2014 Coarse Fishing Season opener with commons, crucians, a mirror and silvers

June 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm

With a busy week of non sporting commitments ahead, I was determined to get some coarse fishing into the half day after lunch available to me. A cheap white loaf was collected from Tesco and all but a few slices were liquidised, the remainder for bread punch bait. The freezer was raided and a handful of sweet corn bagged up ready for feed and hookers later. With all my gear loaded onto the trolley, I headed off on foot to the local recreation ground, where a pond nestles in one corner.

Since my last visit in the winter, the banks were high with new growth and I made an opening between two weed beds from where I hoped to draw out a few carp. Making myself comfortable with all I needed to hand, I mixed up some ground bait using two thirds liquidised bread, a third Super Cup with a sprinkling of ground hemp, then added water to the mix and allowed to stand, while I set up my pole at seven metres, breaking down to the top two. With crucians in mind, I set up with a cut down Canal Grey waggler, locked with two No4 shot and a No 4 five inches from the hook. Crucians feed head down, but pick up their food and swing up horizontal. This lifts the bottom shot and raises the float stem out of the water, indicating the bait is in their mouths. That’s the theory anyway.

With three balls fed across the 7 metere line and another couple at 8 metres, also a dozen pieces of corn scattered over the area, I was ready to fish. Starting on the bread punch, the float disappeared every minute and a succession of small rudd were swung in.

Small, but perfectly formed, the colour ranges of these rudd went from bright orange, through to green, one such having an ornamental gold look.

The rudd tally was mounting and every now and then I would exchange the bread for sweet corn on the hook, while occasionally feeding a few pieces of corn to the swim. The float sinking slowly away, indicated the first carp bite on the corn and a firm lift made contact with a perfectly scaled mirror carp.

A line of bubbles were now visible along the 7 metre line and every cast produced a positive bite on the corn, with small commons beginning to take with confidence, despite the sun beaming down from a clear afternoon sky.

I’d observed a large carp moving out of the weed bed to my right and minutes later, the float slid under and I was in. The heavy 12/18 elastic came out, as the carp woke up and made a rush toward the lilly bed opposite. With only 30 inches of water, there is nowhere for these fish to go and I followed across with two more lengths of the pole. The run was stopped and the fish arced round, heading steadily for the weed bed to my right, powering it’s way in, as I kept up the pressure. This was met by another surge and the size 14 barbless hook came out. The hook had opened out. I could have gone up to a twelve and used a heavy forged barbed hook, but I prefer the barbless for the minimal damage it does and accept the occasional lost fish, losing another two that afternoon.

Catching had slowed and more feed went in, bringing the rudd back on, taking several better fish on bread and corn.

The carp came on again, as bubbles appeared, but bites were harder to hit, bouncing, or missing three out of four, those landed being of the same stamp. There are usually plenty of 4 to 8oz commom carp to be had in this pond, but on this sunny day they were abscent.

The bites changed again, with the float bobbing, then lifting. Crucians. Timing the strike became a problem. Mostly the float would lift and stay there without moving off. The fish was still there, as more times than I care to remember, I lifted to feel contact, a quick dash across the surface and they were gone. The crucians were holding the corn in their lips and sucking the goodness out, without the chance of the hook taking a hold. I tried going back to the punch, but caught a string of rudd and roach. Finally I hung onto one long enough to get it into the net, the hook barely holding in the outer edge of the lip membrane.

I’d set my time limit to six pm, fishing through the heat of the afternoon. In an ideal world, this would have been the time to start, but with my supply of corn running out, two more crucians in the net and a specimen pound plus fish lost, when I tried to bully it into the net, I was ready to take the uphill walk home.

With fifty plus roach adding to the mix, the scales indicated over 10lb, a fair enough catch for four hours steady work, but fish bounced, or lost more than equalled those put in the net. Must try harder next time.