30.11.16

Craig Runham takes a six fish catch during Storm Angus!

Setting up in the teeth of Storm Angus paid dividends for Craig Runham when he ended up with a six fish catch at the Wasing Estate’s famous Cranwell’s Lake.

Craig arrived to find that the British record mirror, the Parrot, had been out a couple of days beforehand at 64lb 8oz, and although nothing of that size graced his net, he still ended up landing some fantastic looking commons, including a 32lb 12oz cracker at the Berkshire venue.

Conditions looked far from ideal when he arrived at the lake, but he knew that things were about to change, as he explained: “As I drove down the bumpy track the temperature gauge of my car read minus three degrees, and I could see the ice on the gate sparkling like diamonds as I pulled up to it just as dawn was about to break.

“Mist was drifting across the lake and it looked very quiet and peaceful, but I knew that a south-easterly was due to pick up and winds of up to 80mph were being forecast. I wanted to be bang in front of the storm and as I headed to that area I was amazed to see that it was free.

“I carried on around the lake and learnt that no fish had been out for 36 hours and that everyone was packing up, which was crazy and never happens on a Saturday night on this lake – it must have either been the weather or the Parrot coming out that caused it.

“I set off for a swim called the Fridge, which was very apt as my hands were freezing as I pushed my barrow round to it!

“I knew where the spots were having plumbed the swim previously, and it didn’t take long to get three rods into position and then decided to give them a good meal, depositing five kilos of various size boilies over the top of two of the rods, via a Spomb. The third rod I decided to fish with very little bait around it.

“All of my rigs were stiff hinges tied using a size 6 Choddy hook to 25lb Mouth Trap and a 20lb IQ2 boom section, and these were fished on a Heli-Safe leadcore set-up with a 5oz lead to combat all the floating weed and leaves that would be blowing down the lake when the wind picked up.

“As the sun began to drop the temperature plummeted and I was praying that the forecast was right, so I was pleased to be awoken around midnaight by the sound of wind and rain battering my bivvy!

“I was dragged from the warmth of my sleeping bag by a bite on the right-hand rod at 5am, and quickly had a small common in the net. After re-casting I put out another half-a-dozen Spombs of bait and then went back to bed.

“I was awoken again just before dawn by the same rod, and this time it felt like a better fish, and eventually I lifted the net around a dark common that weighed just under 27lb. I was just tying on a new pop-up when the middle rod bleeped and I saw the bobbin pull tight, and after a great fight amongst the weedbeds I landed a 24lb mirror.

“Around 11am another member came round for a chat and had just walked into my swim when the middle rod pulled tight again, and once again it felt like a decent fish. It put up a great tussle in and out of the weed and then fighting deep in the margins, and I could make out a common that looked to be over 30lb.

“Eventually I slipped the net under it and could see a stunning looking common, which weighed in at 32lb 12oz, and I slipped it into a retainer to wait until the rain eased off. The other member hadn’t even had a chance to leave my swim when I had another take, and soon a low-twenty common was sulking in the net.

“I was surprised when there was no further action that day or night, especially as I’d heard a good fish crash before it got light, but the wind had now changed to a bitterly northerly and I began to pack away around 10am.

“As I was doing so the right rod pulled tight once again, and resulted in a ghostie common of just over 25lb, which capped off a truly special session, landing every fish that I hooked. Everything was muddy and soaked, but to be honest, I didn’t care!”

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