A resourceful student clawed discarded bait out of the margins and used it to catch the biggest fish in the lake at a new top weight.
Jack Crook bagged the Box Common from Linear St John’s at 47lb 8oz after finding about 5kg of particles and boilies in his swim. The thrifty Sparsholt student also used a lead he found on the ground.
The Oxfordshire teenager spodded out the discovered bait to a silty spot at 80 yards and dried some of the boilies to use as hookbaits.
The 18-year-old, who is on work experience at Linear, told Angling Times: “When I walked into the swim I saw a load of boilies in the margin and just thought I had to use them. There were boilies, tiger nuts and sweetcorn not even a foot from the bank – someone had clearly just poured it all in.
“I’m on work experience here for three weeks and fishing at night, so I just brought particles with me as I wanted something that would last. When I saw the bait in the margins I just thought ‘boilies!’ and I couldn’t let them go to waste. I think they were Mainline Activ-8 ones.”
Jack, from nearby Berinsfield, crumbed up some of the bait and created a spod mix with a mix of his own particles and those he found. Speaking from the bank, he said: “Each night after work I’ve been putting in about 10 spods of bait around the area at about 80 yards. I dried out some of the boilies to use as hookbaits and topped them with pop-ups to create snowman rigs.
“The bite came at 10.30pm and was a drop-back on a tight line. As I was bringing it in I thought it was one of the small stockies we’ve just put in, but as it came up marginal slope it just got bigger and bigger!”
The fish, which has since been caught again three ounces heavier, is a new pb for Jack and was fooled by a 13ins rig comprising ESP Stripteaze and a size 6 longshank hook.