16 Year old Jack's Visit to Oxlease.

25lb 02 oz Oxlease Mirror.

5lb 08oz Oxlease Tench.

23lb Oxlease Linear.

07 June 2006

I've just returned from a 3 day session on Oxlease lake, it was my 4th trip to the venue and probably my most productive considering the conditions. I was really hoping for a 20lb+ fish as I had seen these fish come out all around me on my 3 previous trips, but I hadn't been able to get over the 18lb mark. The fishing was very hard with the warm temperatures coming in the fish only had one thing on their minds, that was to spawn. However when I arrived on the Wednesday afternoon I was lucky enough to get the only peg available on the lake, one of the gravel board pegs around the centre of the lake. I could see fish rolling and head and shouldering out from the moment I got there so my confidence immediately grew.

I continued to set up and bait my peg, I decided not to go to heavy with the bait as they where possibly on the verge of spawning. To start with I introduced 4kg of spod mix containing hemp, maize, multi-mix pellet and 12mm SBS AV1 boilies over my right hand rod at 80yards range, This was baited with a single 12mm AVI tipped with fake maize. My other two rods I decided to fish with bags of SBS lobworm stick mix casting at the showing fish in front of me at different distances, the one was baited with a single 12mm AVI boilie tipped with fake maize and the other was baited with a real piece and a fake piece of maize.

I received my first take at 11pm on my right hand rod over the bait, after a short battle a 16lb mirror was safely in the net. Pleased that I had received some action so quickly I was quietly optimistic for the night and forthcoming days head. Again at 4.15pm the same rod rattled off with a nicely scaled 14lb mirror. As the morning progressed the day came to be very hot but with a slight breeze so I thought the fish may hold off the spawning for at least another day and continue to feed, I hoped! It was soon obvious at around 12pm that the fish were beginning to get ready for spawning with violent liners from fish playing around in the margins, however I wasn't sure what fish they were. To find this out I cast a small bag and maize no more than 10yards out from the peg and within minutes the rod screamed off, by playing the fish for a few seconds it was obvious this was no carp but a nicely sized tench at 5lb 8oz.

At around 1.30pm I decided to introduce more bait onto the baited area to try and get the fish on the feed again, so I mixed up 8kg of the same spod mix I spodded out the night before. After all the bait had been introduced the fish slowly started to show signs of their presence in the swim again, therefore my confidence of catching some more fish had increased for the night ahead. Again there were fish showing in numbers at around the 70yard mark so there was plenty to aim for with my other two rods with maize, 12mm AV1 and small sticks.

To my surprise I had to wait until 4am until I received any kind of indication on my alarms, at this time my right hand rod on the baited area tore of for the third time. Whilst playing this fish I realised it was obviously a bigger fish from the way it was holding back and taking line at will. I was hoping it was bigger than my previous pb from this lake which stood at 18lb from my previous session on the lake. When the fish came to the net it was quite clearly a better fish than 18lb, it was a gorgeous looking fish almost linear scaled which went a cracking 23lb on the scales. I retreated happily to my bed and slept till 11am!!

I woke to a scorching day with no cloud cover and spawning fish, not the best thing to wake to if you are a carp angler as you will know. However I didn't lose hope and give in just yet. I knew that with the heat a certain amount of fish would be in the upper layers of the water whether they were spawning or not so I decided it was time to get the zigs out. I made up 3 zigs all around 9ft in length with chopped down pineapple pop-ups mounted on each of them, I fished two of them towards showing fish and the other over my baited area. I decided to mix up a slop spod mix of SBS ace lobworm groundbait and hemp to spod over the top of my baited area where the zig was now fishing. Every 20 minutes I spodded out 2 spod fulls of slop in attempt to attract to fish into the area, I was doing this all in the highest temperatures of midday, but after a couple of hours my hard work paid off when the spodded zig dropped back a 12lb mirror was soon banked. I know this is only a small fish for the standards of the lake but I felt a lot of satisfaction just because I worked so hard in the heat in attempt to catch.

At 6pm I changed back over to my bottom baits for the night, 12mm AV1 and fake maize, also I topped up the baited area with 5kg of hemp, maize, pellet and 12mm AV1's for the last night of my trip. There were still a few fish showing in front of me but not half as many as the previous evenings so I was not as confident as dusk settled over this truly beautiful lake. I took to my bed hoping to be awoke by the sound of my alarms in the silence of the night, however it was not to be the case as I woke at 5.30 knowing my dad would be there to pick me up at 6.45. To say I wasn't disappointed not to have caught on the last night would have been a lie but at the same time I was happy to have caught my first Oxlease 20lb+ fish the previous night. I was almost packed away, bivvy down and all sorted bar the rods when out the blue my middle rod with the 12mm AV1 tipped with maize screamed off and I was into my fifth carp of the trip. It was a slow deep fight but soon enough I was staring through the mesh at what looked like another low 20! Once the fish was on the bank and I had unpacked my scales and camera I was pretty sure it was a bit bigger than a low 20. On the scales the fish went 25lb 2oz just 2oz's under my PB, I was over the moon with this result in such tricky conditions.

Its safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and I will be back as soon as possible in attempt to smash my PB in style!

Thank you very much

16 year old, Jack Cuthbertson from Wolverhampton