How's Your Timing? - Josh Bennett

Recently, I decided to leave my syndicate alone for a few months and visit Oxlease Lake, at Linear Fisheries, for a session or two chasing its largest known inhabitant, a common that might top 50lb.

After having three fish in a day session last week, I felt I knew where the fish were holding up and planned a return. The previous session had involved casting solids and sticks to different areas, trying to locate the fish, but this time around I had brought a little bait with me. Some 10mm Tails Up OCM in red and pink was added to some Hinders hemp and pellet to soak for the day, while I tied a few bags and zigs for the first few hours. I attached a clear Safe Zone leader to the main line, accompanied by a small Korda Solidz bag, which had been pre-tied at home. This was filled with Hinders Mini Combo and a bright pink Tails Up Fruitz pop-up and some hemp oil. Zigs involved tying a size-10 Korda Choddy up, simply knotless-knot style onto some 9lb Guru N-Gauge. A range of different coloured foam was used to try and gauge the carp’s preference.

With the evening closing in, I found an area of soft silt and being close to the area of last week's success, it felt right to be fishing in the area. As a result, 10 midi Spombs of bait were cast out to the 80 yard clip and I was happy with having two rods on that spot and keeping one as a rover. A few fish showed through the early evening and at 10pm I was up and running with a pretty 21lb mirror. Nothing else occurred through the night and I chose to recast the rods early so as to ensure they were both bang on. Four more Spombs of bait and breakfast was fired up on the burner. Just as the sizzle of bacon could be heard the middle rod dropped back and I connected with the first fish in a flurry of activity. Two doubles and a 22lb 14oz ghost common (a new ghost carp lake record I'll have you know!) quickly came to the spot in a one-hour window and I eventually finished my bacon sarnie around 11am!

At midday the spot again kicked off, but this fish felt a lot stronger and made powerful lunges, indicating that I may have something a bit better on the end. She kited hard left, but with a little pressure and a bit of 'knit one pearl one' with the rods, a large-framed mirror came into view and slipped over the cord. Chris Blunt, the fishery manager, offered to do the photos and we weighed her at an impressive 35lb 4oz. With pictures done, I had just watched the last flick of her tail in the marginal depths when the other rod burst off and I managed to quickly land a double-figure common.

A quick recast in the hope of stealing another bite off the spot proved fruitless, but after another hit of bait at 3pm, I managed another double just before dark. The night passed with the constant tap of rain on the bivvy and I think this influenced the fishing somewhat, as I had nothing for the remainder of the session. I persisted with zigs and roving the rods round the area, but not a fish was seen or heard anywhere on the lake. I had obviously hit a little window of opportunity and was more than happy contemplating the result as I pushed the barrow back to the car. Lets hope for a quick return and a few more carp!