freeline-25 - Page 196



The Big Common
asleep, until first light when I was up
sharpish repositioning the rods. As I
hadn’t brought enough bait with me
as I should have, I decided to change
over from Cell to Mainline Diamond
White pop-ups and fish them as single hookbaits as I knew that I was on
fish, or at least in their path if they
were moving during the daylight
hours.
Positioning all three rods back on
the same spot, I sat back anticipating
a bite as the day became warmer, and
at about 10am the same rod tightened
up and I found myself in a battle with
what felt to be a good fish. After a tenminute battle I slipped the net under
a nice 31lb 11oz common, which left
me over the moon and with my other
two rods wiped out in a tangled mess.
Eager to get the rods back out, I
placed all three back on the same
spots, again with single Diamond
Whites, which sat there for the rest of
the day without a touch. As evening
started setting in and with darkness
quickly creeping in, I repositioned the
rods on the same spots. With it being
dark and not feeling confident with
single pop-ups out all night I opted for
the previous approach and fished Cell
bottoms over a small bed, keeping
bait to a minimum. The rods were
now out for the night, and a friend
and I had ordered pizza and were sitting back when the same rod ripped
off resulting in a mid-twenty. After
this I quickly repositioned the rod on
196 FREE LINE
roughly the same spot with a fresh rig
and bait.
The temperature was beginning to
drop, and we decided to call it a night
and all got in our sleeping bags when
shortly after the same rod roared off
again. Upon hitting it, this fish turned
away from the snags and tore off into
the open water, stripping line in the
upper layers causing a huge bow
wave. I knew I was into a good fish
and probably one of my targets. After
a 15-minute fight Little Paul slipped
the net under it and said, “It’s a big
common.” Upon lifting it and placing
it on the mat, there she was, the Big
Headed, and the first of my target fish.
Although only tipping the scales to
33lbs, I was over the moon and soon
back in my sleeping bag with a smile
on my face for the rest of the night.
The following morning at first light,
I quickly switched back to single Diamond White pop-ups due to lack of
bait, positioned my rods back on the
spots and began making breakfast.
Half an hour passed when one of my
other rods that had been lifeless the
entire session tightened up and signalled a take. On hitting it I felt myself
attached to a big dead weight that I
managed to steer away from the
snags relatively easily. This fish was
barely fighting and felt like a bream
until I saw it shaking its head under
the surface a couple of rod lengths
out, at which point I could see the big
linear scales on the tail wrist. I could
see it was Baby Baz, and a few minutes later it was settling the Reuben
Heatons to 33lb 8oz. With two of the
A-Team in a brace I was over the
moon. I quickly put the rods back on
the same spots, and later that evening
banked a 29lb 15oz mirror known as
the Star, and that night took a further
two mid-twenties. I packed up in the
morning not forgetting to go to the far
bank to scatter some bait and discreetly remove the leadcore I had
used to tie back the branch to make
the main spot I’d caught from unfishable until I returned.
After those two sessions and looking at my results, I noticed that I’d
had five fish out of the Boaty swim,
and they were all twenty pounders,
but on the Treeline I’d had seven and
three thirty pounders in one session,
which indicated the Treeline was
holding the bigger fish and the Boaty
was holding the twenty pounders.
Returning the following week,
which was by this time was the
beginning of March, I headed straight
back for the Treeline swim for a 48hour session. I fished the exact same
spots again this session, and the first
two nights I managed a mid-twenty
each night.
The morning after the second night
I was knackered, and had decided to
have a lie-in in the bivvy, not getting
up for a recast or even breakfast. I
was expecting to just wake up, pack
up and leave when at about 9am one
of my rods roared off, resulting in a
mid-twenty common. This was welcome despite me being knackered,
and it was quickly returned and the
rod was recast back to the spot.
Within five minutes that same rod
roared off and resulted in a nice dark
26lb mirror. This showed the carp
were really waking up and left me in a
rush to get the rod back on the spot. I
recast the rod again, and taking into
account I’d just had two twenties in
twenty minutes, I was anticipating
another bite.
No more than 20 minutes later the
rod tightened up and I found myself
into a very good fish, which felt different and a lot heavier than the others.
This fish plodded away from the
snags, came towards me, found sanctuary in a weedbed and decided to sit
in there for a minute or two before it
became free with a bit of sidestrain. It
began plodding around in the deep
water, when all of a sudden it went

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