31st March – 1st April 2018 Hintlesham Specimen Lake
First trip of the year and it just so happens to be an overnighter. Yay for long Bank Holiday weekends!
I had to fight the overwhelming urge to show my 3 new rods how to blank on the big stage that is Suffolk Waterpark and for once i actually managed it, settling for the far more sensible option of Hintlesham. Progress. I think it actually boiled down to just wanting to get some 2018 fish under my belt, before i go off on my harebrained fools errands.
I set up camp in the rain. Slightly less unobjectionable than packing up in the rain. It was a late start (17:00) so making my home for the night my priority, the rods didn’t get out till about 6. I could have paid for an extra rod but from past results, I’m happy with 2 rods at Hintlesham, unlike the Waterpark where 12 rods would be a more realistic set up.
I didn’t go crazy with ground bait or pellet today and just kept it simple, happy in the knowledge that both rigs had found the gravel bar – single ‘cell’ wafter on the hook and a dozen freebies catapulted on top of each. Located by the emergence of the pva rig foam on the surface.
I decided to try and get my head down about 9pm for some early sleep but due to both the suspense and my slight paranoia (“have my alarm batteries run out and is that constant clicking sound the sound of my freespool peeling off?” & “is that rat inside the bivvy and just what the fuck is it gnawing at?”) the sleep was rather sporadic.
2am arrived to let me know that my batteries were still working and like a bewildered green jack in the box i sprung forth towards the piercing wail. Connecting with the fish i could tell it was already kiting left and despite all my efforts to persuade it otherwise, two further alarm tones confirmed it had collected next door’s lines. When my neighbour emerged i had to apologetically tell him to curb his ‘double-run’ excitement. He just flicked both alarms off and headed straight back to his pit, but the embarrassment quickly turned to frustration when i realised that the line had become firmly tangled with one of the low hanging branches of the tree on my left and no amount of pressure was likely to shift it. Not wanting to potentially leave the fish permanently tethered, i opted against pulling for a break and instead switched off the alarm and planned to wait for daylight when the lake’s boat could be used to try and free it.
3am brought a slow and steady take on the right hand rod. Initially it felt like a carp but then it quickly felt like nothing. It was darker now than the last wake up but as my rig left the water my head torch picked out another line attached which i quickly grabbed and proceeded to hand-line in. Attached to a very long length of line was a rather sluggish round common of about 18lb. A quick photo and she was returned rig-free to the water.
Daylight came but it was 8am when the lake owner did his first rounds. The boat had seen better days and had quite a major leak meaning that, after first emptying it of water, it was a race against time for the owner to get across to me, untangle the line and get back across before the lake claimed him but he made it look easy and he was obviously well practiced. As soon as the line was freed, the fish, still attached, was off like a train once more and i suddenly realised that after all this time i might actually lose the fish. Being still attached to both next doors lines made it hard to get it close to the bank so i had to employ the help of another angler to reach out and net the fish. After a couple of failed lunges with the net, it finally rolled over the cord. What a relief!
A sight for sore eyes – a beautiful golden ghostie of about 12lbs.
Well worth the wait. Roll on next time!