Thurs - Fri, 3rd - 4th Sept, Hardwick Lake, Linear Fisheries with Pete. Showers Thurs evening then dry with a very strong westerly wind. 18C Max, 10C min.
Pete and I took a trip to Linear fisheries in Oxfordshire after a big Bream foremost but also hoping for a Tench or even large Roach or Rudd.
It seemed to take a age to get down there after work on Thursday evening. I was travelling from the centre of Birmingham and it took over an hour and a half. This length of journey was very frustrating.
We picked our swims on the windward bank because of the prevailing wind and the reports of recent Bream catches of 13lb fish. It was noticeable that the nights are beginning to draw in as it was almost dark by 19:45.
A rain cloud departs;
I fished two rods at about 40yds, both with groundbait feeders. I spodded out some particles to the general area (accuracy into the wind was difficult) and catapulted out balls of groundbait with food items which flew truer. I had two cut down 10mm halibut marine boilies on the hair.
Despite both our excitement and anticipation neither of our indicators budged during the early evening.
I'd set up my bed early and was in full winter mode as the forecast was for a chilly night. Pete and I wandered between pegs and had a good catch-up over a few beers whilst we fished pretty earnestly into the night. We also saw two mahussive planes fly over Linear which we thought were the new Airbus. In addition to the monstrous planes were the Carp which we heard crashing around us at dusk. The Moon rose over the tree line behind us at about ten o'clock which cast a cracking light on the countryside and the lake. I was lying in my bed watching my rods lit by the bright moonlight at one point, happy. I tried to take a snap but it failed without a flash. Here's a flash version..
Beers drunk, it was time to turn in just before 23:30.
At 01:00 I was woken from a pretty deep sleep by my right hand rod. To be honest the first thing I remember is waking up holding the rod and feeling a bit sick from being so rudely yanked from my slumber.
I slowly came to whilst playing the fish very gently. It wasn't doing much and I had it down as a big Bream. After a slow motion fight I soon had it ready for netting and was surprised to see it was a Carp. I was even more surprised when I tried to lift it up and felt how heavy it was.
It weighed 25lbs 8oz and earns me an additional point in the competition ( i already had a two point bronze);
Apart from the odd bleep I didn't have anything more during the night.
I baited pretty heavily again at about 06:30 hoping to make a bite before the day warmed. By 10:30 I couldn't sit behind motionless bobbins for one minute longer and was packing up my shelter and moving to plan B.
Plan B was to get onto the back of the wind and try some up in the water float fishing for the impressive Roach and Rudd which live in Hardwick & Smith's.
I worked my way round all the fishable spots on the calmer side of the lake, giving each a good twenty minutes but by the time I'd reached the end of the far bank I hadn't had a single bite! I'd ended up in a very enticing deep corner however which looked to have good Breamy potential. Hiking back to the car once again I pursued Plan C - to fish a slider float with maggot in the deep corner over my remaining groundbait.
I once again re-tackled and balled in some foody groundbait. I was fishing a two swan shot straight Drennan Crystal as a slider in approx 15ft of clear water. On the hook four maggots on a 12 to 6lb hook length.
Within an hour I had a bite and was connected to a fish which felt like a very good Tench. As I drew it to the net it turned into a mid double mirror. At the net it flicked it's head, shed the hook and was away.
I had one further bite which I missed.
That was it then. No Bream, no Tench but a nice Carp.
Scores are now;