freeline-23 - Page 178



A Tale of Two Sessions
42lb 12oz, Fat Lady, 8 October 1999.
the far side. Once I arrived at the
swim they now call the Beach I pulled
out the cooker and made a muchneeded cup of tea before I set to work
with a lead to see what I would be
dealing with.
After a bit of a lead around and not
finding anything in particular I
decided this was as good a place as
any to do another night, as a nice
steady southwesterly breeze had
picked up, blowing into my face. I
pulled out the marker rod to do things
a little more accurately. A fair distance out, I found a clay area after
winding in my leads with blobs of
sticky clay on them. I’ve always found
clay areas productive so I decided to
fire two rods out to this zone and put
a bit of bait out with the boilie rocket.
Once those two rods were done I put
the other rod on the only other bit of
different ground I could find. About
thirty yards or so out, aiming at the
end of the island, I kept hitting what
felt like lumps of something in the silt.
The depth was all about 11ft and this
was the only different thing I could
find. I guessed they were bricks or
178 FREE LINE
rocks. There wasn’t one bit of weed
anywhere, so this is where I put my
third rod. It seems funny writing that,
as I never fish more than two any
more! I put out about a kilo of bait to
that area with the old cobra stick after
battling with the dreaded gulls.
That night the weather changed;
by morning it was blowing a good
westerly wind down to my left, and it
was sheeting it down. I hadn’t seen or
heard any more fish and was really
itching to move. But before I was
going to pack up in the rain I decided
to just go and spend some time looking where the wind was blowing to. I
stood in my Gore-Tex on the high
bund of earth that runs behind the
works in the old pit in the lashing rain
waiting in hope of seeing something.
I stood up there for ages, but not a
thing showed in the waves. I was getting despondent. I really wanted to
move, but I was damned if I was
going to get everything drenched on
the off chance. I went back to my
swim and put the Coleman on to dry
my gear out. With my waterproofs
hanging in the ribs of my brolly and
the cooker ablaze I sat there trying to
decide what to do. If I had of seen one
show I would have moved, but alas I
didn’t. By the time the rain had
ceased it was getting late so I
decided to just stay where I was and
just get my rods back in the water. All
I did was tie on fresh hookbaits and
fire them back out to where they had
been the night before.
As the mackerel sky passed overhead I was sat in my bivvy doorway
looking at the now flat calm lake with
my cooker on doing my evening meal.
Whilst I was stirring whatever I was
doing, I briefly took my eyes off the
water. When I looked up I noticed a
giant set of rings emanating from
right over where my left rod was cast
to, and it must have been a big fish by
the look of the splash. I was gutted to
have missed it, and I didn’t hear it
because of the noisy petrol cooker.
Steve walked into my swim around
this time too; he had come down for a
night after work and was set up along
the bank from me. We sat there looking into the darkness willing something to happen. He had in fact seen a

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