freeline-23 - Page 124



Elstow 2009
got my head down for a few hours. I
know as I fell asleep I had a big smile
on my face – I just knew that there
were going to be a few more chances.
Eventually, I managed to open my
eyes and I would love to say that it
was dawn, but I had well and truly
missed that by a long way. Kettle on,
and a few minutes later the first coffee of the day was slowly finding its
way down my throat. Looking out at
the lake, I watched as this lump of a
carp came clear of the water, almost
hanging in mid air before exploding
on the surface as it made its re-entry
to the lake – that would definitely be
a good‘un to catch. The coffee wasn’t
even finished and I had just flicked a
ciggy into the undergrowth when the
right hand rod’s alarm stared to let
out a shrill scream. Bounding down
the slope to the rod had me hoping
that it was the same carp that I had
seen crashing out a few minutes previously. The rod was almost pulled
from my hands as the carp tore off on
an unstoppable run causing me to
slacken off the clutch and give it
some line. It just kept bloody going, a
long way to my right, the crafty bugger. I knew what it was up to and
made my way up to the top of the
swim, which would give me a good
chance of nullifying its hopes of freedom.
I watched as the line cut through
the water narrowly missing the
sunken bush to the right of the swim.
That was the first scare out of the
way, but the trouble was the silly
thing kept going right, which had me
having to go back down the slope to
try and get a better angle on it in
order to try and turn it before it could
take me around some reeds and into a
small bay to my right. Sometimes
when playing a carp you really have
to clamp down and say bollocks, this
is it – tighten right down on the
clutch and just haul. I don’t know
who was more shocked, me or the
carp. There was a small eruption on
the lake’s surface and the carp turned
and once more made its way back
into the open water in front of me.
That had been so close; my arm was
aching and still the carp was having
none of it and decided to try and
I left the rods out longer than usual and this corker came along – 34lb 4oz.
124 FREE LINE
show me who was the boss once I got
it in the margins. The carp was just
holding its own in the deep water,
occasionally sending up vortices as
he tried to go deeper, but the strain
was tiring him, and after one final
mad dash he appeared on the surface
where he was scooped up in the waiting net.
Grabbing the camera and scales I
set about getting him weighed and
watched opened mouthed as the needle on the scales once more slipped
passed the 30lb barrier and settled at
34lb 9oz. It was a really nice looking
carp, not overly long, but quite wide
with a big, sagging belly that looked a
tad empty. I took a couple of shots of
each side before slipping the carp
back into the lake. All I could do after
that was get the kettle on and have a
Gold Blend, and it was whilst drinking
the coffee that I started to think that
this could possibly be another of the
lake’s magic shows unfolding.
The memory card problem with the
camera had me giving my other half a
call, asking if she would get another
one and bring it down to the lake

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