Brasenose-1 – Now the floods have passed!

15lb Mirror.

17lb Mirror.

19lb 12oz Mirror.

21lb 08oz Mirror.

23lb 08oz Mirror.

26 September 2007

Linear had been hit hard by the flooding and every other day I had driven up to the complex from my home 10 miles away, to watch fish from Hardwick swimming around on where you would normally have you’re bivvy. All through this time I must admit I didn’t think the lakes would recover and being in my opinion, the most successful day ticket waters in the country, it was gutting to see the place in such a bad way. I remember speaking to Stuart Roper though, a bailiff on the complex and he was confident that the lakes would be restored to how they were before. So, it was with a little caution that I walked round Brasenose-1 on a crisp September morning pondering which peg would give me the best chance of having a big hit.

Everyone was struggling; only 8 fish caught in a week by one angler and some others had blanked for four or five days! Roy assured me though that everything was fine and the stress of it all had kept them quite. It was whilst stood on the point area opposite the first car park that I saw a number of fish jump in the choppy, windswept water that was pushing towards me. Being the only fish I could see the gear was dumped and I began to think up the battle plan. This comprised of a sloppy spod soup mix cast to a firm area of lake bed around 80 yards out; on top of where the fish were crashing and a lot further out than most people were casting. The soup consisted of particles, pellets, boilie chops in the form of some tails up OCM which I have been using to great success and to bind it all some Hinders ‘Krill and Krab’. Into this went plenty of oil and condensed milk to cloud the water and by looking at it in the margins it just had to get the carp going.

Two rods would be rigged up with zig rigs, one at 9ft and one at 7ft and the third would be placed on the bottom with a small piece of buoyant corn and a stick of the ‘Krill and Krab’. After casting the rods out and beginning spodding over the top, I noticed that no one else was. The lake had at least 20 anglers on it and no one was putting any bait out. It didn’t take me long to realise that this might have been a big reason why the people were struggling. Two spods of soup out onto the area resulted in a first take with the 9ft zig rig. After a good scrap the fished rolled into the net and estimated at mid-double was quickly slipped back. As I was doing so I the second zig rod screamed off and as I slipped the fish off the mat into the water, my dad who had come up for the afternoon ran past me and grabbed the rod! Taking the ‘mick’ sprang to mind, or words to that affect! After landing a second carp in 10 minutes my confidence in the place was restored, this was the same old Brasenose, you just had to find them and give them food, which is exactly what we began to do.

We just kept spodding and whether on a zig or the bottom and the fish kept coming at a steady pace. Both zigs were eventually set at 8 ½ feet which we had found the fish were getting caught at the most and both had small pieces of yellow foam on. By night fall we had not sat down once and had tallied up 18 fish; the biggest being 17lb. Through the night we decided to drop one zig down a foot and put the other on the bottom with a chopped down boilie. We had found that the bit baits were working excellently, yet most people we saw would be using 14mm boilies. The only positive we found with this approach was that although the bigger baits would catch less, they would more than likely sort out the bigger carp. By morning we had only had two fish and were a little disappointed. We didn’t have to wait long for the action to hot up again on the zigs though and after 5 minutes of spodding the fish were again coming thick and fast. As the day grew on the average size of fish was getting bigger and they were scrapping harder. The hook holds were perfect and the little size 10 wide gapes were firmly an inch back in the bottom lip 90% of the time. These fish were fighting to get at the bait and multiple hook ups were common. You could see the fish rolling on the surface each time the spod went in and in the heat of the sun the zigs were only 2 or 3 foot under the surface. Again the bigger fish came from the bottom bait and we had a number of 19lb fish, a few of which were ounces under 20lb.

Towards the end of our day we had 41 carp and leaving only the rods out we were desperate to get to 50. In the last half an hour before dark 8 fish were caught and eventually we only made 49 fish in 36 hours; not bad I suppose! We left very happy, but I was slightly disappointed on not catching a twenty and returned a few days later to try and bag one.

This time I fished two pegs down and upon finding another firm spot along the same line as the last, I again reached for the spod. Dad was with me again and whilst I spodded, he set up camp behind. It took minutes for the rod to go off and the session started as the last one finished, this time though I managed to bag what I wanted. My dad had gone to get some food and after landing three fish in 10 minutes the left hand rod ripped off. The fight was different though and after seeing the fish in the margins I knew what it was. I was ecstatic at catching it and even more pleased with the 21lb 8oz weight. Dad returned in time and took some great photos and after 5 more fish we called it a day; 25 fish in 24 hours and we were again happy.

I have returned once more since and although only for a short session it was again typically Brasenose. In 6 hours I managed to land 12 fish to 23lb 10oz. I have thoroughly enjoyed my session on Brasenose and in around 72 hours have landed somewhere in the region of 90 carp (I really ought to come back and bag 100!). If your thinking about coming back to Linear, but are worried about the floods then don’t be. Its not just Brasenose fishing well either, the lads have got the place back up running and I’d even go as far to say that it is even better. Well done to everyone that worked hard to get it how it is and to everyone else get down here a ‘bag a biggun’!

Good luck and thanks again

Josh Bennett