freeline-21 - Page 206

Five Forties
Theale Lagoon, which is directly
across the M4 motorway from Pingewood. The lake itself is a pretty lake
with plenty of snags, overhanging
willows and bars and it’s full of weed.
The weed can resemble a football
pitch, and it can become almost
unfishable at times. The only downside of fishing Pingewood is the drone
of the M4 motorway when fishing the
bank that backs onto the motorway,
and sleep can be hard to come by.
It was the Thursday evening, and
the day before the match I decided to
have a stroll round the lake. It looked
beautiful in the last rays of light, and it
was still without a breath of wind.
The water had an inky appearance,
and I really got an exciting feeling
about the place as I neared the cottage bank. Not 20 yards out, a fish
broke the mirror like surface, and
instantly my heart started missing a
beat. The fish looked so dark and a
line of scales running down its muscly frame completed its perfect being.
I stood in the swim known as Wides
for a further ten minutes hoping to
see another of Pingewood’s finest
show again, but to no avail, so I continued my stroll round. I then came to
a large treeline that looked so carpy
with overhanging willows and snags;
it looked the perfect place for a wary
old carp.
As I crept round the bank that runs
alongside the treeline I could see the
little gaps in the nettles where you
could actually get down to the
water’s edge to hopefully view these
magnificent creatures. As I parted the
nettles and branches a large boil in
the margins stopped me dead in my
tracks – god, they was spooky. I swore
at myself for spooking the wary carp
and continued to the water’s edge. In
front of me was a tree that had fallen
over into the water creating the perfect home for the carp to hide. The
light was getting poor and I could just
make out the distinct shape of a carp
swimming under the branches and
gliding across the clean gravel. I
couldn’t believe my eyes; there in
front of me was the carp I had always
said I wanted to catch – it was without doubt the Brute. Even with the
bad light conditions I could make out
the single scale on its flank, and the
fact it was one of the biggest carp I
had ever seen had me in no doubt. I
lads who was also doing the match. I
found it hard to not stop smiling and
give the game away about what I had
just seen. On the journey to the draw,
just up the road at the Cunning Man
pub, I was buzzing. I just had to get
into one of those two swims. As it so
often is with seeing old friends for the
first time in a while there were many
carpy stories to share. It was so good
to catch up and it was a true honour
to be invited to the event.
The draw was about to start, and I
could feel my hands sweating; I just
had to come out early. Unfortunately I
was 15th out the hat out of 17, and
couldn’t believe how easily I had
found her.
With the draw for swims due in 30
minutes time I knew exactly where I
wanted to be. My two swim choices
were Pallets or Motorway Point. From
these two swims I could fish the area
I had seen the Brute. Pallets was the
number one choice for me. As I was
strolling, almost skipping with the
sheer excitement over what I had just
seen, I bumped into one of the local
Motorway Point was still free. My full
name hadn’t even been read when I
called, “Motorway Point please.” I
couldn’t believe my luck; I was totally
buzzing at the prospect of being close
to the Brute. We were allowed on the
lake at midday, but I was down a little
early as I knew I had a good walk, and
I thought it would be the best thing to
get my markering done before everyone turned up. So while everyone was
thrashing the water to a foam with
the marker and spods, all I had to do
was sit back, and when the time
came cast out to the clip – job done.
I found an absolute belting spot on
the margin down the right hand side.
It was where I felt I would have my
best chance of a fish. It was quiet all
along the margin with no lines, and I
felt the pressure of everyone’s lines
out in the main lake would push them
down the margin. The spot was five
yards out from the bank in 7ft of water
and 15 yards down the margin. I
(Above) An evening on Pingewood.
(Left) Pingewood evening before
Pretty Linear and Snubnose.


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