Zig Fishing at Richworth Linear Fishery
I was sat in the office waiting for summer to eventually arrive with an irresistible urge to get the rods out but was really on the fence as to the venue of choice. I called a fellow bankrat who has spent more years fishing in oxford than I have been in the UK. I knew Alister would have the low down on how various waters were performing and I always heed his advice as he has never failed to disappoint when it comes to getting fish on the bank. Unbeknownst to me Al was already on the Bank at Brasenose and considering he had two fish in the net as we spoke I quickly packed up and went to join him.
There’s a stigma unsurprisingly that unless your car is overflowing with spod mix and you can chuck a lead 140yrds Linear Fishery is impossible well this session was about to bust that myth. I asked Al if i needed to pick anything up at the tackle shop thinking he would recommend a bait which was working or need something extra but all he said was “have you got black foam”, having witnessed the use of foam on Zigs before I knew what he was on about so was happy that I was properly armed! Then he said to get some of FOX’s new aligners. As I arrived it was as if I had teleported to the lake, Alister had a fish on and as I went to get one of his nets I realised there was already a fish in the net so had to grab his spare and helped net a lovely 20lbs mirror carp. Things looked promising as Al told me that these were his 23 and 24 fish respectively- he was hauling.
Next was onto the rigs Al showed me he was using a 8 and 9 foot zig with the aligners I asked if he has spodded he just smiled said “no” and proceded to dip his aligner in a glug and then banged it out about 110-120 yards. Lazy yes- but time was tight and if a mate’s catching and says come down, you not gonna set up opposite him if the fish are clearly in front of you so I set a zig at 9 and 10 foot in water depth of about 13. It was half an hour before the fish graced the net and I was amazed that my little foam cylinder(unglugged) had done its job! We could and people do spend hours wandering why it works, how it work but hey if its catching fish that’s all I’m interested in. The Zigs steadily produced fish for us all day and by habit before it started getting dark I begun to tie some hairs for my bottom baits. I saw my mate looking at what I was doing in a confused manor. “What now” I thought but he beat me to it and said leave em on tonight. “Never” gaining confidence in a Zig is great but I had never left one out all night, it’s a confidence thing really but I gave it a go. My night was slow but sleepless because Al was constantly in taking another 6 fish through the night. At 0300Hrs my alarm sounded and I was in, I can’t remember much about the actual fight/catch for two reasons. 1. The I had confidence in Zigs at night although baffled at the how and why. 2. When I saw the fish it was the biggest fish I’d had out of oxford at 25.7lbs and it was using a method that peer pressure had forced me to fish which i never would have used on my own.
The moon was half and waxing but I realised that the difference was that Al had raised his night zigs by a foot or two and clearly it worked. The session went from strength to strength and by the end of my overnighter I had landed 12 lost 2. Work called, I left Alister who pushed on for another night and by the end of his session his stats looked like this: landed 48and lost 10(three were cut offs) with 7 or 8 20s. It was the cheapest fishing session I’ve had in a while but an absolute education and needless to say that “the ZIG” works and I have utter confidence now which is half the battle.