The South African duo Jono and Lee update us with their results from a summer campaign on the local syndicate
A Session of a Lifetime
14th November 2019
Scott Phillips tears Stoneacres apart landing 8 fish, topped by Kev’s Linear at 48lb 14oz.
Stoneacres, on the Linch Hill complex, isn’t the easiest of venues; it’s not small, it’s incredibly clear and contains a relatively low stock. Big hits of fish are very uncommon, with most members lucky to land more than a handful of carp in a full season of angling. However, Scott Phillips was lucky enough to experience a rare red-letter session on the premier Oxfordshire syndicate recently, where he landed a total of eight carp. Each fish was well over 30lb, with the largest being the much sought-after Kev’s Linear at 48lb 14oz.
“Members of Stoneacres are allowed to do two separate weeklong sessions throughout the year. Having already used one in spring, I planned the final week to coincide with the hunter’s full moon in autumn. It was due to blow a south-westerly wind for most of the week along with low pressure and a lot of rain. It might sound like great conditions but the Stoneacres carp can be a bit weird at times and a lot of people say they prefer high pressure and sunny days.
“I chose an area where they had spent quite a lot of time throughout the late part of summer and the swim had threw up a few good fish over the previous couple of months. By dusk on my first night, I had all the rods out in position. I decided to put a bucket of bait out on the spot straight away and fish two rods over it.
“At 4.30 am, I had a take on the left-hand rod and after a short fight I landed my first fish of the session. It was one I recognised straight away as Baby Bungles, she weighed in at 37lb 3oz. Nothing happened throughout the day, but when I looked through the scope over my spot there was hardly any bait left at all, just a handful! I rebaited and re-set my traps.
“That night at 10.30pm, I had a take on the left-hand rod and after another short fight, I landed another good fish. I weighed it straight away at 41lb10oz, but I didn’t recognise the fish. So, I gave Nick the bailiff a ring and he came round. He confirmed that it was a fish called Dropscale.
“The next bite came at 5.45am on Thursday morning and it was totally different. It stripped line straight away unlike the previous ones and it kited right before weeding itself up. I put the rod back on the rest, quickly grabbed my life jacket and went straight out in the boat after it. As soon as I got over the top of where it was it came out of the weed really easily before deciding to tow me about for a good 15 minutes until I finally netted it. I didn’t know what fish it was until I got back to the bank and had a look at it in the net; it was Kev’s Linear! I went to the swim next-door and got Jase to help me with the weighing, it went 48lb 14oz, a new PB!
“Over the remainder of the session the coots tuned in to the spot so much that I couldn’t fish in the daylight without getting picked up by them. I decided to not fish in the day and re-did my rods every evening just before dusk. I then sat in the boat directly over the spot until it got dark just to keep them away, before I baited up and returned to the bank.
“The last four nights of the session produced another five fish for me which included a 33lb 7oz mirror, 30lb 10oz common, 32lb 8oz mirror, 32lb 9oz common and a 33lb 12oz mirror. I ended my week with eight fish with nothing under 30lb. By the end of the week I had gotten through nearly 80kg of bait which consisted of 12mm Manilla, hemp seed & some crushed tiger nuts. It certainly was a session of a lifetime!”