freeline-23 - Page 184



A Tale of Two Sessions
40lb 6oz, Black Pig returns, 5 June 2012.
thing about it and hadn’t set foot on
the place in years.
On those laps we didn’t see anything, so I loaded up my barrow and
walked it to the Works swim. There I
could stand on the fence to the left
with my gear in sight while I perused
the water for any signs of fish. After a
while Rich left me to get on with it.
Another very good friend, Jon from St
Ives Angling Centre would be there
soon, as he was shutting up the shop,
so I hung around for him to arrive.
We’d planned a bit of a social anyhow
to celebrate the capture of Colin the
week before. When John arrived we
stood there looking for signs of fish
but as of yet, between the squally
showers and gusty wind, we’d seen
nothing to go on.
I had a strong urge to get over to
the other side, to go in the lee of the
wind behind the island. So after much
moaning by Jon as he wanted to get
184 FREE LINE
set up we sorted the barrows and
marched on round there. It was getting late too. Once there we went on
one of the points, called Dave’s. Jon
went to the left, called Big Dave’s and
I went to the right in Little Dave’s.
I set to work with a lead to have a
cast about. Rich had told me earlier in
the day that it was a big shallow area
about 6ft deep that’s usually covered
in thick Canadian pondweed. After a
few casts I realised there wasn’t
much anywhere in the way of weed,
mostly due to the recent influx of
water from the River Ouse, which
runs behind the lake, from all the
inclement weather we’d been having.
It’d done a nice job of giving the
water a bit of colour too.
I settled on a couple of firmer spots
that didn’t have that slimy silkweed
on them and put out around half a kilo
of Game On boilies between the two
spots with a throwing stick. I used
the same long hooklinks and 2oz
leads that I’d had used the week
before.
That evening it went flat calm and
for an early June night it was pretty
chilly, from the northerly airflow we’d
had all day. The air was damp, and
soon everything was covered in dew.
At half eleven I made my excuses to
Jon and got in my bag. I felt a bit here
and there to be honest. A day of not a
lot of drink and a lot of walking round
the lake and looking had left me a bit
dehydrated.
At half midnight as I was snoring
my head off, my left rod ripped off. All
I was aware of was the clutch being
stripped at a rate of knots. I did something I never normally do; I ran out in
my socks! Jonny was soon at my side
helping me into my boots as the fish
had weeded me up. Within a few
moments it had kicked out of the
weed and went on an epic run to my
left. Due to the high water levels, the
swims were right back up the bank
and the marginal trees went much
further out in to the lake. I soon
realised that the fish had gone past
the tree, so I held my rod high so the
line went over the branches that grew
parallel to the water. The fish then
seemed to give up as I pumped it
back. I was hoping it was going to
kite back out but it didn’t! Instead it
came in towards the tree and the
trailing branches.
I waded out into the lake, keeping
my rod high. My line hadn’t caught
the branch, of that I was certain, and I
was reluctant to bring the fish any
closer to the tree. I stood up to my
chest in the water deliberating what
to do. It was too deep to walk round
the tree. I was 100% certain that I had
the Pig on my line. I didn’t tell Jon, but
from the way it was fighting and the
sheer weight, I knew it was a big fish.
After a long time of the fish taking a
few turns of line and me getting them
back, I was no closer to a solution. I
was also shivering like crazy. It was
so chilly that I couldn’t see into the
water with my headtorch as my body
and breath were steaming, putting
me in perpetual fog! My legs were
numb and so this ruled out swimming. Besides, I needed to keep the
rod high. Swimming round the tree
would have certainly got my line
snagged somewhere in proceedings.
In the end I got Jon to get my fold-out
saw from my bag. I then gave the rod

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