Day of the bait robbers (Entry 102)

The realisation that summer would soon be fading away into autumn spurred me on. I couldn’t believe it had been over two months since I had last fished for one of my favourite species. Although favourite is the right word for the fish speaking broadly about the way they look, the way they fights and the places they can be found, perhaps favourite is not correct to describe the act of catching them. Now, there’s a thought. Fickle feeders, shy biting and infuriating to hook. Spotters of large hooks and heavy line. Reflexes that would put an Olympic table tennis player to shame. And then how do you actually fish solely or them? Not the tiny rudd that dimple the surface. The enigma of the crucian. Even so it was time to pack the tackle in readiness for an early start. A sunrise and a margin full of bubbles hopefully.

Idyllic crucian dawn?Oh how the reality of things are so far removed from the sentiment sometimes. My alarm didn’t go off. If truth be told I had forgot to set it so the alarm had behaved perfectly. As I munched through some cornflakes, dark clouds began to form on the horizon. Half way down the motorway these clouds began to release their cargo. Heavy droplets of water rattling against the windscreen. Thankfully the rain abated when I arrived at the water, giving me enough time to get to my peg and set up the umbrella, before commencing one final assault on anything dry. I was still eager to see if any crucians were going to play ball and went about readying a suitable rig and plumbing the depth ready for action as soon as this heavy shower passed. I didn’t wait too much longer though. Not that the rain had passed. I simply needed to fish. For all I knew there was a shoal of crucians down there, hungry and wanting feeding. I’d be happy to oblige. The float settled. No, it did it’s best to settle, jostled by the still heavy raindrops. The float tip seemed to get smaller. Then it disappeared. Sanctuary from the rains battering. This fish didn’t feel like a crucian though. No, this was a thief. A stealer of pellets. Wrecker of line, depositing slime on anything it touched. Skimmer bream. Bah! Patience, patience I told myself.

That's more like it

After an hour of relentless skimmer activity I eventually hooked my intended quarry. A very slight dip of the float and a steady movement to the right. Thunderous thumps surged down the rod blank. Oh I how I had missed these solid little fish. Round and round the fish circled in an attempt to free itself. Once they turn their deep flank skyward they are certainly hard to coax any higher. Not too dissimilar to bream in flowing water. I was glad once it lay in the net. The first fish of the session and quite hard earned. Bream 12 and the humble Crucian 1.

A trio of cracking crucian

The statistics for the session didn’t change much either. I had to catch roughly ten bream for every one crucian. Hardly a bad thing to catch fish after fish I suppose. In the end I managed three crucians and had amassed a good net of skimmers. I suspect a match angler might have appreciated it and of course to some degree I did. But I was more than a little frustrated as I just couldn’t seem to work out how to single out the crucians. It’s a good job they are such beautiful, tough little fish. Synonymous with a season. Yes, I do like fishing for them. And skimmer bream, you are forgiven.

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Until Next time tight lines



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