Dis­cov­er­ing Day-tick­ets

It’s taken a few months now, but our in­trepid RE­PORTER HAS FI­NALLY WOUND UP AT THE COUN­TRY’S best-known venue for a 48-hour ses­sion to see WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT...

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - - Loz East

It’s taken a few months now, but our in­trepid re­porter has fi­nally wound up at the coun­try’s best-known venue for a 48-hour ses­sion to see what all the fuss is about...

The com­plex at Lin­ear is lit­er­ally sec­ond to none, and if you’re af­ter value for money then this is the place for you. Due to the sheer vol­ume of lakes at your dis­posal you have ev­ery­thing you will ever need for your carp fish­ing – any­thing from heav­ily­stocked wa­ters, ideal for get­ting bites, all the way up to hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to catch some of the big­gest day-ticket carp in the coun­try.

The web­site that Lin­ear have (www.lin­earfish­eries.co.uk) is prob­a­bly one of the best in terms of be­ing in­for­ma­tive. Ev­ery­thing you could wish to know be­fore vis­it­ing the venue is on there, in­clud­ing up to date catch re­ports (so you can see ex­actly what the lakes are pro­duc­ing), plus the rules and pric­ing for the venue. I would ad­vise any­one be­fore they visit the venue to have a read through the rules. The com­plex has an on-site shower block which is sit­u­ated next to St Johns Lake and the bailiff’s cabin. There are also plenty of ‘por­taloo’ toi­lets sit­u­ated around the lakes.

If you’re af­ter find­ing out ex­tra in­for­ma­tion and some­thing to give you an edge be­fore mak­ing the jour­ney for your ses­sion then, over the years, plenty of me­dia ma­te­rial has been pro­duced on the lakes. There are lit­er­ally hun­dreds of videos on Youtube that an­glers have taken over the years which you can watch, not to men­tion Korda’s Un­der­wa­ter video’s on St Johns from a few years ago.

In re­la­tion to gate open­ing times all the lakes are open for 24-hour a day fish­ing – they do how­ever lock all the gates at night for se­cu­rity. From March 1st un­til Septem­ber 30th all gates will be locked at 9pm and opened again by 8am.

Lin­ear Fish­eries needs no in­tro­duc­tion and is well renowned for be­ing the mecca of day-ticket carp an­gling. There are no less than eight dif­fer­ent dayt­icket wa­ters on the com­plex and three syn­di­cate lakes, giv­ing you a mas­sive va­ri­ety of an­gling. The com­plex can be found close to Ox­ford on the B4449, be­tween Stan­ton Har­court and the A415 Wit­ney road. If you are us­ing a sat-nav the post­code is OX29 7QF

From Oc­to­ber 1st un­til Fe­bru­ary 28th all gates will be locked at 6pm and opened again by 8am – you and your ve­hi­cle will be locked in­side. This way you know your prop­erty is safe and se­cure and you can en­joy your fish­ing with­out any wor­ries.

My ses­sion started as I ar­rived at the gates late on a Thurs­day af­ter­noon, fol­low­ing a long jour­ney down south from Not­ting­ham af­ter work. The main rea­son for vis­it­ing the venue was that Danny Fair­brass and I were due to film for an episode of Think­ing Tackle and I wanted a prac­tice run be­fore the shoot. That’s the big­gest piece of ad­vice I could give any­one – prepa­ra­tion is key. I hadn’t vis­ited the com­plex for al­most three years and it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to know turn­ing up to any lake blind, with­out do­ing any re­search, will put you on the back foot straight away.

Be­fore my ses­sion I made sure to do my home­work on what was work­ing and which lakes were pro­duc­ing fish. Our shoot was go­ing to be filmed on Brasenose One (B1), so it made sense to have my prac­tice run on there. I checked the Lin­ear Fish­eries Face­book page ev­ery day for a week be­fore my ses­sion, to keep up to date re­gard­ing what was be­ing caught. I also spoke to a few friends and peo­ple I knew who had fished the com­plex a lot over the years and I owe them a thank you for tip­ping me off to a few lit­tle tips. I also made sure to watch some of the more re­cent Youtube videos cov­er­ing Brasenose One, just to pick up as much knowl­edge of the lake as is hu­manly pos­si­ble and, when I ar­rived at the venue, I felt ready. As I drove around the lake I found peg 7 free which is one of the few pegs I’ve ac­tu­ally fished in the past. A few years ago I re­mem­ber hav­ing a 25-fish hit, with carp up to 36lb, on a win­ter ses­sion. So hav­ing pre­vi­ous knowl­edge of the swim it was a no-brainer and, cou­pled with it com­mand­ing the cen­tre of the lake, it was per­fect for a few days an­gling as there were bound to be fish out in the cen­tral body of the lake.

