Well probably a little less as I have only been fishing since I was six. So 23 years then. After the success of last weeks session after crucians I felt it was time to go back, with scales this time, too see if I could catch an elusive 2lb crucian. By PB stands a little below this so if I did manage to catch one it would be extra special. The warm weather had continued throughout the week and was reaching highs of 24 degrees. Bigger carp had started spawning in local pools and lakes and I assumed that the crucians and other fish would be following suit. I was in two minds whether to go at all or simply leave them too it. Far more important for them to make the future generations in peace and recover for a few days from the rigors of spawning. But with a slight dip in the temperatures there was a window of opportunity to have a early morning session.
I arrived early a little before dawn at around four o’clock. Mist was rolling across the water and I again went on a lap of the venue. I could see plenty of fish activity. Plenty of patches of bubbles in the shallow margins and every now and again a crucian would appear from the depths; a flash of golden flank. I settled on a swim giving offering a good area of margin to target. Depth was good around four foot just a few inches from the reed stems. The ledge itself, only a few inches of flat bottom, before it sharply sank away to much deeper water. Feeding at the top of this slope would see the particles trickling down it. I hoped the crucians, hungry from their exertions, would follow the bait trail upwards and find my hookbait. I started fishing on a hook in the loop rig. I will write more on this method and why I use it in a future update. In a nutshell, and eyed hook is positioned in a small loop of line, with two number eight shot an inch from the hook. It gives very positive indications of lift bites. I use a very buoyant tipped float to make any movement even more pronounced. My first put in saw me fine tuning the float. A few smaller shot were needed to dot the float right down so it just about holds in the water. I then applied a little Vaseline to the top of the float to stop it from constantly going under. Basically it has to hold in the surface film. If the float lifts, and lingers, that’s as positive a bite as the float sinking from sight.
Second put in resulted in my first crucian of the session. A lovely conditioned fish of around a pound. I didn’t expect such a quick response to be honest and I was a little taken back when the next four put ins produced four similar fish. Five good crucians in ten minutes! I thought it best to feed a little ball of groundbait and give the swim a little rest. Whilst waiting for it to settle I had a cup of coffee. Yes, I do this a lot, but I think it’s super important to be patient and build a swim. Leaving the line out of the water does a hell of a lot for the fishes confidence. And ‘free feeding’ as I like to call it is the key. Fishing this way I also get to take a rest for a few minutes. Staring at a tiny little float is pretty tiring, especially after a few hours of doing it. I like to pace myself.
When I started fishing again ten minutes later, a few roach made an appearance. As did a rogue tench and small common carp. They disturbed the swim a lot, especially the tench, and for an hour or so after, I struggled to get any bites. The fish were still in the area though. Bubbling down the ledge, no doubt where my bait was falling to. Now was not the time to chase them. They would surely back away more if I did this. I re-fed the swim and once again sat for a few minutes, building their confidence. I was rewarded with another lovely crucian the very next put in after doing this. Weighing 1lb 12oz, with its deep back and shoulders, it had the makings of a big fish, and might one day look as deep as it is long. After a photo I returned this fish well away from where I fishing. On my return to the swim I fed a little groundbait. On this weeks session there was a lot less rudd about so I had been feeding small balls of groundbait every five minutes in the preceding hour. And I continued to do so until the sun rose and the heat began. In that time however I had a good run of crucians, 16 in total, the four best fish weighing 2lb 1oz, 2lb, 1lb 12oz and 1lb 10oz respectively, with all the other fish close to, if not over, a pound. Brilliant fishing.
Here are the two biggest fish from the session.
One of targets this year was to catch a 2lb+ crucian from a local venue. I’m so happy to have succeeded in this after just two session on this water. I have a feeling there are a few bigger fish so anything I catch from here now will be a bonus. I will also try using more selective methods in the coming sessions. I know I promised this last update, but I will talk about the rigs a little more at some point, especially focussing on the hook in the loop method. Why I think it is so useful, and possibly, why its so misunderstood.
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Until next time,