freeline-24 - Page 222



The Long Road to My First Fifty Pounder
girl would always turn up later – as
much as an hour and a half to two
hours. I’ve seen her gliding in with
another smaller common but nearly
always coming from the same direction.
With those observations in mind, I
thought a good approach would be to
fish zigs at the depth I thought they
were traveling and be ready for their
return the following morning.
My plan was to fish one on the back
of the weedbed, set at seven feet in
ten feet of water. My zig bait was a
small, barrel-shaped piece of black
foam with a tiny white bit on top. I
positioned the other rod more in the
area that the fish take when they are
heading into the out-of-bounds. This
rod was set at about four feet,
because it gets shallower on the
approach, still a few feet under the
surface and I tied on one of my Zig
Bugs that I had been playing around
with. The rods were put out for the
night, ready for the morning.
At 7.30am, the rod on the back of
the weed was away, and after I’d been
weeded up a few times, I landed a
23lb common. I was pleased that my
plan had worked; I had a good
method which I was sure would
catch out a few more fish. Ash Bradly
had turned up and was going to move
222 FREE LINE
in after me so I had everything
packed down, apart from the rods,
and it was near to 10am while we
were chatting away when the other
rod on the Bug pulled round as
another carp took a zig. I was standing right next to the rod and was on it
instantly. The fish felt powerful and
heavy and took no time in burying
itself in the weed. I had a feeling it
was her – the big girl – because it was
at the time when she normally turns
up. The fish was deep in the weed
and thousands of tiny bubbles came
to the surface as it tried to bury
deeper, but it was a bit of a no-win
situation for me. Looking back, maybe
we should have got the boat out, but
sadly, I lost this fish as she just
slipped the hook, so I will never know
for sure, but deep down I knew.
My ticket for St. Ives had turned up.
I was buzzing at the thought of a new
water and what it might bring. So on
the 6th April I went on a recce for a
two-night session. It was George’s
first time fishing and I had to take lots
more gear for him, but that was no
problem because you were able to
drive your car around a big proportion
of the lake.
When I arrived I just knew I was
going to like the place; just the room
between swims was enough on its
own. I loved it and so did George. As I
was to be fishing with George a fair
bit I encouraged him into the water
just so I knew he was okay and could
swim. Nowadays, I can’t keep him out
and living where I do, on an island,
well – you can imagine! He is forever
wet and then needs drying before he
enters the house. When I collect tickets on our stretch of river, he walks in
the water and follows me along the
bank – nightmare!
Anyway, I had made up my mind to
take a break from Lenwade for a while
and concentrate all my efforts on St
Ives. They would soon be spawning
on Lenwade so I was in no rush to get
back. I must say my time on St Ives
was really enjoyable. There was great
weather, a good bunch of lads and I
chilled out fishing with my dog. I
won’t go into too much detail about
my fishing at St. Ives, though,
because it would take us too far away
from the main story, which is about
Charity Lake at Lenwade.
St. Ives is a big lake of about 40
acres and very weedy, I was soon to
find out. Two islands with a big chan-
Smashing the bait out in Fatty’s.
(Bottom left) George Benos, with a
good reason to be smiling.
nel in between divided the lake, with
a good swim at one end named
Fatty’s for obvious reasons. Then
looking right down the lake, at the
other end of the channel was the
Works swim and after a few trips I
decided that I wanted to fish these
two areas as much as possible. They
both had good form for doing bites
and over the years, the Lady had been
caught numerous times from these
areas.
George absolutely loved it on the
lake. He truly is a carp dog and today,
when I go without him I can see it in
his eyes that he knows where I’m
going. The trouble is, not all lakes are
suitable for me to take him along.
George is a ten-stone Dog de Bordeaux – the same as the dog in Turner
and Hooch. He is right old character
and he loves just to sit by the rods
and stare out at the lake most of the
time.
April was very hot and on the 24th
they started to spawn on my Carthagena syndicate so I knew they wouldn’t be far behind at Charity Lake. This

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