freeline-23 - Page 223

Two Nights,Two lakes,Two Forties
I put a fresh rig on and cast it back
out followed by another kilo of The
Edge. Less than two hours later the
rod was off again! I was straight in
the waders and the fish was still moving when I got to the rod. I knew
straight away that it wasn’t a big fish,
but as I slipped the net under a 21lb
common and I was relieved to have
finally banked one!
I was starting to rue the decision to
only bring 5kg of boilies with me, but
luckily fellow Aqua Dynamix consultant, Rich Chapman was on the water
and leaving soon. I somehow managed to persuade him to give me his
bait that he had bought to bait up
with so I could try to take advantage
of the situation. I then put a fresh rig
on the rod, recast it and gave it all the
bait I had left. Another two hours later
I was shocked when the rod was
away again! There are only 80 fish in
the 20-acre lake so activity like this is
not to be expected. The fish was very
powerful from the start, with strong
runs stripping line from the clutch,
but eventually I got him closer and
saw him on the surface. It was an
unmistakable sight, a long lean
ghostie mirror, which had the reputation to put up a scrap! He didn’t disappoint, but the hook hold was good
and the Widegape stayed in place. On
the scales he went 27lb 4oz.
I repositioned the rod and waited
for Chappy to turn up with the bait
before spodding up again. Chappy
hung around for a while and tried to
make up for the bait he had given me
by draining my tea supplies. After
about two hours of tea drinking and
talking about nothing in particular,
the productive rod signally a very
aggressive take. Line was being
stripped from the firm spool at an
alarming rate as the rod tip smashed
into the reeds. There always seems to
be a direct correlation between how
aggressive a take is compared to how
long it takes me wrestle my chest
waders on, but after what seemed like
an age of panicked-haste, I was in the
water with the rod in my hand. The
lifted rod and tightened clutch didn’t
seem to slow the fish’s run down and
it was still stripping line!
After a second or two the run
slowed and I turned the fish. I must
have had the fish on for a while
because I hooked it in bright sunshine
and towards the end of the fight the
weather had turned completely and
the black clouds were shedding their
burden on to me in both rain and hail!
I have to admit I knew I was into a big
fish from the start, but I tried to play it
down as Chappy took some stills and
a bit of video footage. However when
it turned on the surface for the first
(Above)A celebratory beer at dusk,
courtesy of my employer.
(Bottom) The new Chub Tri-Brid
bivvy that I have been trialling over
the last few months.
time I knew it was one of the big girls;
it looked very dark as it rolled and I
thought it was my target fish, Blindeye. In hindsight it looked a lot darker
because of the reflection from the
laden rain clouds, but I didn’t realise
that at the time and the nerves
started to hit me as the questions
about the hook hold etc, ran through
my head.
I started to think about getting the
fish into the net so I could move on to
pastures new. He didn’t want to give
in too easily though, and I didn’t get a
proper look at him again. The driving
rain and strong wind made everything a lot more difficult, but eventually after a couple more runs I had him
safely in the confines of the mesh. I
peered into the net to have a look at
my prize and realised it wasn’t Blindeye. It was an old acquaintance, the
Parrot. The body shape was a bit different since our last encounter; she
looked a lot more slender, but she still
managed to pull the scales round to
over forty and settled on 40lb 4oz. I’m
not a big fan of recaptures; I always
feel that I have taken a fish off someone else, but I was pleased to have
another 40lb common under my belt
to make it two 40s from two waters in
the last two nights’ fishing.
I was really pleased to get so much
action on what can be a tricky water,
but I knew it was now time to get
some different scenery and try my
hand at a new challenge. However I
will be back later in the year to try
again for Blindeye. n


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