freeline-30 - Page 125



The Woolpack
M
y story began
when I joined
the famous
Woolpack fishery in Cambridgeshire
back in February 2012. Before I joined
the syndicate I had a walk around the
lakes with the owner, Andy Stafford.
As we walked we were discussing
the lake’s stock and finding out that
the lake is steeped in history. I’d
already got my eyes on a couple of
fish in Lake 7 that I really wanted in
my portfolio, plus a few more of the
scaly characters that reside in the
lakes. Then the conversation turned
to Fred, a common around 35lb-plus
mark, years old – a warrior and an elusive one. He’d not been caught for
over five years, making him a very
hard fish to target. This fish is like no
other. He has so much knowledge
and would only be seen a couple of
times a year due to his wariness. This
made him incredibly hard to track
down. However, Fred was imprinted
in my brain.
The season started off well and
(Top) Krill pop-ups in matching glug.
(Below) First blood, the Linear, 38lbsplus.
after just 19 nights I’d landed the Linear and five other originals meaning
there was only one more I wanted –
‘Fred’. So throughout the next few
weeks I spent a lot of time up trees,
wading through reed beds and baiting a few spots, but I never got to see
him.
First Glimpse
The end of May saw me finding
that the fish were spending a lot of
time cruising just below the surface. I
regularly saw a group of fish in one
corner of the lake and so decided to
try climb the tree beside the area they
were in to have a nosey. Up the tree, I
saw roughly 20-plus of the originals:
the Linear and the Long Common to
name but a few. Out of the corner of
my eye, I saw just the shoulder of a
large, dark common sat motionless in
the reeds. I’d never seen this fish
before. I could tell by the shape of its
head and over-slung mouth that it
was a proper’un. After half an hour or
so it then joined the rest of the fish.
Not until it was beside the rest of biggies in the shoal did I realise the sheer
size of this fish. What also caught my
eye was the bottom of the fish’s tail
was missing, and I suddenly realised
it was Fred, my target fish! I fished
the night in the closest swim near the
area but, to my disappointment, nothing occurred.
The following morning, I was up at
first light and straight round to the
tree that overlooked the area I was
fishing, and where I’d spotted the
carp the day before. As I looked down
I was greeted by a small mirror, which
looked like a stockie, followed by a
few more small carp. I watched for an
hour but the biggies were nowhere to
be seen. Midmorning came and the
sun was burning, so I decided to go
for a walk and find out where the
FREE LINE 43





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