freeline-25 - Page 54

Made In England
A huge PB for Mark Edgeley with a 51lb mirror from Monks Pit.
boat was moored, rowing back as
quickly as he could. The fish
remained solidly in the weed but as
soon as he got over it he was able to
exert pressure from above and, thus,
get the fish moving.
After being towed around in the
boat for a while, Mark got back on dry
land and soon had the fish circling
slowly in front of him. Flicking on the
head torch as it came to the net cord,
he could see that it was, indeed, a
huge common. The fish pushed away
and Mark let it drift off, but within a
minute it was back in front of him,
coughing and spluttering. Once again
it touched the net cord but with its
last vestige of strength, pushed away
for the final time. In total control now,
Mark guided it towards the net for the
last time, all the while writing the final
chapter in his head… then it was
gone! The hook pulled out, the line
hung limply from the rod top, and the
great white shape disappeared from
When he’d told me the previous
week, I was stunned, as was everybody else I told. But Mark, philosophically, quite rightly said that that was
the essence of carp fishing, and the
whole reason we keep going back for
more. So, I’ve just given away the last
chapter, but then, we still have a couple of weeks before it goes to the
printers, and I’m on my way on Friday
He did manage to sort of settle the
score when he stalked a stunning
23lb mirror from there on the Wednesday, just hours before I arrived, so that
appeased him a little, and also gave
me some hope. They were obviously
waking up and, as Mark said, were
‘everywhere’ on Wednesday. Oh,
dear, I hate that; that ‘you should have
been here yesterday’ scenario. After
sorting out a few things at Mark’s, I
was back at the lake just before midday and, with Polaroids on, looked forward to an hour’s stroll with a stalking rod. Three hours later, at the end
of my second circuit, I’d seen precisely nothing! Not a thing, apart from
hordes of crimson-finned rudd. Was I
blind or something? I settled for one
of the swims I’d baited the previous
evening, the River, and by about five I
had a couple of baits out. One was in
the mouth of a little channel to my
left, and the other was under an ash
tree to my right, both of them no more
than a foot from the bank. A sprinkling of 10 and 16mm baits accompanied each one, and then I walked over
the small ridge behind me and put the
third rod out there, on a small bar.
Just before dusk I got a call from
Mark to say he was fishing on Wilson’s Island having seen a number of
fish out there. Also, Roy and Jill were
down and they’d seen fish in the
Throne and Fiveways respectively, so
were set up there. What! How? I
couldn’t get my head round it. I think
I’m pretty good at spotting fish, but I
was like a complete amateur at Ashmead. Oh well, maybe tomorrow
would be better. And it was.
At just after midnight, the left hand
buzzer sounded a steady take and I


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