I had a winter ticket for a publicity shy water come up after a few years of being on the waiting list only 20 or so miles from my home, so I decided to stay local and spend what time I had fishing on there. The cost of travelling had taken its toll and not long after buying my first house with my fiancé, it seemed a good idea financially too. I managed to catch five fish from the water over the winter with the biggest being an awesome fully-scaled carp of 23lb 6oz.
My first session of 2012 was on Stoneacre at the end of March. It was a really freakishly hot week and the fish were loving the weather. I watched the sun come up that first morning back and saw one of the biggest shows I’ve ever seen on the lake over the course of three hours I must have seen over 60 shows from 40 yards out in front of me all the way to around 150. Getting a bite was a different story though and I left two nights later with seven tench to my name. Welcome back to Oxford!
After that warm week, the weather went really cool again and it was clear that a number of fish were spending a lot of time in the middle area of the lake. Over my next few sessions, I managed a 27lb linear and a 33lb mirror, both caught at range fishing on and behind the second bar area. It was early May when I managed my next fish, a pretty heavily scaled fish of 20lb. An N-Gage pop-up waded out with just eight baits around it tripped him up; funny really as I caught the same fish two seasons back on the exact same tactics, and it’s not one that gets seen all that often.
My latest bit of success on the lake was around the last few days in May where after a good few laps around the lake I found a small group of fish drifting in and out of a quiet, sunny corner. After watching them for a while from an over-looking tree, a couple of them drifted close to the bank, with one of them having a grub around only a rod length or so from the bank. I managed to catch a 22lb 4oz mirror as the light faded that evening and another stunning linear of 26lb over the next 24-hours. Both the fish were caught on small balanced tigers with a couple of half nuts around, the bigger of the two giving a real mental battle. It had been a very hot couple of days and I could see a new weather front coming in, with really dark clouds; you could actually feel the pressure change.
I had just turned my bivvy around in time before the wind started to gust and driving rain started. I was sheltering from the rain looking out at the flashes of lightning when the rod just ripped off, on lifting in to the fish a big crack of thunder and flash of lighting right above me had me piling on the pressure to get the fish in the net…
To find out what happened next, look out for my next blog, here on the Trakker website.
Until next time,