Two big common carp in two visits

Craig Runham seems to have perfected the knack of getting a bite in the bleakest of conditions this winter, as this 28lb 8oz common shows.

Back in January, the Korda-backed angler caught the first fish in 13 weeks from Shalford Lake on Berkshire’s Wasing Estate – a 32lb common – and last week he repeated the trick with the venue’s first fish since that capture.

After sustained cold weather, Craig returned to the water for a weekend social session more in hope than expectation and settled in the area he had caught from before.

Craig said: “I have not seen a single carp show on the lake since November, making location extremely difficult, but it wasn't long before the rods were in position in various depths at the back of a plateau at 60yds in around 17ft of water.

“A north-westerly wind suddenly sprang up from nowhere and began blowing straight into the margins of the swim I was on. The wind was freezing and only made the chances of catching a fish even slimmer. However, the sun came out mid-afternoon and the wind dropped, suddenly it felt so much warmer and my confidence lifted incredibly.

“At about 3pm the left-hand rod was picked up, as something took an interest in my white Mainline Cell hookbait. The bobbin wedged into the alarm as I plucked the rod from the rests. Once stopped, the fish started to come in really easily and there wasn't much movement. For a few moments I thought a tench could be responsible but the fish woke up as it came into shallow water and a carp was clearly responsible.

“After a few more moments a good-sized winter golden common glided into the folds of the net. At 28lb 8oz it was a proper coldwater common.”

Craig used hinged stiff rigs made with size 6 Choddy hooks and 25lb Korda Mouth Trap and Hybrid Semi Stiff.

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