Oxlease – Hauling till your arm falls off – a red letter weekend.

30lb 10oz

27lb 06oz

Another nice Oxlease mirror.

14 July 2014

I arrived Friday evening and first walked around Manor but it was clear that the areas I fancied were all taken and so rapidly moved to Plan B as time was against me. A quick drive to Oxlease (well very slowly over the speed humps with a fully laden car!) and I was soon wandering around Oxlease.

There was a strong south westerly picking up and I watched as fish rolled through the middle section starting to migrate up to the north east corner of the lake on the warm wind. It was clear that I had two options as in my experience a fair few will follow a new south-westerly whilst some will head up to the back of the wind and settle in the calmer water. Anyone that fishes at Linear will tell you finding the fish is only half the battle as getting a swim that allows you to cast to where they are showing is the real key. Fishing alone helps you to be able to move onto fish and slot into the smallest of swims which was a real advantage to have.

I have fished the northeast corner before and therefore knew where I wanted my rigs to be and by chance there was a swim free. It was only a small swim overlooked by many but I knew that it would allow me access to the fish. The benefit of fishing alone means that I can usually find a single swim free to drop in. I quickly dropped a bucket in the swim and then made my way around the lake to see how it was fishing. Very slowly was the feedback coming from the anglers with only three fish out so far on Friday all from the northeast corner. At this point my bucket placement looked spot on and then I reached the other side of the lake and fortunately spoke to a couple of lads as they were leaving. They told me they had just found a big group of fish stacked up on the back of the wind but were now leaving and gutted as they had blanked for the last couple of days and not seen many fish during their stay. I watched for a few minutes wanting to see with my own eyes and it soon became clear that they were correct and there were now 100s of carp at this end subtlety going about their business. By this time the other end of the lake was filling up with anglers who had seen the fish show and my plan altered. Back of the wind it would be, with the added bonus that when the rain hit at least it wouldn’t be right in my face!

With only a couple of hours of light remaining I quickly found my spots and marked them out using my AVID distance sticks and wrote down each rods distance in my phone along with a photo noting where they were aimed. I’ve found that accuracy is key on these waters and so I generally bait as tightly as possible. Hard clear bangs were felt on all three rods as they landed and not much in the way of weed. I usually prefer to fish up against weed but no matter the fish were here so with the least amount of noise I started to put 4 kilos of Mistral i40 red boilies into the swim and then set up camp. Soon after a fish showed on my spot – things were looking up and then it then started to rain. As the wind bellowed down the other end of the lake the section in front of me remained calm and as the rain dimpled the surface I watched as carp after carp put on a show for me.

Needless to say I didn’t have to wait long as the first take came after half an hour of baiting up and then after each fish I was topping up another 200 or so Mistral i40 red boilies and Mistral Rosehip hard feed pellets on top, feeding time at the zoo had begun! The beauty of the Mistral i40’s is that they come pre-air dried so it allows you to take more than you may expect to use and leave the spare bait in the car knowing it’s in tip top condition. A couple of quick trips to the car kept me topped up nicely as through the next 36 hours I got through 15 kilo’s of boilies and two buckets of pellets and mixed particles – this was hectic stuff! I do like to use a lot of bait as when I’m at linear but only once the fish arrive, but this was crazy. Midday Saturday the rain eased and the sun came out and two sets of waterproofs were hung up to dry (they never seem to keep me properly dry!!) and I collapsed worn out with no sleep due to catching and baiting constantly, but most importantly a very happy carper.

At this point I fell asleep! When I woke I realised that during the last 36 hours I had managed 16 takes resulting in an arm aching 5 doubles, eight 20s plus a fat 30lb 10oz, not a bad result for a fall back water with a swim chosen on a later Friday evening!

Personally I haven’t fished Oxlease since the floods years ago and all I can say is that it is more than back to its best – it’s better than before! Go prepared with spare bait and if you get on them feed them!

Happy memories,