Linear Brasenose One - Stephen "Widget' Crowe

This entry was posted on

Linear Brasenose One - Stephen

Having missed the BCAC (British Carp Angling Championships) this year, owing to a house move, and several other things that cropped up, I was looking forward to a few days fishing in the company of my Dad, and good mate Paul Stephens. Brasenose 1, on Oxfordshire's Linear complex, was chosen as the venue, and we set off at 3am, in order to be in plenty of time for the 8am opening; B1 is a popular lake, on a popular complex, which means it gets crowded very quickly. With one of the key tricks of the carp fishing scene being getting in the right swim, being first on scene is vital when you're fishing busy venues. For me, though, I was looking forward to the chance to relax and unwind with some good company at least as much as the possibility of landing a decent sized fish; it's easy to forget the social side of angling, sometimes, but, really, it's what makes it such a great sport.

Even though we arrived early, there were still five or six cars ahead of us, which was a bit worrying. Fortunately, the 8am mad dash for swims when the gates opened went our way, and we were able to set up in three good swims, with a few fish showing while we were getting sorted out, and ready to get some lines wet. B1 was a good choice; not only did it hold a real possibility of a nice big slab of a carp, but it's a well-stocked lake, which should mean we weren't short of action over the next few days.

We'd chosen our tactics in advance, and would be fishing Fox Edges terminal tackle, and spodding Hinders bait; spods of sloppy ground bait fished over zigs tend to work well on B1, so that's what we went with for this trip. Was it the right choice? Well, let's take a look at how the trip unfolded...


Day One

Watching the weather forecast before we left, I knew we'd come a bit of a cropper in terms of conditions – icy easterly winds, rain, and temperatures that would make Outer Siberia feel cosy! It wasn't the best start, but, nonetheless, the first fish was hooked after three hours' fishing – only to fall off right at the lip of the net! I was pretty gutted about that, but, in angling, you can't let one disappointment ruin your session. You cast out, keep on, and trust that your effort will be rewarded down the line.


It almost was, for me, as I hooked into a lively B1 carp... that I lost halfway through the retrieve! So far, the carp were 2-0 up, and I was facing the prospect of having to admit to the guys at work that I'd had exactly zero fish in four days on a lake that's all about carp. I wouldn't live that down in a hurry! As night crept in, I changed my tactics up a little, fishing small wafters as hookbait, over a PVA bag of Hinders pellets, and was rewarded with a stunning 28lb mirror, which kindly co-operated with my intention to get it in the net, and on the bank. A well-earned start to a session I hoped would produce more of the same.


Day Two

At 1am, my Dad landed his new PB – a 26lb common. As his fishing opportunities are very limited, and he considers himself lucky to get out once a year for a decent session, he was very pleased, and we spent a couple of hours celebrating and chatting, enjoying the time together as much as the two catches and two near misses that had kicked the session off. With Paul still waiting for his first bite, we set our alarms for first light, and grabbed a couple of hours' sleep before putting out 3ft black zigs, again spodding Hinders bait over the top.


The most exciting thing to report from the morning was the arrival of sausage, bacon, and black pudding rolls, but there were plenty of fish showing, so we knew we were in the right spot.

The afternoon brought me two fish of over 20lb, with a further two, at 25lb and 21lb, coming in over the course of the evening. Dad and Paul, however, ended the second day on B1 empty handed.

Day Three

The third day saw Paul decide to move a couple of swims down, which took him closer to where we'd seen the fish showing the previous day. This proved to be a good choice on his part, bringing him a 26lb carp, caught on the same 3ft zigs we'd been fishing the previous day, with Hinders Nutz Sludge spodded over the top.


It proved to be a case of third day lucky on B1, as I landed fish at 22lb, 23lb, and 28lb. We chatted to other anglers on the lake, and found that everyone was struggling, with some anglers three or four days into their session still not having caught. That told us that there was nothing wrong with our choice of bait and tactics; we were simply facing challenging conditions, which we'd known from the weather forecast before we set off.


We kept working hard into the evening, with Paul experiencing the frustration of losing three fish in a row, before landing the biggest of the session, at 31lb – proof that hard work really is rewarded.


At the end of the third day, our B1 total was one fish at 31lb, 10 at 20lb +, and a 19lb mirror; a good haul, and an enjoyable time socialising and catching up on everyone's news, as the fish switched off with the night time drop in temperatures, ending the action as we approached our final few hours at Linear.


The final day, with the weather having firmly taken the upper hand, we were packed up by 11am, and starting the 3.5hour drive home, after a challenging but enjoyable few days for everyone, and some great fish landed.

Tackle and Tactics:

Terminal Tackle

We fished with Fox Edges terminal tackle, specifically;

Fox Zig Aligna Kit

Fox Zig and Floater Hooklink

Fox Edges Anti Tangle Sleeve

with Hinders bait spodded out over the top of the zigs. Our bait choice from Hinders' impressive range was Hinders Mini Combo and Hinders Instant Nutz Sludge

Future Fishing

I had a great time on B1, in brilliant company, and am looking to take a crack at the BCAC in 2019, as well as getting back on the match circuit. Would I head out to Linear again? Absolutely, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone wonder where to head for a few days' fishing.

To top