freeline-23 - Page 164

Five Forties
A pretty 26lb’er the week before the big’un.
down to do the photos. I still had the
lake to myself and had another night
still to go – I was really enjoying my
fishing on the lake. Around an hour
later another mid double was in the
net, and a quick self-take was done.
This was followed by another small
upper double scaly, and once again
self-takes were done and the fish was
returned. Again an amazing sunset
followed, and again a quiet night. It
was becoming apparent that the days
were the more productive, so as soon
as the sun rose in the morning I felt
highly confident.
Again it was around 10am when
the left rod was away with a stuttery
take, and before long a 23lb’er was in
the net. Unfortunately I had to pack
away, but not before spreading a couple of kilos of bait in the general areas.
I was over the moon with the way the
session had gone. The following week
the lake froze, and it was a couple of
weeks before the ice retreated. My
next few sessions were slow going,
but I still caught every time I was
down. Although I was catching well,
there weren’t many coming out at the
times I was down. The only other lads
on the lake fishing the winter were
Rat Boy and Jack, and both lads knew
the lake well. I found out that the lake
contains around 80 fish, with around
half being stockies between 10lb and
21lb. I had the 21lb stockie a week
after the lake had thawed. The lake
also contained around eight to ten
fish over 30lb at the right time of the
year. Another fish they told me about
was a common that is usually around
38lb. That was very appealing to me,
as my biggest common was the 34lb
8oz common from Theale Lagoon a
couple of years previously. The lake
also contained plenty of really pretty
I carried on fishing the lake for the
re ma i nde r o f the w i nte r. I t w a s
around early April and there was a
real buzz on the lake, as everyone was
expecting the next bite could be the
big’un, and there hadn’t been a fish
out for a couple of days. I arrived on a
sunny Wednesday morning and found
the car park empty apart from one car.
I strolled round the lake looking for
fish and stopped off for a chat with
the bloke set up on the Point. He had
been down since Sunday; he hadn’t
had a bite and hadn’t seen all that
much show. I said my goodbyes and
strolled the remainder of the way
round the lake. I went with a swim
that controlled the most water, Peg
46. I got the rods on the spots, as I
knew this swim fairly well, having
markered it previously during the
winter. The rods were placed to the
back of a bar at around 50 yards in 7ft
of water. I set the brolly up and had to
lie down, as I had a serious migraine.
Just as I closed my eyes my right
rod ripped off. I soon forgot my
migraine as I bent into a clearly powerful fish. In the back of my mind I
kept saying to myself, “This is him –
don’t come off!” I was expecting to
see him pop up, so as a low 30 popped
up I was a little disappointed, but in
the end I was over the moon with it,
as it was my first 30 from the lake. The
rest of the day nothing showed and I
had seen nothing moving. I heard a
very large fish go over to my right just
before first light. I couldn’t quite see
exactly were it showed but my gut
feeling told me it was the big’un, so at
8am I moved swims and placed the
two rods into the area where the fish
showed that day. I was so confident a
take, and at 10pm the alarm had my
heart racing again. I was a little disappointed to see a mid 20 mirror in
my net, as the big’un was so overdue.
I couldn’t get back down to the lake
for another week, so I spread a kilo or
so of Cell and New Grange in the area
the fish showed when I left.
Three days later the weather was
looking perfect, and I just knew I was
going to get the call. At five o’clock I


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