Brown goldfish-crucian-common carp hybrids… or something (Entry 19)

The weather has certainly turned now and with a lot of cool rain falling in the night the decision of where to fish was a tricky one. I had originally planned to go in search of chub and grayling on a lovely small river but with it being prone to rapidly rising levels I felt sure it would be out of sorts today. I quickly changed my bait of maggots and bread for corn and pellets and headed to a small lake with the hope of catching some of its mongrel inhabitants.

Let me explain what I mean. You see this venue has a good head of small crucians to little over eight ounces, numerous small common and ghost carp with some reaching high doubles, and a very good population of brown goldfish with the odd colourful surprise. Because of this mixture of closely related fish there is some goldfish crucian hybrids, not quite goldfish, not quite crucian, and they grow to good sizes. It was these fish that I was looking to target. And one of over two pound was going to be my target. Also present are large shoals of tiny Rudd, which can be frustrating at times especially when presenting small or soft baits. Maggots are a definite no no for me on here. There is also some large roach and good sized tench reaching five pound or more. And to round it all off, plenty of grass carp. In my experience on this venue all these fish tend to feed well, even through the winter, so I was hopeful that a good session would be on the cards.

I settled into the swim pictured above and set up two rigs. The floats are in the picture to the left. The silver diamond shaped float is a pattern I make myself and its a great pattern for holding the rig very stable. I would be presenting a 4mm expander pellet on the rig fished at dead depth or just an inch over depending how the fish were feeding. The other float with a thicker cane bristle was set up for my margin swim and would fis a grain of corn. Usually my margin swim on this venue only produces the odd better fish and never really produces a lot of fish. I also like to add a few 2mm or 4mm pellets to both lines, depending on conditions, and today with the temperature dropping and the cool rain going in, I opted for 2mm pellets dusted with some groundbait.

First fish was banked on my first put in and was inevitably a tiny rudd. It was encouraging though at least to see that the fish were moving. I had fed both lines and was on the open water swim at about 10 metres. As when fishing for roach, and indeed F1’s, on difficult days it pays to move the bait to try to induce a bite. Lift and drop the rig, move it along the bottom slowly, or simply sometimes try just off the main area of feed.

Today however, the open water swim wasn’t exactly fishing well, and it was a struggle to get a confident bite that didn’t result in a tiny rudd. So after an hour of fishing, it was time to have a quick look down the margin line. And I’m glad I did. As happens so often in fishing the fish decide to re write the rules all the time. My margin swim today produced a lovely 1lb goldfish/crucian hybrid on my first put in. On the second it produced a small 8oz crucian. The third another hybrid, and so the pattern continued. My theory being the cold rain, heavier than warm water, had settled in the bottom third of the lake pushing the fish into the slightly shallower and therefore warmer margins.

Switching between corn and 4mm expander pellet I managed string together a nice catch of fish and build the swim so that the fish size began to increase. Small 2lb common carp fought well and even the odd small tench made an appearance. Just after noon I started to make contact with some of the bigger hybrids. The fish were all falling to corn pushed up the marginal slope and the bites were very confident. It seemed best today to feed two or three grains of corn with a few 2mm pellets every put in, and virtually guaranteed a bite. I ended the day with well over 30 decent fish, the best hybrid being a fish a 2lb 10oz. Sure its not a ‘pure’ species but I really enjoy catching them. They give fantastic sport and even in the harshest of conditions, are willing to feed providing you can find them and present a bait properly. Last year I caught them in sub zero temperatures.

Until next time,



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