It's All In The MIXA - Liam Mason

My name is Liam Mason and during the week I attend Sparsholt College studying fishery management. As a result, we often leave lectures (especially Simon Scott's) itching to get fishing. During what seemed like a neverending cold winter, two friends and I from my course at college were proper keen to get fishing, but were unable to because of the big freeze. We therefore booked a week’s trip to Crete Lakes in the Picardy Region of North East France, in April.
Arriving at the complex we opted to fish Lake 4. I lost a coin toss for my choice of swim, but by 12 noon I had all three rods in, fishing a style similar to how I fish in the UK with me just upping my hook size.
I started with two rods fished on a Korda Hydrid lead clip with a 2oz Skyliner lead. These were all threaded onto Kwik Links. The hooklength I used was the Hybrid Soft in Green with a Size 6 Wide Gape B. I started the session using 18mm bottom baits with a small Longchuck PVA stick. On my third rod, I fished a hinged stiff rig in conjunction with a Korda Choddy B hook, size 8 with a 14mm pop-up.
My first fish of the session fell at about 5pm to the hinged stiff rig that I have been using at home with success. The first fish weighed 37lb 15oz and was a cracking fish to open the account.
Over the next few nights I had a few doubles, a twenty and a 38lb 7oz mirror. As the bites were all coming at night and early mornings, I decided to rest my area that I had been catching in at night, and in the days just fish adjustable zigs in open water. This didn’t prove too successful with me only catching one carp all week on the zigs. But, whilst tying my zigs up with the new Korda Mixa Hooks I was totally sold on them as soon as I felt how sharp they were, which got me thinking that they would also work a treat for bottom baits.
On the Wednesday evening after having a huge meal cooked for me, I returned to my swim to find the wind was now blowing hard right at me which made casting my PVA sticks the 100-110 yard onto my spot impossible and without the help of a baitboat which I don’t have, left me scratching my head. Because the bottom I was fishing on was quite choddy I wasn’t confident casting single baits and 3 out of the 4 fish so far were caught on little PVA sticks.
I had a quick walk up to my friend who was on the same lake (who at this point still hadn’t had a bite) to ask for some method feeders. Thankfully he had some and I knocked up a quick mix of scalded pellets, boilies which I blitzed in my Korda Krusha and I finished the mix with a handful of Green Lip Mussel Power to give it a real turbo boost.
On the business end of the rig I stuck to the Hybrid Soft green hooklength but decided to scale down the hooks and decided to try a size 10 Mixa B hook fished KD style with two 10mm flouro pop-ups. With the extra weight and better aerodynamic shape the method feeders could be cast tight onto my spots. That night I caught 2 twenty’s to 27lb hooked perfectly and the size 10 preformed outstandingly.
At around 5.30am, I received a few bleeps on the left-hand rod. I shone the head torch to see my tip bouncing - FISH ON! After 40 mins of plodding up the margins, the fish was ready but as it was a super-clear, freezing cold night the landing net was frozen solid to the sleeper at the front of the swim. After prising the net off and sliding the net under what I thought was a big fish I suddenly realised how cold I was. Leaving the fish in the net I put some fresh trousers on after wading in to land her. After getting Dave up to help with weighing and the photos he was laughing when I slid out a size 10 barbless hook from what turned out to be a 49lb 12oz mirror and a new PB. I was buzzing and stuck to fishing the method feeders and size 10 mixa hooks all week at night.
The rest of the week was great fishing with me landing a total of 27 fish from 27 bites including eight 30 plussers, with 23 caught on the new size 10 Mixa, which I was completely sold on. Because I only had one pack of the new hooks with me I was retying them and re sharpening them with a diamond file. On one hook I landed three different 30 pounders. What a session.

Liam Mason