freeline-23 - Page 152



Tail of the Nene
to get the fish to pick up the odd bait
that settled on top of the weed, but
they would only take one or two
before drifting off. They were feeding
that carefully that I knew the chance
of picking one off on a choddy was
remote. One fish did have a look at
one of my choddies, but the fish was
far too wary to get hooked on it. This
was better than I could get on the
clear spot rod; I couldn’t get a single
fish to pick up a bait on there. They
knew they were being fished for
because they were obviously having
the prebait. I watched them as they
found the line to that rod. I started by
fishing it very slack and sitting on the
weed near the little bay, but they
could still see it.
Every time they went over it I could
see they were ill at ease, but I suppose
because the water was small and
they were used to line, they just put
up with it, yet they refused to feed. I
then recast the rod and flicked the
line over a couple of reeds near the
spot so there was less than a rod
length of line in the water. This made
them more relaxed, but it also meant
that more line was off the deck near
the lead, which the fish didn’t like at
all. I saw a couple go near the spot,
see the line then flick their fins out
and turn quickly before drifting slowly
off. One fish came out of the Keepnet
and went between the reeds and my
The swim on a summer’s dawn last
year.
152 FREE LINE
line before getting very spooked at
the sight of it, and no doudt feeling
trapped and bolting off in a big bow
wave!
I prebaited the area and left the
water feeling despondent, wondering
how I would ever bank these fish, so I
gave it some thought. Well that’s not
entirely true; I gave it a lot of thought.
For the next five days until my return
it was always on my mind until I formulated a plan to try to outwit these
wary fish, which had probably seen it
all over years. There was another
thing that gave hope as well; I
thought I saw the big girl, Cut Tail in
the swim. A group of five fish swam
through and one was a good 10lb bigger than the rest. It was crap weather
for watching fish; overcast, raining,
and a slight ripple on the water, but as
they swam past me I thought I saw
the telltale missing few inches on the
big one’s tail! I wasn’t 100% sure, but
was enough to give me hope.
On my arrival on next session I didn’t see anything from up the tree, but
I did see a few in the Keepnet, which
was good enough for me to drop back
in the same swim and put my plan
into action. I abandaned my normal
rigs and opted for Stealth fluorocarbon leader, wrap over inline lead,
braid hooklink, smaller hook and very
small bait (whittled down boilie). I
walked up the bank to the closest
place to the spot and flicked it out
onto the glowing clear gravel, along
with a few free offerings. I then slid a
light back lead down the line and
dropped it into the deeper water to
help pull my line into the weed. I
didn’t feel comfortable leaving my rod
up the bank at night, so I pushed a
storm bar into the mud amounst the
reeds. I then attached a line clip to the
bar and lightly clipped my line to it
allow enough slack to not alert the
fish. Then I walked 15 yards back to
my swim and put the rod on the
buzzer and tightended up until all the
line was in mid air and going straight
to the stormbar, which left a slight
curve in the rod. This tactic had
server me well over the years and normally results in a drop back after a
taking fish pulls the line free of the
clip, followed by it all tightning back
up again.
The middle rod was flicked out
close with a choddy, and because the
lake was quiet I managed to put a rod
on the middle spot that I fished from
t h e P l a n t a t i o n s w i m . I c o u l d n ’t
believe how quiet the complex was in
May, so I thought I’d make the most of
it and spread my rods out.
I was surpised to wake up fishless
the following morning, and as soon as
I had finished my first tea I was up the
climbing tree and looking for signs of
fish. It was again overcast, but as the
day wore on the odd fish difted in and
out of the area.
The fish looked a lot more relaxed,
but I didn’t receive any action. At
around 6pm I started thinking about
redoing the rods for the night, so I tied
up a PVA stick and got a fresh bait
ready. I then got up the tree to check
if the coast was clear. There was a
mid-20 common milling around just
off the reeds under the tree, but after a
few minutes it drifted into the small
reedy bay. I wasn’t too bothered
about spooking that one so I made
the first step down the tree, when
something caught my eye near my
spot. I hoisted myself back up the tree
to see four carp coming out of the
Keepnet Bay. They drifted over my
bait and had a good look round, turning a few times over the spot as if
looking for something. They milled
round for a while, and I’m sure they
were looking for signs of danger,
before they glided toward me. I
noticed one fish was bigger than the
rest and, and as he turned side-on to
me I noticed the bottom of his tail, or
should I say lack of it! It was Cut Tail!
The fish drifted into the little weedy
bay to my left and after a minute of

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