Chris Blunt: Head bailiff at the UK's most popular day ticket complex Linear Fisheries in Oxford
What are the top five most common mistakes you see when walking around the Linear complex?
“(1) Deciding what swim they’re going to fish before they get here. (2) Not watching the water whilst they’re fishing. (3) Putting too much bait out right at the start of their session (especially on short sessions) and (4) presuming the fish will be feeding on the bottom (don’t forget the floaters and Zigs) and (5) sometimes just a general lack of confidence – I don’t quite know how it works, but if you’re not confident, chances are you won’t catch.”
How true is the classic, ‘being different to the next guy will catch you more’ quote?
“I used to enjoy catching on weird and wonderful things and I’m sure sometimes it did help fishing differently to others around me, but at Linear, the fish have quite literally seen it all, so would it help? Who knows, but it wouldn’t hurt trying something new!”
Is there a common theme in terms of what bait anglers bring and how they introduce it?
“It used to be bring as much bait and spod as much as possible, but over the last few years there seems to have been more variety to how anglers are baiting around the complex. From bag fishing to heavy spodding and from singles to a sloppy mess over Zigs. To anyone coming to the fishery for the first time, a good all round spod mix of hemp, pellet, corn and boilies will always catch a few fish and then it’s down to the angler to judge the conditions and ring the changes when required.”
Does recasting at the wrong time ruin a lot of angler’s chances?
“When is the right time to recast? You’ve got to judge it. Our waters aren’t massive windswept pits with only a handful of carp that are easily spooked, these fish have leads chucked at them all day long so there is no need to worry about recasting, just get the cast right and don’t thrash the water to a foam. If I’ve got fish showing on me and I’m not getting bites I’ll happily re-cast, in fact, I bet at least three-quarters of the fish I’ve ever caught from Linear have come within an hour of recasting!”
What would be your top five tips?
“(1) Sharp hooks: keep checking those hook points. (2) Stay mobile and be ready to move onto showing fish. (3) Don’t ignore surface fishing, be it with controllers or Zigs. (4) Don’t fill it in to start with but be prepared to keep topping the swim up to hold the fish and finally (5) if you start getting bites from one spot, move another rod to that area as this will greatly increase your chance of multiple catches.”