July 15, 2019 3 min read

After a successful run of trips to my current water I couldn’t help but feel confident. Conditions for my trip coincided with very hot weather and extremely high pressure. I knew deep down that it was going to be a struggle. On arrival I grabbed the bait bucket from the car and went off in search of the carps whereabouts. It didn’t take long to locate a group of five fish. Fortunately the fish were located in a swim that I knew well. Previously I had written down the distance to 3 spots within the swim so I knew I could get rods in position with very little disturbance. The weed on the lake had begun to become a problem with virtually every fish getting weeded up during the fight.

Strong tack was a must and with rigs comprising of the size 6 kamakura hooks the fish stood little chance. Hinge stiff rigs tied with my usual components comprising of 20lb n trap semi stiff silt booms and a 25lb mouthtrap hook section. A hellisafe leadcore set up and a 4oz lead completed my final set up.

Bait wise again was simple I had so much faith now in the Hinders Mystic Plum over recent weeks it had accounted for some truly special carp for me. I mixed a bucket of hemp, tigers and mystic plum boilies up two days prior. Lashings of Mystic Plum Glug and Chilli Hemp Oil was added to boost attraction.

The first night went by quietly. Small signs proved the carp was still in the area on first light. I felt a bite was surely on the cards. Finally the rod positioned on a small spot amongst weed pulled up tight. I was on the rod in no time bending into a clearly decent fish. Over forty yards of line was stripped from a tight clutch. Finally the fish came to a grinding and grating stop. The fish had weeded it self a long way out. After around 15mins of continued pressure I finally felt the weed give way. Suddenly a very large ball of weed appeared on the surface a long way out. I pumped the weed bed in easily across the surface all the way in. At the time I feared the fish had gone, it wasn't till it was around five yards out I noticed a tail sticking out of the masses of weed. I jumped in the lake with the net and scooped up the whole lot suddenly the weed erupted and a seriously powerful fish tried to pull my net handle out of my firm grip. I peered into the net once the fish had calmed down. When I finally removed the abundance of weed I was met with a mind blowing carp. Certainly one of the most wanted and certainly over 40lb. I uncooked the fish in the net and hoisted it ashore. I gazed at its perfection for a few minutes before lifting it up onto the scales. Bang on 44lb it went and a truly epic carp to boot, a seriously special creature. I didn’t recognise the fish as a known fish. It turned out to be a fish that had evaded capture for over 6 years. This made the capture even sweeter. A big thanks to Tom Rossiter and Andrew Smith for sharing a special moment.

The session didn’t stop there a further 6 bites came my way. All of the six fish were excited males up to 23lb . I knew spawning was close and on the last morning they started I packed away with the biggest grin on my face. A proper big carp buzz. Definitely it’s a hard thing to match.

Craig Runham

Find out more about Craig here