freeline-30 - Page 136



In Search of a Lincolnshire 40
A change in tactic, “going visual”.
was 20mph-plus hacking into my little spot. It looked bang-on but the
floating weed coming in was a nightmare. I had to clear the margins and
wait for a big raft of weed to move in
order to hit my main spots. When I
had finally got the rods in and baited,
the wind got stronger and the night
was spent having to lower my shelter,
clean my lines and even recast a couple of times. To top it off it chucked it
down. By 2am I was sick of bleeping
alarms, and even with leaves jammed
down the side of my Neville rollers
they were still moving – what a ‘mare!
I reeled my left hand rod in, turned
the right alarm off and decided I
would be going to work in the morning with no sleep. I had just got to the
point where I had given up clearing
my lines when the middle rod let out
a series of bleeps and stopped. I sat
up on my bed and was just thinking
that the weed wouldn’t take line that
quickly when the same happened
again. I struck, not knowing what was
going on and was met with a heavy
resistance. What happened next was
pretty quick, and I just led the heavy
weight in. Next the fish came up and
rolled showing its left flank. It took a
couple of seconds to realise the half
linear scaling belonged to the Big
Scaly. It then plodded off to the right
and when I managed to get it up, it
came up showing its right flank.
When I saw its full plated linear scaling I was in no doubt it was my target
54 FREE LINE
fish. It went in the net first time of
asking. What happened next disappointed me no end. I rolled it on its
side only to see that it was heavily
spawned up. It’s a pretty gutty fish at
the best of times, but it was certainly
carrying some additional spawn from
the previous year. I then rang my
mate Mark on the other bank to let
him know, and he said if it was him he
would get the pictures done and and
get it back. I agreed with him.
Having secured the fish in the net, I
got the weighing gear sorted. I got
my weighing hook on the end of my
landing net pole and gave her a lift.
The Reubens went round once and
just carried on. They settled on 43lb,
and I realised she was not fully up. I
gave her a bit more height and settled
on a weight of 44lb 10oz. I then
floated her in my sling and made sure
she was strong before fetching my
mate Adam who was close by. We did
the best we could to protect her with
doubled up mats and just got a quick
slide of her best side, hopefully not
stressing her too much, and got the
old girl back. I gave her a kiss and
thanked her for the memories before
letting her swim off strongly.
After I cleaned up the mess and got
the rods back out, Adam and I just sat
there demolishing my biscuit supplies. The conversation was of mixed
emotions. I was pleased to have
achieved my Lincolnshire 40, but I
was a little upset about her condition.
Deep down I think I would have
rather had her at 36-37lb and in top
condition. Adam left me to it once all
the biscuits had gone, and I tried to
get my head down for a bit before
work. When my alarm went off at 6.30
for work, I felt like I’d only had ten
minutes’ sleep, and to be honest I
couldn’t be bothered to pack up. I
almost called in sick, but decided to
leave my stuff there and pop into
work. I gave Adam a shout to keep an
eye on my stuff. I also popped in to
see Mark on the way out, but being
an early riser he had got his head
back down. Whilst on my way to work
that morning the local carp vine had
started talking, and I started to get
some nice texts from my good mates,
although some thought it was a
wind-up as it was April 1st. My
favourite was from Mark, which read
something like, “I had a weird dream
last night that you caught the Big
Scaly at 44-plus! I’m going to have to
lay off these funny fags!” It made me
chuckle.
I was shattered when I got to work.
My students notice straight away, but
knowing of my obsession, they all
understood me bouncing off the
walls. It was a good job I was buzzing
off the result because I think I might
have nodded off otherwise. All I kept
saying was, “I can’t believe I had a 40
last night, and on a school night.”
Work couldn’t end quickly enough
that day! Just as I was leaving work,
Mark texted, giving me a telling off.
He was asking me when I was back
because he had had to tell Adam my
shelter was about to blow in during
the day. With Adam going at lunch, he
had had to go round in the afternoon
and rescue my rods from going in.
When I left for work, I had not thought
about it, and left my tips dipped. The
build-up of weed on them had
dragged my rods in and apparently
my reels were balancing on my
buzzers – whoops.
I got back to the lake about 6pm
and after having my wrists slapped by
Mark, I got the rods back out, sorted
my shelter and chilled. I had slightly
changed my approach from the previous summer and had changed my
snowmen so the pop-up on top of my
N-Gage XP bottom bait was more
visual. I had switched to the white CC
Moore Northern Specials that Gareth
Fareham had designed, and I had also
changed my bag mix from normal
halibut pellets to a 50/50 mix of CC
Moore Ellipse Pellets and Milkamin
Pellets glugged in Northern Special





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