallest grassy at 21lb at
half one in the morning. I decided on
a few self-takes and put it back. Very
exciting fishing, and I would have
liked a bit more of it, but shortly after
returning it the rest of them did the
off. I went back to chasing the proper
carp and accepted that the best way
to catch one of the big grassies
appears to be to not want to.
The next day I wheeled my loaded
barrow into the Lookout as there was
a lot of fizzing going on out in front. I
intended to do a couple of nights in
there, but before I had set up I had a
phone call from a mate asking if I fancied meeting him at Wraysbury to
show him my Thorpe Park Common
shots and celebrate with a few ciders,
which I did, very much! I left my gear
on my barrow behind Jo who had
dropped in instead and set off
towards Bryant’s. Unfortunately it
started raining when I got there and I
realised my gear would be getting
wet. As it turned out there were three
lads I knew from my time on there in
Bryant’s Bay, and so when I got back
to Horton around midnight I was feeling a little wobbly, and decided the
best bet was to watch a bit of South
Park on Sky in the lodge and drink
coffee till the morning, then go for a
look round as the sun came up.
I fetched my gear from the Lookout
just before dawn, pleasantly surprised
to find it wasn’t as drenched as I had
expected it to be, and after a lap settled for the Lodge Slot where I had
seen a fish show close in. With the
rods out I fell asleep on my mat and
awoke a few hours later to find a bottle of Magner’s beside me. Fantastic
behaviour by Bod! Deciding I was in
the wrong swim due to the lack of
activity, I loaded the barrow again
and started another lap, past the
Tench swim and round the corner
into Lodge Steps and there they were
– loads of ‘em, mooching around in
the ribbon weed. Happy days – one
rod underarmed up to the beginning
of the weed with one spod of hemp
and corn flicked onto the foam again,
and that will do. Not long passed
before a fast take saw me doing battle
with what turned out to be a short,
stocky mirror, the Big C, at 25lb 6oz.
After the photos and the Magner’s I
loaded the barrow, left it in the swim,
took a bucket and went for another
lap. I had just about reached Dog Bay
when a new wind picked up and
started sticking straight in there. Perfect – a head start! Creeping into the
snags in the Dip swim revealed a
group of eight or ten fish including
some lumps. Not stopping to watch
or attempt to ID them I put my bucket
in the swim and went next door to


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