Halfway to the venue I made a u-turn. The reason; I knew deep down it would be out of sorts. Not an hour since making up my mind, I made it up again, and headed to pay another visit to the crucian water. It had been very warm for the week preceding my trip and reports had indicated that the margins of rivers and stillwaters were taking on the same characteristics as bathwater. Lovely and warm. For us humans at least. I had a hunch the fish would be finding it as uncomfortable as this mugginess was for me. But if there was one fish that would give me a chance of a bite during these conditions, I figured it had to be the crucian, the most tolerant of all our fish. Why didn’t I work that out at home? Now there’s a thought.
I had been heading out to fish for bream and tench so bait choice had already been made. Hemp and sweetcorn. I would have preferred a few more hookbait choices but sitting waiting for a crucian with two baits to choose from trumped watching lethargic bream and tench basking on the surface, whilst my sweetcorn lay nailed to the bottom in ten feet of water. I arrived twenty minutes later. Greeted by threatening clouds gathering on the horizon. In true fishing spirit, I now realised that my umbrella was still in the shed, so wearing just a t-shirt, hoody and (thankfully) some trousers, I began to tentatively set up, whilst the heavy grey clouds rolled over. Rain began to fall, erupting ferociously amongst flashes of brilliant white, the wind rattled through the trees and the thunder boomed.
Thirty Minutes later, and now soaked to the bone, I made my first cast. The sun had returned and for the first time in weeks, I was very grateful for how warm it was, drying me out in next to no time, vapour rising as the water left both my clothes and the surrounding vegetation. The fishing began slowly. A few delicate indications my only reward for the first hour. Across the lake not many fish were moving. Those that did were small, very small, and I certainly didn’t want a shoal of them taking up residence in the area I was fishing.
Persistence paid off as eventually my float lifted, from nowhere just like the storm that had blown in at the start, all hell broke lose.The fish charged around defiantly but was soon played out, admired and respected. Then back to watching a lifeless float. But, a fish had been caught, a beautiful two pound crucian carp. I had to put myself right. This session was proving a lot trickier than previous ones. Time to judge things in the now ratter than comparing them to past events. Especially when you have been well and truly spoilt as I have. I wouldn’t have come anywhere near to catching a specimen fish on my original choice of venue.
Not a great amount happened during the next few hours, but with my new found philosophy, I was enjoying every minute. I watched a kingfisher taking advantage of the plentiful small fish on offer. A much better angler than I, every dive was rewarded with a catch, not that I was jealous. Well, maybe a little. The light began to drop and with it the temperature. I gave myself another half hour before heading home and in that time caught a further two crucian carp. Both good two pound fish taken in successive casts before I connected with a fish that would not stop. A ‘steam train’ that eventually took my hooklength and left me shaking my head. I have had a few fish that have roared off now and have never seen one of the them. Carp or big tench probably, and if pushed, I would say tench. Angers intuition. Or wishful thinking.
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