24 April, 2017 |1
This winter has been one of the coldest for a while so I was desperate for that spring warmth! Although this winter was a productive one fish wise I was glad to see the back of it. I’m not a big fan of the cold or the amount of darkness that comes with the winter.
It wasn’t long and the trotting and perch gear was stored away and I began to think of the “bars of gold” the magnificent crucian. I only had a couple of sessions lined up for the crucian’s this spring due to family commitments but my first session came at the start of March. Early I know, but there was a lovely warm weather front and I couldn’t ignore the conditions and I fancied getting out for my first night since October the year before!
This winter has been one of the coldest for a while so I was gagging for that spring warmth! Although this winter was a productive one fish wise I was glad to see the back of it. I’m not a big fan of the cold or the amount of darkness that comes with the winter.. it wasn’t long and the trotting and perch gear was stored away and I began to think of the “bars of gold” the magnificent crucian. I only had a couple of sessions lined up for the crucians this spring due to family commitments but my first session came at the start of March. Early I know but there was a lovely warm weather front and I couldn’t ignore the conditions and I fancied getting out for my first night since October the year before!
I had a couple of days booked off so I headed to the venue. I didn’t expect it to be busy and it wasn’t. People probably weren’t as nuts as me! I knew where to head to as the previous spring the crucian’s held up in this particular area. I wheeled my gear around to the area and I was shocked to see another crucian angler. After a quick chat we found out we had mutual friends and got on rather well. I decided to plot up next to the fellow crucian angler.
In front of me had some depth and the bottom was nice and clear so no real need to flick a lead about. I set up my two feeder rods with inline method feeders with short hook links and small buoyant caster hook baits and fished both the rods at 25 yards range. I then mixed up my trusty Spomb mix which consisted of White Chocolate & Coconut and Betaine Green groundbaits, Red Krill pellet and some hemp and dead maggot. I didn’t want to overdo the swim with heavy baiting as once you’ve put the bait in you can’t take it back out. I like to build my swim up according to how the fish are feeding so I introduced four small Spomb over the area. With the rods out and bait over the rods I set up base camp.
Once everything was set up I had my first brew of the session and had a good old natter with the crucian angler next door. It didn’t take long for one of my rods to leap into action… a tench was responsible for disrupting the social. I was happy though as it was a good sign that fish were moving about and feeding! With the tench returned my rod was cast back out over the baited spot. The day was slow and the odd tench made an appearance. Sadly no crucians fell to my rods but the lad next door landed a 3lb+ crucian! Good signs of things to come!
I decided to put some bait out prior to it getting dark so I did so. Darkness fell so all there was left to do was chat and drink tea. I received a bite on my left rod, a rather scatty take. I lifted into the fish and my rod bent double… a carp! With light rods and tackle it was good fun playing the beast putting my tackle to the test! But after a spirited fight and my arm falling asleep the carp was in the net! A lovely old dink strain fish known as “Barry” we laughed about the name of the poor carp took some shots and returned him to his home.
By now it was getting on and the other crucian angler had left. I sat in silence watching the water when I noticed a few fish rolling in close so I dropped a rod short. By now it was really getting on and the temp had dropped so I got into my bag and started to drift off… my left rod let out a series of bleeps and I looked out to see the bobbin pulled up tight to the blank. I ran out and lifted into the fish. At first I thought it could be a roach or a rudd but after a few seconds it started to feel a lot heavier and made a better account of itself! I knew it was a crucian by this point by the standard fight under the rod tip, but I didn’t know the size so I applied caution into the fight. It wasn’t long and the crucian was in the net! I was buzzing! Always good to catch your target species on your first trip to the venue of the year! The needle spun round to 3lb 8oz! What a cracker! A friend took some lovely night shots and the cru was returned. I decided to drop both rods in short but sadly no other bites fell through the night.
At first light I applied more bait to the longer zone and got both rods onto the spot. Again it didn’t take long and one of my rods was away! Again to another hard fighting carp! Another spirited fight on the light gear but eventually the carp gave up and ended up in the back of my net. This fish was another lovely mirror so I was made up! The day dragged again with just the odd tench breaking the day up. Sadly no more crucian’s fell to me that trip but I knew they were on the move and feed so I was buzzing to get back down! Sadly my partner fell ill so my fishing took a back seat understandably.
Over the next few weeks the fishing for the crucian’s really picked up, as did the mild weather! I really was chomping at the bit to get back down! Fortunately my other half slowly got better and I got the green light to get back out! My next session was after working eight days solid, two of which were spent working at the Big One fishing show (great fun) I was gagging to get out! At first I had planned to arrive early Tuesday morning but I was to eager so I arrived at 11pm on the Monday eve! I dropped in an area I’d had big hits in the past from and knew the crucian’s were about in the area so I was hopeful. After having a chat with a couple of gents fishing the same bank I slowly set up and got the rods out. Again the same methods I always fish (inline methods with short hook links and small hook baits) I didn’t put any bait out over the rods as I didn’t want to make to much of a disturbance. With the rods out and my brolly etc all set up I got my head down. Just as I was drifting off my left rod churned off… oh god… another carp! This one felt huge! It battered me all about the margins and flat rodded me several times! I really didn’t expect to land the carp! But luck was on my side and the carp finally graced my net! She was big! I left her in the net whilst I sorted everything out allowing for maximum safety! The needle spun to just under 31lb I couldn’t believe it! A epic capture on the crucian gear! It took me a fair old while to get to sleep as I was buzzing and when I looked at my watch it was already 3am… and I had my alarm set for 5am to get the rods out prior to any morning feeding fish! It only seemed like five minutes sleep before my alarm awoke me but up I got and made a tea. With the morning light I mixed up my trusty mix and put out four Spomb at 25/30 yards range. I then clipped-up both rods and fished them at the same range to. The other lads had told me bites had been few and far between so I wasn’t counting my chickens. But I still remained confident knowing what had been caught off of the bank the previous week or so.
I was drinking tea and talking to other angler’s when my left rod leapt into life! I picked up the rod and reeled into a dead weight, a classic crucian tell tail sign! I guided the fish to the margin where it had started to dog about the bottom making me nervous… my heart was in my mouth as I knew it could be a very big crucian! That it was! And my nerves nearly got the better of me but I landed the magnificent specimen! A new personal best and my forth 4lber from the venue! I was over the moon! Thankfully we got some cracking shots and then the specimen was returned to its home. Only tench made an appearance that day making it a long day as the bites were very spread out. Before dusk I again put out a few Spombs topping up the area for the nights fishing. Thankfully it was a quiet night with just a few roach waking me up now and again. Just like the day before I had set my alarm for 5am in order to get me up and active. Again I topped the swim up with a few Spombs of my trusty mix in hope of some more early morning feeding crucian’s. Unlike the previous day it was more overcast and slightly colder. Far better conditions in my eyes! It turned out I was wrong as it wasn’t long before one of my rods let out a series of bleeps and again I was into another big crucian! This one really put up a scrap! As soon as I had the crucian in the net the other rod was away! Another crucian! This one looked a little smaller than the other! The first went over the magic 4lb mark and equalled my PB which I beat yesterday and the other went 3lb 10oz! I was over the moon with the result! So much so I decided to pack up and head home early!! Seven sessions for twenty-five crucians from the venue wasn’t bad going at all! Five over 4lb+, sixteen over 3lb+ and four over 2lb+ what a fantastic tally and one I was over the moon about! My spring crucian target smashed, my sights are now set on the tench! Here’s hoping for some more good luck…