Sam Whittaker embarks on a Belgian road trip, which all came good in the end!
Craig Edwards – End of the Lane
5th March 2020
Craig Edwards just sent us this little write up – 4 years of blood, sweat and tears, before he came to the ‘End of the Lane’, catching some lovely ones along the way…
“Catching Whiskers had become an itch I had relentlessly tried to scratch for the last 4 years, every time I got close it would get caught. From training it to eat on an edge spot, to fishing the areas she got caught from in open water, I always got pipped to the post in one way or another. Those around me knew the quite literal blood, sweat and tears that I had put in trying to catch her. Icy cold pack ups at 5am on worknights, battling the traffic for hours, just to bait up or fish, and questionable scenarios I had put myself in to settle the score.
I roughly knew the areas the fish liked to spend their time during the colder months from the previous winters. I hadn’t intended to fish on this particular night, especially as it had already been caught on the Monday night, but I’d called ‘Young Ben’ as he was fishing and had some alarms of mine I needed to collect. I‘d semi-convinced myself a quick night would be worth it, if only to collect my alarms, and save on wasted fuel.
Once at the lake I shared a couple of ‘Decaffs’ with Ben and did a couple of laps in the dark – the lake was busy, but the area I fancied where I had seen several shows in back in January was free (I hadn’t been able to stay and fish for them at the time.)
‘Young Ben’ wasn’t impressed with my initial swim suggestion, feeling that it might cut him off, so I went a couple of swims further down into the central section of the main lake. After setting up facing into a cold wind, I slung two rods out, one to ‘the zone’ and one to another area I’d caught from in the past. I got into bed at 9pm, ready for the laborious 5am pack down, when I heard a fish show somewhere out there.
A few beeps had me instinctively swinging my legs into my chesties – just as I chucked on my specs, I heard the unmistakable ‘click’ as the line pinged from the clip and buried the bobbin into the alarm. I gingerly started leading the fish back towards me before it turned and had me backwinding. Before long I could see in the darkness a ball of weed drifting up and down as the fish made for the marginal snags, forcing me to backwind again and again. I thought to myself how I’d laugh if this was Whiskers. Suddenly the fish wallowed against the ball of weed, revealing the unnerving fact that the lead hadn’t ejected. As I reached to net the ball of weed, the weed went in, minus the carp! I tried to double the net back on the fish and failed dismally. I now had the faint shape of a large carp beaten, on its side at my waist, between me and the net. The rod was ditched into the margins and the carp grabbed and cradled into the net. After propping up the net I waded back to shore to grab a torch. Flicking on the torch and rolling it around in the net, I checked the tail and confirmed my hopes – the itch had finally been scratched!
Mega shout to everyone that one way or another contributed to the journey, to Young Ben, Matty Halliday, Timber and Dago for doing the photos in the cold dark hours, and to Ben and Scotty for their hours of time, advice and company.”
Craig used an array of TA kit over the years, Tungskin, Olive Camo Leadcore and the trusted Curve Points proving their worth time and time again!
Well done from us mate – good story, and some lovely ones to ease the pain along the way too mate!