freeline-29 - Page 78



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70lb common.
make of habit of getting too close to
them. Also, I had plenty of hedgehogs
visit me.
During Tuesday daytime, I managed to catch a 35lb grass carp and a
small mirror. As darkness fell, I saw
two really big fish show off my spot.
They didn’t make any sound, but the
amount of water they moved was
ridiculous. I had my first take of the
night around 11pm, and another take
around 2am. Both fish turned out to
be 50-plus commons, with big frames
and big warrior scales. Wednesday
was a real misty morning, and it
turned out to be a horrible day with
nonstop rain. It wasn’t forecast to
stop until Thursday, so it looked like
everything would be packed away
wet.
I got the rods out along with
another 10kg of bait out before the
conditions changed for the worse and
settled in for a day/night of Netflix! It
rained for what felt like a lifetime, and
it was so heavy I didn’t even stick my
head outside the bivvy. Luckily on
these trips, I use a large Karsten
inflatable bivvy, so I can stand up and
move around. The bivvy also has cov76 Big Carp
ered vents, so you get good movement of air even in the worst conditions. At around 9pm, the rain
stopped and it became still. With no
more rain or wind, the lake was flat
calm! I heard a few good fish crashing
out in front of me, and to be honest, I
had the feeling that something special might happen.
When I woke up at 3am to a hedgehog rubbing up against my bivvy. I
was disappointed nothing had happened, when suddenly I had a strange
take on my right hand rod with a large
drop back and then the bobbin flying
up and staying still. I lifted into the
rod, and it felt like I had hooked a bag
of sand! Whatever it was slowly
started moving left and quickly
picked up my middle and left hand
rods. I just opened the bail arms and
carried on concentrating on the fight.
It was a slow affair with the fish kiting
from left to right and then right to left.
Once it was under the rod tip, it felt
like a lifetime until the shockleader hit
my spool. It was then that it rolled in
front of me, and it was the biggest fish
I had ever seen! It came up, and I
could see my snowman hanging out
its out mouth with my special yellow
pop-up on top. It looked tiny in a
mouth that you could probably fit a
football in. I slid the net under the
fish. Its head nearly touched the
spreader block, but a good portion of
the belly was still almost hanging
over the left hand side!
Once I had the fish safely settled in
the net, I unclipped the hooklink and
prepared my retention sling, as I had
around 20 minutes until daylight, I
was fumbling around in half-light
with this prize in my possession. I got
the fish in the margin and put a storm
pole in either side to allow plenty of
water to move through the sling. For
some reason, I decided to get the rod
straight back out on the spot. I would
normally have left the rod out until it
was time to rebait the area, because
all the rods were fished within 6ft of
each other. My last two bites had
come from this really soft clay spot.
As soon as the sun was out, I got
the fish onto the scales and couldn’t
believe my eyes when the scales bottomed out at around 67lb on my 60lb
Rubens. I quickly got my other “special” set of scales from the van, and





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