freeline-29 - Page 179



Paradise Found
B
ored of busy, featureless, open and overpriced lakes, full of
ugly leathery carp?
Me too. These types of
lakes are all too common nowadays, aren’t they? Carp
fishing is changing. Scores of readymade fisherman, with no etiquette or
conscience, relentlessly chase down
fish based on size only. So when a
good friend of mine, S.T., led me to a
quiet, picturesque, intimate club lake,
full of old scaly Leneys and perfectly
proportioned commons, I knew
instantly this is where I wanted to be.
It was the spring of 2011 and my
quest for the A-Team had begun. This
group of fish consisted of a perfect
linear, a dark leathery fish with one
big scale on the shoulder, a mint common and two of the finest Leneys
around. All of these were upper 20s
and low 30s, which is not massive by
today’s standards I know, but all were
true old English carp steeped in history. Like most of us these days, I
have a full time job and a family so
fishing time is limited to a Monday
night every week and occasional
quick morning sessions. I consider
myself very lucky to have this time
available, and a big thank-you must
go to my long-suffering wife Vicky.
From my first walk around this
clear, overgrown lake, it soon became
evident that the fish frequented the
margins and snaggy areas with some
regularity. There were plenty of areas
that were consistently being visited
by these wary carp. My plan was simple: regularly bait small areas in the
edge with minimal bait and then fish
short sessions with two bait stringers
and bottom baits. My bait of choice
was Solar Top Banana for the winter
and Chinese Takeaway and BM Baits’
C r a b a n d C r a y f o r t h e s u m m e r.
Thanks to Lockey and Wiggy for your
bait deals – very much appreciated.
My setup consisted of fluorocarbon
leaders, lead clips and 3oz flat pears,
6in strippable braid hooklink with
Mugga hooks and two 12mm bottom
baits – all standard stuff.
I started catching from the off, and
even managed one of the A-Team as
my third fish, the aptly-named Strawberry Linear. I was catching most sessions and managed to catch some
awesome looking carp. In short I
landed 51 carp in that first year, in 42
nights. Coupled with this was the
great social scene and camaraderie
between the small band of regulars
that frequented the lake, which made
this a very enjoyable time to fish.
As my second year went on, the
carp began to spend most of their
time in a large set of pads in one part
of the lake. I upped my tackle to
unleaded leaders, drop-off inline 4 oz
leads, 4in strippable braided hook link
and the new 101 Solar hooks that are
both strong and incredibly sharp. I
chose a tight underfished swim,
totally enclosed in the pads. I baited
two edge spots for a number of weeks
before dropping in for a Monday
night. I had my second A-Team member that night, Moonscale – awesome.
Two weeks later, I fished the same
swim for a quick morning session and
landed the big linear and big common. I was on a roll.
This marked the end of this particular swim with only small fish coming
from the area over the next few
nights. The bigger fish moved to a
reed bed to the left of a popular swim
known as the Big Chalk. Although I
was regularly seeing these better fish
around the reeds feeding, they were
The Strawberry linear 27lb 1oz.
FREE LINE 97





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