Linch Hill happiness
Valerie all packed and ready for the off, Valerie is my Van (I name My vehicles)….set off early for Linch Hill fishery in Oxford, willow lake, planning on meeting my mate KT and doing a 48 hour.
Arrived to find the car park rammed with guys and fishing tackle all over the place, heart racing I was thinking maybe a bad idea, but lucky for me they had all decided to go Christchurch lake, had a little walk, well run round willows to see if I could see anything showing only one person on there…and sure enough fish was in the bay up by the snags on the surface. The sun was shining and they was sunning themselves, there is a rope that runs across the corner and the fish hang about in there for safety, there is no zig fishing here so catching them was going to take something, I stuck me bucket in the plateaux swim, double swim, and went back for me gear, KT had arrived we had a quick cuppa in the cafe and barrowed our gear round.
There was a couple of lads setting up on the nearby swim, I asked them if they had seen anything, “no” was the reply…they was either not saying or they should have gone to speck savers, anyway we started setting up, I already knew in my head where I wanted fish, and KT wanted the same swim, so out came the coin, tossed for the swim, pleased to say I won….I needed to get as close to the rope as possible, I normally avoid the snags best I can, if fact this was properly the first time I was really going for it, thinking fish safety really would hate to get a fish tethered in the snags and cause any damage, but I have been doing me home work, so I went for it.
Marked it up on the clip exactly where I wanted to be, after about 4 attempts just with a 2oz lead I managed to get it right under the rope, perfect, feeling confident I walked round and put a about 30 of the Duster Nuttrix bait over the top, whole 14m boilies, I had already decided to fish 3 rods, two tight to the rope, one out in open water, one on a chod, one on a stiff hinged rig and one on a blowback rig, all with a 14m yellow Duster Nuttrix pop up, cut and shaped into what looked like a massive piece of corn.
Confident using Deception angling end tackle, all the traps set and baited out, KT had found some spots out in open water, the fish where still milling around on the top…giving us a little wave from time to time, bivvys up and settled in, the swans came over to say hello and what a hello that was, took 4 rods out, both me and KT doing knit one pearl one with the rods…had to recast all the rods which we did, only for the bugger to come back again and do exactly the same thing, don’t get me wrong, love a swan, just not in me swim.
Had a couple of guys come round to have a nose and chat, I always carry a stone with hole in it as my lucky charm had it for 18years or so now, goes everywhere with me, One of the guys was laughing about it as I hang it on me pod, it works I told him.
We didn’t have anything to write home about on the first night apart from me having a small Tench, but at least I knew my rigs were working, carp didn’t seem interested in getting their heads down, I trickled more bait in and had a good night sleep.
First light and I mean first light we was awake, restless night, we recast our rigs, I done me wraps on my rods, both my casts to the snags landed perfect so tight in I was locked up and I would have to be on them rods straight away if it went, told KT that’s the one, bang on the money, left hand rod….kind of scary and exciting at the same time, fish was showing and we had heard them booshing out in the night so we was hopeful, after a full English “ESSEX” breakfast cooked by me, we tidied up and sat tight…..swans came over and was quickly scared away by me and KT we must of looked like a couple freaks waving our arms and legs about but it done the job, around about 7.30pm, KT said shall we recast, nope I was happy where my baits where so it would only mean reeling in and recasting to same spot I decide to leave them, and just trickled a few baits over the top again.
The guy that had been round the day before popped over, “ had anything yet” ? Sadly not I said, “So your stone works then? he laughed, “oh yeah I said I better hold me stone for a while” I picked it up and shoved it in my pocket, chatting and having a cuppa I put me stone back on me pod……..5mins later the rod was bending round I grabbed it up and tightened into the clutch, I walk back not letting that fish have one inch of line I just needed to get it away from them snags, heart racing and reeling down I could feel the fish starting to kite, but at least it was free from the snags, it kited across my other line….I could feel it pulling and thrashing about, not a happy fish at all.
As she came in close KT had the net, the fish spooked and darted out again, but we see her and she was lovely, so excited I felt like my heart was going to come out my chest, so didn’t want to lose her, after a while the fish got tired and so did I, a stunning common, “This time KT” I said, and KT scooped her in, Bingo…..
The guy couldn’t believe it, lucky stone worked a treat, lovely common carp graced my net, we put her in the retainer for her to calm down, had a cuppa tea, and then weighed her in well happy 25lb 9oz, a few pictures for memories, I was made up, seemed like it is all finally coming together, like a penny dropped, this is what it’s all about.
I had conquered my fear of snags at last, I never like to bully a fish out, but the walking backward from the bank straight away and locking on sure helped, oh and my lucky stone of course.
Karen Holder (Essex)