freeline-21 - Page 192



A Season Home And Away
Last minute bite with only the rod
and net to pack up – 21lb 8oz.
absolute one-noter! I connected with
a strong fighting fish that this time
fought really steadily until it got to
close quarters. It then gave me a right
old run around in short, and it took
two attempts to get it in the net. I was
staring at a much lighter coloured bar
of gold that weighed in at 30lb 12oz.
My good friend Dan Taylor lives just
around the corner, and a quick call to
him meant my photos were sorted.
Dan was with me in no more than 15
minutes and did a grand job as
always with the camera, so thanks
mate.
My next few trips were spent getting around the lake to get a feel for
the different areas. As my normal
angling consists of one overnight
stint a week, it’s often a case of fitting
in around others, just like at any other
lake. I did try to get an area going as I
was fortunate to drop in a particular
swim a few times on the trot, and
then that swim became popular. I was
gutted to be honest as I had put in a
fair amount of effort, making a hole in
the weed with my AI weed rake, and
it had become really clear. I was baiting on that spot too, but hey ho. So
after getting around the lake a bit to
map it out I was starting to get a
really good feel for the place. I had
met quite a few of the members and
all the bailiffs, and must admit they
192 FREE LINE
are all a cracking bunch. As with all
lakes the members come with nicknames – CSI Nick, Upside Down Si,
Scaff, Sniff, Tommy Gun, Streetwise
and The Hairdresser are a few that
spring to mind.
One visit I had arrived with a warm
southwesterly pushing across the
lake. To my surprise there was nobody
in the face of it, so I wasted no time
dropping into swim 17. Having fished
this swim before I knew a few carpy
feeling spots. I positioned all three
rods with ease and then sent a lucky
seven Spombs full of New Grange
over each rod. I had a few shows of
my left hand rod towards darkness
and then it was all quiet. Nothing
happened through the night, and far
too quickly it was time to start packing away. I was down to the last rod
on the floor and net to pack away, and
had just placed my stove in the bag
when I turned round sharply to the
sound of line stripping off the reel.
Yes! The short rod I had left until last
was soon hooped over and I was connected to a fish. A good little scrap in
and along the margins and it was
shortly in the net. I had one pretty
scaly peering at me. Little Ed was just
around to my left and I called for a
hand. The weight of the fish was
immaterial, such a stunner it was, and
it weighed in at 21lb 8oz. Lil’ Ed did
the honours with the camera and that
was that – off home with a wet net
and silly grin.
After having a few sessions after
this blank and getting to know the
lake better, a few of the A-Team had
started to appear. I witnessed the
Chocolate Common being caught
three swims to my left to a guy named
Nick at 41lb. This was one seriously
dark and immaculate fish – one I hope
will grace the bottom of my net.
Another was Bullet to Kev Dennett at
42lb 5oz. Good angling by Kev who
had done a night in one swim and
seen one nut out next door. He covered it and had a take pretty much
straight away. People had been nicking a bite here and there, and then a
few hits on the spin had come from
swims 17, 19 and 20. Three bites had
come in the daylight hours, as they all
seemed to be, but within the space of
20 minutes. Just my luck when the
bulk of my time is in the hours of
darkness. Ah well, keep plugging
away! I soon found myself feeling the
need to stay a little longer on the
pond, so I bloody well did. I started
out on the towpath back and was on
fish for the night, however I didn’t get
a single bleep. There were a lot of
shows but no real sign of feeding
going on. The pattern was similar to
previous trips with them showing in
one area but I could see no fizzing
and needed to move off the showing
fish; I was just not confident.
I moved two swims to my right as I
saw a few signs of carp there too, a
few bow waves and then a few subtle
rolls. I left the gear on the barrow and
flicked my rods out in swim 17, and
before long a large dark mirror rolled
between my middle and right rods.
The confidence was lifting. As my
eyes were constantly scanning the
water I could see more fish further to
my right between the next two
swims. The farthest of these was
occupied by Nick, and he had already
mentioned he was leaving in a few
hours, so I had stuck a bottle behind
him in case it looked better for a bite
than 17 after he left. Well it did, and I
moved to my third swim of the morning. There were quite a few fish present in this area in and amongst the
weed with a fair few fizzing up. Come
on! I took a softly-softly approach
flicking the baits out with the smallest of leads, 1.1oz bottles, and spread
one by one from the catapult around
20 New Grange Baits over each rod.
Not thirty minutes had passed with
the bait in the water and a violent
take from my right hand rod had me

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