freeline-28 - Page 177



The Gnarly Pit
Odd bubbles came up over where I
was fishing.
my kit then get to an A&E to get a little bloody hook out. Pull yourself
together man, I thought to myself.
So with another inspection I had a
prod around at the embedded hook. I
made up my mind to try and push the
point back through my finger so I
could flatten the barb and get it out
with a touch more ease. This was
going to be easier said than done, but
I had little choice. I started pushing
the point into my skin from the inside
and I’d feel a prick, I kept doing it until
I found a numb spot, not near a nerve.
After a bit of poking about I got a bit
and started to slide the hook back out
through a new virgin hole into the
torchlight. Jeez was I sweating, and
not just from the humidity! At last the
barb popped through and I took my
forceps, flattened off the barb and
eased the hook back from where it
went in. With a feeling of obvious
relief, I sighed, wiped the sweat from
my brow and decided to get the get
the rod, with a new hook on, back into
the lake.
The next morning, after catching
another double-figure common, the
fish started showing all over in front
of me at a fair distance out. My first
cast went down with a thump in a
gully I guessed, as it was a bit deeper
from what I had been fishing in. That
morning produced a further five bites,
all of which were landed including a
couple of twenty pound commons
and low twenty mirror, one of only
three of the species I was to land from
there.
A couple of weeks later saw me
blank a night when I fished in the
Dugout, and for reasons I’ll only
describe as work, I didn’t get back
until the following year at the back
end of winter. In the course of that
winter, post Christmas, we’d had a
huge freeze-up and loads of snow.
Then come the beginning of March,
after regularly chatting to Dickie on
the phone all winter, we’d started to
plan a few trips before the start of the
close season, which came into effect
at the end of that month.
I first went down for a two-night
session, which coincided with the
end of February and the beginning of
March. I was so keen it was unreal.
After an autumn and winter where I’d
pretty much been grounded with one
thing or another, which included
moving house... again… I was full of
anticipation. On that first trip I did the
first night in the ever-faithful Reedy
Point, as I could keep a close eye on
the Royal Box Bay and the main body
of lake in front of me. At dawn on the
next day I was sure I saw a carp turn
over behind the island next to the
Gap swim, so I went round to the
third bridge and ending up making a
swim next to the Gap swim. This
became the Path Swim as I had to
make it across the path. A few cuts
with a fold-out saw soon sorted it,
and I was soon sitting behind a couple of rods cast out into the blue yonder.
That night I remember getting a
few liners. I’m sure I made a blunder
and was fishing too far out over the
first bar that ran off the island and the
fish were along my own margin. But
at least I was sure that the fish were
moving about. At dawn I remember
seeing a definite carp nut out in front
of the swim I had been in the night
before.
On the Monday at work the sun
came out and it was really warm, and
the Tuesday it was exactly the same.
It was killing me standing in a field
planting trees when I wanted to be
fishing. So as I was on price I went
like a maniac on that Tuesday and
again on the Wednesday until I had
earned enough for me to winkle a day
off. After finishing work as quickly as
humanly possible I got home, loaded
my kit up and belted it as fast as I
dared until I reached my destination.
I still had plenty of time, so I loaded
my barrow up with all the kit and
semi-jogged fully loaded along to the
High Bank . I was aiming to go on the
Reedy Point, as I’d seen that fish, but
as always I stopped first to have as
good a look as I could before I needed
to get set up. I was walking along the
High Bank behind the islands trying
to look into the murky water. I was
once told many years ago by a guy
who used to run his own fishery and
was pretty well educated on the subject that come the spring on certain
lakes that have certain acidity levels,
once the water begins to warm it can
often go a cold tea colour for a short
period of time. Here it had done just
that. As I peered into the water trying
to see anything, I noticed what looked
like a pike. It was then joined by
another fish, but the second was certainly a carp. At least I’d found one. I
surmised that there would be more
about.
I elected to fish from the Royal Box.
As I’ve said before, it looks out to the
same water as a swim on the second
bridge that we’d nicknamed the Oak
for self-explanatory reasons. It was
always a worry when you were sat in
either that someone was going to go
and set up in the swim opposite and
cast right across you. A little decorum
is needed, but unfortunately not many
possess it these days. I know Dickie
had hassle fishing in there once or
twice with people setting up and
casting over him even though they
knew he was there – ignorance. I
know any angler worth his salt would
have not even set up there in the first
place, let alone just done it and
thought, to hell with everyone
around. At the time though, seeing as
the lake was often very quiet, I wasn’t
overly concerned, especially seeing as
it wasn’t summer yet.
Having never fished the swim, I
didn’t have a clue where to cast. With
a few flicks I luckily got a nice drop on
FREE LINE 93





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