Yorkshire Lads Bag Up!

This weekend I decided to make a rare venture from the north of the country and make my way down south to Oxfordshire. Myself and a couple of good friends thought we needed a weekend away from the stresses and strains of work and have a social together.

After a two-and-a-half hour journey that started at 4:30am we found ourselves at Linear Fisheries. My experience of the complex told me to think logically and fish whichever lake gave us the best chance of getting onto fish, while being able to have a social at the same time. With that being said we all had a pre-conceived idea that we wanted to fish St John’s but little did we know the lake would be closed for weed cutting! This undoubtedly caused more pressure on the rest of the complex and we found both Manor lake and Hardwick/Smiths lake to be pretty much stitched up, give or take a couple of swims. This left us with the option of either Brasenose One, Brasenose Two or Oxlease. Given that Oxlease had been closed for a competition the previous week and the thought of pressure and bait the lake would have had, we decided to go with B1 or B2.

The biggest of Lawrence's catch was this 27lb mirror.

Rods out on Brasenose Two.

We arrived at B1 to find the lake was pretty much full with B2 not giving us many other options either. We ended up settling into the channel at B2 around three quarters of the way from the main body of the lake. The middle seemed to be where the majority of the fish were, judging by the amount that were showing there.

With our optimism now low, to add insult to injury we then get told that the whole complex was fishing terribly with very few fish been caught!

Anyway, we settled into the first of our three-night session, which passed quietly, with only one small fish between us for all our efforts. We decided to set our alarms for 5:30am in the hope we could find a couple of pegs more towards the central body of the lake before the gates opened at 8:00am! We were fortunate enough to get two pegs on the bank between B1 and B2, which clearly gave us access to the fish that were out in open water.

With this being my first session on the lake and after reading blogs and social media sites, it was clear most people were all casting long distances towards the middle of the lake. I had a plumb around the swim to start with and found most of it was thick with weed, which would obviously would cause me issues should I choose to fish long and hook a fish. I ended up taking a gamble and choosing to fish a comfortable distance at 50 yards onto a 6ft gravel bar just in front of a thick weed bed. I used the IQ D rig constructed from 20lb IQ hook link material and size-6 Kurv Shanks with a large Sinker in the middle to keep everything pinned down. This was in conjunction with a lead clip system.

With all three rigs positioned on one spot I decided to put 30 spods out to start with and then top up with six after every bite. The bait consisted of chopped boilies, corn, chickpeas, pellets and the ever-faithful maggot.

With 48 hours in the swim I was lucky enough that the gamble paid of and managed 19 bites resulting in 17 of them being landed, including nine twenties to 27lb 4oz. Due to the heavy weed it was crucial not only to drop the lead on the take but also to fish with tight lines and fairly tight clutches. I did start the session with keeping the leads on, thinking I could hold the fish away from the first weed bed, sadly with losing two fish straight away this wasn't the case and a change in tactic led me to land the next 16 bites.

Although we didn't manage anything monstrous, the weekend passed as a social should do, with lots of food and plenty of laughs. Now its time to get back on the syndicate as there's a certain common waiting for me!