freeline-25 - Page 144

A Rewarding Return to Theale Lagoon
get the rods out now, and come 6pm I
was dropping off the last of my gear
onto the island. It was a really hot
evening and I basically dropped into a
sweaty heap in Gary’s swim after the
mad rush to get all the stuff over. After
nice cold lager it was time to sort the
rods out. I had never fished off the
island before so new spots would
have to be found. I slipped on the
chesties, grabbed a cap and the
Polaroids and went off into the margins to examine a few spots.
I found a cracking spot down the
left margin. There was also a bar running parallel to the swim that ran out
for 35 yards before dropping down
into a carpet of weed. A rod was to be
placed here, as it had looked to be fed
on fairly recently, with clean polished
gravel beaming off the bottom. Both
rods were fished with a balanced
snowman setup, comprising of a size
6 Korda Kaptor Kurve Shank, N-trap
20lb hooklink lead clip arrangement
with a 4oz Korda flat pear lead. The
bait choice was easy for me – it was
to be a mixture of Mainline’s Activ-8
and Maple-8, as the carp in the
Lagoon simply love the stuff and
many a good carp has made the mistake of eating it.
The first night we sat up most of
the night watching for signs of fish. It
(Top) Overnighter 31lb 12oz with
paddles like saucers.
(Right) Second overnighter on the big
was around 12am when Gary’s liners
started up again. Some made you
jump up, as they were so savage. The
fish were clearly passing through the
margins, so my fingers were crossed
they would be visiting my perfectly
baited spots. It was 2am when it was
finally time to go to sleep as my eyes
were getting rather heavy. The next
thing I remember after closing my
eyes was the receiver struggling to
keep up with the speed of the take.
The spool was simply emptying as I
picked up the rod, but I was able to
slow the fish down. It was just a slow,
deep fight after I slowed the initial
mad run, and before long Gary slipped
the net under a decent sized fish,
which looked to be around the 30lb
The fish was a cracking colour and
had its own character as it had a
slightly kinked back. On the scales it
went 27lb 4oz, and we were both a little surprised as it looked like a 30lb for
sure, but it was a little empty from
spawning recently. It was a great
start to the session and we were both
confident of something special turning up in our nets.
That evening around 6pm I decided
to wade out another rod to the spot
on the end of the parallel bar that had
done a bite. Sometimes if the spot is
large enough I like to double my
chances of a pick up, or to make sure
that if I get a bite another rod is still
on the spot as the fish may not have
spooked off the area, and may still be
feeding off the spot. As I approached
the area I noticed the water around
the end of the bar was clouded up. I
put this down to the boats that were
out sailing around close by. I lowered
the rod to the left of the spot followed
by a couple of handfuls of the Activ8/Maple-8 combo, and I walked the
rod back carefully to sink the line
away from the other rod on the spot.
As I neared the other rod on the
bank I noticed something wasn’t
right. The line was tight and my bob-


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