freeline-28 - Page 182



The Gnarly Pit
Reedy Point. After a few cups of tea I
went round there with the intention
of getting sorted.
Once there, I got my kit down into
the swim, but before setting up, I
went for a walk round the back of the
islands and into Royal Box Bay. There
seemed to be fish everywhere behind
the islands, and almost all of them
were covered in scrapes of clay from
where they had been feeding hard
and having a good rub up and down
the bars. Another guy came into my
swim as I was stood with a rod trying
my luck, but I was pretty sure I’d
missed the party. His name was
Richard too and sort of knew Dickie.
You could tell straight away he was in
the know, and we soon got chatting.
On asking him if he’d seen any of the
myths, he said he’d seen that one
they called the Kinky Back Common.
I was still yet to see this fish, but
didn’t doubt its existence. We ambled
off to my swim for a needed brew and
a natter before he headed off along
the High Bank in search of something
to fish for for the day. I didn’t bother to
Wayne with a chunky Gnarly Pit resident.
98 FREE LINE
cast out, as I wasn’t a 100% sure I was
where I wanted to be.
In the late afternoon, Dickie came
round for a chat and a few brews just
to get out of solitary confinement for a
few hours. As the sun started going
down behind us, I walked up the bank
to stretch my legs when my shadow
that was cast across the pit spooked a
few fish. Quickly getting down, I
asked Richard if he’d seen what happened. All I got was an affirmative
and called an idiot! I decided there
and then to get my rods in the water
as quickly as I could to save mucking
up my swim any more. Once I’d
sorted my rods, Dickie went off to do
his.
As he donned his chest waders and
stood in the water to cast, every coot
was spooked from his end of the lake
and came skimming across the lake
to right in front of me! Once he was
sorted, they soon went their own
ways again and all was quiet.
It was only around nine o’clock
when Dickie rang me to tell me that
he’d just had one. It felt like I’d been
asleep for hours, whereas I’d not long
since dozed off. It was a low twenty
common. I offered to go round and do
some pics, but he said he’d already
put it back.
I felt the confidence sap out of me.
I really thought the fish had gone
straight past me. As I thought it was a
lot later, I thought I’d missed my
chance. Once I realised it hadn’t been
dark that long, I calmed down a bit
and put the kettle on. After a brew I
got my head back down.
At dawn I was up and looking
across the pit with mist pouring off
the surface in the cold morning air. I
got the camera out and tried to capture the mood but as per usual failed
miserably. I sat there watching a few
odd bubbles coming off the surface
when I noticed a few right over where
one of my rods was cast. Then in the
blink of an eye my rod was bent in the
rests and the clutch was spinning a
good ‘un – a sure sign of power! After
a really good heavy scrap I got it in
the edge, I landed a big, pale looking
common. Once in the net I hoisted it





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