freeline-22 - Page 191



Two Lakes,Two Thirties
really settle on there. I think it’s
because it is only four or five acres so
you are never too far away from them,
and I always thought I should be
catching more often than I was.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh
on myself, because the stock is reasonably low, with only about 20-25
carp present.
The following week I left home in
driving snow to turn up at the lake in
persistent rain. I placed my bucket in
a swim on the Car Park Lake on the
back of the cold northeasterly wind.
Setting up wasn’t very pleasant, but I
managed to get the new Prototype
Chub Bivvy up and the kit underneath
it before it got too wet. In the last hour
or so before dark I saw six fish show
on the end of the increasing wind. I
couldn’t believe they were on the end
of the freezing gusts, because the
water must have been a lot warmer at
my end of the lake. However, it was a
new wind, so I assumed they would
stay on it for a few hours before backing off it to find the milder water and
carefully laid traps at my end of the
lake. To cut a long story short, I stayed
put and so did the fish! I watched a
regular syndicate member, Ant, drop
in opposite me and snare the first two
captures in nearly two months, which
really made me rue my decision not to
move. But at least I learnt something
about the water that session.
The following week I got down on
the Friday afternoon for a one-night
session and I was keen to claim a
swim at peak time. The two main
swims on the Car Park Lake were
taken so I was unsure where to go. I
placed my bucket on one of the
causeway swims; I hadn’t fished this
swim before so I knew I needed to
lead around a fair bit and create a lot
of disturbance, which did put me off a
bit for a short session in early spring. I
had a look round and spoke to a couple of lads that had been on for the
last few days to try and help my decision as to where to fish. It was very
hard to resist the draw of the Big
Lake, especially because a swim I
knew well was free and the fish had
been seen in the area. I’m always very
confident on the Big Lake, and if I’m
honest I was on my way to look at a
swim on there, when I noticed a
movement in a shallow bay on the
Car Park Lake. I had a closer look and
I could just make out a large, grey
common under the surface. I climbed
a nearby tree to get a better look, and
for a second or two I thought it was
the big one, but I could just make out
its full tail so I knew it wasn’t Cut Tail.
As I tried to work out which fish it
was, the sun came out and illuminated the full bay and I saw a lot more
fish! There were few tench about, but
more importantly I counted 15 carp,
which was most of the lake’s stock!
This was an unbelievable sight and a
bit of a shock to me because the air
temperature was less that 10 degrees
C – it’s amazing what a bit of sun can
do! I couldn’t make out the big one,
but I did see a very chunky fish; it was
no longer than the low/mid 30s it was
with but it was very thick across the
back and had huge belly. It must have
been the second biggest fish, the
most sought after and hard to catch
resident, Swirl. She looked big too and
was probably only a couple of pounds
behind Cut Tail.
There was one swim that controlled the bay and I’m sure most people reading this will think it is a nobrainer as to where I should fish, but
from the tree I could see the bottom of
most of the bay, which it only looked
3ft deep, and I was very unsure if
there was any deep water to the right
of the swim. After a few minutes of
thinking about it, I thought it was
worth a few hours at least, even
though it was at the risk of not getting
the other swims I fancied as the
anglers continued to turn up for the
weekend. So I grabbed my gear and
cast a couple of choddies into the
shallows. I managed to catch a coot,
which didn’t do the carp fishing any
good. One or two fish stayed in the
area, but I’m sure their guard was up
and I didn’t receive any action from
them. I did have a flick around with a
1oz lead on my marker rod, and it took
a while for it to fall through the water
columns and touch down in the light
weed to the right of the swim. So I
knew there was a bit of depth about
that the fish could drift into as the
frost struck at night. I set up the bivvy
and did the night. I didn’t hear or see
any definite shows after dark, but I
was up at dawn knowing my best
chance would be to get some traps
set in the shallows before the fish
drifted back in.
As the steam started to rise from
the kettle ready for my first cup of tea
for the day, a dark common rose from
the water right over my right hand
rod. I put on my waders in readiness
for the take, but things rarely happen
(Top) Grass snake swimming across
the bay.
(Right) Carp on the surface in less
than 10 degrees C!
FREE LINE 191

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