The Real Linear Experience.

28lb Mirror.

26lb 06oz PB Common.

56lb PB Catfish.

30lb 06oz PB Mirror.

22lb 02oz Mirror.

12 June 2007

I am a student in first diploma fishery management and once a year I need to complete 6 weeks work experience. I really didn’t know where to go but I eventually decided to ask linear fisheries if they could help me out and let me come down for the 6 weeks. They kindly agreed and that was the start of a very educational and enjoyable experience.

I started in middle of April and for the first week I decided to set up home on Manor Farm Pool (big mistake), After 6 nights I had managed only half a dozen Tench and lost one Carp. I had been working all week and on the following Saturday I decided to move and jumped into the beech swim on St Johns Lake this is when I fell in love with the lake. The following morning I was awoken to the sound of a Delkim screaming after stumbling to my rod I managed to miss an un-missable run. I was gutted. Another blank night forced a move so I went in the reeds down the far end of the lake; another lad on work experience called Neil joined me and went two pegs up from me. I never expected what was to happen that night as when I returned from work that evening and didn’t have sufficient time to feature find I decided to sling out all free rods with just solid bags filled with pellets and 15mm BCUK Grub boilies as hook baits, because I new there was a far bit of weed in front of me.

After about an hour my margin rod absolutely roared of and I connected with an angry fish that just wanted to bury itself in the reeds I eventually managed to turn it and slip it under the net, it was weighed at a fare 17lb 4oz. An hour later I managed a new PB of 22lb 2oz a nice pretty mirror I was over the moon. It had just started to turn dark when I managed another PB at 23lb but it wasn’t going to stop there as before I could recast this rod I managed the best looking fish I have ever caught and at 26lb 6oz it was not only a new PB common but a PB altogether beating my previous PB common by 12lb. I was ecstatic and couldn’t believe my luck my mate Neil who was with me just happened to say “you wont beat that mate” well he was wrong as suddenly the middle rod decided to spring into life, this fish felt different it just plodded all the while taking line but after about 20 minutes I managed to slip the net under a nice mirror. It wasn’t until I tried lifting it I realised its full weight on the scales it went a huge (well huge to me) 30lb 6oz and once again a new PB all before midnight absolutely fabulous. I was able to tell the other lads the next morning that I had actually caught something for once.

The Friday after that dream night I decided to give the catfish ago being a novice cat angler the other lads gave me a few tips and some stick saying I wasn’t strong enough to catch these beasts. That night ready with greys x-flight 2 3/4lb t/c rods and 15lb line I spodded around 4kg of smelly spod mix full with fish and pellets and decided to fish double 20mm BCUK Grub boilies topped with a green pop-up as I new a carp angler had been catching them on brightly coloured baits. At the start, the task of catching my first catfish didn’t make me feel that confident and I was ready for a proper nights sleep. After having a pizza with the lads next door I settled in my bag for a nice nights sleep (well that’s what I thought would happen).

At around 12pm I was rudely awoken by a screaming alarm it took me a second or two to realise what was happening as I hit it, it stripped around 100yds of line off me. I kept thinking to myself something’s got to give or snap, after 35 minutes my arm was aching but I was still connected with a fish which was wallowing on the surface and I had to slowly edge the fish into my 42” net. As I looked into the net I couldn’t work out how big it was until I lifted it out of the water, it felt huge. The lads next door came over and gave me a hand in weighing it and when the scales settled on 56lb I just sat next to it not believing what I had caught it was magical. I quickly rang Chris Blunt who had offered to take picture, he came immediately and we got some decent pictures so a big thank you to Chris for that, I would also thank all the other lads (Chris, Paul and Zack) who all donated bait to me to put into my spod mix, “And you didn’t think I’d catch”!!

During my remaining couple of weeks I managed a few more carp to 28lb and plenty of other twenty’s, managing 4 twenties in a ten fish catch in one session. I learnt so much as well and will definitely be coming back it was quite simply the best time of my life.

Nathan “The Pop-Up King” Sharp, aged 16