freeline-30 - Page 179



Common Assault
most exciting part for me; the thrill I
get from it is just as exciting now as it
ever was. Something in this world
money can’t buy for a change.
This time the fight was over fairly
quickly for a change, and I soon had
my third fish of the session secured
safely in the bottom of the net. It was
the smallest at 23lb 15oz, but certainly no less welcome. Anyone who
fishes this lake will tell you, just to
catch a carp is a result regardless of
its size. It may sound like its easy fishing, but I can assure you, nothing
could be further from the truth. The
old Canon G6 was soon clicking away
and I still had nearly a day to go; I
wondered what else there was in
store, if anything.
What I saw over the next few hours
though convinced me there were still
plenty of fish about in the general
area, and there was one in particular
that will stick in my mind for many a
long day. It came out of the water
head first all the way up to the wrist
of its tail, then just dropped vertically
back down, hardly making a ripple,
and even from well over 100 yards
away, it looked absolutely huge. Even
as I sit here writing this, I can still see
it in my mind as clear as the day it
happened.
So around 4pm, when I was jumping up off my bedchair yet again, I
was hoping it would be the beast
from a couple of hours ago that was
responsible for interrupting my afternoon nap. From the feel of it, it certainly felt like it – slow, heavy and
plodding are almost always the sign
of a big fish. More than once I had my
heart in my mouth as the line flicked
over the dorsal, giving me a few scary
moments, but the funny thing was
every fish I’d caught so far had been
so well hooked, it didn’t even occur to
me that the hook might pull. When I
actually think about it, I can only
recall losing one fish due to a hook
pull on this rig, and one failure in well
over a hundred is good enough in my
book, but the law of averages says it
will occur at some time. My faith was
rewarded as the ever-faithful Longshank once again stayed put, and this
was turning into one of those sessions that don’t come along too often.
I’d worked hard to try and keep one
step ahead, and all that worked was
now paying off. In the net, I was certain I had yet another one over the
magical mark, and once again, the
scales agreed at 31lb 12oz. It’s really
funny to think that my personal best
common before I started fishing at
Frimley was 27lb, but over the last
four years, I had enough to last two
lifetimes.
A few more people had turned up
over the course of the day, but the
good thing was they were well away
from me. Like on most lakes, these
fish don’t like pressure, and I was
hoping they would still stay put.
For dinner that night, I was going to
have a chicken jalfrezi with mushroom rice, but upon opening the
packet of chicken I bought at
lunchtime, I was greeted with two
foul-smelling (sorry about the pun)
chicken breasts which were obviously off; they really smelt putrid. So I
grabbed the old mobile and put an
order in to the pizza shop in the village for an XL meat feast, which they
would deliver down to the gate of the
lake in around half an hour. Not for
the first time, my eyes proved bigger
than my belly, and I only managed to
eat just over half of it, but boy it tasted
good. For the next few hours, I sat on
the bedchair with a couple of cold
ones, feeling totally contented. My lit-
Atomic 4oz distance leads were
perfect for the long chuck.
(Bottom) She powered off back home.
tle plan had come together really well,
but little did I know there was even
more to come.
As usual, I set my alarm for early
doors, so I could get up and see what
was going on, and from the moment I
was awake at 4am, the fish yet again
started to put on a bit of a show. It all
just looked and felt right once again,
and a few hours late so it proved.
Around 9am that morning, Dom,
one of the other syndicate members,
came walking down the path and
stopped for a chat and a brew. While
we were nattering, the bobbin on the
middle rod cracked up to the buzzer. I
put my coffee down and did what
was necessary, but within a matter of
seconds, I knew I was in big trouble,
as whatever was on the other end
found sanctuary somewhere out in
the pond, and I was locked up solid. I
wound down as far as I dared and
slowly walked backwards putting the
tackle to its absolute limit, but it was
to no avail; nothing had moved an
inch. So I tried plan B. I slackened the
line right off and put the rod back on
the rest to see if the fish would free
itself, but after a few minutes, the line
hadn’t even twitched, so it was back
to a bit of brute force. I reeled on as
much line as I possibly could without
the rod bent double and took a few
pigeon steps backwards. With the line
singing and at its absolute limit, I was
just waiting for it to snap when I got a
sudden jolt and felt the power of the
fish, which to be honest, I wasn’t even
sure was on until then, I was back in
business. The fish kept very low in the
water, and I said to Dom that I was
FREE LINE 97





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