freeline-22 - Page 155



Five Forties
pattern to a Korda Kurv size 6 as I
found these hooks amazingly sharp.
Leads were 5oz Korda flat pear leads
– a heavy lead was needed as if the
wind was to turn up, floating weed
would usually cause a problem by
dragging the leads out of position. I
scattered around 3kg of Active-8
around the three rods in preparation
of the southwesterly turning up the
following day.
Sometime during the early hours of
the morning the wind picked up.
Clumps of weed were pushing into
my rod tips, giving me false bleeps. I
was out of my sleeping bag around
5am to get a rather annoying clump of
weed off my lines, and just as I got
back in my bag the heavens opened. I
drifted back to sleep, and around 7am
my middle rod absolutely belted off. I
could hear the clutch over the alarm,
and in a mad panic the trainers were
forgotten about. As I neared the rod I
could see it hooped around and the
line from the tight clutch being torn
off at a scary rate. I picked up the rod
almost worried about what could be
attached at the other end. The unseen
fish took 40 yards off me with ease,
and I was over the moon when it
slowed down and allowed me to gain
around 20 yards back. The fish had
kited around 50 yards and was getting dangerously close to a marginal
snag along the bank to my right. I
clamped down and tried my hardest
to turn the machine I was connected
to, but it was to no avail, and the fish
soon hit the snag, with the branch on
the snag shaking violently.
I screamed for Smithy to fetch my
chesties, and as he was helping me
struggle into them, I felt a ping down
the line. My heart stopped. I wound
down and felt a grating sensation
down the line, and as I looked up at
the snag a back of a rather large fish
broke the surface. With another thud
coming up the line, it pulled away
from the snag and I was in contact
with the fish again. I took a deep
breath and steadied myself for the
rest of the battle. After what seemed
like an eternity, the fish drifted underneath the rod tip and through the
glassy surface. I saw a flash of dark
brown and a line of big, golden scales.
The fish looked incredible as it fought
for its freedom on a tight line under
the tip. I could see it was getting
tired; every run was getting slower,
and as Smithy waited with the net, he
turned round and said, “Bugger me –
it’s a beast.”
I was so desperate for it to be in the
bottom of the mesh, and with a final
surge the fish was beaten and rolled
into the net. I punched the air and we
both jumped around like excited kids
at Christmas. I peered into the net
and there staring back at me was
another fish of my dreams. The width
was incredible and the colours of the
fish were breathtaking. There lying in
my net was a fish probably never
touched by a human before, and I was
going to be the first lucky person to
admire its beauty. As I held up the fish
for the camera I couldn’t help but feel
like the luckiest man alive. I am still
currently fishing Theale Lagoon, still
hoping for that mythical magical fish
of my dreams. I went on to catch this
fish the following year from the same
spot, but currently no one else had
go t to to uc h tha t a ma zi ng fi s h.
Thanks for the memories.
After the capture of the Brute from
Pingewood, I fished back over the
road on Theale Lagoon, and had a
couple more from Sept/Oct up to a
mirror of 34lb. I had heard of a small,
high-pressured lake in the local area
that contains a mirror of over 40lb.
Apparently it has been caught in the
past at 44lb-plus, but I doubted its
existence at first. The lake was hardly
the best looking lake I have fished. I
had nowhere planned to fish for the
winter, so I figured I would fish
The biggest stockie at 21lb 8oz.
overnighters during the winter on the
lake. It was always empty, and a couple of fish a trip were putting in a
appearance even in the hardest of
conditions, which was always welcome. I had had some cracking looking fish from the lake including a real
pretty 29lb 12oz linear and a couple of
upper 20 commons, but I had seen no
sign of the big mirror in the first winter on there.
It was middle of November, and
Carl, a good friend, decided a social to
the lake was overdue – just a quick
overnighter. It’s always nice to have a
friend to go with in the winter; the
long hours of darkness are enough to
make anyone bored. The lake, being
small, makes the fish very spooky, and
I’m sure they usually know the
moment you turn up. The closing of
the car door is enough to put the fish
on guard, I’m sure. The lake was
always going to be a winter water, as
ticket prices were high and usually
only two nights a month were
planned. Most of the fishing was done
by lowering hookbaits close in to
overhanging bushes or fishing to the
small patches of lilies. I had done a
total of 12 nights the previous year
and had caught plenty of fish, but I
had felt a change of plan was worth
trying, as I never felt close to catching
the target.
FREE LINE 155

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