freeline-25 - Page 88



Berkshire Blanks and Nene Nomads
was in direct contact with whatever
was on the end. It was just a dead
weight to start with and I wondered if
anything was still there until I felt a
slight nod and I knew it was a fish.
After a bit of steady pressure it began
to move, kiting on a diagonal towards
me, and I started to wonder if I was
into a carp or a heavily weeded
bream. Then it kicked free and slowly
stripped a few yards of line off the
spool and I knew it was a carp. After
that one run it just plodded up and
down in front of me feeling very
heavy indeed. I wondered how much
of the weight was carp and how
much was weed. It then broke surface and rolled, and this answered my
question – there was no weed on the
line at all. The weight was all fish and
by the looks of it I was attached to
one of the A-Team!
It rolled a second time, and I knew
it was definitely one of the big commons, looking a lot bigger than a random mid-30 that the lake has a tendency to throw up at this time of year.
Was it one of my two target fish? It
went on a couple more lunges before
I managed to slip it over the net cord.
I shipped the net back and peered
One of my targets, the Immaculate!
88 FREE LINE
into the mesh – it was definitely one
of the big girls! The first thing I
noticed was a very big, undamaged
mouth, so I knew it wasn’t the Parrot
or the Small Mouth. It was a deep fish
and grey in colouration so I knew it
wasn’t Blindeye, so it must be the
Immaculate! I was over the moon, as
it’s normally a very rare visitor to the
bank. It had gone uncaught for two
years in the past, but this year it had
graced the banks more than normal,
which probably accounted for the fact
that it didn’t quite make the 40lb
mark; in fact it fell two ounces short.
But it mattered not because she was
in good condition and another target
ticked off the hit list!
With one of my targets under my
belt and two more nights left in prime
big fish conditions, my confidence
was sky high of banking another
chunk. I couldn’t help but dream
about banking Blindeye and getting
the job done! I honestly thought there
was a very good chance of it happening, but it wasn’t to be. A few days
later I found out that there was absolutely no chance of me catching
Blindeye or even Small Mouth that
session, because they were not in
there! They had both found their way
into the lake next door along with a
few other fish. When I was photographing the Immaculate the bailiff
mentioned the Island Lake had
thrown up an unknown common at
38lb, which was later identified as the
Small Mouth that should reside in the
Big Lake, and a few days later Blindeye was caught out of there too! So
those two nights had been a bit of a
waste really. It turns out that the grid
that stops fish moving through the
adjoining pipe had corroded, allowing
fish to pass through. So when the
problem was rectified a good percentage of the Big Lake fish were
exploring the new surroundings of
the Island Lake!
It seemed like Blindeye hadn’t
taken to its new home that well
because she had remained at her
summer weight of under 40lb, when I
would normally expect her to be up at
mid 40lb in October. This left me in
another quandary – did I want to
chase a fish that had just been caught
that was down in weight, or should I
venture elsewhere in yet another
twist in my up and down season?
Until next month, slack lines. n

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