freeline-25 - Page 198

The Big Common
solid in weed again. This time it was
only for a few seconds, and I managed
to pull the fish away from the
weedbed and into the open water. As
it became more and more tired, up to
the surface came a big ball of weed
with a very big common attached to
it. Knowing it could have been only
one of two fish (the Big Headed or
Nina), I loosened off the clutch in case
it bolted, which it did, burying itself
yet again in a weedbed. Unfortunately for me this time when I applied
pressure, the hooklink snapped about
an inch from the hook, leaving me
gutted. Had I just lost Nina the 40p l u s c o m m o n ? I ’ l l n e v e r k n o w,
although to this day I’m almost certain I did.
The next time I returned to Twynersh things had changed, as the temperature had risen right up, the fish
had now pushed out of the snags into
more open areas of the lake and were
grouping up showing up against the
island in the shallow water. Seeing
fish showing in the Pub swim, I
headed round there and quickly
started setting up when I saw two
twenty pounders swim into a margin
bush. Quickly setting up, I baitingspooned a single Diamond White
pop-up tight to the bush and locked
the rod up. Within ten minutes that
rod doubled over and I landed a 27lb
11oz mirror, which was quickly photographed by a bailiff and returned. A
good start, I thought.
As the sun came out I started seeing fish right up against the island
sticking their backs out in 3ft of
water, which looked good for a bite.
Knowing Diamond Whites were a
good visual bait, I knew it wouldn’t be
long before they found them in 3ft of
water, so I cast two single pop-ups
relatively tight to the island where
they were showing, knowing that
when it cooled down I would possibly
get a take. The fish remained showing
on the surface on top of my bait all
day but nothing happened till the
evening as it started to cool down.
As I was preparing to sort the rods
in good time for the night my swinger
twitched and lifted and dropped
down to the floor. Looking at the spot,
I saw a huge swirl, quickly hit the rod
and found myself into a good fish.
This fish fought and after a 15-minute
fight I had the Hoover in the bottom
of my net and number three of the
four A-Team fish, leaving just Nina.
Over the moon, Dave and I hoisted
her up onto the scales they she settled at 34lbs and made my day. The
temperature was starting to drop, so I
repositioned the rod back towards the
island but chose to fish the bottom of
the shelf as it was clear skies and it
was going to be chilly during the
night, making 2-3ft of water maybe
not such a good idea. I opted for Cell
bottom baits with a two-bait stringer
on this rod and a scattering of 30
whole baits, which resulted in a
screaming take in the last few minutes of daylight from Baby Baz again,
at 32lb 15oz.
The night passed with no bites
when at first light my margin rod doubled over on the right hand bush
resulting in a 24lb 7oz mirror, which I
returned after a couple of snaps. The
hot weather I’d seen the day before
was starting to return, and with this I
knew the fish would push back up
onto that island shelf to sun themselves at some point, so I changed
back to the Diamond Whites and cast
two rods back up onto the shallow
shelf before they showed up, as firing
leads at them in 3ft of water whilst
they were chilling with their backs
out seemed silly. As predicted, the
carp soon showed up, and with three
or four large backs sticking out of the
water bow waving around near my
spot I thought the rods were good to
go, but nothing happened.
The day passed without a bite until
late evening when my left hand spot
on the shelf erupted, leaving my
Delkim tearing off. Hitting it I found
myself attached to a big fish, which
by the time I got it close in had
attracted a small crowd. We could see
it was a big common. “Nina?” I
thought, but it wasn’t to be, as upon
netting it, it was the Big Headed
Common again at 33lbs. After a few
snaps we slipped her back in the left
hand margin, and I began rebaiting
and positioning my rods for my second night, which resulted in nothing.
I recast about 6am in anticipation of a
bite. Taking into account I’d already
banked three of the A-Team in this
session, “Nina the 40lb common next
bite” was all I could think about.
Soon after that my right hand rod
on the snag doubled over, which
found me attached to a good fish.
Because the spot was only 8m from
my rod tip I could clearly see I was
into a big common, but with it going
berserk I couldn’t see which common. Again I thought, could I be playing the big common? A couple of
anglers and a bailiff came round to
lend a hand and after about ten minutes I had the common in the net.
When lifting the fish I could see it was
a good’un but clearly not Nina. Upon
unravelling the landing net there she
was – the Big Headed common sitting on my unhooking mat for the
second time in 12 hours, looking
nearly as unhappy as me. The bailiff
and I decided not to bother weighing
her, and just did a quick snap of one
flank due to a poor photo on one side
the night before, then slipped her
A couple of weeks after this the


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