The first thing I did be­fore set­ting the house up was fire three sin­gles out onto the spot I wanted to fish – which was at 30 wraps (120 yards). The rea­son I did this was to try and nick a quick bite. When most peo­ple turn up to this venue, the first thing they do is get the marker rod out and thrash the wa­ter to a foam which can con­se­quently spook the fish away from the swim. By spend­ing the first few hours us­ing ei­ther small bags or sin­gle hook­baits there is a good chance you can qui­etly catch a fish or two and get your ses­sion off to a flyer – be­fore even get­ting the spod rod out.

Once ev­ery­thing was set up I de­cided to start putting some bait in. The sin­gle hook­baits hadn’t worked on this oc­ca­sion but with them al­ready be­ing in place, it was quite lit­er­ally a case of spod­ding the bait over the area. The mix I de­cided to start with was a mix­ture of Cell boilies which had been washed out and soaked in Bai­ley’s liquor, Cell Re­sponse pel­lets and sweet­corn. Now, if you take just one piece of ad­vice away from this ar­ti­cle then please make it this – do not turn up to Lin­ear

I hadn’t vis­ited the com­plex for al­most three years and it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to know turn­ing up to any lake blind, with­out do­ing any re­search, will put you on the back foot straight away

Fish­eries with­out sweet­corn. Re­gard­less of what lake you de­cide to fish, they ab­so­lutely go mad for it, prob­a­bly be­cause over the years they’ve seen ki­los and ki­los of the golden grain and they now see it as the sta­ple food within their di­ets. To start with I put 30 spombs of bait out. Go­ing into that first night I wanted enough food out there to draw them down to my spot, then af­ter ev­ery fish I’d put 12 more back out onto the area. The carp in th­ese lakes are shoal fish and swim around in big groups with as many as 50 fish present! With that said it’s im­por­tant to keep the bait go­ing onto your area and even if I haven’t caught any­thing, then I will still put three to five spombs out ev­ery hour. The carp al­most re­late to the sound of the spomb hit­ting the sur­face (the ‘din­ner bell’, if you like) and it’s not un­com­mon to get bites straight af­ter spomb­ing, as they fol­low the bait down to the bot­tom.

On the rig side of things I started with my stan­dard combi-rig, con­structed us­ing 20lb Kamo braid, 20lb IQ2 fluoro­car­bon and size 4 kurv shanks. The rea­son I chose this in par­tic­u­lar is be­cause when fish­ing at long dis­tances, I don’t want to be us­ing mesh bags or PVA foam be­cause it hin­ders the dis­tance you can cast. So, by us­ing the IQ2 ma­te­rial, it gives you ex­cel­lent anti-tan­gle prop­er­ties. The other rea­son I de­cided to use this rig is be­cause the hook­link is fluoro­car­bon – it’s vir­tu­ally in­vis­i­ble to the carp and the rig/hook­bait will ap­pear more nat­u­ral on the lake bed.

Hook­bait-wise I de­cided to start with three dif­fer­ent pre­sen­ta­tions. On one rod I used a Main­line Baits’ Cell cork dust wafter, tipped with a sin­gle piece of sink­ing corn. On my sec­ond rod I used a Salty Squid wafter, and, on my third, just two pieces of pop-up corn. My thought process was that if I started to get more bites on any one in par­tic­u­lar, then I could swap all my rods onto it. We all know from over the years that carp can be fussy and one day they will pre­fer a dif­fer­ent flavour or colour and the day af­ter it could have com­pletely changed.

