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A Night to remember - by Nick Rose

          I arrived at the lake mid afternoon and set up in a peg I had only previously fished once in the 3 years I have been coming down here, with 2 rods on worms fished on the Dyson rig. The lake has a crayfish problem hence the off bottom baits. As the afternoon went on I was lowering the baits on my rigs until the crays started to cause me problems, I then raised them a touch and all was set for another blank night.

          I was in touch with a couple of club memberbytext; notably Steve Dawe who was also fishing and Nick Duffy and Steve Rickets who were on their lake some miles away. Mr El Presidentay Richardson was also out fishing in deepest Nottinghamshire and around 8 ish we were having a conversation on the phone when I had a few bleeps on my alarm, my reaction was that the bloody crays had climbed up to my baits.

           Anyway I wish Steve all the best and I set about re-baiting both rods and settling down to my usual full night’s kip.I mused about a conservation I had had with Richo some weeks earlier when I told him I may not carry on fishing this lake, as 3 years is a long time for no fish. His reply was “Don’t stop. The lake owes you. You have unfinished business there.” So here I was, three more sessions down the line and still blanking.

          Around 9.30pm I had a short run and then it stopped. Suspecting perch or the infernal crays, I just sauntered out to my rods and felt the line. There was some jerking typical of crayfish action but then it slowly started to move off. Now this was a new one on me, only very occasionally did this happen and it always resorted in a perch. I lifted into the perch , no strike as I was in the margins and on non stretch braid, quite unusually the rod arched over and I was into something a little bigger than a perch. Still convinced my luck was not in, I was waiting for it to shoot out into the lake, carp like, but no it was the usual eel fight.

After a few minutes of a tug of war I managed to get it to the net. The head torch was set on its red light so although I could see the shape and able to net it (third attempt) I was unsure of its size until I switched the torch to white light and then reached down into the folds of the net to feel its girth. At this point I knew I had caught a monster and a quick weighing showed it to be 9 plus. I then tried to calm down and reset the scales then reset them to zero with the weigh sling on and tried again. The scales read 9lb 2oz. I put the eel in a sack and put it in the water; I then took it out and put the sack into another sack just to make sure. I then did a jig around the lake. I had planned for this for 40 odd years and first phoned Richo, Kevin Huish, Andrew and SteveDawe. I then started a marathon texting session to everyone I know. Soz if I missed anyone.

          Mr Richardson then rang me back and announced he had packed up and was on his way down to see me and the eel.  I was over the moon as we go back a long way, so to have his company made the whole night perfect. Kev was on holiday and got very drunk that night, Pat tells me.

          Anyway, I had recast a third rod into the same swim as I had broken the original rig to bits whilescrambling up the bank with the 9lber. A JS rig was on that rod and to be honest I would have reset the original rod up but I was not having any cray problems so I left it.  I even marked up the now redundant rod so I would remember which one I caught my new PB on.

Steve arrived around 1 am and we sat drinking tea and talking. Steve even gave me the can of cider he had carried down from Nott’s with him.After a while Steve got his head down on my guest chair under my sleeping bag cover, but I just lay there wide awake.

          At around 3.30 am I had another slow take on the JS rig in the same swim as the 9 came from.  Not expecting much I pulled into it and the rod hooped over, I  then turned  to Steve who was still sitting down watching me and said “It’s only another f---er, Steve!”Steve netted it for me and his words were “Is the other one as big as that one?“ I replied, “No. The 9 is bigger!” We weighed it and it was hovering over 8 to 8.2. I put it in the sack and I again let Andy, Steve and Kev know by text. I cannot remember who else, but I had asked Steve to put both on the forum in the morning.

         Come the morning, Duffy and Steve Rickets came to witness and film my 9-2 as they had not found out about the 8 yet. As I let Duffy in through the fishery gate, he suddenly realized that after years of scamming members this could be a big scam on him. I just smiled and said no.

I got the eel out and Duffers witnessed the scales and the zeroing then exclaimed, “It’s only 8lb 2oz! I thought you said it was 9-2. Shit, this ain’t another controversy is it?” I will remember the look on his face forever when I said, “No,it’s not Nick. This is the little one! The bigger one is in the other sack.”

The rest is history. I have had my 15minutes of fame. Now it’s your turn.


Nick Rose

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