St John’s Pool Linear Fisheries Oxford.


18lb Leather.


37lb 05oz PB.

24 October 2012

My trip to St John’s Pool began weeks if not months ago, researching, watching videos and reading many carp forums and reviews.

Thursday the 13th Sept dawned and I was up and ready to go with it. I arrived at the lake at around eight and took a walk round. The only fish showing were in the deeper side of the lake safely out in mid water which would be a good cast by anybody’s standards.

My brother joined me and we chose 2 swims on the social bank, we loaded the barrows and began the long hike round. At the bottom end of the road bank we stopped for a rest and 2 or 3 fish showed about 60 yards out. We looked at each other and nodded, this was a sign from the carp Gods and we would ignore it at our peril. We decided to try these swims and I promptly got out the marker rod. I had made a conscious decision that accuracy and feature finding where going to play a major part in catching fish here. I spent a lot of time checking distance, using two bank sticks to re-measure and checking that I was putting my rods on to what I considered good capture points. After about 2 hours I was satisfied that I had found three good spots and the traps were set.

The business end is quite simple as I believe a lot of people have a tendency to over complicate rigs these days. Size 8 captor on a modified KD rig with two 10mm boilies. I know it’s not a curved shank but with the mod I get a great kick and this rig has accounted for most of my fish, 15lb mouthtrap and a diffusion leader with a weed bolt release. I had read that chops and small baits worked well on this water and decided to base all three rods on that with two main baits Cell and homemade CC More Live System. All this was encompassed into a solid PVA bags complete with CC More pellet ultra-mix glugged in CC More Live System. 6 spod loads of this mix with some loose boilies had being cast round the area, the water was around 15ft deep and I felt sure the fish would feel safe here. The main idea was to spread the bait and get the fish feeding and moving around the area with confidence.

At about half seven that night my centre rod was off to a screamer and I hooked into a decent fish. Not long after that the net was slid under a very nice looking 18lb leather and with the weighing complete and photos taken she was carefully released. I was pleased as punch as my decisions had all been vindicated. It was now dark and the decision to spod some more bait around the area was taken away from me and we settled down for the night. The following day the traps were reset and the spod rod was out once again but only 5 or 6 spods. The day was uneventful along with the night with just a few knocks and one fish lost.

On Saturday morning I awoke early (with the sun) and had the kettle on for a brew when my centre rod went into melt down and I couldn’t move fast enough. I struck into the fish and was immediately aware that I had a decent fish on. The fish stayed deep and I could feel by the powerful movements it was going to be a battle. After about 15 minutes the fish was nearly done and I slipped it into the landing net. Once the fish was secure and safe in the net I got everything ready to land it. Fish safety and care are paramount and even more so with a specimen like this. My first look at it in the net confirmed what I had thought and I knew I was on for a new PB and hopefully would be joining the 30 club at long last. Once the scales were zeroed and the fish in the sling we weighed her in at a fantastic 37.5lbs. After a few photos she was released safe and sound ready for another day.

We would like to thank all the people involved with running Linear Fisheries. We found it clean and all the staff helpful and friendly. On a personal note I would like to thank Chris who took time out to answer all my emails and questions.

We are looking forward to our next visit and hope this will now become our venue of choice

Thank you
David & Graham Bousfield