With a few days at my disposal, no work commitments or Daddy duties there was only one place I was heading and that was to the mighty Linch Hill Fishery, Christchurch Lake. On arrival, I wasn’t surprised to see lots of people bivvied up around the lake in search of some of its finest carp and I needed to plan my attack strategically.
On one of my many laps I stopped in one of the known swims called ‘The Life Buoy’. Knowing this was a good peg for the time of year, combined with the excellent weather conditions and the number of other anglers on the lake, it was an excellent starting point. As I already knew the spots, I quickly fired out my three rods at 64 yards on to a clean area out towards peg 4.
My approach at Linch Hill is normally the same, with of course location being on the top of my priorities. However, once I have found a clean spot to present my baits I normally start off with 10 spombs of my go to mix. This consists of two kilos of crushed Nutcracker and Red Spicy Fish boilies, a few handfuls of hemp and 2mm Red Spicy Fish pellets, finished off with a good helping of Red Spicy Fish glug. One thing you will notice immediately is that in this mix there isn’t much substance which would satisfy a big appetite, however it’s an extremely powerful mix and an excellent way of pulling fish down on to your spot.
The following 24 hours were extremely uneventful with no fish in the area and at first light the following morning it was clear to see where the fish had moved to, they were in the swim to my left called ‘The Plate’. After speaking to the angler plotted in the swim it was apparent that a move was on the cards, he was leaving later that morning so with no hesitation I packed away my kit and moved in to his swim.
Again, I already knew the spots in this swim so it was a case of wrapping my rods up at 18 wraps, attaching fresh Barrel Wafters to my short D rigs and firing them straight back out. Not wanting to spook the fish out of the area, I carefully positioned two spombs of my go to mix over each rod and sat quietly, optimistic of the day ahead.
Later that afternoon, with the conditions looking absolutely spot on, my left-hand rod went into meltdown and I was attached to an angry carp which was putting up a savage battle, ploughing through weed bed after weed bed. I eventually slipped the net under a colossal common known as Litchy’s Common weighing in at 43lb 15oz. I carefully unhooked the fish in the water and slipped it in to a retainer sling whilst I prepared my camera equipment, scales etc.
After taking my photos and re-positioning my rod the afternoon soon drifted by and after my capture I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and was now excited for the session ahead. That evening I attached fresh Barrel Wafters to my rigs and repositioned my rods with three more spombs over my area to add some more smell and attraction in to the water column.
For those that know me, you will know that sleep isn’t something that I get a lot of whilst on the bank, I am often lying in bed or standing in the swim listening for showing fish or planning a potential move the following day. This night was no different and as I was trying to work out where the fish were showing my middle rod signalled a slow and steady take. The next 15 minutes saw me in the margins up to my waist, attached to what seemed like a slightly smaller fish and as the fish hit the back of the net I was pleasantly surprised to see a low 30lb common.
Again, as I do after every capture, I unhooked the fish in the water, slipped it in to my retainer sling and secured it down the margin, to give me time to reposition the rod and rebait. On the scales, this particular fish went 30lb 4oz which was the perfect bit of night time action.
The next 24 hours passed without any action, however I persevered with my little and often baiting approach, kept disturbance to a minimum and sat back patiently in anticipation for the last few days of my session. Linch Hill is not an easy complex to get your head around, however where most people go wrong is with their confidence. One major factor to my success is the fact that I stick to what I know works, once the rods are out I can sit back 100% confident in my rig and bait approach without the need to change things. Stick to what you are confident in and you won’t go far wrong, confidence is key.
Over the final 48 hours of my session I managed to land two more stunning fish with one being an amazing 38lb mirror and the other being a 44lb 13oz mirror known as ‘Single Scale’. Both fish were caught on a Red Spicy Barrel Wafter over the top of my go to mix. This is a tactic I have used this to great affect this year on a variety of pressured day ticket venues up and down the country. The barrel shape makes it more difficult for the fish to eject and the added buoyancy makes these cunningly designed hookbaits behave more like free offerings.
I finished my session with four fish in total, two of which were over the magical 40lb mark and the other two were stunning 30 pounders, making it one of my most memorable sessions down at Linch Hill. If you are planning a late Autumn or early Winter trip to Linch Hill this year then be sure to incorporate some of my tactics in to your armoury to put a few extra fish on the bank for you.