Carp and rudd wake up from the cold against the clock

April 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

A wet morning was transformed by a bright afternoon sun this week and my thoughts turned to my very local pond. Would the carp and crucians be feeding at last, following weeks of alternating weather systems of wet storms, then frosts and snow? With many of my domestic chores completed, I gathered up my tackle and headed down to the pond for a few hours fishing, arriving at 3 pm in time for black clouds to hide the sun. The surface of the pond at this time of year is usually alive with rudd and cruising carp, but today it looked dead.

This was my first visit to the swim this year and spring growth has turned it into a parrot cage, with bushes intruding on either side and a tree growing behind catching the pole tip of the top two sections. Note to self, bring the croppers next time. Having balled in some groundbait of liquidised bread, ground hemp and ground carp pellets, I set up the pole with a small 2BB waggler float and cast in over the feed, the float tracking away immediately, when a small rudd took the 7mm pellet of punched bread on the size 14 barbless hook.

I was surprised just how cold this rudd felt, the heavy rain of late must have chilled the water. This pond is one of a chain of balance ponds, that was set up by the council to absorb flood water from the flood plain of a local brook, allowing housing estates to be built along its length.

Despite the lack of surface activity, there was plenty of action below the surface, once the better sized rudd homed in on the feed.

A welcome sign was a small common carp that made off with the punched bread at speed, pulling out the pole elastic for the first time today.

These small commons are from the lake upstream, washed down in floods a couple of years ago and now growing on in this pond. My next cast hooked into a much bigger carp, that dived into the roots at my feet, while avoiding the landing net, becoming snagged. Allowing the line to go slack, let the carp burrow deeper into the tangle, the opposite of what I had hoped and I was forced to try to hand line it out.  It went solid and the line broke below the float, ending with a tangle. I lobbed in a couple more small balls of feed to keep the carp interested, then searched in my box for a suitable replacement float, finding a short top and bottom float, that would cope with the surface drift created by the strong breeze.

The new float worked well, being held back in the drift and the rudd kept coming, some of them a better size.

A dithering bite, with dips and bobs of the float indicated a crucian carp, but when it slowly submerged, the surface exploded as a small common carp stormed off.

Time was ticking by and this was to be a brief visit, until 6 pm, then back for meal being prepared by my wife. To be late would not go down well the next time that I wanted to nip out for a quick fishing session.

The rudd continued to oblige.

A dithering bite and at last a crucian, which came off. I’d felt the time pressure and struck too soon. They just sit there and suck the bread and need time to swim off.

In again, it was now five minutes past six. Another dithering bite and a smaller crucian was pounding away. It was only a few ounces, but I decided to use the landing net to make sure of a photo for the blog. It too came off.

The crucians had finally woken up and I was determined to catch one. Missed a bite. One last cast, then I must pack up. Bob,bob, dip, gone! Yes! A solid fish, but not a crucian, a small common.

I packed up as quickly as I could. The crucians will have to wait for a warmer day.

I can’t complain, I had caught from the off, ok nothing big, but had put over sixty fish in the net in under three hours and got home in time for a very enjoyable meal. What more can you want?