freeline-22 - Page 86



Elstow 2009 Season
to my favourite.
I wasn’t in any hurry to get the rods
out, so instead set about getting
everything else sorted out first. Once
the home had been set up and some
new rigs sorted out I set about sorting
the rods out with some small pop-ups
tipped with mini plastic corn. The rigs
were going to be size 8 Wide Gape X’s
line-aligner style with the bait sitting
about three quarters of an inch off the
deck. The hook length material was
25lb, with a small amount of the fluorocarbon inner core removed near the
shrink tubing to create a combi rig
effect. All that was left to do was cast
the marker out past the area I had in
mind and find out if the area I had
fished a few weeks earlier was any
clearer. One thing became apparent
straight away after casting the marker
out, and that was that the spot was
definitely wider. I had a couple of
casts to the marker with a baited rod
and as I retrieved the lead there was a
bit of cousin Colin weed attached to
the hook along with a bit clay at the
base of the weed. There was bloodworm in the clay and at the base of
the weed.
I got the rods out to the spot, and
after thinking about what I had seen
36lb 8oz, a deep bodied battler, the
biggest carp of that session.
86 FREE LINE
earlier decided to spod a full bucket of
the mix out. All sorts of things were
going through my head, and it really is
a gamble putting so much bait out,
but, if they came back in similar numbers as I had seen them earlier, then I
knew I would be able to hold them
there for a while. Once the marker had
been retrieved, I got the stove going
and shortly afterwards settled back
with a nice coffee and a ciggy. Most
of the runs come during the morning
on this lake so I wasn’t that confident
of a take on my first day, as I hadn’t
seen a carp since casting out. The day
was passing, and evening was fast
approaching when I noticed a small
slick, coming from the pellets, appear
on the surface of the lake, indicating
to me that something was having a
mooch around the spot. As the light
slowly started to fade, the odd small
slick was replaced with a constant
slick on the surface of the lake. The
run, when it came, scared the crap out
of me – the sounder box was on full
volume and I was staring out at the
lake in my own little world.
I got over to the rod as quickly as I
could and leant into the fish, tightening down on the clutch as I didn’t
want it taking line and managing to
weed itself up. The carp was moving
and kiting to my left, so I gave it a little more pressure and managed to
turn it before it could go round to the
swim to my left, and from then on it
was soon in the net. I got everything
sorted for the weighing and photos,
and it wasn’t too long before a nice
27lb 4oz mirror was being returned.
The rod had a fresh bait attached
before getting it cast back out to the
spot, and I also put another four spods
of the mix over the top of the area.
Just over an hour later the left hand
rod was away, and even with the
clutch done up quite tightly the carp
was still able to take line. The lead clip
had done its job though, and as I
picked the rod up the carp showed on
the surface and I was shocked and
relieved, as that was all it did all the
way into the waiting net. This carp
turned the needle on the scales
around to 27lb 8oz, and after a couple
of self-takes it was returned to its
home. The rod was soon back out to
the spot with another few spods of
the mix over the top.
I stayed up for another couple of
hours before calling it a day and getting my head down. It didn’t seem
that long before I was awake again,
and peering out at the lake with one
eye open I could see that the carp
were back, and the area was slicking
up very nicely. As I threw the sleeping
bag sleeve back the right hand rod
roared off. I sort of jogged over and
picked the rod up, tightened down on
the clutch and watched as the rod

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