The Big Linear - James Smith

I first became aware of the Big Linear while scanning the pages of Carp Talk. The fish caught my eye and I looked on in awe. To my surprise the pit was only located about 14 miles from home and before I knew it a ticket had been purchased and landed on my doormat a few days later. I started my pursuit of the Big Linear in the spring. I was slow off the mark to begin with but gradually as the season wore on I tuned in with the water and began to meet its residents including the infamous Dumpy twice and the Baby Linear.

I fished hard through the winter and kept the bait going in on my productive spots. I woke up to a frozen lake on more than one occasion but the thought of that bar of gold kept my fire burning. It was now mid-March, I barrowed my kit round to my pre baited area, the fish were showing well that morning but as the day wore on the shows began to slow down. Nevertheless, I was still confident and went to sleep that night sure that I would be awoken by the shrill of the Neville.

It was about 6:30 am when I heard the unmistakable sound of the alarm screaming. I jumped out of the bag and was straight on the rod. As soon as I lifted into the fish I knew it was one of the better ones and after a tense 10-minute battle I gradually steered it towards the waiting net. It was then that I saw the row of scales glisten in the morning sunlight. It was the one I’d dreamt of. My heart started pounding and the beast shook its head in vain, trying to escape. Eventually the old girl rolled over the net cord. I parted the net to double check, there was no mistaking it; I let out the roar waking every carper in the valley. I left for home on cloud nine; my feet didn’t touch the ground for weeks. Then I heard whispers about a Linear of monstrous proportions only a few miles away… here we go again!