The first night passed qui­etly, de­spite my high hopes, with fish show­ing di­rectly be­hind my spot be­fore sun­set. I had set my alarm clock for 5am to re­cast my rigs at first light and freshen up the area with some more bait. With the fish re­spond­ing to the sound of the spomb, I wanted to be the first one ring­ing the din­ner bell in the hope that it would draw the fish into my area. This didn’t pay off and I had to wait al­most 24 hours for my first bite, but even­tu­ally the left-hand rod ripped off. I landed a lovely, clean 25lb mir­ror and we were off and run­ning. The bite came on the Cell cork dust wafter and fake corn rig, so im­me­di­ately I wound the other two rods in and matched the pre­sen­ta­tion on all three rods. It is worth men­tion­ing that be­fore I dealt with the fish, I safely se­cured it in the land­ing net, whilst I put 12 spombs of

bait back out onto the area. The feed­ing spells can be hec­tic, as well as short, so you re­ally do need to max­imise your time when the fish are feed­ing over you. If you de­cided to have a cig­a­rette and a cup of cof­fee be­fore cast­ing back out you could be cost­ing your­self fish.

Af­ter spomb­ing, I clipped a fresh rig onto my rod, wrapped it around my dis­tance sticks and got my rod back out, first time. Af­ter I had dealt with the fish the spot re­ally did come to life and I went on to land an­other cou­ple of fish around the 20lb mark. This im­me­di­ately told me ev­ery­thing was work­ing. The spot was pro­duc­ing bites, the rigs were land­ing me the fish and the bait was catch­ing them. What I would do how­ever, if things went quiet again, is go back to my three dif­fer­ent hook­bait pre­sen­ta­tion and just keep the bait go­ing in. The fish will turn back up in your swim even­tu­ally.

Go­ing into the sec­ond night I was stupidly con­fi­dent in how things were go­ing. I didn’t even con­tem­plate the thought of not hav­ing a bite dur­ing the hours of dark­ness. Un­for­tu­nately, that’s ex­actly what hap­pened and as first light came, my alarm clock sounded, which told me it was time to go to work on the swim. It was now Sat­ur­day morn­ing and I only had 24 hours of the ses­sion re­main­ing. This time how­ever the early morn­ing start paid off and within min­utes I landed a lovely up­per-dou­ble com­mon. As I’ve al­ready men­tioned, I was here for a prac­tice ses­sion so I wanted to try a few dif­fer­ent tac­tics should I need them for the film­ing ses­sion. I de­cided to tie up three zig rigs at 12ft, 9ft and 7ft with yel­low foam, black foam and red foam. I was fish­ing in 14ft of wa­ter, so I would pretty much have it cov­ered. The yel­low foam would imi­tate sweet­corn, the red foam would imi­tate a mag­got and the black foam would sil­hou­ette against the sky, mak­ing it stand out to the fish. What also made me try the zigs was that there were plenty of fish show­ing and not enough ac­tion on the bob­bins which told me they were up in the wa­ter col­umn. It didn’t take long and I was into a fish straight away. I took my time with this one as I was us­ing 11lb zig line with a size 8 wide-gape hook, and an an­gry carp on the end some­times isn’t a good com­bi­na­tion. When I even­tu­ally landed the fish it was a crack­ing 21lb mir­ror and I was chuffed to bits that I had an­other tac­tic I could now fall back on should I need it. For the record, it took the 7ft zig with yel­low foam.

As we went into the af­ter­noon things went a lit­tle quite again with very lit­tle hap­pen­ing around the lake. Both Brasenose One and Brasenose Two over the years have built up a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing ‘runs wa­ters’ – how­ever things are chang­ing. The lakes are more pres­sured now than ever be­fore and the fish are get­ting older and wiser. Cou­ple that with the tac­tic of us­ing nat­u­ral baits like mag­gots and worms, and it seems to have made the fish­ing slightly more dif­fi­cult. I’m not say­ing you can’t go and have big hits any­more, be­cause when the fish are on it and feed­ing, you can with­out a doubt.

LEFT I al­ways like to check my rigs prior to cast­ing out. Not enough peo­ple do this in my opin­ion ABOVE . My tried ‘n’ trusted D-rig. The FLUORO­CAR­BON PLAYS A KEY ROLE in my eyes, giv­ing me huge CON­FI­DENCE IN BOTH PRE­SEN­TA­TION and cast­ing at range

ABOVE TOP This lovely, clean mir­ror got me off the mark

ABOVE BOT­TOM Get­ting ready to re­turn the mid-20

BE­LOW The rea­son I went. Not only have you got a chance of a few bites, there is also the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity of a proper job

LEFT The mo­ment of truth – at 34lb, it had made the long trip south more than worth­while

ABOVE What a lovely carp – enough said

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