The Last of The Summer ‘Lin’ – Alex Grice

'I have always found summer to be a tricky period in carp fishing, especially with what seems to be everlasting hot temperatures, low water levels and insane weed growth what we have experienced this year'

Despite all of these demanding obstacles, I have found this summer to be a productive one, fishing the overnighters between work and setting traps ready for that cool first- light period before the heat of the sun talks hold. Having done a good number of work nights throughout summer, it was no doubt starting to take its toll on me and my motivation had drained a little and that feeling of burning out was starting to creep in. I had been busy with work and trying to squeeze the extra night in here and there was getting a little too much, but the thrill of catching them at close quarters was just too much to ignore and the results were brilliant! I had seen a picture of one fish before joining the water and that was of my good friend Eggi holding this incredible dark linear mirror in early spring the previous year; the fish looked amazing, the dark chestnut colours combined with the red tinge they carry during the colder period of the year. That imagine had been playing on my mind throughout the whole of the year and in all honesty, that was the one I really wanted to catch if anything. 

Not one Al will forget for awhile...

We had a holiday booked to Cornwall and I hadn’t actually managed to get back down the lake for a number of weeks, so I said to myself that after we had got back, that would be a fresh start ready for the early Autumn period. It was now the end of August and a change in weather had finally arrived and with it, the lake had fished incredibly well in the past few weeks despite me not being able to make it down due to work commitments. It was great to get away for a week, with time to recharge the batteries and start to formulate ideas for my return the following week. After a lengthy drive back from Cornwall to my Nottingham home, I couldn’t help but think that heading down to the lake would be a good idea, seeing that I already had another two days holiday to use that week. After getting home and helping unpack the car, I soon had the van packed and ready to hit the road. I was pretty quick off the drive, picking up a few supplies on the way and heading down to the lake. 

The presentation of choice - Stiff Riggers and Tungsten Loaded

When I arrived, there were two guys fishing, so after much deliberating and indecisiveness, I decided to head up the other end of the lake after watching some fishing milling about over a spot close in to the bank. I made the effort to get the rods out with minimal disturbance, the simple balanced bottom bait rigs I had been using over the past few months, combined with the Tungsten Tubing and my ever-faithful Odyssey XXX hookbaits. About an hour after setting up, Eggi popped by for a chat and we spoke about the linear and how incredible that fish is. Eggi headed off down the other end of the lake to get set- up for the night ahead, as he had to be off early doors. I went into the night feeling pretty confident, with a number of fish active and enjoying the weed beds at the end I was situated. First light came about and my bobbins were still motionless! I rubbed my eyes and stuck the kettle on to watch the water, with very little to see or go by. The mornings were noticeably cooler, and that late summer mist was lingering in the air, I couldn’t help but think they may have moved out of the corner. I spoke to Eggi on the phone who noted that he had caught one, albeit a small stockie. 

A lovely dark common

Around mid-morning the sun began to poke its head through the clouds and with it my left hand, short spot burst into life. I soon had a nice chunky common laying in the bottom of the net, a right turn up for the books considering I had thought my chance had blown! I quickly unhooked the fish and got a fresh rig and bait back on that short spot down to my left, followed by two handfuls of bait. I got the fish out and proceeded to do some self- takes just up the bank from the swim, before returning the cool little character back to the weedy depths. 

I had said I would leave at about 10.30am that morning as I had some bits that needed doing back home, but as the morning progressed, it started to feel better by the minute. The sun was now fully out and burning away the morning chill, a few subtle signs of carp were now present in the area and that close in spots was ever so slightly murkier than the surrounding water, I just knew any moment it had to happen. I left it a good hour or so before finally deciding to call it a day, my bed and brolly were packed away at the top of the swim and just as I walked down the steps to wind in my rods, that same spot had produced once again. 

The 'Lin' in all her glory

I quickly donned the waders as the fish tried to tear me through the weedbeds out in front, but after a short sharp burst of energy, I finally had it coming in the right direction. A bit of a hairy few moments followed as I played what looked like a good fish in and out of the weed just in front of the swim. Finally, I managed to bundle the fish into the net and as I did, I caught the glimpse of a linear row of scales down the flank of the fish. Could it be?

After taking a closer look, it turned out to be The Lin and the one I wanted above all else, how’s your luck aye? The sun was now fully out and with the help of one of the other lads, we managed to rattle off some cracking pics in the stunning morning light. We slipped her back and the drive home was very enjoyable! I am looking forward to the Autumn down on the small pit and hopefully it proves a fruitful one too, either way, Autumn is my favourite time of year and I will no doubt enjoy just being out there.