freeline-21 - Page 194



A Season Home And Away
What a cracking linear and what an
arm ache too – 30lb 2oz.
leaping up. The area from which the
bite came had been like a Jacuzzi.
This was one unhappy carp, which
weeded me up quite quickly. An even
bit of pressure applied in the direction
that that fish was travelling had it free
for a while. It then crossed from left to
right and went through a less dense
bed of weed then out again, only to
pick the line up from my middle rod.
This was really giving me the run
around, but I was hoping not for much
longer. I gained some line steadily
after the bail arm was flicked over on
the middle rod, and the fish surfaced
for the first time. Now I started to
shake – this could not come off. A real
corker of a Big Lake carp was staring
me in the eye and I could not gain any
more line, as the line from the middle
rod was weeded and crossing the rod
with the fish on. I could not afford to
apply any more pressure, as the lines
crossing could have easily parted. I
was just about to jump in for it when
I gained enough line to get it over the
194 FREE LINE
cord. Yes! I had one of the prettiest in
the net, one stunning linear. I got
straight on the phone to Dan Taylor as
I had spoken to him earlier and I knew
he was popping down. With the fish
in the net and the phone ringing, Dan
appeared as if he was teleported. Dan
and Chris helped me get sorted out,
and the fish weighed in at 30lb 2oz.
Dan did a top job with the camera as
always, and Chris took some video
footage on the iPhone. Thanks, fellas.
I was buzzing – what a corker! Two
more short overnighters went by
without bites, and I would not be
back down for a few weeks due to a
planned trip.
Across The Pond
Again
I was off to Etang Le Fayes for a
week with two long-term friends Scot
and Tony, a work colleague of Scot’s
called Pete and his friend John. I was
really looking forwards to getting out
here to see Mark and Claire that run
this superb 17-acre lake set in the
Ardennes Champagne region not far
from Chantecoq. Claire and Mark are
in their tenth year now, and to say
they have done a magnificent job
would be an understatement. From
living in an army mess tent with a
diesel generator for power with a lake
that was overstocked with lean carp
and too many sliver fish to now living
in a dream home, which they built, in
stunning tranquil surroundings with a
stock of fish that’s like this… Seven
different 60s to 68lb made up of commons, half linears and mirrors. The
remainder of the stock includes many
50s and 40s. This is like home from
home and the food is spot-on and
there’s plenty of it. Claire and Mark
are really great hosts and nothing is
too much to ask for.
After a quick hello and catch up we
were all dying to walk around and get
a feel for where to fish. After coming
out ninth in the draw my first
favoured swims had all been taken. I
opted to fish between Scot and Pete,
this being central to the lake. It had
been fishing quite slowly the previous
week and I decided to deploy a tactic
that I often use, and soaked my 18mm
New Grange in the Active Ade Syrup

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