November 02, 2011 4 min read

After a hard week at work, I had contemplated whether or not to even travel to Oxford after work during the Friday evening rush hour traffic, and instead set off on the Saturday morning. However, with the gear in the car and bait all prepared from the night before, it didn't take much to persuade me to go. I left site just before 4pm and had just over 2 hours to make it before the gate closed. It was stop start all the way round the M25, but once on the M40 it was a clear run right through until I hit the Oxford ring road. It didn't look like I was going to make it, so I was prepared to sleep in the car park for the night and wait till the morning. But as luck would have it, it was the weekend of the BCAC singles event, and the gate had been left open a little longer than normal.

I wasted no time in finding a swim and as Brasenose 1 was closed I had no option but to go on Brasenose 2. Now I have fished Brasenose 2 only 3 times in the past, mainly because I haven't been able to get anywhere else on the complex, but it was worth it for the weekend, and I had a chance of a fish or 2 when conditions where as bad as they where.

With winter on its way the night time temperatures where dropping just shy of zero, and it was a shock to the system setting up, but after a good hour or so I had my house up and my rods clipped up. The swim I was in, I'd actually fished before, and knew that if I placed banksticks on the bank a rod length apart and wrapped my line around them 24 times I would be fishing right in the centre of a 6ft gravel gully. With all 3 rods clipped up I attached my solid bags, which I had pre tied on leaders onto a large loop at the end of my mainline and cast them out on the spot. I was fishing with short braided rigs inside the bags with an inline lead set up. The hookbaits where chopped down Mainline Cell Pop Ups and the were loaded with Mini Combo Pellets and crushed Mainline Cell Response Pellets. This pellet mix is ideal for creating the perfect solid bag as the small pellets can be worked inside the bag, and minimum air is trapped making the bag nice and hard and aerodynamic, adding yards to your cast. My spod was clipped at the same distance and i had decided to start with just 10 spods. The fish in B2 are still quite young so the most simplest of spod mixes will do, and as these fish where bought up on pellets so my mix mainly consisted of Mini Combo Pellet, Response Pellets, as well as a good helping of Salamiz Hemp and 4kgs of chopped Cell Boilies.

I landed a fish on all 3 rods before midnight and I was so tired, I just hooked the rigs on the butt eyes and jumped back into bed!!!! I awoke just as the sun was rising above the trees and I wasn't at all surprised to see a thick frost covering my swim. The kettle was filled and the burner on, before i dried all 3 rigs off, re tied the solids and got them back out. I topped the swim back up, and tied a further 10 leaders with solids on ready to go. As I had to be away early on the Sunday, I wanted to make the most of the Saturday, and that was exactly what I did.

The day started slow and it wasn't until the sun was beating down on the water that I started getting more action. With regular spodding I kept the fish in the swim, and by 1pm I had landed a further 7 fish taking my tally to 10. However, nothing would surprise me more than what happened next. I had just landed a stunning 21lb linear and decided to keep it in the net until my mate arrived with lunch, and also to take the pictures. With lunch out the way it was time to photograph the linear. I had taken 2 pictures on one side when my other rod started to rip line from the spool, but with the 21lber being the biggest fish I had landed out of 10, I wasn't really in no rush to hit the rod. I took a few quick snaps of the other side before picking the rod up, the fish hadn't taken much line but had managed to find a weed bed. I kept steady pressure on for a few minutes before the fish kicked hard and I was back in action. The fish didn't feel any different to any of the others I had hooked, and most of the way in I could feel the fish grating on the underwater snags. When it got closer I caught a glimpse of a fairly large mirror, at first it looked another 20lber but when it turned I knew it was a little bigger. Saying nothing to my mate, apart from "get ready and don't miss it" I played the fish for a further 5 heart stopping minutes. I could see everything in the clear water, and it was a huge sigh of relief when it went into the net, my mate turned to me and said "that's a lot bigger than 20 mate" and indeed it was.

I gave him the rod whilst I sorted the weigh gear out. With everything in place I took the net off of him and lifted the fish onto the mat. With the hook removed I lifted the fish into the sling before recording a weight of 33lb 6oz!!!!!!!!!! I could not believe it. Brasenose 2 has 1500 carp and only 2 30s, and I had caught the larger, and this time around at a lake record! The fish had a distinctive tail, and has now become known as "split tail". With a few shots taken I slipped my prize back into the clear water.