Pristine common in icy conditions

Temperatures down to -4c and a lake that hadn’t produced a fish for nearly two months didn’t stop Craig Runham from bagging this pristine common.

The Berkshire angler travelled to a local syndicate water more in hope than expectation, but came away with the beautiful 27-pounder.

The Korda and Mainline-backed angler said: “It was a dreary December day and the forecast did little to raise my enthusiasm, with the coldest night of the year ahead of me.

“After three laps of the lake I had nothing at all to go on. There was a cold north-easterly blowing across the lake so I decided to set up on the back of the wind fishing into the calmer water.”

Craig found two spots – one in 14ft at the base of a gravel bar and one a foot deeper in silt – and baited with maggots and washed-out Cell boilies.

With ice forming on the bivvy by 6pm, Craig endured a cold and biteless night.

“It was around 7.30am when my middle rod’s bobbin became unstuck from its frozen position on the ground and rose by a couple of inches. I was quickly above the rod when the bobbin lifted again and I watched the line cutting up through the clear margins.

“I picked up the icy blank and was met with no resistance. I tried winding down instantly but the line was frozen in the line clip on the rod. After a few nerve-racking seconds I freed the tangle and the fish woke up and almost pulled the rod from my numb hands.

“As the fish rolled into the mesh a large grin came across my face as I knew how lucky I had been, given the weather.”

Craig fished chod rigs made with 25lb Mouth Trap and the new Heli Safe lead-release system.

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