Spring on Linch - Myles Gibson

Christchurch on the Linch hill complex, Oxfordshire, was where I spent most of my time fishing during the early part of the spring, it seemed the ideal place to spend a bit of time waiting for the big lake ‘Stoneacres’ to wake up and for a few fish to start moving around and showing themselves!
My first session of the year on Christy was on the last week in February. I had left it a bit later than planned but with such a harsh winter this seemed like the first chance to get down without the lake being frozen over or a good chance of them freezing over. It’s a long old way for me, just over a 280 mile round trip, a long way to find that you can’t even wet a line. Even though I would scrutinise Metcheck on a regular basis it always seemed that oxford would have its very own climate and more often than not it would be totally wrong!
Anyway, with a rise in the temperature and some big winds due I made my way to oxford chancing it as I was more than gagging to get back out behind the rods with a chance of a cold-water chunk. As I said, it was the last week in February and due to the weather and realistic chances of actually sticking a hook in a fish being very little, as expected, the lake was quiet. I had taken one of my friends Mr Jagger with me as I had promised him I would take him up on guest session sometime over the winter and with opportunities running out, as I wanted to be back on the big pond a few weeks later and with Joes work commitments etc, it seemed an ideal opportunity, well we weren’t expecting much action so at least we could have a good social!
We stayed on for a four-night session and during that time I managed a lovely low-twenty common and Joe unfortunately managed to foul hook a stunning mirror that looked in the low thirties - one of the few problems when fishing zigs, there is a chance of foul hooking the odd one especially in waters that host a large head of fish. The one I managed to catch was only the second fish of the year to be landed so as you can imagine I was more than happy with the result.
I had heard and been told by a few of the lads I had met during my time on the big lake during the previous autumn that the zigs were a real winner on Christy. During late winter and early spring, to date, there has only been around two or three takes off the bottom and we’re almost in May! I did a total of ten nights over on Christy before I got back to it over on the big lake around the last week in March. I had a total of three takes and three fish landed, all my fish fell for small bits of black foam ‘around the size of a ”tic tac” fished at depths between seven and twelve feet, in around fourteen to fifteen feet of water. There really is a very large head of big carp in there, and I landed a real nice chestnut-coloured mirror of 33lb 5oz and a long lean stunning common of 39lb 2oz.
As you can imagine I was absolutely buzzing with that result and on my next session I was back on the big lake - it was the last week in March and there had only been one fish out since early November - a low thirty had been caught at range on a choddy the previous week, it was a good sign that the lake and its inhabitants had started to move around and wake up a bit so I was more than happy to say goodbye to Christy until the winter!
I had set up on the back of a big southerly wind and I had lashed all four rods out towards the second bar area scattering them between 140-160 yards - I fished two on choddy’s and two on seven foot zigs. It was only a few hours later when one of the zig rods was away - after a scary battle I landed my first Stonys carp of the year - a stunning linear of 25lb 10oz.
I have managed, so far, to catch four fish to date this season all falling to the zigs, and all falling to small bits of black foam. It’s madness how it works but it does, and to be fair it took some getting used to just sitting behind the rods with not one offering of food bait, but one thing’s for sure it’s a cheap way of fishing.

Myles Gibson