freeline-24 - Page 110

The Long Road to my First Fifty Pounder
I wasn’t even on there, but I did get
worried. It was a shame that Red
Cheeks had gone because, apart from
the big girl, there were not that many
larger back-up fish.
The lake is around eight acres; one
end is very deep with depths to 20ft,
and 19ft in the margins. There’s an
island with a wide bar that runs off it
down the lake and breaks up toward
the narrow end. There are plenty of
features, lots of silkweed and humps
and bumps where the bar starts and
From what I could make out, the
stock was made up from the older
original fish that had come from the
tench lake next door, and a few stockings over the years from Mark Simmonds. Now, I have been trying to
find out the origins of the big girl, and
I am told by all the locals that she was
put over from the tench lake at 15lbs.
Apparently Red Cheeks was one
stocked by Mark Simmonds in the
year 2000. It doesn’t matter to me one
bit if she was a Simmo or not; I’m not
bothered, but the locals seem to say
she wasn’t, so I’ve been trying to verify it.
The only drawback for me was the
long trip to Norfolk to fish Lenwade. It
was a round trip of 200 miles, and I
absolutely hate travelling long distances to go fishing. My mate, Mick,
and his family moved to Norfolk some
15 years ago, and Mick is now
becoming quite settled and blends in
well with his tweed cap and whittling
stick (only joking, mate). Mick and I
have fished and been friends for a
long time, and now we would once
again have the chance to angle
together on the same lake, which in
itself was worth the long drive.
Before I got my ticket I hadn’t even
heard of the place, and when Darrell
was on the lake it was reasonably
quiet for the stock that actually lived
i n t h e r e. A t t h e t i m e, y o u w e r e
allowed to drive around the whole
lake and park in your swims, something I don’t like, but if you’re allowed,
then so be it. It was handy because it
meant that you were able to take all
the little extras, and for me that would
be a battery to charge my phone and
There is a regular bunch of locals
who always fish one bank of the lake;
they have a great old time and I do
admire them. Some are in their 70s
and they will fish out of their vans for
sometimes five days – fair play. A few
of them reeled in their rods at six or
seven o clock in the evening and kept
the rods in all night until first light. So,
with that in mind, I would keep out of
the way of that part of the lake; just a
little too much disturbance for me at
bite time when they are recasting and
baiting up at first light.
Some of their vans were well
equipped and all set up inside. One
chap called Martin could have won
the award for the best van – you
should have seen it. Because of an illness he was no longer allowed to
drive, so he’d made a mobile cabin
that his wife would hitch up to a
trailer and tow to the lake. It was then
dropped into the swim of his choice,
stabilisers on all four corners were
lowered, then a 20ft TV mast went up
and he was as happy as Larry. The
(Top) Very happy with that one.
(Left) ‘Albert Square’, the favoured
area of the regulars.


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