freeline-22 - Page 85



Elstow 2009 Season
35lb, Dark and scaly – what a warrior.
up that on the following Monday I
would be making the ten-minute
drive to my local syndicate water. On
my way home from Welly, I popped
into a pet wholesalers and picked up
some hemp and another sack of pellets.
Monday morning arrived, and it
didn’t take that long to get the van
loaded with all the necessary bits
needed for the next three days. I was
soon travelling down the bypass, and
don’t mind admitting that I was feeling really excited about getting back
to the lake that in my mind is still a
place of magic! Whilst driving down
the bypass I was thinking to myself
that the conditions were looking
really good, as it was dull, overcast
with a slight drizzle blighting the
windscreen. I was hoping that the
southwesterly wind direction that
had been forecast would hold out to
be correct. As I pulled up to the gate I
looked up the lake and caught sight of
what looked like a big carp launching
itself clear of the water. That bloody
combination lock couldn’t be undone
quickly enough; I needed to be in
there watching the water. I pulled
into the car park and reversed the van
up, which gave me a fantastic view
looking right up the lake.
Twenty minutes later I got out of
the van to have a walk. It was hard
though as I was laughing so much. I
could see that there was someone
fishing in the Reedy swim and as I
walked round the lake to see who it
was I kept watching the water and
noticed there was someone fishing
the Inflator swim down the other end
of the lake. As I walked into the Reedy
swim a familiar looking head popped
out of the bivvy. I said, “Hello mate,
how’s it going?” The reply was, “It
was black with fish when I got in here
yesterday, but I ain’t had ‘owt yet.” I
was then asked if I had seen anything
in the pool right at the back of the
area he was fishing to. My reply to
that was, “No mate, I didn’t see a fish
and the water’s crysal clear.” I wasn’t
spinning him a line either – the Reedy
swim was barren of carp. Then my
mate said rather incredulously, “Well,
where the bloody hell have they gone
to then?” My reply was, “They’re out
in the middle, mate, and in big numbers.” I left his swim and made my
way back up to the car park all the
while watching the water, and I
couldn’t help but start laughing
again. Location, location, location
– find the carp, and you have a good
chance of catching them. When I first
arrived at the gate I had seen my first
fish. By the time I had left my mate in
the Reedy swim, I had seen over a
hundred shows in front of the swim
next to my favourite swim, and I was
going to be the only angler fishing for
them, hopefully.
Now, not being one to pass up on
such a stroke of luck, I loaded the barrow up as quickly as was humanly
possible. Even with shaking hands
and legs that were trembling, I knew
that as long as I didn’t cock this up I
was going to catch – there were too
many fish in that area not to. Something made me slow down, so that’s
just what I did. Leaving the barrow
where it was at the edge of the car
park, I sat down on a grassy area
above one of the deep water swims
and watched the area where the carp
were showing for a further two hours.
Either someone had fished the swim
over the course of the weekend and
the carp were there going ballistic on
a free load of bait, or just maybe the
carp had come to have a natural
munch up on the bloodworm bed that
I had fished to on my last session a
few weeks previously. It took a while
for the carp to slowly ease up with
their aerial displays. At one point they
had been throwing themselves out of
the water in numbers, with five, six or
seven fish at a time being out of the
water before crashing back down into
the lake. As they started to slow up
with the shows I wheeled the barrow
down the path towards the swim next
FREE LINE 85

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