Ian Russell’s Diary June 2023

The story behind Ian Russell’s last month of fishing…


Ian says…

My first work assignment of June was a filming trip with the Go Catch guys at my good mate’s place (Tony Kingdon) called Furzebray Lakes. We opted to fish on Willow Lake with just myself and Dan Murrel fishing and Craig Ansell on camera.

Tony had told us that the carp spawned last week so we felt the fishing was going to be slow. We decided to set-up in the big double swim so we could cover the best part of the lake.

Within minutes of settling into the swim, Dan has cast a rod on a set of bubbles down to his right hand margin and was rewarded with a 16lb mirror straight away. This gave us the impression that we would be fine…but the carp had other ideas!

Even though they constantly showed over our areas, we tried everything including stalking and hand placing rigs to try and force a bite but the only other takes of the trip came to me in the shape of a 5lb mirror (which was a home grown little beauty) and a midnight take resulting in a 32lb ghost carp aptly named Casper. Both takes came to baits fished over sweetcorn.

Ian wasn’t phased by this ghostly encounter at midnight!

With the trip over I then miraculously had 48-hours to do some personal fishing so I popped over to my favourite W1 North Lake for a look.

Arriving at 4am, I was amazed to see no anglers on the North at all so I had space to have a good look around.

After finding a good few fish at the far end, I even contemplated going in a swim known as the Bus Stop but decided against it because of the snaggy situation you have to fish in. Instead I dropped the gear into the Plateau Swim.

After depositing a whole bucket of CompleX-T crumb laced with XL Sweetcorn and Frenzied Hemp I popped to the café for some brekkie then the good ole Co-op for supplies. I come back to see that I still had the lake to myself!

Casting size 4 Ronnies to the baited spot, it wasn’t long before the first take which resulted in a lovely 29lb 14oz mirror closely followed by a tench.

All went quiet for the rest of the day and a few other anglers finally turned up to have a go. In the evening I again deposited a bucket of the same contents on the area and reset the rods same as before.

At 1 am I had a funny take which resulted in what I believe was a trailer going through my lines. I knew one member had suffered a good few crack offs when casting and can only assume it was one of those. It came adrift anyway so was still trailing sadly.

Morning came and went and at midday I had another take which ran me all over the place but resulted in a lovely deep, dark 33lb 8oz, linear-looking mirror!

What a cracker!

Shortly after this yet another trailer wiped out my other two rods so I decided to call it a day and packed away.

I was then back at it a couple of days later at Linear filming my Carp Pursuit series with Steve Coe. The first 24-hours went well even though we almost melted in the heat but on the second morning I reeled in at 4am as the carp started spawning like crazy in the channel to my right.

It does amaze me that others don’t leave them to it and leave lines amongst them. So again a trip cut short.

The lake looked great but it was time to move of and give the carp some time to spawn.

It was a few days later and after they had stopped spawning that my Total Carp feature was due so it was off to this time Linear’s Oxlease Lake for 24-hours. Well they had defo stopped and were indeed hungry as the trip to say the least went rather well.

The amount of fizzing over the area just prior to each take was incredible! So check out Total Carp to see how it went.

In amongst all this I forgot to mention that a few of us attended a Dynamite Baits open day at Marsh Farm Fishery in Farnborough and what an amazing day it was at an incredible shop with incredible staff! I thoroughly enjoyed the day and were even treated to sausage and chips for lunch.

My final trip of the month was to be (I’m sad to say) a memorial/charity weekend in aid of MND after the passing of a good and lovely friend Paul Forward.

So many fantastic anglers answered the call to attend and well, over £20k was raised.

The arrangements were done by the lovely OZ and what a fantastic send off we gave Paul. So many funny stories could be heard around the lakes and people were howling with laughter. Exactly how he would have wanted it.

Myself and client Andy went onto B2 and with a little help from our neighbour Lee Randall regarding surface fishing, we even managed to catch a few off of the top.

A 26lb common taken off the top at Paul’s memorial


I spent a rather amusing hour with (in my opinion) the Godfather of carp fishing – Tim Paisley, and we do always manage to have a good giggle. He’s an absolute legend in my eyes.

Regarding the memorial trip I was honoured to have been invited and would like to personally thank Linear Fisheries for yet again coming through when needed and all those that attended.

THANK YOU Paul and RIP my lovely friend.

Tight lines till next month –  Ian Russell

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Ian Russell’s Diary June 2023
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