freeline-22 - Page 142



The One That Got Away!
I returned, went straight back in the
Secret and got the rods out before
putting some more bait out on the
areas.
At 6.42pm I heard a good fish go
over out in front of me, and after managing to get a bit of a look through the
trees could see that it was right over
the left rod. At 7.18 I heard another go
over and by the sound of it guessed it
was probably close to where the last
one showed and that it could possibly
be the same fish. I didn’t hear anything further through the night but
felt happy that I had heard what I had,
and before leaving the following
morning I baited both spots up again.
So far that winter there had only been
one other person fishing the lake, and
after chatting with him and telling
him what my intentions were I knew
I would be left alone to get on with
things.
Over the next couple of sessions I
found that both spots were now getting fed on with the left spot being
the one that was the better of the two.
It had gone from being a little bit
choddy with leaf matter on it to as
clean as anything, and every time you
brought your lead back in it would be
covered in thick grey clay. I was hearing fish regularly at night and first
thing in the mornings, and felt that it
was only going to be a matter of time
before I had a bite. Alongside that, a
guy had done a session opposite the
swim when I wasn’t there and he had
seen fish showing on there both
mornings. There were only a couple of
days left in January though, and it
was looking like I was not going to
get myself a January carp. I turned up
just before light on the 30th and
instead of getting the rods out
straight away, I sat tucked away at
the front of the swim watching for any
signs. As I looked out over the water I
noticed single bubbles popping up
every couple of minutes over the left
area. I waited until I hadn’t seen one
for at least half an hour and then got
the pop-up rod on it together with a
scattering of boilie. I then got the
other rod done, fed it with the particle
(Top) Waking up to a frozen
Southlake after it dropped to -9 in the
night was no fun, I have to say.
(Right) Looking out from the Bars
swim you can see how much of the
lake was frozen. I still managed a
night in there though!
142 FREE LINE
mix and then set up well away from
the water.
Because of the bloody trees I couldn’t see what was happening, so at
3.42pm when I received a take on the
left rod it was a complete surprise. I
was on the rod in a flash and as soon
as I lifted into it I knew it was a carp
and not one of the tench that reside in
the Road Lake. With the swim being
so tight it was a bit of a struggle, but I
soon had things under control and
before long had the fish in front of me.
If it had kited left I would have struggled but thankfully it didn’t; it stayed
right and after a short scrap I netted a
fish known as Scaly. Although not one
of the biggest fish in the pond, it is a
real cracking looker and I was very
happy just to get a January fish out of
the lake. After unhooking it in the net
I tied on a fresh rig and bait and got it
out as quickly as possible. Feeding
windows at this time of the year are
usually very small, but there is always
the chance that the fish wasn’t alone
and another bite could be on the
cards, so it’s always worth getting a
rod back out as soon as you can.
With the rod sorted, Leon, who was
fishing opposite me came round and
did the pictures for me and then once
weighed I slipped it back none the
worse for wear. Weight wise the fish
went 20lb 6oz, which was a new
biggest weight for it and just goes to
show that they do still feed in winter.
The rest of the evening passed quietly just as did the next morning, but
at 3.48pm I received a savage liner off
the same rod and thought that I was
away again. At 5.10pm I heard a
decent fish go over out to my left, and
on looking through a gap in the trees
saw a set of rings coming in from over
by the far margin. At 8.21pm I had a
few bleeps on the right rod, but if I’m
honest I think it was a rat or some-

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