freeline-29 - Page 162



Magical Captures
viewed with some suspicion, so the
Brazils were a nutty alternative I felt
might just be the way to go. As well
as hemp I also had partiblend in the
mix to get the carp rooting and preoccupied enough to drop their guard.
With the pocket rocket chucked out
and clipped up to what I could gauge
was the right range, I spodded out
half a dozen spodfuls of particle in the
dark before pushing a couple of bank
sticks in, and with the bobbin on a
slackish line began to move the bedchair and all my gear the few yards
from where it was strewn in Trumpton’s.
With the bivvy chucked over the
top of the bedchair and a couple of
pegs pushed in, I sparked up the
stove and for the first time since arriving some four hours previously, began
to wind down, and with a tea in hand
at last could relax. Who said this fishing lark was to ease stress? It looked
a bit odd sat behind just one rod, but
one on a presentable rock hard spot
was better than two stuck in the
weed.
As soon as my head hit the pillow I
was out like a light. My evening’s
exertion certainly took it out of me, as
at 8am, I came awake with a jolt as
my one rod went into meltdown, and
as I bent into it, the culprit ripped line
off me as it tore off. I managed to stop
it and gain a few yards back before it
slammed the rod down again and
headed left behind a big weedbed.
The denseness of the weed slowed it
up and I got a few turns back on it
before it ground to a halt and went
solid.
Now wide awake, I yelled out for
the boat. The boat was stored directly
behind my bivvy, but I needed help,
and within a minute, Rick, Steve,
Monki and Odd were at my side with
life jackets. With Odd holding the
video camera, Rick and Steve got the
boat into the water. With life jacket
on, I got into the front of the boat and
Rick jumped in the back with the net
and rowed me out to my weeded fish.
Having never had to go out for a
fish before, I was a bit unsure how to
play it, and with Rick inching us
closer to where the line met the
water, I pulled gingerly from above.
With the rod hooped over nothing
was moving. Unsure whether the fish
was still on or not, I laid the rod out to
the side, grabbed the line with my fingers, and with my sphincter muscles
80 FREE LINE
twitching teased the line up with my
fingers, ready to let go should the fish
go into one.
As I leaned across the front of the
boat, Rick kept it steady and kept me
from panicking too much. I gently
started pulling off weed, and as the
line picked up in the weed I could see
the end of my 45lb leadcore. With a 4ft
leader, I was literally feet from hidden
treasure. I was just picking up the rod
again to see if I could move it when it
dawned on me, with the fish so close,
if indeed it was still on, I’d be better
off hand-lining it into the net. Grabbing the net, I pushed it deep under
the weed, and with the end of the
leadcore between my fingers, lifted it
vertically.
With the stretch in the mono now
removed with me holding the leadcore, the fish nodded its head and I
excitedly shouted to Rick, “It’s still
on.” I lifted the net around where the
fish should be, still totally engulfed in
weed. As the drawstring came under
it, the water exploded, and for a second I thought it had bolted off before
exploding again on top of the net. The
trouble was with the weight of the
weed over the arms, the net just
twisted as I lifted it, and I had never
been so grateful to see a hand come
over my shoulder as Rick grabbed the
arm of the net, and between us the
The Yateley paparazzi gathered.
fish was imprisoned within.
With a bellowed “YES!!” I got
applause from the gathering crowd in
my swim. With everyone keen to
know what I’d caught, I ripped out
the weed to reveal the unmistakeable
bulk of Single Scale. With a fistpunching
“SINGLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” scream, all
captured on video, there was a sudden rush of happiness and relief as
the pressure was instantly released.
Rick slowly rowed us in as I cradled
Single at the back of the boat, minding he faced the right way and holding him away from the edge of the
boat. As we drifted into Trumptons,
Chilly came beaming up the path,
“Lovely clear spot in Waiting Man’s,” I
chuckled, to which Chilly replied,
“Good job I moved out then, boy,”
having already caught Single the previous year.
As the boys held the beast in the
net, I dug out the necessary – scales,
sling and camera. The next couple of
minutes I just wandered about grinning as the lads got on with unhooking and weighing him. Steve and Rick
made a comment, as my hookbait
was still attached. With a wink and a
grin they passed me the rig with the
cut down Brazil still intact. He was
well hooked in the bottom lip, so at
long last I had an open water rig I





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