freeline-25 - Page 98



The Sighting of the Mystery Common
noon and then just before dark I
swapped the middle rod over from the
long length hook link that I was using
to a short, 5in KD style hook link. I
also switched from a size 5 Stiff Rigger to a size 7 Curve Shank. The hook
bait stayed the same though, as I was
sure the snowman was the way forward. The other rod I switched over to
a 360 rig with a couple of 12mm
pineapple pop-ups on it. With the
rods sorted and back on the spot it
was now a waiting game to see if the
changes would pay off. In the night I
heard a few shows out near to the
baited area, but as I got my head
down in the early hours all was quiet,
and I felt a decent night’s sleep was
all I’d be having that night.
Just as I had expected all I had was
a good night’s sleep but less than an
hour after getting up the following
morning a few fish started showing
close to the bait. At 7am a fish
showed a few times just to the back
of the spot, but by 8am it had gone
dead, and I saw nothing for the
remainder of the morning. The air
pressure had dropped overnight and
the rain had come in again, confining
me to under the brolly, but with Marcus punishing my tea I had plenty to
keep me busy. It was while we were
drinking all this tea that the subject of
Atlas came up again. It had become a
bit of an obsession for me now, as I
was convinced that it was feeding on
my bait and yet I’d still not had it.
Eventually the rain stopped, which
allowed me to get out and watch the
water without getting a soaking, and
it was while I was looking out that I
saw a small cluster of fizzing come up
on the spot.
Duncan had turned up to see Marcus, and it was while we were all having yet another drink that my middle
rod’s bobbin pulled up, not all the way
up, but half way up. At first I thought
it was a bird that had picked up the
bait, as there were loads over the
spot, but as they all spooked off the
bobbin stayed where it was and
didn’t drop back down. A few seconds later the bobbin lifted a further
inch, and it was then that I thought
something may have picked me up. I
unclipped the line from the clip, and
as I did this the line pulled up yet
again, but on this occasion I picked
up the rod and lifted in to it. As soon
as I did I felt something kick on the
end, and then it took a few yards of
line before going solid in the weed
bed to the left of the spot. I got to the
top of the swim but it was solid and
wasn’t budging no matter what I did.
I called for Marcus to get the boat
from his swim, and once he had, and
life jackets were on, we headed out
into the lake to try and get above
whatever I’d hooked and hopefully
free it from the weed bed that it was
firmly lodged in.
The actual Scattered Linear this time at a weight of 29lb 1oz.
98 FREE LINE
As we got out to the area and got
above the fish this almighty weed bed
came to the surface and at the back of
it just under the surface sat this big,
creamy looking mirror. I remember
commenting to Marcus that it was a
decent fish but I couldn’t see which
one it was. Marcus however, had a
good idea what it was but didn’t want
to tell me. I managed to pull all the
weed from around my line and almost
get direct contact with the fish, but
just as I did it powered off and went
down into the deeper water. As it
power rolled on the bottom in an
attempt to shed the rig it picked up
the line from my other rod and this in
turn caused a bloody nightmare! Not
only was there now a load of weed
round it, but also another load of line
along with a lump of leadcore and a
lead to get in the way. I couldn’t cut
through the line as this would leave a
baited rig dumped on the lakebed, so
I had to try and sort the line out so
that I could net the fish.
After a whole load of shit I eventually managed to gain some line;
enough to allow me to get the fish
close to the net. Marcus passed it to
me and on the second attempt one
huge great mirror rolled over the net
cord. I then passed Marcus the net
back while I tried to sort all the weed
that had gathered over the line. It was
then that Marcus told me what I had
in the net – it was Atlas! At last I had
got the fish that was giving me sleepless nights – I was buzzing. Before I
could relax though I needed to sort all
the line out that was still wrapped
round the fish and caught under the
hook that was firmly buried in its bottom lip. Duncan and a chap called
Brian were on the bank calling out to
me to tell them what I had, but I had
more important things on my mind
like getting all the line off from around
it before any damage was done. Eventually I sorted it and with that done
we made our way to the bank.
Once back I passed the net to Duncan and he got a look at what I had.
From above it looked massive and
once everything was sorted out, we
set about getting some pictures done
along with video footage and then
weighing the great fish. For the
record Atlas weighed 45lb 10oz, but I
couldn’t have cared what it weighed;
I was just happy to finally catch it.
With the weighing done I got a couple of water returners in Pike before it

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