freeline-29 - Page 164



Magical Captures
could now have faith in – nine inches
of Maxima knotless knotted on a size
7 Big T, which, with the bait balanced,
would sit directly above the hook
when mounted on a small “D” on the
shank of the hook. Simple, but tangle
free, and it would disappear over a
clear lakebed. The bait covering the
hook I feel was also crucial.
Keen to see what he’d weigh, I
stood behind as the boys hoisted him
up with a bankstick through the
scales handle, and the needle settled
at 44lb 9oz. That’ll do me. With the
light very poor on Trumpton’s, we carried him out to the edge of the car
park, and with every man and his dog
there now… well… Steve’s two dogs
actually, we laid Single down on a collection of mats, and I tried to lift him
up. What an awkward fish to hold!
Having not fought much, Single was
still full of fight and bashed me up on
the bank, much to the amusement of
Lewis who was yelping, “Beat him
Single! Beat him!”
When he calmed down, it was a
case of just balancing him on my
hands as his sheer width meant I
couldn’t get my fingers round to his
pec. With chief goalkeeper Monki on
hand, we got him upright and the
(Top) Single was just so wide!
(Right) Proudly returning the
awesome Single.
82 FREE LINE
cameras whizzed and clicked. It was
nice to be the centre of attention at
last, and Single being one of the chief
A-listers I was on a huge high. What a
turnaround in less than 12 hours. I
was so grateful I’d persevered and got
that one rod bang-on. The other lads
reckoned it was the can of beer that
had done it, so now it looked like the
beers were on me.
We carried him back on the mats to
return in the Middle Secret, and with
Monki taking his duties seriously, he
waded out to give me a hand to pick
him up for returners, as it was likely
Single would be lively, sensing freedom. Fortunately he behaved, and
with a few returners done, despite the
light levels being poor in the Secret, I
lowered him down and let him power
off.
With the video camera still rolling,
Monki in his wisdom decided it
would be a good idea to wrestle me
in, but as we jostled I told him I couldn’t swim, and with Lewis screeching
to push Monki in, he let me swing him
round and with a little push he leapt
out into the Secret’s depths with the
onlookers howling with laughter.
Lewis, being louder than loud, was
still heard over everyone else, as I just
remember him screaming, “What’s he
like?”
As we both trudged out of the margins, I shook him by the hand, and it
topped off a brilliant morning. Big
thanks to all the lads that helped that
morning and made it one of my most
magical captures of all time.
Unfortunately both these historic
whackers are no longer with us, but
this makes the memory of catching
them special. I hope you enjoyed
reading, and for more of the same
grab a copy of my book, Beauties and
the Beasts. n





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