Friday, 9 March 2012

Linch Hill - Willow pool, roach heaven

Wednesday the 7th to Friday the 9th of March

I arrived back at Willow at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon and with the swim I fished last week free it would have been very rude not to have taken advantage, to be honest from what I saw on my last session the fish are now very active and I've seen them across quite a broad area of the lake but I know this spot well, the rods were still clipped up and they were out fishing within no time at all. A mate had picked me up one of the new mini spombs earlier in the week and I used that to put five loads of maggots out over the rods, in well over ten feet of water they would have spread nicely and given a different effect to just using the feeders. When I fist saw them advertised I imagined that they wouldn't be quite as small as they are and I was very pleasantly surprised, what an excellent bit of kit for my style of fishing, I can see that getting used a lot this year its absolutely perfect for baiting over the tench rods amongst other things.

With dusk approaching fast I got the cooker fired up for another boil in the bag curry, I'm not sure how widely available these meals are but I picked them up in Asda a few weeks ago and they are the business if you like a bit of authentic Indian grub, in fact they are made in Mumbai!. They come in a box containing a foil packet, five minutes at a good boil and your ready to go and the foil keeps it warm for a good while so you can knock up a feast, biryani ready and waiting while the paneer in sauce was cooking. The water had crept up to the boil but the gas was obviously running low and I was just considering changing it when the right hand rod started to do its thing and I was into a fish. Just as it was approaching the net but still a touch feisty the middle rod absolutely screamed off, I'd seen that the one I was playing wasn't huge and quickly bundled it into the net before picking up the other rod. This fish started fighting a bit further out and I was starting to suss out that the rudd seem to fight more than the roach in general which rang true this time and after a protracted, splashy, fight under the rod I scooped the big carp net under a bar of gold bullion shining up at me in the torch light. I secured that net on a bankstick and quickly recast both rods before dealing with number one, a rudd of 1lb 8oz which I slipped back. The second fish was something else, at 2lb 12oz's it broke my pb of last week by an ounce and truly was the most incredible looking thing, I'm not sure that pictures will do it justice.

The pan certainly wasn't looking any nearer to boiling properly so I turned it off and switched gas canisters before firing it up, it was just hitting the right temperature when I was jumping up to bend into another screamer of a take. The fish came in easily before starting to plod about on the marginal shelf and then rolling in the torch beam showing that it was a big lump of a roach, in the net she went and this was something special, it almost seems silly to say that, I've had a week of somethings special. A perfectly formed roach as fat as butter lay on the mat, slipping her into the sling I knew that it was well over 3lb's and the scales made it 6oz's over, mindblowing stuff indeed, two pb's in the space of half an hour or so, I was quite simply blown away, I just didn't know what to do with myself.

I'd turned the stove off while I dealt with the pictures and it was just back up to the boil when I was into another rudd, again of about 1lb 8oz's, followed by his twin not long after, I finally got to eat sometime shortly before 9pm when the action stopped. With my nine days of enforced abstinence now thankfully over I sat back in my chair and cracked open a much needed beer, absolute nectar! The night air was cooling fast and the unhooking mat was covered in a sheen of glitter, the stars shone brightly and a great big moon smiled down as I reflected on what had just happened, it was just too much to comprehend, my mind tumbled with a million thoughts, almost too much to bear.

Thursday morning started with sunshine and became a glorious day with only the odd wisp of thin cloud in sight, the birds were singing and Thomo was a happy man. Going on the results so far I was not really expecting action during daylight hours but I carried on working the feeders and thought that perhaps I should cook a bit earlier that evening. It really was a lovely day to just lounge about next to the water I had no complaints at all about being left in peace by the fish, I read a bit, listened to the radio and just kicked back.

Mike Townsend arrived mid afternoon and after a natter went round to my right to set up for the night. The carp had been active all day and I had heard some commotion in the far corner which I thought was more carp until Mike shouted over that it was an otter, in broad daylight obviously with no fear of us whatsoever, where will it end?

Just as dusk's curtain fell I was into a lively fish and as I predicted another rudd, in general the roach have fought much less energetically, another "pea in the pod" job at a pound and a half, a lovely fish nevertheless but the past weeks events had made it look tiny. I sat behind the rods with great expectations but it just didn't happen, that was the last indication I had, the odd fish rolled in front of me but not in the numbers that I had heard on previous nights.

Five am saw me packing away ready for the long drag up the motorway, Mike had blanked through the night too and was moving around to my bank to try his luck, I wished him the best of luck and was on my way. By seven thirty I was ninety miles away making a brew in the kitchen and by nine I was at work, a tough routine but the only way that I could string two nights together, as it turned out the second night didn't pay off but it could just as easily have turned out differently.


  1. Simply brilliant Rob, both very beautiful fish,the colouring on the Rudd is simply fantastic and that 3lb+ Roach really does it for me. Congratulations again.

    As for the otter and where will it end? In tears most likely mate.

  2. Great catch Rob, the photo does do the fish justice, a beautiful looking Rudd and that roach is stuff of dreams - Nice one


  3. Right water and good tactics will produce the right result with effort - that's the right result, well done.

  4. sum cracking rudd and roach there idd love to catch 1 that big well done

  5. Another epic one for you mate, where will it end ?!!

    Was thinking about them small spombs for the impending spring tench campaign the other day, sound ideal for topping up.

  6. Well done that man, great catch.