A Linear Fisheries regular took a break from his hunt for the Big Plated to catch one of the site’s other jewels just six ounces shy of its top weight.
Zak Szakaly caught Kempy’s Linear from Manor at 48lb 7oz to add to his enviable list of lumps from the Oxfordshire day-ticket complex.
The 47-year-old ex-serviceman has already caught the Box Common, Big Common and Small Plated from neighbouring St John’s, which is his usual winter haunt.
Speaking to Carpfeed today, he said: “I’m a member of the Elstow syndicate, but when that shuts up shop in January, February, March, I often come down to St John’s – I’ve been spending the last few years targeting the Big Plated.”
However, on a recent visit to the complex, Zak saw St John’s was closed so he turned his attentions to its neighbouring day-ticket lake.
“I did a three-night session on Manor,” said the Birmingham angler, “and didn’t have anything but I saw a few fish and put a bit of bait in.
“I came back the week after and the fish were just beyond my reach, but I came back this week and I was able to get into a peg I wanted.
“At this time of year the fish are held up in the weedbed out towards the centre of the lake – if you can reach that area then you’re in with a shout.”
Settling into swim four on the Road Bank, the Blakes Baits-sponsored angler initially put out around a dozen Spombs of boilies, pellets, hemp and corn, but after attention from the birdlife opted to fish one rod slightly off the baited area on a solid PVA bag.
On the second evening of his stay, that rod pulled up tight and Zak, who was using braided mainline, decided to lift into it.
“It came in like walking a dog on a lead,” said the former army man, “until about 20ft out. That’s when she started playing up and using her weight.”
After catching a glimpse of the huge mirror’s flanks, Zak knew it was either Kempy’s or the Birthmark Linear. It proved to be the former, just short of its previous top weight of 48lb 13oz.
Zak told Carpfeed the scales bounced around and he was more than happy to settle on the lowest recorded weight of 48lb 7oz, but the needle did hover over the 50lb mark at one stage.
The fish was photographed with the help of England international Tom Maker, who was fishing on one of the Brasenose lakes, and was witnessed by Linear head bailiff Ian Roper.
RIG AND BAIT
- Solid PVA bag rig
- Hookbait: Blakes Baits HNV test boilies fished snowman style
- Bag contents: Finely crumbed Blakes Baits test boilies and CC Moore Mini Ultra Mix pellets
- Hooklink: 2.5ins/3ins of supple braid
- Hook: Size 4 Gardner Mugga
- Lead: 3.5oz flat pear fished drop-off style