Winter Whacker - Craig Runham

A couple of days prior to this capture, I was unfortunate to lose a very large fish in a submerged bush. The water level was so high that I hadn't seen the unseen snags. Fortunately, the blank was saved with a mid-double linear. I was totally gutted as it was clearly a large, powerful fish. In the back of my mind I still feel it could have so easily been the target fish that I’m after from the venue. Fingers crossed it wasn't though, as it’s a rarely banked fish.

I fancied some payback after losing the good fish so two days later, I had a short window of opportunity available, in among the Christmas shopping. I was back down the lake for a 3-hour session. I pulled up in the car park looking across a misty, carpy-looking dawn. I noticed the water level on the lake had dropped dramatically and an area I was looking at fishing was now free of floodwater. Before leaving following the previous session, I spread around a kilo of Mainlines Cell, New Grange and Maple-8 boilies over the now-fishable area. I loaded the barrow with a few essentials and crept round to the swim. Straight away I noticed a few telltale pinpricks rising through the cold, glassy water. I couldn't help but smile as I felt a take could be on the cards. I checked the rigs from the previous session and the Choddy hooks were as sharp as when they had been taken out the packet. I attached a Mainline Milky Toffee pop-up to the re-curved 20lb Mouthtrap hook section on my hinged stiff rig. I flicked the rig the short distance, just past where the pinpricks were rising. The rig went down onto a firm area of silt and a few baits were thrown around the rig.
The second rod was set up with a chod rig and this was flicked 10 yards to the right of the spot, landing on firm ground. I followed this with a few baits over the top. It couldn't have gone any better. I sat down in my day chair expecting one of the slack lines to lift up at any moment. After 10 minutes, the pinpricking started again very close to the first rod that was put out. The anticipation was killing me and I found myself staring at the limp, slack line hanging off the rod tip. Suddenly, the limp line flicked and started cutting up through the water. I was on the rod in a flash and the carbon took on a healthy bend. The fish tore off out into the lake taking 20 or 30 yards of line and I prayed that the size-6 Kaptor Choddy had a firm hold.
The fish stayed deep and while charging up and down the clear margin. I could see a decent mirror coming up through the water and before I knew it, a rather good-looking mirror was ready for netting. The moment it went over the cord I let out a little “Get in there!” call. I needed not have worried about the hook hold as the fish was nailed with the size 6 Kaptor bedded two inches down. It seemed a good payback after losing the good fish a few days prior. I left after another hour with a big smile across my face. For the record, the fish weighed 31lb 12oz. Happy days! The tackle included a 4ft length of Kable leadcore leader, a 2oz Korda pear lead, 20lb Mouthtrap and a 25lb hook link. The hook was an ever-faithful size-6 Kaptor Choddy in weed green colour.