Inside The Box - Rob Sutton

With no idea of knowing where to fish this year, I have focused my attention on one of the most pressured day ticket waters around, known as St John’s Lake, which is part of the Linear Fisheries complex in Oxford. Knowing the lake relatively well and because of previous results, I am attempting to try and catch the bigger fish in the lake this year and hopefully to catch a fish known as the ‘Big Plated’ which is such a stunning carp and usually weighs over the 40lb mark.
On my first visit to the lake last week, I managed a few bites and banked one of the big commons in the lake. The fish was known as ‘The Box Common’ and weighed 38lb 4oz! This was a new P.B for me and what a great start to the year. When I arrived at the lake, I was told that only one or two fish had been caught this year. I spent a night on a swim known as the ‘Point’ with a cold north-easterly wind blowing in my face. From previous results and knowing the lake well, the point swims have always produced fish throughout most of the year in the coldest of conditions.
So with no signs of fish, I decided to spend a night fishing the point where there was plenty of open water. After all my efforts and then dying from hyperthermia in the cold wind, the kettle was put on every 2 minutes! This was enough for me, so I decided to reel in and have a walk around the lake for a chat and to try and spot some fish. I was then told about three fish that had been caught throughout the night from an angler who had to pack away early in the morning for work. The fish were caught from a side of the lake known as the ‘Social bank’, which was on the back on the wind and looked good for a bite.

So, by making the effort, I decided to move for the last night. With half a gallon of maggot’s spodded out, two of my rods were fished with maggot hook baits over the spot which was around 80 yards and I opted to fish my other rod as a single hook bait. I stayed awake throughout most of the night watching the water and listening out for crashing fish. With nothing but a few liners and with low temperatures plummeting, the night slowly past and things weren’t looking to good.
I then could not believe my eyes, it was just before sunrise and I suddenly sore a fish crash from out of the blue. The first fish show that I had seen this year. In fact, I cast a single bright hook bait where the fish crashed out and got a bite within 20 minutes! I landed the fish and before weighing it I re-cast the rod back to the same spot. Before I had chance to weigh my first capture, the rod ripped off again and I ended up having a 20lb mirror and the Box Common in the net at the same time.
The same thing happened again straight after and I ended up having three fish at once – mental!
I caught the fish using a rig which I was shown how to tie by my good friend Myles Gibson. It is very effective and very simple to tie. Fishing with other anglers is a good way to improve on your own fishing because you can show and share your ideas with each other. I was given that little bit more information that has now helped me so that I can introduce more to my own fishing to get more bites. So, I would say helping each other is a great way of making yourself become a better angler! I used size 8 Wide Gape hooks tied knotless knot style, some silicone tubing on the shank and some shrink tube over the eye. I had a small shot on the hair to make the pop-up into a balanced hook bait. The rig was around 3 inches long and I used the soft coated braid.

It was then time to leave the lake and I can’t wait to return!

Rob Sutton.