freeline-24 - Page 208

A Rewarding Return to Theale Lagoon
around 9pm when the bobbin on the
left rod crashed into the blank with an
almighty crack. I shot up and out into
the rain to take up battle with what
felt like a really good fish, which took
30 yards of line the moment I picked
up the rod, but soon I had it chugging
up and down in the deep margins. A
nice common came into view through
the crystal clear water, and without
too much hassle it was nestling in the
folds of the net, looking well over the
30lb mark. On the scales the fish went
33lb 2oz and showed some signs of
being a tad spawnbound.
The action started there and a further six fish were landed during the
night up until 7am. It’s unheard of on
this lake to receive so much action.
The fish weren’t all small either, with
commons of 28lb 8oz, 27lb, 24lb, 23lb
12oz, 21lb and an upper double mirror. Around 7:30am the alarm was
sounding again, and I peered out to
see the tip bent round and line leaving the spool at an alarming rate.
Then all of the sudden the rod sprung
back. I picked up the lifeless rod
thinking a cut off must have occurred,
but reeling in the limp line I noticed it
starting to cut up through the water.
Then the rod was almost ripped out of
my hands as a large fish tore along
the margin only feet from the bank.
The fish slowed down and I began to
wind back the 20 or so yards it had
taken off the spool. The fish boiled
heavily on the top and a row of scales
along its lateral line shone like golden
coins. It was at this point I realised I
was possibly connected to a fish that
I so wanted – one of the linears the
lake is renowned for.
My heart was now beating double
fast and every time the line pinged off
its fins I almost has a heart attack. But
after a spectacular scrap I was soon
beaming as I lifted the net around one
of the most amazing fish I have ever
landed. A quick look into the net
revealed the one I was after at 33lb
2oz, but the weight is irrelevant when
they look like that. The miserable
weather was soon forgotten about
and the pack up in the rain was bearable to say the least. The following
week I was bumping down the old
potholed road that leads the lake. The
weather was a damn sight nicer than
the previous trip. My heart dropped a
little as I turned into the car park and
saw the lake was going to be busy. As
I usually do when this is the case, I
looked for the quietest area of the lake
that has/is receiving the least pressure from anglers.
I fished in a similar way to the previous week, dropping both rods in
close with one rod fished just off a set
of pads and the other at the bottom of
the marginal slope. Again I was fishing with the ever-faithful Mainline
Cell/Activ-8/Maple-8 combination,
and a handful of broken baits using
the Korda Crusher was placed over
the half a kilo of whole baits over each
rod. The evening went by quietly and
I figured an early night was on the
cards to keep bankside noise down to
(Top) 33lb common – part of the eightfish catch in a short overnighter. Also
Big Mac the linear at over 33lb. The
rain was persistent.
(Left) One I always wanted to catch
the big mac at 33lb 2oz on a wet rainy


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