freeline-28 - Page 178



The Gnarly Pit
what appeared to be a hump that was
fairly weed-free. It wasn’t too far out,
and seeing as I’d seen a fish in the
vicinity, I quickly made my mind up to
exploit it for the night. I managed to
squeeze both rods on it and fired out
a few baits before setting up the rest
of my kit. That evening there was a
storm that went around me. Behind
me the sun shone brightly and
reflected off of the black clouds in
front of me. Luckily we only got a few
spots of rain.
That night little happened, and I
was awake at dawn to a thick frost
with mist pouring off the water. I
quickly got out of the bag and put the
kettle on for a steaming cup of tea. As
I sat there with the kettle on, I really
had the urge to go and look out into
the main lake. I had that feeling I was
missing something whilst I was
tucked up behind the islands. Once
the tea was made, I took my buzzer
remote and steaming mug along the
High Bank so I could see the main
lake. I stood there for a few minutes
and quickly drank my hot tea. Nothing seemed to be showing and there
were birds everywhere, which made
seeing a carp stick its head out of the
water even harder. With that I turned
tail to go back to base and make a
fresh tea.
As I was walking the High
Bank alongside the Royal Box
B a y, I h a d a b l e e p o n m y
r e m o t e. B l o o d y c o o t s , I
thought, as I peered out into
the dawn half-light only to see
a splash right above where I
was fishing followed by a onetoner coming from my box. I
ran the short distance to my
swim and proceeded to wind
the fish in. In the net I was surprised how big it looked. On
the scales it showed my long,
long, long awaited first thirtypound common. At last! At
only a shade over, it showed
30lb 4oz. I was made up, especially as it was possibly a very
rare fish to the bank. It was
pristine and deep chestnut
and russet in colour with a
nice heart shaped tail. After a
few self-takes in the rising
morning sun I slipped her
back. With a Cheshire cat-like
grin I redid the rod and got it
back out. As I was getting
ready to start to pack up a few Dickie.
94 FREE LINE
hours later, I had another one off the
same hump, a common at around
21lbs. That was a nice way to end the
winter!
Once I got home I called Dickie
with my excited news. He was well
happy for me.
“When you getting down then, big
man?” I asked. “Next week,” was his
reply. “I was waiting until you caught
so I knew they’d be on the move!”
The crafty sod!
After work on the Friday I went
straight back. I was super keen and
could think of nothing else. I had a bit
of a thing going on with one of my
close family members who was very
poorly at the time, and not being good
at that sort of thing, it was easier to
hide away and be by myself, and
going fishing took my mind off
events.
On the first night I went into the
Oak, which looks onto the same water
as the Royal Box. After seeing nothing
and a good look about the next day, I
went in to the Dugout just so I could
see if anything showed in the main
part of the lake. Even with the good
conditions for early spring, mild and
sunny during the day, I didn’t really
see any signs of fish at all.
I was still mad keen and didn’t
want to go back to my normal existence. But alas I had to, and so on the
Sunday I packed up.
It was the following week that
Dickie rang whilst I was at work to
tell me he was there. He was in the
Dugout in the main lake. I blagged the
next day off work, and late that
evening I drove down there for a
night. Once I arrived I wheeled my
barrow round to the Royal Box and
went on over to see my mate. Seeing
as it was well past midnight, I didn’t
feel the need to rush and set up. I
arrived at his swim and had to stir
him from his slumber to put the kettle
on. He was a bit hard to rouse, so I left
him to it and went to set up. I went to
where my gear was and as quietly as
I could in the dark, I got everything
sorted. Once it was all done I cast
both rods in the direction of the end of
an island, which is where I knew the
hump lay. On my second cast I hit it…
DONK the lead went as it hit the bottom. So I quickly picked up rod number two and cast it next to the rings
that were still emanating from the
spot that I could just make out in the
dark. That one went down well too, so
I let the lines settle and put a few
baits out with the catapult. I had a
quick brew then got my head down





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