freeline-23 - Page 175

A Tale of Two Sessions
n the spring of 1998 the
‘carpvine’ was alive with talk
of the fairly untapped pits in
St Ives being opened up to
night fish via a night syndicate that was being formed
by the guy who ran the old St Ives
Angling Centre, Trevor Jones. After a
visit to the shop, my good friend Steve
Potter and I were given the option to
purchase a ticket each as long as we
could prove we had our own liability
insurance, so we could legally night
fish. The pits were run by Amey Roadstone, and they had put the kibosh on
night fishing on all of their waters
after a tragedy, which occurred in the
1980s on one of their venues. This had
been lifted providing we had insurance so they didn’t end up getting
sued! Once this was all sorted and the
sum of £90 was raised we went off
and obtained our tickets.
The venue I had always fancied
was the long, tree-lined pit they called
Long Reach. What a stunning looking
water. I love the lake, and I still do
now, but I can’t fish it as the boats
that tow water skiers behind them do
my head in. It’s a large rectangular pit
that has those water skiers on the
lake most days. I can’t see the point in
watching someone else having fun
whilst my rods are wound in and I’m
sitting in my swim with the hump!
The first time Steve and I went for a
walk around the Reach was straight
after work in early April, just before
we acquired our tickets. As we were
walking down the bank I stopped for
a bit to savour the moment while
Steve carried on walking. At that
instant a big common silently came
out to the wrist of its tail, hung in
midair for a second and then slid back
in to the flat calm water, just yards
from the bank straight out in front
where I stood! I immediately whistled
Steve. He came back up the bank to
see what I was calling him for. We
stood there waiting for a repeat performance but nothing else happened.
From that point I was going to fish
there at some point come hell or high
This particular spring my daughter
was born and I was also angling on
Pit 2 over at Elstow so I barely even
fished there that first year. It was also
the year that we had the major Easter
floods. I remember the local paper
showing an aerial shot of the pits, and
the only way you could make out the
lakes was from the trees that surrounded the margins poking out
above the ridiculously high water
level. I remember thinking at the time,
“Great, Just as we get on there all the
fish are going to go down the river!”
As it turned out it wasn’t as bad as
first feared and as usual with these
floods, normally only odd fish are lost.
That year I did do a few trips without any success at all. It was a lot
harder than I imagined it was going to
be. The boats make it hard, but the
fact you can’t fish the far bank, which
is also the bank the southwesterly
winds blow in to, makes it even more
challenging. But the rewards are
there and they are still in there to be
A good friend of mine called Ian
had a 39lb 12oz common from there
that year and was watching two fish
of the same sort of size feeding on his
bait when he caught it! Neither of
42lb 12oz, Fat Lady, 8 October 1999.


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