freeline-29 - Page 168



Road Lake Remembered
casts towards the snag tree with a
bare lead and could get a good drop
alongside a pole that had been placed
directly in front of the snag tree as a
boundary marker. I had observed several fish entering and exiting the
snags on this line so was very happy
to have a rod here. The other rod was
fished to the treeline on a slightly
shallower area that felt like gravel by
the way it cracked down.
It was all done with the bare minimum of casts, as I didn’t want to ruin
my chances by spooking the fish from
the area. The rigs I employed were a
short section of 15lb Amnesia with an
inch section of braid to a size 7 Nash
Fang finished off with a 12mm Nutrabaits Big Fish Mix barrel. I scattered
around 50 baits from the tree line and
snag to my hook baits. I then sat back
to watch the water and soak up the
atmosphere of a lovely summers
evening.
The light was just fading when the
first positive signs appeared over the
baited area, as a fish rolled over the
right hand rod. Things were looking
good and only ten minutes later I
received a savage take on the right
hand rod. I was fishing locked up, so
the take was just a few beeps followed by the rod bucking in the rests.
I quickly grabbed the rod, plunged the
tip under the water and held my
ground. The fish boiled on the surface
my side of the pole and just as I
thought I was gaining the upper
hand, all went slack. The line had
parted above the leadcore, possibly
on the gravel bar I was fishing on, and
I was gutted. I was left shaking and
sat down for a brew to steady my
nerves before redoing the rod. I woke
up in the morning with no further
action to the rods during the night. I
was up at first light to watch the
water; the weather had turned overcast during the night and it was drizzling with rain by 8am. I hadn’t seen
any signs of fish over the baited area
throughout the morning so at 10am I
reeled in. I had a good mooch about
for a few hours and got soaked in the
process. By midday the rain had
started to clear, so I redid the rods, as
I hadn’t seen anything positive to
make me move. I whiled away the
afternoon watching the water and
drinking tea. The fish didn’t return to
the snags that day or the next morning despite the next day being a hot
one. So finished my first session on
86 FREE LINE
the Road Lake. Due to my changing of
jobs that summer I had three weeks
off before starting a new job. This
enabled me to fish a couple of days a
week rather than the single
overnighter in between work that I
usually do.
The next session was a few days
later, and I was itching to get back. It
was still roasting hot and I felt like a
defrosting gateau stuck on the M25 in
a traffic jam. I eventually battled my
way to the lake through the traffic
and pulled into the relative calm of
the Longfield complex. I grabbed my
water bottle and went on the hunt for
some fish. It didn’t take long before I
found a group of fish milling around a
set of lily pads in front of the Grassy
Knoll swim. They looked well up for a
floater, so I set about getting a rod
sorted. Due to the close proximity of
the fish I chose to free line a single
Chum mixer to the edge of the pads. I
cast over the pads and gently eased
the mixer back so it came to rest on
the edge of the pads with the line
lying over the top of them. It wasn’t
I tied a few of the hemp sticks up at
home and they looked good.
long before a large mirror came into
view from under the pads, I held my
breath as it rose in the water and
engulfed my mixer. I struck and fish
rolled on the surface, I think it was
surprised to be hooked and I thought
for a second I was going to get it into
the net there and then. Unfortunately
it woke up and charged through a
large weedbed, which resulted in the
hook pulling. I javelined the rod into
the bushes and sat down to have a
sulk. On the one hand I was pleased
to have got two chances on my first
couple of trips but gutted not have
anything to show for it.
I spent the rest of the two-day session chasing tails around the pond
with nothing much of note happening, apart from an interesting meeting
with Tony the Nose. I was stood staring into the snag bush by the Pentagon swim, which is just around the
corner from the Grassy Knoll when I
heard the splintering of wood and a





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