freeline-27 - Page 160



The Best of Rockford
up from the depths so slowly and I
just caught a glimpse. It was indeed a
lump. Once in the net, it could only be
one fish – Three Scales. This was my
third capture of the lake’s biggest
fish, and so I was keen to get her
weighed and back quickly. She was
pretty big at 45lbs and the lads were
well keen to see such a fish on the
bank. Now as I’ve seen before, once
Three Scales comes out of a swim,
that’s it, and it’s time to move on.
Another week passed and I turned
up on the Ivy Bank at Rockford and
dropped in Peg 35 for a quick
overnighter before going to work. I
had no joy but planned to get back in
the swim on the Thursday. On arrival
I wasn’t surprised to see all the swims
were taken on the Ivy Bank. Peg 35
was the weediest swim on the Ivy
Bank and was where I needed to be
for maximum confidence. With a
stroke of luck the angler in peg 35 had
got fed up trying to find a clean drop,
and the swim became available. I
rushed my gear into the swim and
spent the next ten minutes planning
how I was going to fish amongst all
the weed. I knew my rig was right for
the weed, and so I cast my chods
right in the middle of the rafts of weed
at 90 yards. All three rigs were well off
the bottom in the weed just feet from
the surface.
In the early hours of the morning I
hooked into a chunk. It felt like a real
big carp and got weeded up quite
early on in the fight. Once I got it
moving again it came to the surface,
rolled a couple of times and then it
was off. I spent the next hour sorting
out that rod and then recast it straight
back into the weed. I got some sleep
and daylight broke with another take
on the rod I’d recast. The carp stuck
its head out of the water on the take,
and when I picked up the rod it
jumped right out again! Most the
fight was on the surface, and I’m sure
the light lead played a part in this.
While the carp was catching its
breath in the net I got my camera
sorted. The lads came over to lend me
a hand before I returned the 29lbs
14oz beauty to its home. Anyway it
was nice to land one after losing a
lump the night before. Peg 35 had
been busy up till now and I was ready
(Top) October Sunrise.
(Right) Fishing in the weed gave me
an edge.
160 FREE LINE
to go and have a dabble in Peg 8, as a
group of carp had been regularly visiting an area at 130 yards. On my way
out of the gate I saw an angler drop in
Peg 8 on the other side, so I only
hoped it might come free in a few
days.
I got back to the lake at 12 noon
and couldn’t believe Peg 8 was free.
The swim had been fished hard. Bits
of Brazil nuts and rigs left in the swim
with the grass rapidly depleting was
not a good sign, but I had to give it a
go. The Tufties were going loopy over
an area that looked to be over 100
yards out. I don’t like to fish over a different bait to mine and was confident
if the fish returned they wouldn’t turn
down my bait. I put a lead on the
spod rod and cast just outside where
the birds were working, and clipped
up to give me the distance I needed
to achieve, which was 130 yards. I
guessed there were still particles of
bait all over the area, so I only put five
Spombs of the mix and boilies right
on the money, which was hard work.
Nothing occurred during the night
and shortly after 6am the middle rod
burst into life. It was a slow, steady
run and I knew it could only be a carp.
Although it was a long way out
because I was on the braid, I could tell
it was a big fish. I gradually gained
line on the fish as it hugged tight to
the bottom, constantly finding the
weedbeds. Each time she weeded me
up, the directness of the braid got her
out and moving again. It was a
strange battle and in a direct line
between the spot and me. I finally got
the carp in under the rod tip and lifted
her from the depths. I couldn’t believe
it was Three Scales again, and know-
ing she was bigger than ever, I netted
her rather quickly. Three Scales
hadn’t been out since I’d last had her,
and I new she would be a new PB. I
called Ash as he was the only friend I
knew could come and lend a hand.
Bless him, coming down that early
and before his day at Ringwood
Tackle. We put the scales on a landing
net pole and hoisted it up on each of
our shoulders, with the scales facing
Ash. Ash paused for a moment,
turned and said, “48lb 11oz.” It was
immense, and my fourth capture of
the mighty fish. As usual after the
capture of Three Scales from Peg 8
the swim dried up. Single Scale was
still out there, and was ultimately my
target fish, but with rumours of
Cemex selling all their lakes, I felt my
dream was slipping away.
After a long close season with no
fishing, I was keen to hit the draw on
Rockford and see if I would get lucky.
I saw a couple of carp head and
shoulder in front of peg 12, but due to
the bad weather and a heavy algae
bloom, I just left it to guesswork for
my choice of swim for opening night.
I came out near last, and with a
choice of just two swims I chose peg
6, which my mate Roger had a few
from last year. The swim looked nice
and was well away from the Winter
Bank and far from peg 7 to my left.
Peg 5 to my right wouldn’t be a problem, as casting is restricted being in
the corner. So it was just a week to go
until the start, and I was already ready
to go.
Two weeks into the season and the
fishing was hard. The water in Rocky
had coloured up with a bit of an algae
bloom, and what looked like some

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