freeline-23 - Page 192

The Traveller
(Above) Being prepared when the
bites are coming fast and furious
– green and black 4mm Swim Stim
(Below) Secret Pit, nature reserve,
Northants, nights only – stalked this
fish on tiger nuts, 33lb 14oz.
walked and walked, that’s all I did,
and on a 48-hour session over the
weekend my lines were only in the
water from 7pm till 10am the following morning. I was trying to locate
them close in the margins, which are
the biggest feature on this huge pit. I
was baiting eight to ten spots on
shelves by the sides of reed beds etc
daily, trying to get something going. It
was a tough old place, and there was
an island that I got myself prepared
for with a small dinghy, life jacket and
paddles etc. Before you knew it I was
on the island stalking fish very close
in 18in of water. I had a few small
doubles, but one day I saw two mid30s, which made me row back to the
bank around 500 yards away scale
down to minimum gear and load up
the boat.
I was so confident sat on this island
knowing I’d seen big carp close in,
and it was time to set some traps. I
scattered a few handfuls of hemp,
chopped tiger and the boilie I was
using was White Chocolate from
Nash. I lowered my hookbaits onto
the bottom of the shelf, and four hours
later I watched a big carp, probably
around 36lb, move over the bait, hold
still, then move off again, which got
my heart racing. I’d made myself a
cuppa, got some soup down me and
prepared myself for the night.
It wasn’t till first light at 6am that I
looked onto the shelf very cautiously
and there was a couple of 30s and a
scaly mirror. The mirror picked me up
and shook its head – nailed – fish on!
After a savage scrap close in I slipped
my net under a stunning scaly mirror
of 24lbs. It could quite easily have
been one of the thirties, but it wasn’t
to be that session.
Two weeks later I was back down
with light winds and bright sunny
days, and within an hour of unloading
the truck I was back in the same spot
on the island ready to catch one of the
bigger residents. Again I baited up
very close in and sat back and
watched the water. Being on the
island in the middle of a 250-acre pit
is a little scary at night, but well worth
it. I had a stunning 31lb mirror, and I
shouted, “Yes! Job done!” as I landed
the fish. I did an extra night hoping
for one of the commons I’d seen, but
that night all hell broke loose. 60mph
winds on huge pits are like a tornado,
and I had to row 500 yards to safety
against the winds with my gear. Not
only that but the heat of the sun during the day had taken some pressure
out of my boat, so basically I had


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