Huge 90 fish haul taken on zig rigs

A staggering session at Oxlease Lake saw Tom Maker and Mark Bartlett land 90 fish between them without using an ounce of groundbait or a single free offering.

The pair used yellow foam and single boilies to bank carp to 30lb 11oz during a weekend session that featured snow and ice at the Oxfordshire venue.

Fishing from Thursday to Sunday, Tom and Mark scored at 80yds with tactics within the reach of any weekend angler.

The massive catch included two 30s for Tom, who also had 15 20s in his 59-fish haul, and five 20s for Mark, who banked a total of 31 carp.

In all, 78 fish fell to Fox Zig Alignas dipped in Hinders Betalin and 12 came to Mainline’s Clockwork Orange pop-ups.

Tom said: “When we arrived on Thursday half the lake was frozen and it did look a bit bleak.

“I cast a bare lead out on braided line and hit some fish on the way down. I reckoned they were fairly close to the bottom so went for 3ft zigs and had a bite before I could even switch my alarm on!

“I quickly rang Bart who was over on St John’s and he jumped in a couple of pegs down. The action was absolutely mental at times and we struggled to keep all six rods in the water for longer than 30 minutes during the stay.

“People may think it is all right for us because we are consultants who get free bait and tackle, and probably fish full-time, but nothing could be further from the truth. We both work full-time jobs and booked a few days’ holiday to shoot some features for the magazines.”

Mark added: “The reason for our success on this session is not down to time or free bait or tackle, it is simply down to finding where the carp were shoaled up, finding the depth at which they were sitting and working our butts off to ensure we maximised our time in order to catch as many as possible. Obviously a little bit of luck played its part but doesn’t it always in fishing?”