The Linear Experience.


St. Johns.


Mike looking out from the road bank.


Looking down accross the road bank.


Nathan with his first "Linear" carp at 15lb 04oz.


St. Johns.

17 February 2009

The Linear Experience.

05/06/08

What do you want for your 40th the wife asked for the umpteenth time, she got the same reply 48hrs on St.Johns?
FINE!! Came the retort.
Thursday June 5th 2008 40 years young and as giddy as a schoolboy at Xmas, trundle down stairs and find an Aladdin’s cave of pressies waiting for me, new rod holder, kettle and pan set, picnic basket full of food, just what a man wants for his first expedition to the Linear complex.
A quick cuppa tea and a pasty and it’s off to get some gas and fishing supplies, rushing around like a banshee I finally arrive home pack the kit and try to put some enthusiasm into my fishing companion my 11 year old son Michael.
11.00am route finder in hand and were off, Hucclecote to Stanton Harcourt should be an hour, 12.05 and 1 wrong turn later we pull into the car park at St.Johns.
All best laid plans then went straight out of the window, its Thursday dinner it’s packed but I’m supposed to have the pick of the swims! Oh how dreams, hopes and whishes fall into the murky depths.
My first impression is heaven, but not as big as I had expected. Time for a walk round do the right thing have a chat and look for the fish first Manor then St.Johns.1 ½ hours later and we are at peg1 at SJ loads of fish showing in the peg although the chap there only had 2 in 4 days. Great news the chap is leaving at 3, Mike is tired and this peg is by the car park and stuffed full of fish. Grab the kit 7 journeys later start to set up and move into the swim brimming full of confidence.
Oh **(“** I forgot the rod pod, still I watched enough Blue Peter, out with the sticky tape 1 hour later and much cursing all 3 rods are in and alarmed (In a fashion).
The wind has drop and I can see large grey figures ghosting just under the surface swimming lazily around the bay in front of us. Out with the doggies and the floater rod set up. Twang a catty full of biscuits hits the surface and slowly one by one they start to disappear from the surface. I must give it time put a few more freebies out then cast. I look down the lake that can’t be snow? It wasn’t it was the devils with wings, the swim was now full of 25 swans making hay with the freebies. Game over.
7.30pm make our first food, all day breakfast from tin and buttered rolls, a feast fit for a king.
I sit back and take it all in for the first time, bliss it’s all I can say, Mikey looks at me although I am mad. Night starts to draw in but I refuse to take to my bivvy, it’s only a matter of time, the buzzers will sing!
After a very restless and bite less night and constantly being told to stop snoring by Mikey, I crawl out of the bivvy at 04.30, sit in my chair legs shaking as I forgot to bring long trousers and only had shorts; Mikey jumps on to my bed chair and promptly falls to sleep.
The chap next door exits his bivvy looking like how I feel.
I need to make changes and put all rods out on single Tuti fluro pop-ups, out of the blue the chap on the next peg has a run and connects, I rush round to offer my assistance and to see my first SJ carp, which turned out to be a mid double Mirror, not exceptional but a fish none the less. I trudge back to my peg still shivering, and slump into my chair, before I can do or think of any thing I have a one toner on the middle rod. Auto pilot takes over strike hold the rod high even though there was not much weed and wait for the kick. YES!! Solid resistance, I shout for Mike to clear the other 2 rods out of the way and grab the net. I play the fish steadily all the time trying to make a judgment on its size, I lead it to the left hand side of the swim for easy netting, it takes one look at my face and promptly strips off 20 yards of line, but I have seen her, a mid double common I think. Slowly but surely she is inched back to the net and Mike slips the net under her, and much to my relief I have my first Linear carp. 15lb 4oz a quick couple of photos later and I slip her back into the crystal clear waters beaming from ear to ear.
I reposition the rods and make a cuppa before drifting in and out of sleep sat in my chair with the sleeping bag around me, dreaming that the next will be a thirty pounder.
Not a lot more happened that trip, we showered, went to the shop made loads of tea, got fed up of eating things out of a tin. The wind changed early that morning seeming to take all the fish with it.
An uneventful day and night followed much to Mike’s disappointment as he was to have the next run.
We packed up mid morning and I vowed to return very soon to catch that elusive 30lb fish, although Mike was a little less than enthusiastic about a return visit.
I have been captured by the magic of St. Johns, the beauty of the place, the more friendly anglers and bailiffs I have spoken to and of course those hidden monsters that lurk in the depths.

We returned to St. Johns a month later for an even more successful session and both broke our PB's - Have a look at the next "Top Story" (The Next Chapter)!!!!

Nathan Graves.