freeline-22 - Page 163



Elstow 2009 Season
put on him that made him stop, but
that’s what he did, just holding his
ground straight out in front of me. I
couldn’t see what he was doing, but I
just had visions of him sitting there
with all his fins out – a kind of stalemate if you like. After what was probably only a minute I felt a kick come
through the rod as he decided to
make his next move. Thank god the
clutch was set, because he powered
off again veering slightly left, and it
was knee-shaking time for me as I
watched this bow wave appearing on
the surface of the lake as he tried to
make his escape. I had no option but
to grab the net and go to the next
swim, as he was kiting round on a
long line. I did manage to turn him
and was managing to gain a fair
amount of line, but he was still a long
way out. At one point he managed to
get into some weed, which had me
piling on the pressure before he came
free. The fella that had been round to
see me earlier turned up to offer a
hand, which I gratefully accepted.
After managing to get the carp near
the margins without too much more
trouble, he decided to have a final
mad couple of minutes right in the
edge. The pressure took its toll on
him, and as he popped to the surface
he was scooped up into the waiting
net. I looked down into the net at a
bloody big fish and understood why it
had fought so well – its tail was huge.
I gave my rod to the other guy and
lifted the net and fish up and made
the crossing to my swim. We set
about getting the gear ready for the
weighing and pictures, and as we
watched the needle spin round and
settle at 36lb 8oz I let out a little, “Yes,
get in.” After a few pictures were
taken we got that stunning hard
fighting carp back in the pond. I said
my thank-yous to the other guy as he
made his way back to his swim. Me,
well I looked up to the heavens with a
smile and said “Thanks, mum.” It
really was a crazy time for me as I
seriously did feel as though mum was
up there watching what was going
on.
I was brought out of my little daydream by the sound of the alarm on
the middle rod screaming off. A couple of minutes later another carp was
safely in the net. Although not a huge
fish it was still a nice looker with
some really dark colours to its flanks.
I managed to get a couple of nice pic-
tures with the remote before releasing
the carp, which had turned the needle
on the scales round to 24lbs 9oz. One
was rod left out, but I soon had that
rectified and attached fresh hookbaits
to the two rods and sent them out to
the spot, quickly followed by a few
more spods of my mix. Things were to
go a little crazy over the course of the
next few hours. Twenty minutes after
recasting the two rods, I had a run on
the middle rod, which produced a
carp that went 29lbs 8oz, shortly followed by another carp that fell to the
left hand rod, which went 30lbs 4oz.
After getting both the rods back out
to the spot I set about packing some
of the gear away, as I would have to
be off the lake fairly soon.
The bivvy was just in the process of
being packed away when the left
hand rod went into meltdown mode,
and after picking up the rod the ensuing battle was to last almost 15 minutes before I had even caught sight of
the carp – it had given me a bloody
fantastic scrap out in the open water.
Once again the fella that was up to
my left had made his way down to
help with the landing of the carp. We
both had to make our way back over
to the swim to my left, as the carp
was having a bit of a brain fart and
decided to go potty once I managed
to get it into the margins. Everything
held firm and I let out a little “Yes” as
the net was slipped under a big fish.
We both got back to my swim and set
about getting the fish weighed and
some photos taken, I was more than
happy as the needle on the scales
Looking straight up the lake from the
car park. It’s what’s below the surface
that’s pretty special.
went past the 35lb mark and eventually settled at 35lbs 6oz. It was deep
bodied with some cracking deep
colours and a big rudder, a very nice
carp. I had to hold him in the water for
a few minutes but eventually he
swam away powerfully.
The rod that I had that fish on was
packed down and put away into the
rod holdall. Time really was against
me and I needed to get the remaining
gear and rods packed up. The trouble
was I got another run on the middle
rod. After a few short moments a
cracking little carp was safely landed.
Not huge by anyone’s standards, but
what it lacked in weight, it certainly
made up for in looks – a carp that in a
few years’ time will undoubtedly be
on someone’s wish list. He was
weighed and sent the needle round to
19lb 8oz. As I released him I said quietly, “Get out there and eat, little
fella,” because after all’s said and
done, they are the lake’s future!
That was the final carp of the session and I got the rest of the gear
packed away. As I was pushing the
barrow down the path I could see that
the fella that had helped me was playing a carp and also had one in his
other net. I went down and thanked
him for his help during the previous
few hours. There was another lad
there to help out with the weighing
and photos, and I needed to get going
as I was already late. n
FREE LINE 163

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