February 10, 2015 4 min read

Myself and Steve Clark from Hinders planned to do a 24hr session down Linear Fisheries. Our water in mind was Brasenose 1 as the catch reports have been fantastic with some large catches and very large fish coming out.

Leading up to the weekend we had the worst cold snap for a while, with temperatures ranging from 3 degrees in the day to -3 in the evening. We really thought the weekend wouldn't happen as there was a possibility of the lake freezing over but the carp Gods were upon us as there was a breeze to keep the ice off.

Steve arrived on Friday 6th February at around 4pm to find the lake pretty busy but he found a swim in between both B1 & B2. As you can imagine I didn't get much sleep that night as I was just itching to get out for my first night of the year. I set off at around 6 in the morning and was surprised to arrive with several anglers waiting at the gate.

Arriving at the swim I could see we had a huge expanse of water to fish to. We both settled at a range of 80yards and the plan was to start with 3 zig rigs with the depths ranging from 6ft to 10ft. The choice of bait was the zig aligners from Fox with foam soaked in the awesome Betalin & Black.

It was slow for a couple of hours and after speaking with the bailiff he informed us due to the harsh conditions and temperatures the fishing hadn't been great. With that in mind I opted to change tactics on one of my rods. Armed with Boss Baits Cotswold Club Mix in 18mm and pink pop ups to match I set about baiting one area at 80 yards away from the zigs with boilies. I made a combo rig with a 18mm bottom bait then a critically balanced pink pop up. I made a stick mix which contained a little hemp oil , Cotswold club mix stick mix, some crushed boilie and some matching dip. The rod went out perfect first time so with this I decided it would be better to spomb some baits out as there was a little crosswind which was making a throwing stick difficult to get it to the spot. After hitting the spot around 5-6 times and a couple placed to the left and right of the spot I felt confident that if the fish came from either direction they would hopefully stumble across my hook bait.

The fishing was still very slow and the weather not the best, with only 2 fish coming out to mine and steve's knowledge. But this didn't affect Steve's approach, he continued to spomb every hour over his zigs using the NEW Instant Nutz Sludge and hemp.

At around 2pm I decided to get my head down for an hour as I had been up since 4am that morning. I was awoken at 3:30 pm with an absolute 1 toner. I was on the rod In a flash the fish was putting up a good scrap considering the they are yet to properly wake up. Whilst playing this fish Steve had a drop back on his zig.

Both playing fish we couldn't believe our luck. I eventually got my fish in the net and quickly unhooked it and put it in the retainer sling. I set about get my rod back out on the spot but was interrupted with Steve receiving another take on his 2nd rod so I lent a helping hand on netting it.

Whilst unhooking Steve's second fish for him he continued to spomb to keep that interest there as the fishing was so slow. As he got his first rod back on the spot he had a take on the drop so I had to run over and get my net as we had 2 fish in his net already! Netting Steve's third fish we both set on getting our rods back on the spot as this could be the only spell we would have. With the rods on the spot we set about weighing and taking photos of our prizes.

My fish was a lovely half linear weighing 15lb 8oz and I was completely over the moon as my tactics were probably very different to many others around the lake. Steve had a 13lb common and two 15lb mirrors.

We both felt confident for a good night ahead and got off to sleep around 10. I woke to a massive liner at around 2am and was just hoping for it to go off but unfortunately nothing happened. Awaking just before sun rise and as you can see by the pics there was a hard frost over night. We were due a very nice day with temperatures as high as 8 which was the highest for the last week.

I only had till midday before I had to set of home so decided to put two zigs back out and kept topping the boilie spot back up and just tried to get one last bite before I had to leave.

Unfortunately after leaving it as long as possible the fish were just not playing ball and decided it was the best time to head off. Steve and I between us had 4 fish and we were both extremely proud to have caught in such tough conditions.

Tight lines

Scott Rivers