An Easter Surprise - Alexei Bygrave

I had decided to spend my first week of holiday up in oxford on the Linear Fisheries complex. University had almost completely put a stop to any angling for me during term time, but the bonus is the long holidays we get. A month for Easter! Roy Parsons almost pushed me in the lake when I told him that, saying he didn’t get that in the whole year.
I ended up on Manor Farm and dropped into a popular area known as the ‘Brown Swim’, which covers a good section of open water, and importantly some slightly shallower water. I had come armed with plenty of maggots, and rather optimistically all of my Biochemistry textbooks. The plan was to find a spot, bait up, and then crack open the books. I should have known better…
The spot I found was 7-7 ½ ft deep, and was just a really clean area surrounded by weed. Although only around 90 yards out I was using 10lb adrena-line and 20lb IQ xtra soft shockleaders making the cast very comfortable. Lead set-up wise I was using a lead clip, 3 ½ oz distance lead and a 6 inch Hybrid Soft hooklink through to a size 8 wide gape, with a little shrink tubing. So as to avoid unwanted attention from the tench I was using a cut down pop-up on the hair as opposed to maggots, even though I was spodding out pure maggots.
The action started almost instantly; in fact I didn’t have a chance to get out the second rod before the first was away! It was a bit ridiculous to be honest, whenever I opened up the textbook the nevilles would start singling. I was down for 6 nights and had countless double takes and two triple takes, which was very welcome after a long cold winter spent away for the bank. I ended up with 44 carp including three thirties and a couple of the lakes real jems including the Birthmark linear at 35lb 4oz and Kempy’s linear at 35lb 6oz!
As I write this now I am sorting out the bits I need for another session, it will be interesting to see how the revision goes this time…


Alexei Bygrave