freeline-23 - Page 196



The Traveller
bait to these hotspots. I was using the
Chili Choc from Quest Baits.
It was early spring, and I had a few
doubles and five 20s one afternoon on
a bank holiday weekend on the
adjustable zig in 23ft of water. I was
watching everyone fish bottom baits
at range and it wasn’t working – not a
fish was out in over a week, so once
I’d found a group of carp held in a
quiet corner I knew I’d catch them.
The guys couldn’t believe it how
many I caught in just a few hours.
They asked me what I was using, and
I showed them my brown foam and a
handful of mixers, and they said, “Is
that it?” Simple tactics will work
on any lake; it’s all about location and
observation and presenting something that Mr. Carp will mouth.
Soon it was big carp time of the
year, two weeks before spawning. I
knew they were having the bait, having already caught a few smaller carp,
and I’d seen them showing over certain areas the following day, as I’d
baited up at night while everyone
was sleeping. I had one spot I could
get near from two banks that I’d
baited heavily for two weeks up to the
four-night session I did.
196 FREE LINE
One morning at 6.30am I saw two
big commons, one I thought was Two
Tone, crash out over the area I’d
baited and couldn’t quite reach from
where I was. Nobody else had seen
these fish, as they were all zipped up,
so I packed up straight away as I
knew the gates opened at 7am and
those swims would be gone. I got
round there, and being prepared, got
two baits on the money. It was a large
mussel bed at around 145-150 yards
range, and I sat back knowing I’d got
every chance of nailing not one but
two big carp. Two hours later my right
hand rod ripped off, and a real battle
ensued… plod, plod… you know the
one. I had a feeling I’d hooked Two
Tone, but it didn’t show itself at all,
just doing the figure of eight under
my tip and the hook pulled! I was gutted, but hey I still had another chance
with the other rod, and so it was… I
had another screamer and after a tenminute battle a 34lb 6oz common was
on the bank – result! I was happy
with that, and waited two weeks to
see if they’d spawn to see this big
mirror they were all talking about. I
never saw it, so I take it as not being
in there, as I watched all the fish
spawn in a corner and there was no
big mirror.
So off I went to Pit 6. I knew there
were two dumpy commons at 38lb
and a big mirror that went 37lb but
that was it. I have to go on what I see
and what I catch; I don’t believe any
other angler as they are trying to
catch the same fish as me, and it’s
competition on these pressured day
ticket waters. The first year I had
great results with four 30s and loads
of 20s but I wanted what I saw and
that was a big black common around
40 and a mirror that also looked 40. I
only saw them in winter in the same
area, and funnily enough this got my
adrenalin pumping, as nobody knew
these fish were even in there!
I opted for the back of the wind on
one session in late October. I had a
feeling that with the time of year and
conditions being in the right area was
going to have me a big dark common,
and so it proved… One afternoon
around 5pm I hit this fish at 150 yards,
which kited for around 70 yards like a
train. It was a lump, and I knew I’d
hooked one of the two I’d seen the
winter before, but was this my target
fish? Yes! I slipped my net under a

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