A run of cracking mirrors for Matthew Jackson!

Matthew Jackson has been having a great run of fish recently at Cranwells Lake, including a couple of lovely old scaly mirrors during recent sessions.

He got his spring campaign off to a good start with a cracking fish of 28lb 14oz and then followed it up with a three carp catch on his next trip – including a stunning mirror of 35lb, plus a 25lb common and a smaller one.

He explained: “I arrived early on the Friday morning and it was blowing a north-easterly, and even with the sun out it felt far from spring-like! I stood on the end of it for ten minutes, but that was enough to make me grab another jacket and continue walking round.

“I arrived at a sheltered swim between two islands and straight away it felt warmer and gave me a good view of the lake, and as I had a few nights ahead it seemed a good starting point.

“I’d spent a fair bit of time in this swim last spring so knew it well and soon had three rods out on the areas that had produced in the past. There is a lot of silkweed in the lake this year, so to combat that I’ve been using hinge stiff rigs on a helicopter set-up, but with the No-Trace Bead set quite high and a longer boom section of IQ2 than usual. This ensures that it settles on top of low-lying weed and the fluorocarbon blends in.

“The next morning, just as the kettle was boiling, the middle rod, which I was fishing long, gave a series of warning bleeps followed by line slowly coming off the spool. I picked up the rod and tried to tighten up the clutch, but 15 yards of line was still ripped from the spool and it came to rest in some weed and a stale-mate followed for the next 45 minutes, during which time I piled on the pressure, slackened off, and even drank some tea!

“I finally got it moving again and a big black back broke the surface and wallowed on the top 60 yards out, and then it woke up and headed for an island to my left. I frantically wound to catch up with it and then piled on the pressure until the rod was maxed out, but on this occasion I lost and spent the next ten minutes laying on my back in the swim – you can’t win them all but it never makes the pain of losing one, especially the first bite of the year for me, any easier.

“Nothing happened over the next 24 hours so a move was on the cards and I ended up in the swim opposite using the same tactics but fishing slightly shorter than I usually would as the water is low and clear this year and fish long, in amongst where the fish often are, seems to be the kiss of death.

“On my last morning I had a finicky bite and without any drama soon had a lovely, old, scaly mirror of 28lb 14oz in the net and it was a great way to get my campaign underway.

“I returned for another go and managed to land three fish – a 35lb mirror plus commons of 25lb and a small one – but this time I was tying my hinge stiff rigs using size 8 Choddy hooks to Mouthtrap and an N-Trap boom section.”