freeline-24 - Page 73

Rotary Letter
to alleviate this, as the mono gives a
fish far too much freedom of movement in weed and gives you far too
little control. This means the fish are
pretty much in the driving seat as to
where they end up, and that’s not the
situation you want to be in at all. Your
terminal tackle needs to be man
enough to handle the extra strain it
will receive due to there not being
any stretch in your mainline, and,
nowadays, I use a thick coated braid
such as Korda’s N-Trap. Something
this strong will not let you down
regardless of how much pressure you
put on the fish, and, of course, hook
strength and pattern are very important. If I ever fish a hook and hold situation where I really need to give the
fish a bit of stick then I generally go
for an in-turned point. There may not
be a scientific reason for it, but, in my
opinion and based on previous experiences, I find that they tend to stay
put under pressure better than a
straight point. But I only use them in
extreme situations, as I don’t actually
believe they take a hold as well in the
first instance, as in they don’t prick
the fish as aggressively as a straight
Patience is another virtue that you
will need to extract a fish from a
weedbed, and lots of it. The hardest
part is already done, as you have
hooked the fish, so there really is no
rush to reach a final conclusion either
way. A hooked fish will remain a
hooked fish, and even if you cannot
feel any movement on the end he will
still be there. I know from using a boat
to free weeded and snagged fish that
it a rare situation to find them already
gone. This worries me even more
when I hear of people pulling for a
break after a short while of unsuccessful maneuvering with a weeded
fish, because it is very unlikely that
the carp will know the line has broken, or even be able to do anything
about it if he did. Once that carp is
hooked, it becomes your responsibility to ensure he is unhooked safely
and then returned to the lake in same
condition. Whether that means you
need to change your tackle, your rigs,
your method of playing them, buy a
boat to land then with or just simply
not fishing that lake or swim until the
weed is at an acceptable level, something needs to change, and only you
can make that decision, but losing
three out of four fish is not an accept-
Ed Betteridge
I think I’m right in saying that we are
over six months into the BCRL, and I
have to admit that I really enjoy writing for it and bouncing ideas and
thoughts off the other guys. I hope
the readers are enjoying it just as
much. We have had some interesting
questions and some even more interesting responses. It seems the Rotarians do agree on most things, which I
don’t suppose is surprising, but there
is always the odd comment that gets
me thinking, which for me, is what the
BRCL is all about. One point that
Sean and I don’t agree on is whether
the moon causes undertow on lakes. I
have to admit I’m not really clued up
on physics, but I can’t get my head
around how it would cause undertow
and not just pull the whole lake a few
millimetres. But then again I can’t get
my head around how wireless Internet works or how a TV turns electronic messages into a picture either!
However I am in full agreement with
Sean in that I’m intrigued to find out
whether it does or doesn’t affect
Rob bought up a very interesting
point about the amount the carp mortalities spring, or should I say lack of
them. I must admit I can’t think of a
single fish that has died of natural
causes on the waters I fish, big or
small. I put the phrase “natural
causes” in because a few have been
ottered, or killed by a big mink, if
some people are to be believed.
An early season linear from back in
the days when lakes were closed in
the spring.
The next period where the fish are
potentially vulnerable is when they
start to spawn. As I write this the
lakes I know are split – some have
had a go at spawning and others
haven’t. There haven’t been any
casualties reported yet and I hope it
stays that way! Talking about spawning, I have to agree with Sean when
he commented on the ethics of fishing for spawning fish. I have seen
anglers parade their catches all over
Facebook of fish they have caught
whilst they were in the act. I think
fishing for spawning fish is inconsiderate towards the health of the carp
and a bit of a desperate act. A fish
goes through a lot of stress during its
breeding ritual so why put more pressure on them by catching them? If a
female is caught at this time it can
put her off breeding for the year,
Fish gathering to spawn.


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