On the 28th March 2011 me and my brother headed down to Linear fisheries in Oxford to try and get amongst the early spring carp. We planned to stay for three nights and possibly four depending on how successful we were. On Wednesday morning at five am we set off in hope to fish St Johns or Manor lake of which hold few carp to over 40lb and many back of thirty’s which is my target for the season. If you have been following the blog you will be aware that we visited the fishery last summer and tried our luck on Hardwick and smiths pool but with no success although I did catch an amazing 2lb roach. We pulled into the car park after a Mc Donald’s breakfast and to our amazement St Johns and Manor was packed!!! We decided that rather than be back to back with other anglers as we could have squeezed in we would rather fish Hardwick and Smiths Pool again. On arrival we walked around the lake trying to spot and fish moving but there was nothing visible and so it was to be instinctive fishing choosing the swim that looked like it could be the most productive.
It was decided to fish a bay at the far side of the lake into Hardwick. It would take a massive effort to reach the swim with all our gear, a barrow with flat (square wheels), my brother with less energy than a new born sheep but we got there in the end and set up just in time for the heavens to open.Our bait choice was ten kilos of tutti frutti Nash baits which might sound a lot but I was hoping to feed heavily and bring the fish to us and hold them there. Two rods were fished on the first night, one with a snakeskin critically balanced bait and the other with the trusty hinged stiff rig. These were baited with hi viz pop ups and nashbait air balls with a kilo of bait scattered in the area. The first night passed uneventful and we were greeted with a great south westerly wind blowing in the opposite direction. Things were not looking good and if the fish were following this strong wind they would be in Smiths Pool. It was decided to stay another night in the swim and put some more bait in. The second night also passed uneventful and we were beginning to become desperate for a carp. After a short discussion and a walk around half the lake it was decided to fish the spit that looked over the gateway of the two lakes. The thought was that we could fish Hardwick and Smiths Pool from this swim and fish the gate so any carp moving from the lakes should cross our baits. We packed up the gear and walked the bivvy around fully erect. Once set up we had a new surge of energy and it felt the right move.
At around 7pm Johns rod fished in Smiths Pool came to life and he was into a fish. Before the take John had decided to fish this style to try and temp one of the large tench the lake holds so when a big tench surfaced we were delighted to catch by design. The rig was two fake pieces of corn critically balanced so semi buoyant. When weighed she went 8lb which was a new personal best and a great specimen.
The evening commenced and night fell. At 3 o clock my rod fished in Hardwick in the deep water rattled off. After a short fight a lovely looking 13lb carp was safely in the landing net. The move was beginning to pay off. I re-cast the rod in the darkness to around the same area and at 7am it rattled off again. This time the fight was less speedy and the fish held in the deep water. I was convinced the fish was a 20lb + but once in the net I could see it was considerably smaller. We weighed her at 16lb and although not the fish we were hoping for it was more than welcome. Its great catching carp of all sizes although I hunt specimens I am all ways happy to catch even the smallest of fish. That was to be our last capture before we decided to call ita day and return home. The walk back was agony and took about an hour, but we managed. John and I are planning to return to Linear Fisheries in the summer and so will keep you updated. Tight Lines.