freeline-23 - Page 182



A Tale of Two Sessions
The evening before the Lady on the Beach.
percentage of the lake’s surface was
covered in that thick yellowy green
algae. It had made one or two of the
swims totally unfishable. There was
one other angler on called Mark. I had
met him a long time before over at
Elstow and so we soon got chatting.
After we had finished nattering I
went for another lap of the lake to see
if I could find any more fish. On my
first lap I had spied a few fish round
the back of the island but that part of
the lake was pretty unfishable due to
the floating algae.
On my second lap I went the other
way round for a different perspective.
I immediately saw some fish at the
top of what they call the shallow end.
There are two swims you could possibly fish this area from but due to the
line of the weed I wanted to fish it
from a little hole in the trees. So after
another lap around the lake just for
good measure, I decided to set up in
that swim as it was the only place I
had seen any fish at all where I could
actually fish for them.
Once I wheeled my gear into the
swim after a short walk from the car I
set about the lake with a landing net
pole after wading out in my shorts. I
started dragging the weed into my
margin and throwing it up the bank
so I could clear enough room to get
my lines into the water. Once this
task was complete I had a few tester
casts to see where I got the best
182 FREE LINE
drops near the thick algae before
tying up a couple of rigs with long
hooklinks.
I tied on two of my Game On! cork
pop-ups and balanced them in the
margins before flicking them out the
15 or so yards to the spots that felt
best. I then catapulted out about half
a kilo of the same bait before getting
the rest of my stuff sorted. Man, I was
being chewed to death by the
immense skeeter population. They
were relentless! I quickly threw up
the shelter and bundled my kit inside
before throwing my mosquito net
over the top before they found sanctuary inside it. Dodger, my poor black
fell terrier was getting bitten worse
than I was. Once in and settled I gave
the dog his lump of chicken and I did
myself something to eat before putting the kettle on for a few cups of tea.
I was really thirsty. Once the night
drew in it became Stygian and I could
barely see a thing. I lay on the bedchair, thankful that I didn’t have to
endure the thousands of mosquitoes
that were clinging to the outside of
my mozzie net. It was so muggy that
I had a terrible time trying to drop off.
At about half two I had a bleep and
heard a fish smash itself against the
surface, and my bite alarm howled
into the night. I was out in an instant
and was bent into a fish that was
determined to get into as much weed
as it could. I had done my clutches up
really tight and was surprised it had
given me a screaming run. After
much pulling by the fish and me and
getting it from one lump of weed to
another, I got it close in to my bank. I
was soon stood in the lake trying to
figure out where the fish was. It then
dawned on me it had kited slightly
right and had got into the thick scum
just to my right in front of a patch of
reeds, along my margin. It got to the
point where my line was so clogged
up with crap that I had to start hand
lining the still unseen fish. I was frantically stripping weed this way and
that trying to find where the fish was.
Getting nowhere fast, I stopped for
a moment to think of a better solution.
I got my spare landing net pole and
reached out and started to move the
floating scum towards me. Once
within my grasp I started pulling
chunks off and throwing them behind
me. It was ridiculous. There seemed
so much. Soon I had the fish close, as
I could feel the line pulling in my fingers. I got my net sunk in front of my
knees, the only place that wasn’t full
of thick algae. At one point I had the
still unseen carp brush my legs and it
bolted off back under the weed. This
was getting silly. All I could think
about was pulling the hook out at
close range or the fish bolting and
snapping the clogged up line, as my
rod was in a useless position lying in
the reeds beside me and I was hand
lining the fish in. Then all of a sudden
I felt the lead in my fingers, and as I
gently pulled I made out the shape of
the carp in the water as it drifted in
towards my legs. It was at that point I
realised it was over the net, so I
dropped the lead and lifted the net
up, trapping the fish in its mesh. The
fish then realised its mistake and tried
to bolt off, giving me even more of a
s o a k i n g. D i d I c a r e ? I w a s w e l l
chuffed – a fish on my first night! And
it looked a good’un from what I could
make out in the darkness.
I secured the net as best I could
and climbed up the bank to grab a
headtorch to see what I was dealing
with. I was pretty shocked when I
peered in to the net and saw a huge
carp sitting in the bottom of my net. I
called a lad I know who was on the
little Fjords next door, Lee, to tell him
I thought I had the big’un. He seemed
a bit dazed and didn’t want to get out
of his bag to come round. He was still
half asleep, bless him, so I left him to

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