Kev Hewitt braved the inclement weather last week with a trip to a snow-covered Linear St John’s. The chances looked very slim indeed…
Apparently, the beginning of March is supposed to signal the start of spring. However, I’m guessing the weatherman must have heard that I had booked a day off work to go fishing as the worst weather imaginable fell upon us. I had to delay my session by a day as the roads were unsafe to travel but as soon as they began to clear I was on my way to Linear to pit my wits against those cagey St.Johns carp.
When I arrived, the whole of the Oxfordshire landscape was covered with a dusting of snow. There were about seven anglers on the lake but nothing had been out for over a week. I decided to set up in the middle point as I felt it gave me access to a large chunk of water. I started to get my gear in the swim when three pleasant lads turned up with buckets. They were down for a birthday social and I felt they would enjoy it more if they could fish together so I let them have my swim and they kindly helped me carry my gear back to the van. The road bank was full up so I headed round to the social bank pushing the barrow through the snow.
I haven’t really fished St.Johns much in recent years so felt I was starting from scratch. My good friend and England team-mate Jamie Londors turned up and dropped into the swim on my left. Jamie had done well a few weeks previous so I was keen to see how he approached it.
I started on zigs of varying depths and distances for the day before putting some bait in at 85 yards in the evening. I fished all 3 on the bait during the night but the lake did not throw up any of its jewels, not for me or anyone else. In fact, the temperature dropped and by morning the whole lake was covered in a thin layer of ice which melted pretty quickly as the wind picked up.
The following day I threw everything at them including the kitchen sink. Everything I had ever caught a St.Johns carp on was tried but no joy. The following morning Jamie had a bite on a solid bag of maggots. Great, maggots were the only thing I didn’t bring with me so I pinched a few handfuls off Jay and put three solid bags out between 80 and 100 yards. Jamie had a second fish on the bags but I was still biteless and time was running out. I thought I saw a fish break the surface at about 50 yards, which was shorter than where I was fishing so I quickly wound in and flicked a mini ESP solid bag of maggots to the area at 50 yards where I thought I had seen one. A couple of hours later and the short rod was away and I was soon cradling my first St. Johns carp of the year.
If only I have come shorter a lot earlier I may have had a few more. Still, lesson learned and I’m sure I’ll bag a few more next time.
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- Tinpot bags a ‘zoo creature!’ – Daren Norman