Craig continues his awesome run of fish at Cranwells Lake!

Craig Runham has been having a season to remember at Cranwells Lake, on the Wasing Estate, and his latest couple of trips have seen him really getting amongst the fish, culminating in the capture of a mirror known as the Floppy Tail Linear at 47lb 4oz!

After a three week break from the lake he got things off to a good start when he returned for a four fish catch, including a cracking old, dark mirror of 32lb plus a common of just over 30lb, but on his next session he managed to bank one of the big fish that he had dearly wanted to catch.

He revealed: “I was dying to get back to the lake as the Parrot hadn’t been out whilst I’d been away, and with a full moon on the Thursday night it looked perfect conditions for when I arrived at 7.30am on the Friday morning.

“Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea and there weren’t any swims free, but the Point was due to come free shortly and whilst I sat chatting to the angler fishing it we saw a few fish showing at range, and it was a swim that I knew very well, so it seemed like the best choice.

“The swim was soon free and I cast three soft hinge rigs, baited with Key Bait Solutions Maxi Nut pop-ups, out into the zone where I’d seen the fish showing and then spread a few kilos of freebies over the top.

“It didn’t take long before the middle rod pulled tight and when I lifted into it I was instantly forced to give line at range, and after a nervous battle a stunning common of just over 30lb, with chestnut flanks, lay in the folds of my net.

I confident that the next morning would produce more action, but when I awoke it was cold and damp, and I had no urge to get up until a take at 7.30am had me scrambling out of my sleeping bag.

“I could tell that once again I’d hooked a decent fish, and after a fairly unspectacular fight a dark, almost black, mirror rose up and lay beaten on the surface. I scooped it up first time and there lay an epic beauty, with pea-scaling, an inky back and deep chestnut belly. It really was a ‘Carlsberg carp’! At 32lb I was more than made-up!”

He finished that session with a couple of commons to low-20s and was itching to get back as he was catching consistently.

He continued: “I awoke around 10am after a long night shift and drove to the lake, but I arrived to find that only two swims were free – the two that I least fancied!

“As I strolled around the lake it seemed very quiet and unfortunately none of the anglers in the main swims were leaving to the following lunchtime. The first of the two free swims was devoid of fish, but when I climbed a tree in the second one I could make out a few dark shapes gliding amongst the forest of weed that lay before me, and there were some decent ones amongst them.

“I raced to get the car, and when I returned and got back up the tree I could make out the large lobe of a tail sticking out of the water, and there before me, only 20 yards out, lay the Parrot soaking up the sunshine.

“There were a few clear areas and I wanted to get three rigs out onto the few clearer areas nearby, and after what seemed like an age they were in position and I catapulted a few baits around them.

“I could still see the Parrot in the weed, then as the light began to fade it glided out of the weed and away from my carefully placed rigs. I prayed it would return but it wasn’t to be and the next morning I knew that I would have to move, and as luck would have it, one of the anglers leaving had a lot of fish in front of him. Once he had gone I wasted no time getting the rods out, followed by plenty of mixed size Maxinut boilies, and by 7pm I’d had six bites and landed all but one of them.

“The fish seemed to be throwing caution to the wind and something was telling me that a special one was going to turn up. At 7.30pm I had a slow take and the fish instantly found sanctuary in the weed, but after constant pressure I felt a few taps and was back in contact with what I assumed was a small common, as it was repeatedly shaking its head.

“It came in easily but then the rod was nearly pulled from my hands as it powered off across the shallow margins and I realized that I was connected top something more substantial, and then about 15 yards out it weeded me up once again. My legs were shaking at this point as I applied more pressure and suddenly I felt a lunge and it was free again, and then a large back popped to the surface and through the clear water I caught a glimpse of large apple scales.

“The fish was tiring and suddenly it rose to the surface and I could see my size 6 Choddy hook firmly embedded in the bottom lip. I pushed out the net as far as I could and was willing it to roll over into it, and with a final bit of strength I lifted it and engulfed the biggest carp that I had caught. I pulled the net towards me and my suspicions were confirmed as the bottom lobe has a tell-tale white mark on it. Floppy is a fish that I had dearly wanted to catch and the scales read 47lb 4oz – thanks to my friend Andrew Smith for driving down to help me weigh it and do the photos. As I watched him glide away I punched the air and told him that I was coming for his big brother!”

The Parrot obviously heard Craig’s request as he has just landed it – full story and photos to follow shortly!