freeline-23 - Page 165

Five Forties
A 30lb 8oz common the week before the 47lb’er.
got the message I didn’t want to see –
the big’un had come out at 45lb 8oz.
At least I was close, as it had come
from the swim I had moved to a couple of days before. With the first capture that year, it was time for me to
pull off and onto another lake for the
year. As the crowds started to turn up
in numbers, I would return to the lake
in the autumn. I spent the year flitting
from lake to lake, not really being able
to work out where I wanted to go. I
fished back on Pingewood but felt I
really wasn’t wanted down there. I
spent some time on Theale Lagoon
too, but suffered a couple of recaptures, and it wasn’t long before the
lure of the club water had me thinking
of a return.
It was around October when I
returned, and I hoped I would capture
the big’un before the winter, but it
wasn’t to be, and another lad caught
him at over 47lb. I was gutted, as I
knew now I probably wouldn’t get a
chance till the following spring. I
caught plenty more fish during the
winter and some really nice ones as
well, but I never felt close till the following spring.
It was Monday the 1st of May, and I
had been seeing the big’un regularly
in the open water in front of Peg 46, so
I decided to go in there for a threenight session. I knew it was in the
area, and I decided to bait a spot
heavily with around a 2-3kg of Cell
and Active-8, which I had left over
from a France trip a couple of weeks
earlier. The first day and night went
past quietly but a few fish showing
over the baited spot kept me interested. Around midday I saw a large
set of shoulders stick out of the water
right above the baited area. I knew
there was only one fish the shoulders
could belong to, so I was totally
buzzing in anticipation. Around 7 pm
I had my first take off the baited spot,
a real pukka looking fish and in my
view the best looking fish in there. I
also lost a fish due to an unseen snag.
After the evening action, I rebaited
the spot with another 2kg of bait.
The following morning I was
awoken at first light by a short, fast
take. I was fishing nearly locked up,
so the rod was bent right round. My
knees were shaking as I was playing
what I knew was a good fish, and
when it rolled in the margin I could
see it was a common. Soon a good
size 30lb common was in the net. It
went 30lb 8oz and was my first 30lb
common from the lake, so I was still
happy. I knew the fish were really getting on the bait and felt the big’un
couldn’t be too far away. I replaced
the rod out to the spot followed by a
further 2kg of bait. An hour or so later
the rod again buckled in its rests. I
was forced to give line, and after ten
yards of line being stripped, I felt
some grating, and then it all locked up
solid. I started to panic as I really was
convinced the big mirror was
attached to my line.
I rang the fishery manager, Nigel,
and told him what had happened. He
tried his best to get someone down
with the boat but was unable to
resolve the issue. I asked if I could get
my boat from the house as the fish
had been on for sometime, when a
good friend of mine, Irish, tuned up
with the boat and lifejacket. I followed the line out to the snag, and I
pulled from above the snag. I could
feel the line coming through the snag.
Something gave, and up popped the
line with a piece of wood attached. I
quickly got the wood off the line,
wound down, and the line was again
solid on another snag. I knew the
chances were slim of the fish still
being attached after such a long time.


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