A Freezing Thirty PB!!

30lb !!

Matt Beard's New 30lb PB.

18 May 2007

A Freezing Thirty PB!

‘As the fish rolled into the net I could see it was a very big carp, I didn't say at the time but I was convinced it was thirty, as I let her rest in the deep margins safely encased in the net, she looked stunning, at that point I knew Matt has smashed his personal best.’

When my long time friend and angling partner Matt Beard asked me to take him to Linear Fisheries for a 48hr winter session I had no hesitation in suggesting Brasenose 1 lake, with its large head of fish, fairly uniform lake bed and the prospect of some sunny weather I figured this would be a great place to bag a few, little did I know just how much of a struggle it would be, the forecast was for clear skies, and being the end of February this would only mean one thing, COLD!

We arrived at the lake at 10am on the Tuesday, a quick look at the lake saw few anglers and lots of free swims, even at the busiest of times, there is usually room for everyone, but being midweek we were part of only 5 anglers braving the elements, a quick chat with those fishing confirmed our worst fears, after a hard frost the fishing was slow with only the odd fish coming out, ah well I thought, in for a penny..........

We plotted up next to each other on the road bank, it gave us a huge expanse of water to cover and that was exactly the plan, regular re-casts with small bags and pop ups to try and find a shoal of feeding fish, I was convinced if we could get one we could get a few. With the rods and bivvies up it was time for a cuppa and a chat, one of the super linear baliffs came round and informed us the temperature was predicted to be minus 6 tonight, and ensured we were adequately protected and up to date on the fishing that had been going on in the last few days, the baliffs really are good at Linear and always go the extra mile for you if they can.

By the time the sun began to sink behind the trees we were fishless, I made the radical decision to lay a carpet of bait out relatively close in and see if we could entice the fish into having a midnight feast, on the menu were the usual hemp, chopped boiles, chopped tigers and some carpet tiger feed to stodge the mix up slightly, this was duly dispatched at 50 yards range over the area of a pool table, we had one rod each fished on the baited area, Matt dropped his right on the money first time, and I opted to fish just off the baited patch. We enjoyed the traditional curry and a steaming mug of tea before sitting out late and watching the water, at about 1030pm we retired to the bivvies and listened to the acrobatic display the carp were giving us, I nodded off and was rudely awoken by someones bite alarm, hang on? We are the only people over this side, it was mine! I shot out the bivvy and leaned into a powerful carp, after a spirited battle Matt slipped the net under a lovely 19lb mirror, it had fallen for my Choc Orange Nut mix boile tipped with yellow corn, a proven winter winner. I slipped her back none the worse for her ordeal and made a brew, the sun was poking through and I drifted back to sleep for about 30 mins before being woken up by Matt with a cuppa, good lad! We spent the next few hours, trying various rigs and baits but the heavy frost that night had killed the fishing. Late in the afternoon I spotted a few fish roll further round the lake and opted to move onto them, we made a quick decision and were in our new spot in 30 mins with fresh baits out, the night in our new area proved fruitless and with only 4 hours left I suggested we move to Oxlease, Chris Blunt the Fishery Officer had been round that evening and said that a few fish had been coming out, so it was settled, we were off again, a 2nd move and one that was to be our last chance. We loaded the car and set off for the short journey to Oxlease, a quick chat with Bernie Loftus who had been fishing on Oxlease for a few days confirmed out decision was a good one, he had winkled out 19 fish, a few 30’s included, happy days!

We set up in the same swim on the pontoon bank and just as we were about to cast out a good fish rolled on Matt’s side of the swim, without any prompting he slapped a tutti pop up on his rig, and sent it flying out towards the ripples, bang on the money the rig landed with a plop and confidence was sky high, about 5 mins later, another fish rolled over Matt’s tutti pop up, and sure enough 2 mins later his left hand rod melted off and he lifted into a Oxlease carp, I wound my rods in to give Matt more room to play the fish and he did it superbly, the fish was staying deep and 10 mins had past, this had to be a good fish, Matt’s PB was 23lb and thoughts were already going through my head of a new PB! I had the net ready as the fish came closer, it came up and rolled over, my heart missed a beat, it came up again and this time took a gulp of air, she was almost beaten, I scooped her up first time and peered into the net ‘go and get the camera from the car’ I exclaimed and Matt ran as fast as his legs would carry him, she looked stunning sat in the bottom of the net in the deep margins, I knew it was 25+ I was so happy I let out a ‘GET IN THERE!’ and two lads fishing further down came round for a look, one of them remarked that he thought it was over 30, only the scales would tell! I lifted her out and removed the hook, a perfect hook hold, we treated her with some Klinik and Matt proudly lifted her for the camera, with the trophy shots done, he released her back into the icy depths, she wallowed off looking none the worse for her adventure. The sun was shining, we were both grinning like cheshire cats, Chris popped round with a ‘I told you so’ kind of look on his face, he was over the moon for Matt and took his details down for the catch report, on the scales she went 30lb exactly, I think it was a little more but the needle was flicking between 30lb and 30lb 3oz, but who cared, it was a new PB, a thirty! We thanked Chris for his help and headed off home, I had one more run before we left but the hook pulled shortly into the fight, who knows it may have been another of the Oxlease monsters, but one thing was for sure, we would be back! My advice to you is this, if you come to Linear, listen to the baliffs, watch the water, and dont be afraid to move if the fishing is slow, it just might mean the difference between a blank session and personal best, good luck and tight lines!

Wayne (Boxy) Box