freeline-23 - Page 86



Made In England
and then the Burghfield common at
55lb, all within 48 hours of each other.
After a week or so it became evident
that a few other big fish were caught
in the same time period, and whether
you like it or not that is some serious
reason to start taking more interest in
the phases of the moon. I know a few
lads who spend a lot of time researching sites like Moonstrike, and it was
also interesting to read so many of the
chapters in the Wraysbury book that
made reference to moon phases,
apogees and perigees.
I don’t need Moonstrike, though,
not when I’ve got a Vincent. I call him
sometimes and ask what we’re looking at for the weekend, and although
my sessions very rarely coincide with
a top carp catching period, it’s still
interesting to hear what he has to say.
The Friday after Single Scale was
caught, I arrived at Ashmead with a
guest, a very high paying guest
because Michael Hughes had paid
£300 in the Help for Heroes auction to
spend a weekend at Ashmead. We
arrived early in the afternoon and
after a quick chat we took a sedate
stroll around the lake. This usually
takes about an hour and despite looking in every corner, we saw nothing
fish-shaped so had to go on a hunch.
Michael fancied the area that Single
had been caught from, and to be fair it
did look quite good, being still pretty
cloudy. I left him to it and went for
another look at a couple of areas
86 FREE LINE
before finally settling on an area
called the River. It’s quite an intimate
area that looks, strangely enough, like
a little river and you could see that
fish would move through it quite regularly, if they were on the move, that
is.
It was all very close-in stuff; baits
lowered inches from the bank onto a
narrow clay shelf, then the marginal
reeds brushed back over the margin –
bloody perfect! Obviously not perfect
enough on the first night because I
remained fishless, as did Michael. On
the second afternoon I moved one
bait further up to my left, lowering it
into the margin of a narrow channel,
then scattered some whole and broken Grange boilies in the area before
creeping back to my bivvy, thirty
yards away. Michael and I had a chat
on the phone just after dark, and we’d
both heard fish in the vicinity of our
baits, so were both pretty confident.
Although waning, the moon was still
pretty full and bright, but that didn’t
help much when I had a screaming
take on the left hand rod at three in
the morning. By the time I struck,
having battered my way through
branches and bushes to get to the
rod, I expected the fish to be through
the channel and into the main lake.
The fish, however, rolled about four
yards away and after a splashy fight I
netted a 12lb common. That, however, was my first fish from the lake for
almost two months and I was elated –
don’t you love it when a plan comes
together?
Michael ended fishless, but loved
the place. I am happy to tell people
that two fish got caught from Ashmead that week – a 57 and a 12 – and
I caught one of them!
I was planning on returning the following week and setting up in the
same area, but things don’t always go
to plan, do they? I’d called Adam Penning about his photos for the Wraysbury book, and we’d arranged to meet
at Wraysbury on the Monday, which I
was quite looking forward to. I arrived
at about one in the afternoon and
found him set up in the Root, in the
company of a couple of other guys
who will be appearing in the book. We
had our usual round of wonderful
banter, which ended with Adam suggesting that I get the rods out and set
up next to him for the night. That
wasn’t possible but, suddenly, we’d
planned a session for the following
week. He called the Cemex office and
got me a 48-hour pass, and so, rather
than heading west on Friday morning,
I was heading north on Sunday morning to rendezvous with Adam at the
Giants’ Footsteps.
The North Lake was our destination and, by the time I’d arrived, Adam
had seen three carp out there. Two in
front of the Stile, where he’d dropped
his gear, and one in front of the Turfs,
where I was about to take residence.
(Top) A 57 and a 12 were caught, and I
had one of them!
(Above) Wraysbury North Lake –
lovely.
(Left) Autumn is all around at the
moment – you just have to look.

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