freeline-29 - Page 57

Nirvana Lost And Found Exclusive
shot off to the shop for a few provisions to see me comfortably
through… oh, and a quick shower to
recharge my energy levels and
resurging enthusiasm.
After the mad dash to the shop and
shower, I was flicking out lighter
1.5oz leads attached to the ever-reliable 9in Gardner Stiff-Link Ronnies.
The only thing I tweak in my end
setup was the weight of lead. I only
use the size needed to reach the spot,
because I am more than confident in
the sharpness of the size 4 Dark
Mugga hook point, and happy that
will do the rest.
Only two hours after recasting,
which was entirely spent questioning
if I had made the right decision, my
middle rod was away. After a short
‘ploddy’ fight, I was holding up
another banging 42lb chestnut mirror
in the mid-afternoon autumn sunshine. As I was playing it, I noticed
two more subtle rolls up to my right
(towards the Cold Swim). Hence it
was no surprise when at first light my
left had rod pulled up, and it was
another 40lb mirror. A hat-trick of 40lb
mirrors and a brace of commons – I
was absolutely made up.
I tell you what I miss the most in
retrospect – winter fishing at Welly.
Like most lakes, things become much
harder as the carp just disappear into
the chilly abyss. But when the public
are permanently locked out of the
park, it offers all the same qualities
but stripped back of all the daytime
din. Instead, the buzz of thronging
crowds is replaced with the peace
and tranquillity that an absence of the
hordes that the public guarantees – it
was sheer bliss.
In February 2018, I had what can
only be described as a winter red-letter session. Most winters at Welly
were a bit of a non-event, but the
slightly more productive biannual
winter many had told me about
seemed to come to fruition. That said,
it’s still a relatively big lake with
islands, bays and arms full of very
cold water. In my three years, it was
pretty hard to predict how many
anglers would be descending for a
dabble, although most years there
would be a few dedicated disciples
braving the whole winter.
On the 4th February, I arrived and
had the initial surprise of rolling into
an empty car park at 4pm on the Saturday afternoon. Instantly, I knew that
would literally open the whole lake,
and a plan unfolded in my head whilst
I was hastily loading up the barrow
with the mountain of necessary and
unnecessary equipment that was
strewn in the van.
With less than an hour until sunset,
I made an immediate push with the
barrow to the recently productive end
of the lake. With the low sun already
dropping out of sight, I settled quickly
into the Three Trees swim, which
offered some protection from the bitterly cold north-easterly breeze. It
also offered a wonderful panoramic
view of the lake.
It really was cold, the wind chill
almost making it unbearable to stand
An unnamed 42lb mirror – the future is bright.
Big Carp 55

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