freeline-24 - Page 204

rod, I wanted to find a different spot
closer in just in case any of the fish
that were in the bay decided to have
a munch on their way out. I had a rod
close to the bay but I wanted it closer
this time. The right hand rod was put
back on the same spot and the middle
was 12ft to the left of the right hand
spot. I would bait up quite
widespread, not having all the bait in
one area just to get the carp searching and moving between each
bait. So with all the rods on the spots
it was time to just sit back relax and
take in the true beauty of the mere yet
A good pal of mine, Dave Levy, had
arrived and set up opposite me in the
swim called Padz, a swim that had
been producing a lot of fish. A few fish
started to show and it just looked a
better night for it. My mate Matt “The
Ginga Ninja” Chandler had turned up
and he had set up on the point to the
right of me. He phoned me to tell me
to go next door to see him and see
how many fish were in front of the
point. There must have been 20 fish,
tails up in front of him 6 to 12ft from
the bank. Matty was in for a fish
tonight, surely?
We had a good laugh having a couple of beers with Matt set up about a
mile away from the water’s edge, not
wanting to spook anything with his
perverted laugh. He gets a bit excited,
bless him. With it being nearly mid-
night and a little bit tipsy, we decided
to call it a night, so off to bed we went
hopefully to wake up to an alarm.
A good nights sleep was ended by
an absolute screamer at 6am. A poxy
red-eyed doctor fish was on the end,
tapping away as if to say, ‘Gutted, you
idiot.’ As I was playing it in a patch of
fizz came up over the spot that this
tench had just picked me up on. I
quickly unhooked the tench in the
margins, and stuck another fresh bait
on. I didn’t even walk out the rod to
the marks as I could see the fizz on
the spot. On went the bobbin and I
slackened off the line. No sooner had I
turned my back than the bobbin lifted
up and hit the rod. No line was taken,
and it was just still for a second or so,
until it then flew off. I was on it in a
flash, and it felt heavy, just plodding
around. Dave was up sitting on his
bed, having a good old look and just
waiting to see which one it was as I
shouted over that it felt good.
The fish was mental out there;
weeding me up several times and
then coming out of the weed. It
decided to take out my other rod, so
now I had a 2oz lead dragging around
with it as well as the line. The fish got
nearer the bank but every yard I
gained I also gained more weed from
the other lead. It was a struggle so I
had to get in up to my chest as it had
decided to bury itself in yet another
weedbed and I couldn’t reach it. At
this point I still hadn’t seen which fish
it was. I was in the water and it came
free of the weed, swam straight to the
surface and I nearly dropped the rod.
It was her, and she was huge! The net
went under her and my prize was in
the bag.
I was speechless. I shouted over to
Dave, that it was her, so he reeled in
his rods and brought his camera
round. I stayed in the water with her
till he got round and then handed him
the rod. I was so happy and just in
shock as I walked back towards the
bank with my biggest prize ever.
Everything was ready, so I attempted
to lift her out, and not realising how
heavy she would be I looked like a tit,
as I’m only a skinny little git. Dave
took one side and we lifted her up
onto the mat. In the corner of her
mouth was my little pineapple popup just dangling. I unhooked her and
slipped her in the sling that Dave had
just zeroed. The net handle went
through the top of the scales and Stu,
another lad, had turned up, so we
lifted it up on our shoulders. Dave did
the readings and the needle pulled
round to 53lbs on the nose. What
more can I say about how I was feeling? No words could describe it. I was
just so happy. Ringo was in my photo
album now at 53lbs – her highest ever
weight! Dave took some stunning
photos of her and then we slipped her
back. I was one happy boy and it was
certainly a morning that I will never
I packed up shortly after and went
home, to return again in the hope that
the mighty Hendrix would grace my
net. If truth be told it’s not the hardest
fish in the lake to catch and gets
caught on average ten times a year. I
have fished Cleverley Mere on and off
again for the last two seasons and I’m
fluttering between there and the Top
Lake. I’ve had some lovely carp but
still no Hendrix. One day she will
grace my net, as Mr. Levy and a few
other mates have caught it recently.
My turn next, I hope, but I’m just more
than happy to be over there. Maybe I
should move on; maybe I shouldn’t,
but all I know is that until I catch it I
won’t be able to rest. I’vw got a baby
due in January so my time will be limited. Fingers crossed that it’s this
Tight lines… n
(Left) A recent one, ‘Cocoa’ at 33lbs.


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