freeline-22 - Page 124



Made in England
Stunning painting by John Grant for
the Horton Special.
(Bottom) A remarkably fine book by
Maurice Pledger.
Clive put out a back-to-back broken
boilie onto it. Sure enough, ten minutes later Wimbledon came slowly
back past him, but then the most
amazing thing happened. As it neared
the spot with the hookbait, it slowly
tipped on its side and cruised over the
spot before moving away. Clive was
dumbfounded, but then it returned
five minutes later and performed the
exact same manoeuvre and Clive was
convinced it was turning on its side to
look at his hookbait.
When it left the area again he got
down really low and peered into the
water at his bait. He could see nothing; no line, no swivel, no lead. Nothing. He was unsure what to do – move
it or leave it – but he decided to leave
it and ten minutes later that proved to
be exactly the right decision. The fish
came back along the same route, but
124 FREE LINE
instead of the previous manoeuvre it
just dipped down and sucked up
Clive’s hookbait before moving on.
The rod tip slid over the grass, the reel
began to spin and if the evidence of
Clive’s eyes wasn’t enough, that certainly nailed it – he’d hooked Wimbledon Common. The fight was intense
and on a couple of occasions Clive
could feel the line grating on the roots
along the margins but then, gradually,
the fish tired until Clive was able to
envelop it in the folds of his net. Disbelieving, Clive had to look in the net
and check the tail before the evidence
before him became true – he’d landed
Wimbledon Common, and at 47lb it
was the happiest of happy birthday
presents he’d ever had.
I just spoke to him to get the details
right and he was in exactly the same
place. The spot that he’d had the fish
from, which had been no larger than a
saucer, was now as a big as a large
platter. He’d fished it from along the
bank over night, putting about ten
broken boilies on it, and when he
went along this morning to have a
look, all of the broken boilies were
gone and his hookbait was
untouched. Just goes to show what
we miss when we’re not able to
watch the fish close up. Brilliant story,
Clive, and I have to give you the Spirit
Level Award for that. There can’t be
many better stories that are worthy of
it.
Mark McKenna might disagree
because he’s had a similar run of success as Clive at Savay recently and,
bizarrely, he had a 47lb mirror and The
Leather at 42lb 12oz. That was over a
couple of sessions, but he also helped
himself to four thirties up to 39lb, so
his company’s new prototype bait is
obviously to the liking of the Savay
residents. Whilst I’m on the subject of
Savay, you are all probably aware of
the petition that has been running in
an attempt to stop the high speed rail
link going through the great lake and
surrounding area. Well, after getting
over 100,000 signatures, Tom Bankes
has now been told that the signatures
have to be on an e-petition that
appears on the Government website.
Whether this is a bid to stall the
process, who knows, but all of Tom’s
signatures are now null and void. So,
you techno-freaks, time to put your
internet browsing to good use. Go
onto the site below, fill in the required
details then await an e-mail that you
have to click on to confirm that you
wish to add your name to the petition.
This latter is obviously to stop people
putting on random names and
addresses, so if you are going to put
on your mum and your sister and your
boss, let them know so that they can
confirm the e-mail. The website
address is epetitions.direct.gov.uk/
petitions/353. I believe the required
number of signatures to force a public
debate is 50,000 so get on there as
quickly as you possibly can and add
your support.
A few other captures of note, and
not far from where I and Dave Moore
were angling, Chris Moreton had a
result that he’d been waiting four
years for when he landed the 60-acre
lake’s biggest fish at 44lb 4oz. Chris
was suitably elated, but if what Dave
told me is true, he won’t have to travel
very far to target something of a similar size. Across country and into an
area that’s not known for producing
ugly fish, and the couple of thirty
pounders that Nick Burrage caught
certainly prove that. Both were a few
ounces over thirty pounds and one of
them, Big Scale, is one of the oldest
carp in the lake, but has certainly
retained its looks – not sure I can say
that about Nick (sorry, Nick)!
Kris Garrett will certainly have to
go a long way to better the stunning
39lb common he caught from a southern syndicate. Is it just me, or are
common carp getting better and better looking every year? I mean, look at
the one Scott West caught from Ashmead last month – 31lb of pristine
common carp, and there are dozens of
them just as beautiful in the lake.
Wish I could catch one, he said wistfully.
The south coast is where we’ll end
this month, and there have been a
couple of very notable captures along

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