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A Surprising End To The Year
(Above) The Road Lake’s Digit at an
all-time high of 37lb 2oz.
(Bottom) A full moon on the car park.
The following day was really quiet
and in the early afternoon I decided to
redo the rods, but when I had a total
bloody ‘mare getting the right rod
back out I started to wish I had left it
where it was. Eventually though it
went where I wanted it and I was
happy again. The evening was the
opposite of the day before, as I neither
saw nor heard anything up until
9.51pm when a fish rolled over to my
right in the bay where my rig was.
Over the next hour I saw several sets
of ripples coming out from the corner,
but then it went quiet. I sat up till
about midnight, and just as I was
about to get into bed my right hand
rod signalled a bite. I was locked up
on that rod, as I didn’t want it gaining
any line, and as soon as I picked the
rod up it was almost wrenched from
my hands as whatever was attached
had the right hump and was determined to get into the safety of the
snags. I wasn’t letting it have any of it
though, and after a few tense
moments I started to gain line on the
218 FREE LINE
fish and steer in away from the snag
area and into open water.
Once in the open water things
were a little easier. I made sure to
drop the tip of the middle rod after
what happened when I had the common and it wiped the other rod out.
Soon the fish was up on the surface,
and as it came towards me I netted
what I thought to be a decent sized
mirror at the first attempt. On closer
inspection I recognised the fish as the
Pretty One, a fish that was on my
wanted list. It was at this point that I
decided I was going to keep things
quiet from everyone else, as I had now
had two bites in two sessions and
there was a chance that I could have
more yet. I left the fish in the net until
I was sure that anyone else on the
lake would be asleep, and then I
weighed it on the weigh tripod at 35lb
4oz and took some self takes, which
came out well enough. All went well
and no one was any the wiser – perfect!
While I was doing the pictures
there were fish rolling in open water
near to my middle rod, and I thought I
was going to have another, but nothing more happened. I packed the mat,
sling and tripod up in case anyone
came round early in the morning and
then got a few hours’ sleep. I packed
up late morning the next day and as I
headed off to the Car Park for my first
session of the season I was more than
happy with myself and I had a little
laugh as I did the journey to the lake.
I arrived at the Car Park just before
lunchtime, and after a lap of the lake
and seeing nothing I decided to go in

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