freeline-30 - Page 58

Exclusive Carping Diary
29lb 8oz mirror, almost a year after the first carp.
branches and twigs, so I spent about
an hour dragging as much rubbish off
the bottom as I could, as I wanted to
make sure I wasn’t dropping my
backleads into any snags, I also
wanted to have the line pinned down
just right. I broke a few boilies up and
dropped them in the edge over my rig
and waited. The island rod stayed out
to the spot where the fish had been
Before long, the light had dropped,
and darkness signalled that it was
time for dinner. Mexican wraps was
on the menu tonight, washed down
with lashings of Dr Pepper! During
the night, long after I had turned in,
the alarm signalled an enquiry on the
island rod. Before long, I was out of
my sleeping bag and doing battle
with a bream of around 5lb, which put
up no fight at all on the strong carp
fishing tackle. It was about 3am, and I
flicked the rig back out to the island
again. I put a few handfuls of boilies
in over the top in case the bream had
wiped me out, and then I returned to
the warmth of the sleeping bag.
At about 7am, I was woken by the
light of dawn and the sound of my
alarm screaming. The island rod was
away again, and by the curve of the
rod tip, this wasn’t a bream! I threw
the bed covers off immediately,
picked up the rod and struck into the
fish. The rod surged round as the fish
56 Big Carp
powered off into open water to the
left of me. It was a bit awkward, as a
tree hung over into the lake on my left
so I stood to the far right of my swim,
which enabled me to keep a good
angle between the fish and me. As the
fish kited into the margin, I plunged
the rod tip under the water in a bid to
keep the fish moving towards me and
not into the overhanging branches.
Turn by turn, the fish came closer, and
danger was avoided. The carp then
went to my right and seemed to be
trying to find something in the margin
to snag me up on.
I’m convinced that this is where I
would have lost this fish had I not
pulled out the fallen tree branches
that had settled on the lakebed. When
the carp realised there was no longer
anything down there, it swam out into
open water and tried to lose me out in
the lake. Steady pressure saw the fish
back a rod length out in front of me. It
slowly rose higher in the water column as it swam round in circles trying to think of a final option. It soon
turned over on its side, beaten on the
surface and waiting for the net. My
first thoughts were that it was the
best looking carp of the season. Of
that, there was no doubt. As the net
engulfed the fish, I knew that this was
the best one yet.
I did the usual and got the mat,
sling and camera sorted. I got the fish
in the sling and weighed it, and it
went 29lb 8oz. I couldn’t believe that
it was the third carp of 29lb 8oz. I
couldn’t be disappointed though; it
was a long well proportioned mirror
with a nice dark back and a dark
head. The colour faded from a dark
chestnut brown to a buttery yellow
belly with all sorts of reds and purples
through the middle. Big apple slice
scales ran from the root of the tail
along the lateral line up to the gills. In
places, they were almost of a double
linear pattern. A row of scales ran parallel along the carp’s back. There had
to be some Leney in this one. I don’t
think this was one of the old originals
but almost certainly one of the second
generation Leneys that inhabit the
lake. At almost 30lb with looks to rival
even the prettiest of carp in the lake, I
was over the moon. After the photos
were taken, I slipped her back, and
with a soft kick of the tail, she disappeared back into the murky water.
I did a few more trips after that session with no success, the best being a
bite that dropped off. As October
came to an end and the weather
began to turn, I began to think of fishing for perch and chub, so between
November and February, I was off
chasing winter species. I was fortunate to have a few big perch and a
chub to just over 7lbs. I even managed to land my first couple of river
carp, two lovely commons of 13lbplus and 18lbplus, which I caught
whilst out perching and chubbing on
light gear.
Towards the end of February, a nice
band of low pressure arrived, and the
temperature rose for a couple of
weeks. This was enough for me to get
the carp rods out again and get down
the lake. The first night came and
went without so much as a twitch.
On the second morning, I saw the
exciting sight of bubbles sheeting up
right over my left hand spot, and only
20 minutes later the alarm sang its
tune. You can imagine my frustration
when I picked up the rod to feel nothing pulling back on the end; I was
gutted. The bait went back out, and
the session soon ended with nothing
to show but a missed chance.
I was determined to get back
amongst them, so when the next
opportunity came to string a few
nights together, I jumped at the
chance. Upon arrival, there was an
easterly wind pushing across the lake.

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