freeline-27 - Page 48

Eggington’s Secrets
times with both the anglers and the
carp, as the level of competent
anglers fishing at the time was
always high… well, most of them.
After weeks and weeks of preparation I could see my plan was working,
as sure enough the bait was disappearing and the primed spot was
starting to get bigger and bigger,
something I couldn’t really avoid,
apart from backing off with the hemp,
so that’s exactly what I did, but still
continued with the tigers. With my
spot being tight in the edge covered
by snags and overhanging branches,
the carp slowly started to visit more
often, probably because of the other
areas around the lake receiving pressure and my spot being ignored. At
one point I started gathering dead
wood and small branches to cover the
area, but it looked too obvious so I
dismantled it and just hoped no one
found it.
I arrived at the lake for my usual
Friday afternoon session, and after
doing two laps, which took nearly two
hours, I just couldn’t find them anywhere; it was almost like they had
totally disappeared. Not really paying
much attention to my secret spot, I
carefully crept down the bank, trying
my best to keep my movements to a
minimum. Freezing on the spot, I saw,
four foot down, five huge carp. They
looked lively and active and somehow
gave the impression they were up for
a challenge. Carefully, scrambling
back up the bank and grabbing my kit
from the van, I started assembling just
the one rod coupled this time with a
4oz inline lead, break-off style, and a
short braided hooklink of about 3in,
and two tiger nuts balanced but with
the hook still lying flat on the bottom.
Two blobs of putty were placed up
the line one at about 4ft and the other
at about 8ft.
Getting the rig in position seemed
relatively easy for a change, as after
20 minutes or so they drifted further
into the snags to my left, which gave
me just enough time to dry the hemp
off with the towel and prepare a small
PVA bag about the size of a golf ball.
A gentle controlled drop saw the lead
and leader land perfectly in the dark
stuff just on the edge of the kill zone. I
carefully slid my large looped back
lead down and settled it close to my
bank with the line hanging fairly limp
from the rod tip. Everything was carefully checked using my Polaroids, and
after delicately flicking some nuts out
one by one to the far side of my hook
bait, I was soon cringing with sheer
fear as two carp came drifting by,
staring me right into my eyes. It was
the Ashley Leather and the Black Mirror, both 30lb-plus carp. They certainly enjoyed each other’s company
over the years, rarely leaving each
other’s side and often liked the same
haunts on the Badger Bank.
Sitting back from the water’s edge
was a tense affair as time was running out yet again… five o’clock then
six o’clock... had I blown it with the
eyeball to eyeball activity earlier?
Then it happened; all the prepping, all
the time spent watching, learning,
just for this moment was immense.
My rod slowly took on a downward
curve that had me launching myself
out of my chair at lightning speed,
knocking my kettle and stove over in
one hit. Grabbing the rod, it hooped
over as the fish tried to reach sanctuary in the nearby snags. On such a
short line, the lunges felt so responsive, as it always does in this type of
close battle. It was 50/50 as the compression on my rod was being taxed
to it limits, and at one point I’m sure I
could hear the varnish cracking on
my rod close to my reel seat. It
seemed like an age when I did finally
turn her; she felt so strong and heavy,
I just wanted her in the net and on the
bank as soon as possible. Give them
an inch and they would take a mile.
Up she finally popped gulping for air,
and she looked huge, bobbing on the
water’s surface like a scene from
Jaws when the barrels rise to the surface; it was a majestic sight. With a
full stretch from the landing net and
sheer determination, in she went.
Collapsing from exhaustion and still
clutching my rod and net, I peered
into the mesh and saw a common
with incredible length and bulk. Shimano was nailed at a weight of 38lb
8oz. Happy days.
Thank you to the Lagoon for all the
happy and frustrating memories. You
will never be forgotten, and with the
recent stocking of some lovely carp it
will always produce monster fish. My
goals were achieved and it was now
time for me to move on to pastures
new in search of monster mirrors as I
fancy going for a real ‘whacker’.
Keep it REEL. All the best,
StickyCarp Hooks. n


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