freeline-30 - Page 178



Common Assault
The elusive Martin’s Fish – simply awesome!
block to boot. The scales showed a
weight of 29lb 1oz, which was more
than big enough to see me with
another smile on my face. The fish
behaved impeccably on the bank, and
I soon had a few pictures taken and
the fish was returned.
The rest of the day just seemed to
fly by, and before I knew it, it was time
to reel in and put fresh baits on for the
night ahead. I was still only fishing
with single hookbaits, which is what I
really think was working in my favour.
From what I could make out, a lot of
other anglers were putting some free
offerings out, which I think was cutting down their chances of a take.
Although the weather had changed, it
had been cold for a hell of a long time,
and for now singles were the name of
the game for me. I checked all three
hookbaits in the margin to make sure
they sank and sat on the bottom just
how I wanted, and after this, it was on
with the old golf glove and smack ‘em
back out to their allotted spots. I soon
had a big pan of homemade spag bol
cooking away on the stove for dinner,
and once cooked it was washed
down with a few ice cold cans of Red
Stripe – lovely!
By the time I went to bed, it was
around 11pm, and I was hoping that I
would get disturbed at some time
during the night ahead. The next
96 FREE LINE
thing I remember, that’s just what
was happening, as I was awoken by
the sound of the buzzer and looked up
to see the line lift up on the middle
rod. As I picked it up, I could see the
line go out towards the island as the
fish boiled on the surface. I clearly
saw a large flank of golden scales in
the early morning sun as the battle
commenced. The power of the fish in
this lake really has to be experienced
to be believed, and this fight was no
different. It took me a good ten minutes to get the upper hand and get
the fish in the margin in front of me,
but even then it refused to give up
and continued to power up and down
the margin for a further five minutes
before I could net it. Once on the mat,
I was greeted with a gorgeous, golden
common in its stunning spring
colours.
The thing that always amazed me
with Pit 4 is that although the vast
majority of the fish are commons, how
many different strains there were.
There are so many colours, shapes
and scale patterns – almost every one
being different from the last, and
there really were some stunning individuals amongst them as well. It also
looked like my luck with the better
fish was continuing, and the scales
agreed at 31lb 4oz. It was a fresh, but
happy start to the day (4.45am), and I
was soon posing with my latest capture in front of the camera. As always
after I catch a fish, a new rig was
attached, and this was then dispatched back out into the lake and I
began the waiting game once more.
I love being on the lake at any time,
but early morning is my favourite
time by far, and this was no exception
– a lump under my belt, sat on my
bedchair with a coffee and fish showing on the spots; it doesn’t get much
better for me.
I sat in the swim until midday
before reeling in and quickly nipped
down to the village and got some
supplies before doing a quick lap of
the lake. I spent about half an hour
walking the pit, and although I found
a few of its residents dotted about,
there certainly wasn’t enough to even
consider moving.
In less than an hour, I was back in
the swim with enough goodies to last
my stay and keen to get the rods back
out. They were quickly repositioned,
bobbins attached and buzzers
switched on, then it was time for
some lunch of ham and cheese with
some fresh crusty bread from the village bakers. Just as I was taking my
first bite, the right hand rod flew and I
dropped the lot on the floor in my
haste to get to the rod. I don’t know
about you, but the take is still the





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