freeline-24 - Page 86



Travelling Times
to realise I wasn’t into a carp and a
big old slab zigzagged into the net.
And it was a big old fish too; I had to
get it on the scales to see just how
big. It pulled the dial round to 15lb
1oz, my second biggest from the
water.
I spent most of the day with the
bivvy folded back enjoying the sun
through the dappled shade of the
trees, soaking up the atmosphere of
the lake and wondering why I had
taken my time getting back on its
banks. Once night fell the liners
started again, but it was dawn the
next morning before I received
another bite. Once again I knew it
wasn’t a carp and I guided another
huge bream into the net – this one
was even bigger at 17lb! I carried on
fishing until mid-afternoon, but saw
nothing carpy so I packed all my kit
onto the boat and drifted into the bay.
The lake’s surface was flat calm and
the sun was shining brightly – perfect
fish spotting conditions. The visibility
of the water was around 7-8ft so I
could see the bottom of the bay as I
drifted through. There were plenty of
bream and tench present with the
odd pike, but no carp. This really did
surprise me, so I drifted around the
rest of lake searching the usual
haunts looking for signs of carp, but I
found nothing. The recent flooding
must have had a big effect on the fish.
I suppose we don’t really know what
has been washed into the lake. I
assume anything can upset the balance of a fish and put them to ground
from the change in pH to chemicals
(Top) Friendly wildlife, but I’m not
sure what type of duck it is –
mandarin?
(Right) More islands and points.
86 FREE LINE
from a farmer’s field.
I returned the following week, but
once again things just didn’t seem
right. I didn’t see any shows that I
would put down to being 100% from a
carp, and reports from other members
were few and far between. In the 48
hours I was there an algae bloom hit
and the visibility went from over 5ft to
just inches. These factors, plus the
newly imposed publicity ban that
was due to start the following week
made my mind up to leave the water
for this year and move onto pastures
new, but where? I really didn’t have
anywhere in mind; I thought about
returning to the Nene Valley syndicate, but after the two the big girls I
thought it would be best to leave the
water for a while until the end of the
year. I looked at half a dozen other
lakes in the valley and rued the decision I made in March to turn one of
them down. The others were either
too busy or had unsafe parking, so I
started to look further afield and did
some digging. In the meantime I
fished my local water on a social,
which quickly put me off the place
because we found the fish in a small
bay, but soon there were six anglers
fishing it, and one decided his swim
need raking!
The following day the dog walkers
and remote control speedboat racing
made my mind up to keep searching.
The following week I fished Kingfisher Lakes in Norfolk, mainly so I
could do some filming (followed by a
lot of video editing) for Greys & Chub
with the rest of the consultants (The
Carp Academy). The lake is a really
nice place, but the three-and-a-quarter hour drive on winding A-roads
really put me off fishing that way reg-
ularly. In fact I didn’t really fish the
last night. Just as I got the last few
clips recorded I started feeling a bit
rough. It started with a slight
headache and ended up in a full-on
migraine! It was the first migraine I
had ever had, and the worst I have
ever felt on the bank. I must have
been feeling very rough not to redo
my rods after a swan swam through
my lines and dragged the rigs into the
weed. I have fished with the flu a couple of times and had the odd stomach
bug on the bank, but I have still done
all I could to catch a fish. But a
migraine was a different kettle of fish;
I lay in bed wide-awake all night with
a searing pain in my head that Nurofen couldn’t even subdue. I really
started to worry about how I was
going to get home. It seemed a daunting task to pack all my gear away and
summon the effort to push the barrow
the 400 yards to my car. In fact it was
long after the other lads had left and
around 3pm until I felt nearly well
enough to make the journey, and it
took me a few attempts to get the barrow round and load the car. The journey home wasn’t very enjoyable
either, and I can’t relate in words how
relived I was to make it home that
night.
The school holidays and other commitments also made it very difficult to
get on the bank, and I had to get the
odd night in where I could. I was
offered a place on another syndicate
close to home. I had wanted to fish

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