'So nearly a twenty, this prizefighter' went the original post. When I got home and checked my ancient Avons against a 1lbs brass weight I double-checked on the kitchen scales, I found they were 3oz light. So the fish I settled on a weight of 19:14 for wasn't nearly a twenty after all...
As the sun began to drop towards the floodbank this afternoon, a movement caught the corner of my eye. Fry had started topping in the next swim. I shinned up the bank for a better look and saw dimples along the edge of some blanket weed, along with my mate's van bouncing down the track.
Time for a move, I think. Not only is there activity in the next swim, I can press gang matey into helping me move the gear and be there double-quick.
As I cast the baits and stick a brew on the stove, the fry skitter away from some unseen predator. Things are looking up.
They look up even more five minutes later, as one of the floats bobs and jinks away across the surface. I pull into it as the line tightens and there's a big swirl as it bow waves off across the top.
Good fish, decent double, we think to start with, as I pump it back and it surges away again with the reel handles spinning. Then I glimpse its head and wonder if it's the first twenty I've managed from this part of the system.
It takes a few minutes to beat it, every time I gain line on it, it tears off again. My mate reckons he hasn't seen one fight like that in ages.
Netting it's a nightmare thanks to blanket weed and a flying treble, but my mate does a great job. As I cut the trace and lift it onto the mat to unhook it, I find the other treble's just nicked in behind its bottom lip.
It's a mint fish, with olive flanks and vivid markings. In the sling and the dial can't make its mind up between twenty and ounces and two ounces under. So I thought I still hadn't had a twenty from this part of the system - until I checked my scales and found they were weighing 3oz light.
Time for a new set of scales...