freeline-28 - Page 70

Exclusive Dreams Really Do Come True
all from Fox – the confidence I have in
this tackle is unbeatable! I chose to
stick with the hook bait choice that
had landed the 48lb common – a
small PB wafter.
After getting off to such a great
start with a fish under my belt so
early, I really thought I was in for a big
hit that week, but I couldn’t have
been more wrong. From that first
fish until Thursday morning, I had
absolutely nothing, while my dad was
catching. I was pulling my hair out –
same tactics, same bait, even the
same spot with one of the rods and
fish showing on the spots, but I could
not buy a bite. I even spent the whole
of Wednesday sat round the other
side on a bucket in horrendous conditions, pouring rain, back and butt
aching, for the whole day with the
rods on the deck due to fishing showing there, but it just wasn’t happening
for me. The only difference in what we
were doing was our hook baits. I had
bright yellow PB wafters on, and he
was using Crayfish Mini Hookers,
which are the same size baits, being a
small dumbbell, but these were
almost black in colour and had a seriously pungent fishy smell. So
Wednesday evening, soaking wet
with a bad back, I trundled back to
my swim and set about getting three
fresh rigs ready to go. My dad was
kind enough to give me his second
pot of Crayfish Mini Hookers, so they
went on, and the rods were ready to
go just before dinner arrived. We sat
together and had a burger and chips
before getting the rods out just before
dark. As you can probably imagine, I
wasn’t feeling very confident, and
68 Big Carp
seeing as my dad was already on five
fish including three at 50-plus, I was a
tad down in the dumps regarding my
own fishing, but absolutely buzzing
for him, as he was having a brilliant
session. Little did I know it was all
about to change that very next morning... Big fish Thursday!
In the early hours of Thursday
morning at around 2am, I woke to the
sound of the wind building up along
with torrential rain absolutely smashing in through the bivvy door. The
rods remained quiet, so there was
nothing for it but to zip up and get
back to sleep. But just before first
light, everything changed when the
middle rod went into absolute meltdown. The take was so savage, I truly
thought the line was going to burn
through the bite alarm! I didn’t know
where I was or what was going on. I
leapt up from the bed, but my head
torch had slipped down over my eyes.
I couldn’t get my boots on quickly
enough or find the zip for the
door… It was all out panic stations,
and all the time the rod was completely ripping off!
Finally I burst through the bivvy
door and got to the rod, blurry eyed
with jelly legs. As soon as I lifted into
the fish it flat-rodded me and just
kept on going. Initially I thought I was
into one of the few large catfish that
reside in the lake. That was until the
fish proceeded to kite right but come
towards me at the same time, thankfully missing my right hand rod, but
unfortunately wiping out my dad’s
left hand rod.
By this time I knew it was a carp,
and my dad was in my swim. Luckily
his line just came off the fish, and she
was under the tip. All this happened
in what felt like five minutes, but I’m
sure was longer, and that wasn’t even
half the fight. I was a fool to think she
had tired herself out! I knew it was
something special when my back
really started to ache, which doesn’t
happen very often.
The fight went on for at least
another 20-30 minutes. I would gain a
little, and she would take it right back.
There were at least three points in the
fight under the tip where I thought
the fish was snagged, but it was just
the sheer immense weight of trying to
turn her. When we realised the fish
was tiring, Dad, with the waders on,
grabbed the net and jumped in for me
due to the shallow margins. Rather
than winding more line on the reel
and with dad in the lake, I just walked
back and slowly but surely, a massive
framed mirror came over the cord.
She was in! By now it was light, and
dad straight away asked what my
biggest carp had been, to which I
replied, “51lb 14oz from the UK.” His
only words were,”You’ve absolutely
smashed that!”
Now if my legs weren’t wobbly
enough as it was, they certainly were
now. I wasted no time in getting my
waders on to jump in and have a look.
As I peered into the net, I was in complete shock at the width and depth of
this fish, but it wasn’t until we got her
safely in the sling, still in the net, and
lifted her out on to the bank that we
truly realised just how big she was!
With the size 4 hook popped out,
which, I quote ‘looked tiny in this
thing’s mouth’ and sling zeroed on
the tripod, we hoisted her up on the
scales. The needle whizzed round to
over 81lb! I was gobsmacked, lost for
words, legs were gone and I didn’t
know what to do with myself!
We got her safely retained in the
sling with Dad in the lake with her
and got straight on the phone to Nick.
He was round in no time with a second set of scales to double check and
triple check the weight of this fish!
Eventually we settled on 81lb on the
button, a new lake record for Lac De
Premiere and their first 80lb-plus
carp! I think Nick was just as shellshocked as me. The photos really do
show it all… What a moment to share
with my dad, the man who got me
into fishing at the age of four, taught
me how to cast and everything I

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