freeline-25 - Page 133



Berkshire 30s and Guilty Confessions
I
have a little confession to
make this month, and I must
admit I feel a bit ashamed of
myself for going against what
I have said in the past. There
are a few reasons behind it,
but I’ll explain that later... Before I go
into what I have been up to, I’d like to
talk about an old haunt of mine that is
about to change: Linch Hill. The two
smaller, higher stocked waters are
turning into day ticket venues and
there is a big rule change coming on
Stoneacres. I think I’m right in saying
that the regulars aren’t too pleased
about Christchurch turning into a day
ticket; I just hope that fish stay in
good condition and they aren’t mishandled by any inexperienced
anglers, because there are certainly
some stunning fish in there!
I have heard a few catch reports
recently and it seems that Roger
Bacon has been having a very good
time of it of late. Roger has recently
had fish of 38lb and 39lb 6oz in late
October and early November. At first I
didn’t recognise either fish, until I had
a closer look and thought the scale
patterns looked familiar. As I flicked
through my old photos I came across
a brace of fish I had in June 2010. I
had Pooley’s in the early hours of the
morning at 44lb 14oz and I then followed him up with a 30lb 2oz mirror
just after dawn. On closer inspection I
noticed that the 30lb 2oz was the fish
that Roger had, very much up in
weight at 39lb 6oz. That’s a big old
weight gain in just over two years,
but the bigger surprise to me was
that Roger’s 38lb was in fact Pooley’s!
When I had them Pooley’s was nearly
15lb bigger than the other fish, which
I believe has been named Hartley’s,
and now Hartley’s is the bigger fish!
This is an unbelievable shift in
weights, and I just hope that Pooley’s
is OK.
Another person who has been having a good time of it on there is my old
mate Mark Bodell. Mark had six 30s in
one session including Single Scale at
39lb, which is an absolutely awesome
result on there because they can be
tricky fish to bank at times. I haven’t
included any pictures because I think
Rob is coving this haul elsewhere in
the magazine. Mark then returned a
week or so later and had another one
of the lake’s jewels in the form of
Baby Pooley’s at 39lb 6oz. This is a
fish that has held its weight well
since my day because I banked him at
39lbs 18 months ago, although
strangely, it does look fatter these
days. Keep hauling, fella!
Fellow Greys and Chub consultant
Darren Belton has really been having
a dream season this year with a number of 40s already under his belt. It
was on one of his successful sessions
when he banked the fish in the picture from a Kent water. This water is
normally a tricky venue, but Darren
has really got to grips with it and has
had a few multiple captures from
there. On one of these sessions he
banked a good fish, weighed it and let
it rest up in the Chub Retention Sling
whilst he waited for a photographer.
Darren then had another take before
the first fish was released and landed
the pictured fish. Because the retention/weight sing was occupied he
used his standard weigh sling, and
knowing that he had just zeroed the
scales a few minutes previously he
didn’t bother again and just hoisted
the fish up and the dial settled on 39lb
exactly. A few days later the regulars
of the lake questioned the weight
saying they were surprised it was
below 40lb, it was then that Darren
realised that the scales were zeroed
to the floatation sling and not the
standard sling and the fish actually
weighed 40lb 8oz, but it was too late
because the catch reports had
already gone off. It just goes to show
that these things happen to the best
of us. I know that my head goes when
I’m having a frantic session and
catching chunks! I set my camera up
wrong when I caught Choco and all
(Top) Roger Bacon with a recent
capture of Hartley’s at 39lb 6oz.
(Right) Hartley’s again back in 2010
at 30lb 2oz.
FREE LINE 133

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