freeline-21 - Page 160



Ebro Dreams
usual catfish way. Finally he managed
to coax the fish away from some
upcoming snags and started to make
headway on the fish. With waders
donned, I made my way out into the
water and waited for the approaching
fish. My first glance at the fish had me
squirming; it looked a beast. Not
wanting to have Mark panic I kept
what I saw to myself. The only thing I
could say was “Don’t lose this one”.
15 minutes after it was first hooked
and some spirited runs later it came
to the net, and the size was mindblowing. It went into the net first time
and I let out a cheer. The lads all
looked bewildered, not knowing what
they had caught. As they peered into
the net they had finally realised what
I was going loopy for, and when I
lifted it out of the water and I felt its
true weight it was clearly the largest
river carp I had ever seen.
Once in the cradle we could not
believe the length. I had often joked
that my Nash Cradle would not be big
enough for a true lump after seeing
many 45lb-plus carp filling it in the
past. I had to take one of the bars out
(Top) My new nickname with my
latest catch results, also showing
how cold it got.
(Below) The fully scaled, or is it?
160 FREE LINE
of the end to make the fish fit (does
anyone know if they make a Euro Cradle? If not I could do with a larger
model). As I lifted the fish into the
weighing sling I thought that it might
even go 60lbs, but the scales don’t lie
– it went 59lb. I couldn’t believe it; I
was indeed awestruck. After taking
several photos and wallowing in
respectful admiration for this spectacular species, we carefully placed
the leviathan back into the depths
and watched it slowly swim away.
Ultimately, and with great joy, the
wine was cracked open and I could
not stop dancing for hours. The rest of
the night was a blur, but what a buzz.
There were no more fish that night,
which was some relief, as I always
have to get up and put the waders on.
The next morning came too soon,
as a few sore heads were preoccupied
with when the new day’s action
would commence. But we didn’t need
to wonder long because the fish just
kept on coming and continued on
over the remainder of their stay. The
Bartman also started to get into some
fish and he also bagged three 40s up
to 47lbs until his back finally went

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