freeline-21 - Page 147



Horton, Fosters and Midnight Mixers
No one wants to catch the Big C!
find Bod in the Slope. After telling him
w h a t I ’d s e e n i n t h e s n a g s h e
explained he had seen them there
about an hour ago, but they had left
and so had he. I returned to the lodge
to get my gear and was soon setting
up in the Dip. After getting my baits
out we set about cooking some grub.
Whilst we were cooking I noticed a
fish had started to take some of the
mixers I had put along the snags. I
think it was Trouble, which appears to
be Spite’s mate and almost a Dog Bay
resident. Trouble and Spite at the time
was the most recent stocking, and
though Spite was caught regularly,
Trouble is much craftier and a bit bigger. It must have started taking the
mixers that had drifted into the snags
and followed them out.
When I got my first Horton ticket I
thought that if I struggled to get takes
of the bottom then at least I should
get a few off the top. However I found
it incredibly difficult off the top and
up until this point I had only managed
two grassies and a couple of devastatingly bodged takes. I think that
after spodding mixers was banned
the fish deemed it no longer worth the
risk, as the chance of being hooked
became so much greater due to the
fact that there were now very few
mixers going in, and it was only on
very rare occasions that I could get
them to feed confidently. Though the
seagulls were a total pain in the arse,
I only remember suffering one duck
pick-up and it was rare to see coots or
even moorhens on the lake, so bait
could sit on the lakebed until it was
eaten or rotten, but mixers would
usually be taken by gulls within minutes.
I believe that during the four seasons I fished it there were probably
not more than a handful of carp captures (excluding grass carp) from the
surface, but I may be wrong; it has
been known! This time though it was
getting exciting, as more fish started
to join in and even compete. I carried
on feeding mixers trying to lead the
fish further away from the snags. For
some reason the seagulls were not
being their usual infuriating selves
(perhaps someone was floater fishing
on Kingsmead) and this looked like
my chance. I reeled in my right hand
rod so I could get my floater rod ready
to cast whilst still feeding them.
Eventually the fish were happy to
feed straight out in front and it was
time for a cast, which went straight
into the tree above, and the next
attempt wasn’t much better. Bod
could obviously see that I was suffering from a bad dose of the shakes and
told me to sort it out, calm down, relax
and to sit on the end of the platform to
make the cast, which I did, and it
sailed out perfectly.
I straightened my line and waited. I
spied a couple of fish moving left to
right clearly looking for mixers, and I
slowly tweaked mine into position.
After taking a couple of freebies I
could tell that the lead fish had spotted my hookbait as it sped up on a
straight line for it. A pair of big grey
shoulders broke the surface, lips
FREE LINE 147

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