freeline-25 - Page 199

The Big Common
carp started to spawn for about four
days, and shortly after this the big
common was banked at 36lbs, meaning she’d had a good spawn. Knowing this fish’s history I decided not to
stay on for the summer, as I knew the
chances were she wouldn’t be out till
the autumn, so I pulled off Pit 3 completely over the summer planning to
return in the autumn.
S e p t e m b e r s o o n c a m e, a n d I
returned to Pit 3 with a different area
of the lake in mind – an area called No
Carp Bay, which has good form for
this fish, and an area it’s regularly
seen in. This area had been unfishable
all summer due to weed, but it had
started dying off and I’d found a few
clear spots. Being a bay, I chose to
fish two rods instead of three to avoid
cramping the swim. One rod was
positioned on a hard spot just off the
corner of an island amongst weed,
and the other rod was positioned in a
hole in the weed in my right hand
margin. After a couple of nights and
introducing a bit of bait, I had my first
take from the hole in the weed, which
resulted in possibly the smallest mirror in Pit 3 at 16lbs, but this was a
confidence booster, as it showed I
could get bites off the spot. This was
followed by a mid-twenty on the
other spot towards the island.
I started to put a few sessions and
bait into this area of the lake and
began catching consistently. I banked
fish to high 20s and was starting to
look good for the big’un. It was now
close to October and the big common
was due any day now, so I headed
over to Pit 3, heading straight round
to No Carp Bay to set up. On arrival I
was slightly annoyed to find another
angler had raked out pretty much all
the weed in the bay and dumped it at
the side of the swim in a bundle the
size of a car. With this my baited area
was destroyed and my efforts and
baiting had gone to waste. To make it
worse, it appeared the carp were no
longer in that area, which meant I had
to start from scratch with my final target fish due any day. After speaking
with an angler who had banked the
big’un twice in the past at this time of
year, I decided the Treeline was a
good bet to return to, but to fish a different area on a plateau in front of the
swim between weedbeds towards
the corner of an island.
It was a Friday night and the lake
was busy, but thankfully I had banked
a few before the crowds arrived. After
a brief telephone conversation with
my mate Jake, he decided he’d pop
down for a social, as he’d previously
caught his first fish from the venue
the weekend before at 19lb. Evening
soon arrived and Jake arrived with a
couple of beers and we set up and got
the rods out and ordered food and had
a good old munch-up, but with no
carp to show by the morning.
The next day arrived; the sun was
beating and the fishing had slowed
down. I remember Jake asking me
how many fish I’d had that year and
saying, “You should have had it by
now.” He was also saying to me at
least once an hour, “Imagine if I had
nina,” but I thought nothing of it and
carried on in anticipation, as I knew it
was going to slip up in the next day or
two. Jake was set up in a swim next
door to me between two islands,
which was pretty weedy with next to
no clear spots. He opted to fish ESP
ready-tied chod rigs and fish into the
dying weedbed where fish were
occasionally showing. We eventually
separated and went back to our own
Whilst in my bivvy I heard a take
but thought it was from the pit
behind me so ignored it. Soon a
youngster came over to me saying,
“Your mate needs a hand – a fish has
weeded him up.” Walking down, I
found Jake weeded solid with this
f i s h n o t m o v i n g. N e i t h e r o f u s
expected him to land it due to the
way it was locked up. After persuading Jake to get his kit off and get in
t h e w a t e r, h e a p p l i e d a b i t o f
sidestrain, the fish started kicking and
became free and came towards us
with a big ball of weed. It appeared to
be a big fish and came quite close
before spooking and flat-rodding
J a k e. E v e n t u a l l y i t c a m e b a c k
towards us weed-free, and because I
was deeper in the water with
Polaroids on, I could clearly see the
fish whereas Jake couldn’t.
I said to him, “You know which fish
it is, don’t you?” to which he replied,
“No which one?” I said, “It’s Nina,” to
which he replied, “Get it in the net,
quick, quick.” After a minute of
thrashing around I slipped the net
under her, followed by Jake’s deafening scream of “Ninaaaaaaaa!” across
the lake. After removing all the weed
and debris from the landing net we
lifted her up onto a mattress of
unhooking mats (at least four mats),
and she was looking plump and in
good condition. After unhooking her
we hoisted her up onto the scales,
which settled at a healthy 42lb 3oz –
a PB for Jake, and a day neither of us
will ever forget. One day I’ll live down
Jake’s constant banter about nailing
her on his second bite... With my
Cemex Chertsey ticket popping up,
I’m no longer on Twynersh Pit 3, but
might return on a day ticket at some
point when I’ve finished on Chertsey
to have another brief go for her, but
only time will tell. Jake’s capture
brought what was one of my most
enjoyable year’s fishing to an end and
made it one to remember. So hats off
and well done to Jake. n


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