I’ve just come back from a 24 hour session on Hardwick and Smiths Lake at Oxford’s Linear Fisheries. I arrived to find very few anglers fishing, so I had a good choice of swims. The first thing I always do on Hardwick and Smiths is to look at what direction the wind is blowing as 9 times out 10 the fish will be on the end of it.
The wind on this occasion was blowing into a swim called the Hotspot (one of my favourite swims) and after watching the water for fifteen minutes, I had only seen one fish show. Before deciding to setup, I had walk up the bank along to Smiths Pool where the wind was also blowing into. It soon became apparent after seeing five or six fish roll in quick succession in front of the point area that I had to be there.
I started off by fishing solid Gardner PVA bags filled with pellets and crushed LH1 boilies from West Country Baits and scattered a few around the area for minimal disturbance. I’d obviously got things right as I landed a fish within thirty minutes of setting up, it was only a small double but a stunning fish all the same!
The fish stopped showing until later that evening, so I went to bed with high hopes of further action through the night. I wasn’t disappointed as I landed a 28lb 4oz mirror during darkness, which I was well chuffed with.
The following morning was a bit slow but an hour before I was due to pack up, I saw a couple of fish roll at eighty yards range. I soon had a PVA bag positioned in the area and within five minutes it was away! The culprit was a lovely mid double, which proved the rigs and tactics were working well. My rig consisted of 2 feet of Plummet Leadcore, 3oz Gardner Flat Pear Inline lead, a very short 2.5 inch length of 25lb Trickster braid, a size 8 Covert Mugga hook with a piece of Covert Shrink Tube and a small Covert Rig Ring added for blow back effect.