Fantastic winter brace for Craig Runham!

Craig Runham has been having a brilliant season on the Wasing Estate’s Cranwells Lake, and following the death of the British record fish, The Parrot, he has returned to catch a few of the other fish which were still on his target list.

His latest two night session produced a fantastic 38lb 12oz common along with a 32lb 8oz mirror, despite having to contend with plummeting temperatures and no signs of any fish moving.

The 31-year-old robotics technician, from nearby Thatcham, explained: “As I pulled through the gates the lake looked very gloomy, with clouds waiting to deposit a load of rain, so I wasted no time in setting my bivvy up in a swim that I fancied in these conditions.

“The lake had been fishing poorly for a few weeks I wasn’t filled with much expectation of action as I got my rods out on some spots which I’d fished previously. Before long I was taking refuge in my sleeping bag as the temperature plummeted now that the clouds had cleared.

“I hadn’t slept for 36 hours due to working, but I was still awake at first light and staring at motionless bobbins, and the lake looked dead with not a single carp showing. Bryan Jarrett turned up and popped in for a brew, and upon his arrival the left-hand rod pulled tight and I was into a fish which felt decent.

“The fight was slow and ponderous, and it wasn’t long before Bryan was slipping the net under a stunning dark mirror. We admired it before weighing it at 32lb 8oz, and I was made-up with the result given how hard the lake was fishing.

“The rest of the day was quiet, but as we sat eating dinner the left rod signalled a take again, and the bobbin was wedged into the alarm! I grabbed the rod and was met with firm resistance as the fish had taken sanctuary in a weed bed.

“After gentle pressure I got it moving and was convinced that I was attached to a big fish, as it was moving slowly and felt heavy, and before I knew it Bryan was wading out to net it for me, and suddenly a large common was illuminated by his headtorch. I instantly thought that I was attached to the Big Common, and after a few more heart-stopping moments it was in the net.

“I peered into the net and there lay a very long, wide common, but I had my doubts straight away that it was the big one, as the wrist of its tail seemed too long. Nevertheless, I’d still caught a very big common and it looked like it was over 40lb!

“We all stared it in awe as it was a stunning creature and when we hoisted it up on the scales we all expected it to go over forty, but to our amazement it settled at 38lb 12oz. I was still over-the-moon with it, as it was such a scale-perfect common.”

Craig landed it on a size 6 Choddy hook to 25lb Mouth Trap and 25lb Boom fished on a Heli-Safe System.