freeline-23 - Page 153



Tail of the Nene
two, three of them and the mid-20
common drifted out and headed up
the reeds towards my swim. Then Cut
Tail ambled out, but in the opposite
direction. He was heading towards
my spot! On his way he picked up a
couple of baits near the reeds, then he
started feeding on top of the bar, moving closer and closer to my hookbait
that was on the far right of the spot,
slightly down my side near the start of
the weed. I started to think that this
could be my chance, but I remember
how sly carp can be, especially small
water, pressured fish. So I assumed
that fish would suss out my rig and
get away with it, after all he hadn’t
slipped up for six months. He then
moved right over my hookbait, and
after a second rose slightly in the
water with all its fins pricked and was
acting very twitchy. He then flanked
over the spot and shot off to the right,
but he only went a couple of feet
before turning and bolting the other
way. I was sure he had worked my rig
out and got away with it. I cursed my
luck and the fish, but then I noticed
the line pick up and tighten to the
stormbar!
I looked up and saw the fish thrash
on the edge of the soft reeds and then
looked down at the line twitching in
the water. I’d hooked Cut Tail! I half
fell and half climbed out of the tree
and ended up completely ungracefully on the ground, but barring the
odd scratch and minor bruise I was
unhurt. So I ran back to the rod, no
doubt spooking the four fish near the
reeds, and picked it up. The line was
still in the clip because the fish had
headed toward it and I could pull it
out from that angle. I had set it up to
only come out if it was pulled from the
rig end, so I had to run up the bank
again winding in the line, all the time
hoping he was still on. The lead had
no doubt ejected, leaving him plenty
of slack to play with, and I’m sure Cut
Tail had learned a trick or two about
rig ejection!
Eventually I reached the pole,
flicked the line out of the clip and
bent the rod into a known mid-40lb
common! He was still on, and thrashing around in the soft rushes. After a
second or two I had him out in open
water, but my chest waders and net
were still in my swim. I didn’t mind
getting wet for this fish, but I do find
that landing nets are useful in these
situations! So I flicked my antireverse off and walked back the swim
whilst my target fish bucked and
lunged on the other end of the line.
It’s a strange and novel thought
knowing you have the fish you’re
after on the end of the line even
before you pick the rod up, and it does
do a great deal for calming the nerves,
but I was soon back at the swim with
my chesties on and the net waiting.
Cut Tail had a couple of runs for freedom, but I netted him without any
more major drama! I was elated to get
him and let out a big shout – “CUUUUUT TAAAAAIIIILLLL!” Not that
there was anyone on the complex to
hear me, but I’m sure some of the lads
on the neighbouring syndicate or further down the Nene Valley heard. On
the scales he was 2 or 3lb down on
what I thought he would be at 43lb
4oz, but it mattered not. It was a target achieved, and I don’t think I could
have caught him in a better way. n
My target achieved – Cut Tail. Happy days!
FREE LINE 153

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