After that fine brace I did have one further chance that afternoon. I had been up a tree watching which fish were lurking around my swim, and to the far right I could just see a fish. This was one known as ‘The Big Common’ and would usually be a mid-high 30lb’er. I slowly got down from the tree, and due to the fact that the fish was well close in, I perched myself behind some reeds. Carefully, I flicked out three or four mixers, and after a short while one got taken. It was a bit of a slow affair getting her to take the mixers, but after a while she too was slurping them down. I decided for this one I would only free line a mixer and got it out bang on the money first flick. With the hookbait in place I sat and watched with my heart beating faster and faster, as one mixer after another they were disappearing into a great big set of lips. The next one was mine, and just as the lips re-appeared within a split second of taking my mixer I felt a hand on my shoulder and someone shouted “the pig’s in your swim, the pig’s in your swim”. With this there was a huge eruption as the fish spooked and swim off at the rate of knots, taking pretty much everything with it.
I just sat there with my head in my hands, absolutely gutted at what had just happened. For a while was really pissed off, but I couldn’t really blame him, as he was genuinely trying to help me out. After sitting there sulking, I pulled myself together and decided that I should be happy with what I’d just caught, and there would be other chances.
Shortly after catching my first two St. Ives Carp, they spawned, and we all decided to give them a rest for a while. It wasn’t long after we returned that I got the phone call from my good friend Sean, that he had indeed bagged the ‘Fat Lady’. I must admit, that when I heard my phone ring and saw Sean’s name at 4 o’clock in the morning, I just knew! I was in two minds whether to give it a rest for a while after his capture but decided that being the greedy pig that she is, she could quite easily slip up again.
I arrived back at the lake on a Thursday morning, just two days after Sean’s capture. The conditions were absolutely perfect, with strong winds and low pressure. I just knew she would be feeding. The only problem was that the conditions were looking really good for a swim called ‘Fatties’, which was one of her favourites, and appropriately named. I sort of overlooked it, as she had only been out of there two days previously. In hindsight I should have gone with head, but went with my heart, and set up in the swim next-door. My friend Alex was coming down for the weekend, to have a good social and so he set up in ‘fatties’ next-door. Twelve hours later, he was cradling the ‘Fat Lady’. Although I was really happy for him, I beat myself up for weeks for not following my instincts. The rest of the season was uneventful, with no further bites coming my way. Yet, I did get to witness the ‘Fat Lady’ fulfilling people’s dreams!
For my second season on the Lagoon, I felt up for it and planned to put everything I had learnt from my first season to good use.