freeline-23 - Page 161



Five Forties
M
y final chapter
is the tale of
the local club
water and my
47lb 12oz PB. It
was winter
2010 as I unlocked the gate for the
first time on my local club water. The
lake is around six acres in size and
was previously a match venue, so as
you can imagine, there were way too
many pegs for carp anglers. This
hopefully wouldn’t make any difference, as with many lakes the influx of
anglers tends to be dramatically less
during the winter. I had been told the
lake contained a mirror of over 45lbs
and several fish over the 30lb bracket.
I had planned to fish the lake through
the winter till early spring when the
crowds would start turning up.
I love my winter fishing; the banks
are dramatically quieter, and the fish
are in top condition and looking their
best. The big mirror is a long, dark,
powerful male fish with a pronounced
set of shoulders. After meeting a few
of the local lads whilst fishing the first
two nights on the lake, they assured
me that the big mirror hadn’t been
caught in the winter for the past
seven years or so. I didn’t really take
much notice of this, as I figured there
has to be a chance during the winter
that it would feed; I would just have
to be there when the time was right.
My first session on the lake was
with Carl. He had got a ticket the
same time as me and had planned to
give the lake a go during the winter.
We both arrived on what can only be
described as a miserable winter day.
On arrival we both had a good look
around the lake and as luck would
have it we saw a couple showing in
one general area. The problem was
we both fancied the same swim, as
the fish were clearly in that general
area, and as we stood there arguing it
out, a further two or three fish
showed. We decided to flip a coin. As
usual I lost the toss, and as Carl set up
in his peg with fish crashing all over
him, I settled for a swim just down the
bank. I hadn’t seen a sign of a fish in
front of me, but I was just hoping they
would move in the next two days.
The end of the lake I was fishing is
the deeper end, as I quickly learnt
with a couple of casts of the marker at
the end of the session. In typical winter style, somehow Carl blanked in his
swim for two days even though he
had tried everything, but nothing had
worked. I was amazed, and I was
thinking this lake might be a little
harder than first thought.
The following week I was back
down. The weather had completely
changed with high pressure and clear
skies. It was due to be a cold one with
minus temperature at night and four
or five degrees during the day. The
lake was flat calm, and as I strolled
round the empty lake I saw a few pinpricks out in front of Peg 12. It was all
I had seen on the walk around, so Peg
12 it was. I flicked the marker out 40
yards just past where I had seen the
bubbles earlier, and I located a back of
a bar at 35 yards range. The top of the
bar was 4ft and down the back of the
bar was between 7-9ft. I positioned
two rods to the back of the bar 15
yards apart. Both rods were fished
with Mainline’s 10mm Milky Toffee
pop-ups, and a size 10 Korda Kurv
hook blowback style with a shot
behind the pop-up. I also threaded a
small PVA stick of Cell and New
Grange dust just really to protect the
hook point and also for maximum
smell and minimal food.
The rods went out first time, followed by ten baits over each one, and
I was just setting up the brolly when I
heard a large fish crash. I turned
around to see a large patch of frothy
bubbles from the re-entry. The fish
had showed not five yards from my
right rod. I watched for a couple more
moments before finishing setting up,
and I had just put the first cup of tea
to my lips when the right hand bobbin pulled up to the top of the rod – I
Club water 30lb 4oz.
FREE LINE 161

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