freeline-23 - Page 116



Elstow 2009
on out on the feature for a couple of
minutes before reeling it back in and
was happy that there wasn’t too
much weed attached to the rig. That
was soon sent back out on the spot.
The next 45 minutes were spent
spodding a full bucket of my spod
concoction out to the area. The rest of
the gear was soon organised and set
up, and I could sit back and chill out
for now.
I was just about finished my second
cup of coffee when the right hand rod
absolutely belted off. Making my way
down from the top of the swim as fast
as possible, I picked up the rod, tightened down on the clutch and just
watched as the rod hooped right over
giving me no alternative but to ease
off and let it have some line. The scrap
just seemed to, and did, go on for flipping ages. This was one seriously
peeved off carp – even in the margins
it was steaming off up to the left of
the swim then coming back on itself
and going out to the right. At one
point I thought I had it beaten only for
it to power off again, and as I looked
up at the rod I noticed the pole elastic
marker going back out through the tip
ring – ‘kin ‘ell was all I was thinking.
I could feel the fish tiring gradually
as it was slowly but steadily played
back towards me. There were no more
unstoppable runs or mad darting up
and down the margins, just a steady
heavy plodding. I kept looking as I
edged him in towards the margins for
the second time, and he was still sitting deep in the water, but he was a
big fella, of that there was no doubt.
As I increased the pressure on the rod
he started to come up through the
depths, and as he broke the surface, I
managed to slip the net under him at
last. Leaving the carp in the net in the
margins I set about sorting the mat,
sling and scales out, and I also got the
camera out ready for some self takes.
As I bit through the mainline, I
detached the handle from the net and
gathered it up to lift the carp onto the
waiting mat. It was once I got the fish
on the mat and peeled back the net
that I recognised the fish as one I had
caught a few months
previously at a weight of 39lbs
12oz. He had been in a helluva state
then, but he appeared to have healed
a great deal since. I got him into the
sling, weighed him at 39lbs 7oz and
got a couple of pictures of him before
once again treating his wounds with
some antiseptic lotion. He was still in
quite a sorry state on one side, and as
I looked down on him when he was
Scared from a battle from any carp’s worst nightmare – 39lb 7oz
116 FREE LINE
released I had nothing but respect as
he had survived a tear up with a true
predator – a survivor, but how? I don’t
know – tattered and bloodied from a
fight with his worst enemy!
I checked the rig and bait and
decided that they looked okay so cast
out to the left of the swim, then
wound in until the elastic marker was
almost at the tip ring and clipped up.
It was then just a matter of getting
the rod back out on the spot fishing.
After sorting everything out and getting the swim tidied up I sat up at the
top of the swim just watching the
water. An hour after recasting the
right hand rod I saw two carp head
and shoulder just behind the feature,
which boosted the confidence level
up a notch or two.
Just before 7pm, the middle rod let
out a couple of bleeps, which I put
down to a liner. A couple of minutes
passed before the indicator on the
same rod pulled up tight before rattling off. As I got down to the swim I
picked the rod up, tightened the
clutch and said out loud, “Contact” as
the rod arched over. Sometimes you
can tell almost straight away that
what you are playing is not a huge
carp. This fish had gone off so fast, but
it lacked any weight when it was

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