freeline-23 - Page 118



Elstow 2009
No self takes with this one; I got a mate to help with the pictures – 38lb 6oz.
pulling, which convinced me that I
was attached to one of the lake’s
kamikaze males. After a little while it
appeared on the surface thrashing
about before managing to get its head
back below the surface, and off it
went again on one of those crazy fast
dashes that have you chuckling to
yourself. Eventually though it gave up
the cause, surrendered and went into
the net.
Although not a large carp I
weighed it and recorded a weight of
25lb before getting a couple of self
takes done before releasing him. The
rod had a fresh bait attached and was
soon back out on the spot, and half a
dozen spods of the mix were sent out
to the area just to top the swim up for
the night ahead.
Nothing at all happened during the
course of the night. I had stayed up
until silly o’clock and had not heard or
seen a bloody thing. It was whilst sitting there having my first coffee of the
day that I started to see the odd puff
of a slick appearing on the surface of
the lake. Slowly the odd little flat spot
caused by the pellets being disturbed
turned into a steady slick. The run,
when it came, was one of those slow
takes with the indicator on the left
hand rod pulling up tight and the top
118 FREE LINE
half of the rod just pulling round to the
left and the alarm letting out single
bleeps as the carp pulled line from the
clutch slowly.
As I picked up the rod and lifted
into the fish I tightened down on the
clutch and watched as the rod took
up its fighting curve. The carp wasn’t
moving fast, just plodding along
doing its own thing; I would gain a bit
of line before it would just plod off
again and I was forced to give it some
line. This went on for quite a while
before I managed to get him into the
margins where I caught a glimpse of a
rather big carp swimming past the
front of the swim. As he went past, I
tightened right down on the clutch
and tried to turn and bring him up
through the depths. He held his
ground for a few seconds before turning and started to come up towards
the waiting net. As he hit the surface,
I guided the net towards him and
watched as he came over the net cord
and dropped into the folds.
After making sure the carp was
okay in the net I got on the phone and
got one of the other lads to come over
and give a hand with the weighing
and photos. My mate quickly arrived
and we set about getting the carp
into the sling for the weighing. I was
pleasantly surprised and more than
happy when the needle on the scales
stopped at 38lb 6oz. We got a few nice
shots before getting him back into the
lake. I said thank you to my mate
before he left to get back to his swim.
Things were going pretty well and I
still had two nights of the session to
go. The other thing that I was happy
about was that I’d had runs on all
three rods. I got the rod rebaited and
cast out to the spot.
The conditions looked really good
for another chance at some point.
Things didn’t pan out that way
though as the 38lb’er was the only
carp caught that day and night. I had
to wait until my final morning before I
got my next chance. Although I had
been up since first light I hadn’t seen
any carp activity and it was nearing
10am when I first noticed a small slick
appear on the lake’s surface. What
had started as a small slick soon
turned into a massive flat area as the
spot was fed on. The left hand rod let
out one bleep followed by a one-toner
that had me calmly walking down the
slope to the offending rod. It wasn’t a
very long or powerful scrap and after
a few minutes an upper double/low
twenty was netted. I decided to
weigh the carp, which went 21lb 6oz;

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