Stoneacres, Linch Hill
I'd seen stories in the angling press of large (huge) roach coming out of the Linch Hill complex and on checking out the website found that the only water I could fish on a day ticket was Stoneacres - unless I wanted to fork out £785 to join the syndicate. (There is a winter roach syndicate running from November to March at £285 but only 15 places). As Mr Osborn doesn't pay me enough I decided on Stoneacres.
This is a large, 47 acres, pit which is also available to the syndicate members. I arrived about 6:30am and talked to a couple of guys sitting in their white van. Apparently they had been there since before dawn waiting to see signs of fish. This should have warned me that stock levels were presumably very low, a fact I had confirmed later in the day. During my time there I saw several VERY strong anglers running with their house and contents loaded on barrows to get to a more favoured spot. I say anglers but they seemed to be midgets next to the amount of gear they had.
While I'm mentioning "serious" carp anglers, what's all this "I'll walk around the lake 2 or 3 times before deciding where to fish" (sensible) "and I'll take a bait bucket to place in my chosen swim so others will realise it's taken"? NO, take your bloody barrowload of gear with you! What's next? "I'll take 1 Cell boilie and place it on the ground"?!?
Sorry, back to the fishing. One carp rod cast to an area with very light weed and the other rod with a maggot feeder and 2 red maggots attached helicopter style (sorry Jeff).
9 hours with no bites, except on my lunch.
Next stop, Milton Pools near Oxford.
Although I don't live that far away, I've never fished there. I telephoned the bailiff a couple of days before as I'd seen that you can book swims and didn't want to be disappointed. He said "no prob for Thursday, plenty of space". I was surprised how small the main lake was but the swims were clearly marked so you didn't have someone on your shoulder. My chosen spot was on the M40 bank - after a while the sound of thundering behemoths from Eastern Europe soon faded away.
I had a nice lob to the point of an island in front of me and slightly to my left. I was told that a couple of days ago someone had a couple of nice fish under a tree directly to my right so the 2 rods were split between the spots.
After just a couple of stockies all day I started to pack up around 7ish. In the pic above you can see some of the "houses" you can rent instead of bivvying up. Before I had got my rods out, a guy on the right bank decided that he was going to fish to the island point, having first unloaded a shedload of gear into his home from home. 2 leads landed within inches of my rig. Had I not decided to go I may have walked across to have a word with him. (I HAD clocked that he was even older than me and disabled.)
A few weeks ago I joined a Club which has 4 lakes on the Linear complex at Stanton Harcourt and for the price of 1 day ticket at Linear I could have 12 months at this club. They've also got some nice stretches of the Windrush and Thames nearby.
Two of the lakes are "hard" the other two relatively "normal". My first trip was to one of the hard ones, the second, one week later to a normal.
I've noticed in recent weeks that there are hoards of Melagoptera (Alder Flies) about. They covered my umbrella and holdall. This one's suggesting I change to Radio 4.
As you can see, some of the bank parties should have gone to Spec Savers. The tops of the trees were cut with amazing precision!
The "normal" lake I fished had a more manicured look to it - not knocking it.
For any Old School tackle tarts out there. Sorry the handles aren't lined up perfectly.
So far these two trips have got me bream but no carp. Still I think I'll be making good use of this ticket, especially when the river season opens.