The 26 acre Oxlease Lake is situated off the B4449 as you approach the main ticket complex from Oxford just beyond the West Oxfordshire Sailing Club Lake; it is well sign-posted.
Linear believes that with the stocking they have carried out the water now holds over 1,600 carp. We believe that there are now at least sixty, probably more, different 30 pound fish present along with a healthy number of twenties and doubles. The new lake record for a mirror carp is 45.04 and for a common it is 52.14. Oxlease could potentially have more thirties and forties present than St. Johns and Manor combined in a few years time!
Pike to over 22 pounds and tench to over 11 pounds have been recorded caught and can provide superb sport on this lovely water.
Oxlease Key Info
What is it like?
The thing that gives me goosebumps about Oxlease is that it could go off at any minute and could be that incredible Big Common, the one I really want.
There is plenty of room on Oxlease meaning that it is generally a good option to get a swim. There are lots of swims too to choose from. It is around 26 acres in size with an island down the far end, but you will generally find yourself fishing in open water. As a result of the island, I find the fish act a little bit differently to the rest of the Linear venues.
On the others, they are very wind dependent, but not so much on here. Due to the island, the fish do spread out on Oxlease so there’s an opportunity on most pegs.
Oxlease is quite a narrow water, only 200yrd or so across. With modern day equipment, fishing to the middle is very accessible to most anglers. This has actually put me off in the past, because I don’t like fishing on top of other anglers. However, my thought process has changed recently, mainly due to my focus on wanting to catch The Big Common.
What I have learnt is that you don’t need to fish in the middle. If you and the angler opposite opts to fish 80yrd instead, that leaves a safe channel for the fish to move up and down in meaning they will be less on guard and more likely to feed happily.
It is a unique venue. Sometimes you can go 12,24, even 48 hours without a bite, then all of a sudden they will move onto your spot and it will kick off. Then the real effort of holding them there comes into the equation and making the most of the situation. As soon as I net a fish, I unclip the rig, and get the rod straight back onto the spot followed by a few spombs.
Every carp in here goes like a steam train, when they go off on a run, you cannot stop them. Oxlease contains a very large head of carp averaging around 18-20lb I’d guess with an amazing stock of 30’s to over 50. A very, old, prehistoric looking common that I really want in my album one day.
What I have learnt is that you don't need to fish in the middle. If you and the angler opposite opts to fish 80yrd instead, that leaves a safe channel for the fish to move up and down it meaning they will be less on guard and more likely to feed happily.
How to fish Oxlease
Accuracy and consistency is the key here. When the fish move onto you, you need to keep them there with accurate baiting and Spombing, otherwise they will vacate the area. In terms of feature finding, there really isn’t a great deal out there. Many anglers will tell you they’ve located a gravel bar and there’s this, that and other, but there really isn’t that much. The lake bed is crystal clear, you may find slightly firmer areas than others but I believe this is just where carp have fed on anglers bait.
In terms of depths, the near end is around 12ft and then it slopes a bit at the far end towards Hunts Corner to 16ft. Bait is your feature!
My preference on swims is The Grassy Bank. If you look on paper, this area gives you more room and the biggest gaps in between swims, ultimately meaning you have more water. When I’m coming to a place like this, I am looking for the most amount of space. By fishing three on a spot, you can leave a lot of ‘safe’ water surrounding which aids me I am sure. Even if I see one show in the water surrounding, I won’t cast at it because I want them to feel exactly that…safe!
The baiting method
I tend to keep to my simple old baiting tactics. I ‘mulch’ up my boiles as normal, this is a tactic I like to do here to try and mimic old bait, safe bait if you like by washing it out. I soak the boilies 24/36 hours before arriving in boiling water and then I add some matching liquids. I like to use Krill and Krill liquids on Oxlease. As soon as I get to the lake I open the lid, pour the water out and then begin to squeeze and ‘mulch’ them up in my hands, almost creating a crumb, but a squidgy sort of crumb. This is very heavy and dense which means it will get to the lake bed without drifting in the wind. I then simply add hemp and sweetcorn to this. The Oxlease carp love this method.
This sort of fishing is very basic, I am trying to create a feeding platter for numbers of carp and things can be fast paced at times. As a result I need a reliable rig that is quick to tie, doesn’t tangle, and is ultra effective – being too fancy can miss opportunities.
The rig I use is a D rig. It is made from 12in-14in of 19lb Illusion fluorocarbon and that is whipped to a size 4 Wide Gaped hook, D rigged to the back. The beauty of this is that it can easily be used with maggots and or slow sinking wafters. The Oxlease carp do love a bright wafter. I want the hook bait to be ultra balanced just like the offerings that they are eating.
Brasenose One Rules
Tom Maker is a carp catching machine. He likes nothing more than receiving several runs in a session. Tom is an expert on the Linear Fisheries complex and specialises in accuracy.