Ian Russell’s Diary February 2024: Oxlease Awe

In his next diary entry, Ian Russell share his fishing experiences during the month of February which saw him re-visit Oxlease and Tri-Lakes.

Ian Russell says: 

Do you ever remember such a wet and horrid February ever before? Because I certainly do not!

It didn’t stop the fishing though and my first trip in Feb was a Total Carp Trouble Shooter Feature. For this we had invited back a previous victim lol – Spooner lookalike Chris who had become a good friend of mine since our first trip out with Total at Twynersh some time ago now.

A chance for me to get behind the camera this trip lol

For this trip we had contacted Nev Brightly – another friend of mine who owns Blasford Hill Fisheries. We were due there the previous month but if you remember on arrival we were greeted by a frozen lake so we went elsewhere. This time around, myself and Chris were greeted with a splendid-looking lake in tip top condition.

I wont go into massive amounts of detail but I have to say we both fished as hard as you possibly could and managed carp from four different areas with Chris as planned taking the Lion’s share. I will leave that there but please check out the next month’s Total Carp to see how we approached it. We also made a 50 minute film about the trip which will appear soon on Total Carps YouTube I am sure.

Next trip for me was a return to Oxlease with young Steve Coe for a couple of days of Dynamite-related product stuff. I do love fishing Oxlease – certainly at this time of year as it is virtually empty of anglers and you get the opportunity to wander and find the fish rather than just slotting in.

So Steve went into the Disabled Swim and I was opposite. Steve I’m sure will tell his own story but here’s mine… I had fished this peg in December so knew the area I had to target. I also felt the night/early morning would give us the best chance of action so I was not in my usual rushing around mode. A bucket of XL Sweetcorn, Peppered Squid crumb, 12mm Peppered Squid with some of the new Garlic Hemp was knocked up and I deposited the lot into the area.

This may seem a lot for February but I have fished Oxlease a lot and it holds an awful lot of Big Carp which do like their grub. So 3x Ronnies on Carp Spirit size 4 Short Curve hooks were fished tight together and the Kettle was on at last.

The New Garlic Hemp will feature hugely in my approach this coming year and saves me cooking up my own and adding Garlic Cloves to the hemp whilst it bubbles away. This for me over the years has been a massive edge and as a bonus, it keeps the vampires at bay lol.

The dreaded rain, which, had been yet again forecast, started at around 5pm and this was proper – it was sheeting it down! At 7pm though, the first take came and I unhooked what was about a 25lb mirror in the margins as this rain was now ridiculous. I was bloody soaked so on went the cooker and I redressed the rod.


8pm and another take and again I was out in the torrential rain. This was from the get-go a much larger carp and it managed to stitch up the other two lines on its way in. I lifted her out and weighed her in at 35lb. The rain was so heavy I decided to put her back, untangled the rods and leant them against the bushes before stripping down to my grundies and went shivering off to bed.

John Flewin was due down in the morning so I rang him and asked him to bring me a new pair of his lovely Wallop joggers to use as mine weighed about 50lb by now and were never gonna dry out!

At 4am I was awoken by silence if that at makes sense as by some miracle the rain had stopped! I was soon out in my long johns, had the rods sorted with fresh rigs and put them back on the spots hoping that the carp had not been completely mopped up the bait during the night.

I need not have worried as at 7am, a 36lb Oxlease mirror joined the party closely followed by a 38lb 4oz mirror. Steve popped round to take care of the pics and he as expected, had also had some action in the rain.

Not long after John arrived with my replacement joggers and all was good in the world again, as a quite rare sunny day was ahead of us. John set up to my right and Steve had to go as the office work was calling. I do enjoy fishing with John as we do laugh an awful lot.

So it was same routine bait wise as the day before by topping up the baited area but I left the rods in a few areas. A few carp were showing down to our right in the corner so we both took a rod armed with small mesh bags of pellets and stood down there for a couple of hours.

As we were just deciding to sort the main rods out in our respective swims, my rod on the deck pulled round and a scaley mid double sploshed its way into the net. We did laugh as John mentioned it would be my bloody rod that went lol.

Back to the swim and 3x Ronnies again wangled their way out to the area. It was 8pm when John was in but that is his story to tell! Then I had a Tench and at 3am a 25lb mirror but that was it for me.

The swim that give me a right result!

Again it was pouring with rain which was no surprise. I packed away at 9am leaving John who had another 24-hours ahead of him. It was a another brilliantly funny trip to Oxlease with two good friends.

The following week myself and Michael Poults were off to Tri–Lakes again for an overnighter. We decided to fish this time from the opposite bank and sploshed our way round there past the alpacas and goats to arrive on a completely sodden bank – it looked nice and grassy from the other side, honest!

Michael felt at home at Tri-Lakes.

So we were here now and set up regardless. I only bought Peppered Squid with me here as this is really a boilie lake and again they do love a bit of bait so I was soon out with my little Ridgemonkey boat and I deposited a couple of rigs with about 50x 15mm baits around each one and the third one I simply lowered it in the edge next to a sunken bush and again 50x 15mm baits were spread around it with this time a couple of big handfuls of crumb.

No need to readdress rods until a bite occurred as I have only ever caught carp from here and not the dreaded bream that also inhabit the lake. We laughed the evening away and the temperature plummeted to well below minus sending us in for an early night.

It was 2am when one of my island rods was picked up and a low double mirror was returned rather quickly. Everything was completely white with heavy frost but I did re-set the rod anyway.

Next bite was the margin rod and I was surprised as I threw the sleeping bag open that it was just getting light. This carp was different gravy and pulled for England before eventually getting scooped up.

Michael, all blurry-eyed, made his way down to me and we weighed and pictured a lovely 29lb common in the early morning sunshine.


I had to be off early doors as Debbie and myself were attending yet another friend’s funeral that day so off I went and said goodbye to the various farm yard animals as I weaved my was through the pens.

That my friends sees me sitting here tapping away with this! Next weekend is the Farnborough show and the first one I have done this winter, so I am looking forward to meeting old and new friends over the weekend.

Tight Lines everybody – Ian Russell

The post Ian Russell’s Diary February 2024: Oxlease Awe first appeared on Dynamite Baits.

The post Ian Russell’s Diary February 2024: Oxlease Awe appeared first on Dynamite Baits.

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Ian Russell’s Diary February 2024: Oxlease Awe
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