freeline-25 - Page 86



Berkshire Blanks and Nene Nomads
of the fish and fished six or seven different swims during the session, often
at opposite ends of the lake. This
meant packing my gear down, loading the car and driving a couple of
miles to the other car park.
On one of the days I ended up
doing a bit of floater fishing with one
of the friendlier regulars, Dean. There
were a few fish in one of the bays
drifting around with their backs out,
but they just weren’t interested in the
mixers. In fact when they drifted
towards a raft of the bait, they would
either turn away, or drop 2ft under
only for their backs to reappear once
they passed the bait! We could see it
was futile, so we called it a day and
headed back to the cars, but on the
way back we saw a couple of fish in
another bay. We put a few mixers in
and expected the same response, but
these fish really wanted the bait and
started troughing it! There are a few
strains of fish in the lake and I guess
some are more up for bait than the
others, but that doesn’t make them
easier to catch! They knew which one
was the danger and steered well clear
of the hook bait. This, and the previous sessions really drilled home to me
that this water wasn’t like most big
low stocked pits that I had fished –
these fish were clued up, probably
because of the pressure they had
received in recent years. I needed to
rethink my approach and tackle the
place a little differently if I was going
to catch!
The year started to wear on a bit,
and my next session was in September on what turned out to be the last
hot weekend of the year. It was 26
degrees and windless, yet I still
couldn’t find any signs of fish, so I
dropped into a passing swim. I knew
it would be a nightmare place to fish
because the water skiers were out in
force and there were a few tents up
on the picnic area so I knew they
were making an event of it. They left
me alone an hour or so before dusk,
which gave me just enough time to
set the traps. But they were out the
following morning at 8:30, which I
wasn’t too happy about! I decided my
chance had gone on a couple of spots,
which were right under the speed
boats’ run, and I took the opportunity
to re-spool my rods with a new prototype line from Korda. After one of the
runs I noticed a carp roll in the wash
of the boat, so on the next run I
86 FREE LINE
watched very closely and another
carp turned in the same area, which
wasn’t too far from my baited spot. I
tied my leader and rig back on,
clipped it up to the distance and sent
it back out.
A couple of runs through later, I
received a few bleeps as the boat
passed me on the return journey. I
thought it was the wash from the outgoing trip hitting the line, but when
the rod crippled over I knew a carp
had picked up the bait! I couldn’t
believe it; the boat had gone within
five yards of my spot in shallowish
water, yet the carp had still felt comfortable enough to feed! The fight was
an awkward one because the speed
boat carried on tearing through the
swim, and at one point the water
skier arched out from the boat and
missed my line by a few feet! Also, the
fish stayed directly behind a submerged snag that is 30 yards out in
the swim. I had to keep my patience
and play it very lightly until it kited
enough for me to lay the pressure on
and ease it around it and into the net.
It wasn’t the biggest fish in the lake at
21lb, but it was a nice, dark fish and I
always relish the first from a new
water.
I didn’t see any more shows that
d a y, a n d a f t e r a s c o u t a r o u n d I
couldn’t find them holding anywhere
else, so I stayed put for the night. I
was plagued with bream after dark
Not the biggest, but nice colours.
and I didn’t see another carp in the
area until mid morning the following
day. A new westerly had sprung up
and pushed them to the bottom of the
bay, which was 200 yards away from
my baits. I thought about moving to
the area they were showing, but I was
afraid that casting on top of them
might put them on guard and push
them out, so I decided to set my traps
well before dusk and get a few kilos of
bait in and let the swim settle in the
hope that the fish might move onto it
when the wind lessened during the
night. The plan didn’t work out
because someone dropped in the
swim opposite and from the moment
his first lead hit the water I didn’t see
another show!
The good thing about the swim I
was in was that the path behind
allowed fantastic views of the main
body of lake, and each morning I was
seeing shows out in the central part.
These shows were well out of casting
range, but I thought they might move
in on a baited area. I had found a spot
I fancied the previous week and
topped it up at the start of the current
session, so I decided to move onto it
for my last night. I decided not to load
the car, just to unload it again, and I
barrowed the mile and a bit to the
swim with full kit! I was hoping the
effort would be worth it, but all I was
rewarded with was bream! I kept the
spot going for the next couple of ses-

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