freeline-24 - Page 119

A Trio of Forty Commons
arch was really
the first month I
could get back
out and spend a
bit of serious
time on the
bank. My first proper session wasn’t
until the 20th; I had done a couple of
sessions through the winter and managed a mid-20lb common, but this
was to be the proper start of the year
for me. Upon arriving at the syndicate
car park I found it pretty much empty
with only a couple of cars present – a
good start, I thought, as this would
give me a good choice of swims and
hopefully get amongst the fish.
I had a good walk round the lake,
but didn’t see anything show. Apparently they hadn’t really been giving
themselves away over the previous
few weeks, so I decided to set up in a
swim called Lorries, which can be a
pretty good swim. Usually there are a
couple of fish present within the
swim boundary, so I thought it would
be a good starting point – not only
that, but the swim offers a good viewing point for the rest of the lake, which
meant if I started seeing fish show
elsewhere I could move onto them.
I got everything set up and positioned the rods with a couple of
Spombs per rod. It wasn’t until I sat
back under my brolly and put the kettle on that fish started showing. The
carp gods must have flicked a switch,
and obviously my confidence levels
rocketed. I had set up in a swim completely blind to what was out there,
and suddenly it appeared that a good
percentage of Welly’s stock was in
front of me. I would have put money
on it that I would or should have had
a pick-up. The fish continued to show
all through the night and right up to
midday on the following day and 48
hours later, but the only bleep I
received was from a nuisance pike
taking out one of my lines. I was
pretty disheartened to have gone 48
hours on fish and had nothing to
show for it. The fish had moved on
and I had 24 hours remaining to relocate them and to save a blank. I had
to think and find them fast as swims
were quickly being snapped up due
to the weekend approaching and the
fantastic spell of weather we were
From mentally documenting the
behaviour and movement of these
fish when showing, and as they were
in that particular area of the lake on
previous sessions, I suspected a
group of fish could have moved round
The Little Corner, one of my favorite little spots.
the back of one of the islands and up
into an area of the lake called Animal
Farm. After speaking to another syndicate member who told me he had
seen about a dozen fish early that
morning, the carp had done exactly
what I had suspected, but also with
the daytime temperatures creeping
up to an impressive 19 degrees, and
with the carp being so active, it was
quite possible that fish could have
made their way through the channel
and into the Little Lake. After an hour
or more of searching around the Little
Lake, climbing trees and looking
around all the marginal snags, I nearly
gave up. Then from a bush in the corner of the lake out swam a mid-30lb
common. And after a little more time,
and on closer inspection, I witnessed
at least half a dozen more fish moving
in and out of the bush. Confidence
levels rocketed once again, and a
quick pack-up and move secured the
Little Corner. I continued to spot fish
whilst I was getting set back up. I tied
up two new rigs more suited to that
style of angling, and managed to position two baits around the bush with
very little disturbance or without
spooking any fish.
I woke at 6.30am the following
morning to a misty start and, to my
disappointment, a quiet night. After
half a dozen or more cups of tea, and
sat under the brolly thinking a blank
was inevitable, at 8.30 my right hand
alarm sounded with a single bleep.
The hanger rose slightly, two more
bleeps followed, and the hanger
pulled up to the top with the line still
in the clip. I suspected a tench or
bream. I crouched down next to the
rod and the only other indication I got
was the drape in the line as it left the
top ring slightly flicking and creating
small rings as it met with the water’s
surface. I instantly picked up the rod
and made contact with something
solid. I managed to turn the fish and
gain control, steering and pulling it
clear of the bushes and snags. I
quickly won the fight and she was in
the net – a chunk of a fish. Just at that
moment Chris the syndicate manager
was driving past. He pulled over,
helped with the weighing, and confirmed the fish to be Spangles at
dead-on 40lb. We photographed her
and quickly got her back. I was absolutely over the moon, especially with
a blank saver like that and within the
last hour of my session.
My next session wasn’t planned
until the 15th April when my fivenight session was booked in. I arrived
early on the Saturday night to see
what was going on and who was
where. I camped up near a couple of
syndicate members and had a bit of a
social on the Saturday night. Sunday
morning soon came round and I was
up at the crack of dawn walking
around hoping a couple of fish would
show, pointing me in the right direction. It wasn’t until around 7am when
fish starting showing, and what a
show they put on! Between the
Grassy swim and the Wides, I think I
counted around 30 fish in the space of


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