Crucian and common carp fishing in the rain

May 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

My shooting and fishing plans were put on hold this week, with the arrival of warm winds carrying thundery showers, that saw me trapped in the house, scraping round doing unnecessary jobs, much to the satisfaction of my wife, who resurrected a long lost list of chores. Eventually these were done and I moved on to cleaning my rifles, then sorting out my fly fishing bag. Attempts to work in the garden were thwarted by fresh showers every time the sun broke through. I found myself reciting a nursery rhyme of my childhood “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day” a chant that my siblings and I would make, while pressed against a misted up window, as the rain lashed down.  By 4 pm today, only a slight drizzle was coming down and donning my waterproofs, headed out on foot to my local pond a quarter of  a mile away.

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True to form, by the time I reached the pond, a fresh dark cloud had begun disgorging heavy droplets, but by now I was beyond caring and went about duties, setting up a pole in the hope of a few carp before the day was out. Mixing up some ground bait of coarse bread crumbs, laced with hempseed, dusted by ground carp pellets, the lot was balled in along a line 7 metres out.

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The surface erupted as rudd attacked the feed, the lightly squeezed balls spreading out on the bottom an investment for later. With sweet corn as hook bait, I scattered a dozen grains over the area, then returned to setting out my stall with everything to hand, with no need to leave the comfort of the tackle box. The final job was to attach the float rig, a cut down canal grey waggler float to a size 14 barbless hook.

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Within seconds of the sweetcorn hitting the surface, the float sailed away and I lifted into the first fish of the afternoon, a four ounce rudd.

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Rudd followed rudd in quick succession, aided by the rain, which lubricated the pole as it was shipped  back and forth, the brightly coloured fish beginning to fill the net. There was no let up in the action, the only variation being a nice roach that managed to get to the front of the queue.

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It was 90 minutes into the session at 6:30, that bubbles began to erupt from the fed area, as the long awaited carp moved in, pushing out the rudd. Like a switch being pulled, the bites changed from zoom aways, to gentle dips of the float, sometimes the tip seeming to vibrate, before it slowly moved away and down.

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A small common was the first in the net, it’s bite so like a crucian, the elastic coming out of the pole, as it ran for cover. The next bite was definitely a crucian, the juddering fight a dead giveaway.

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Having cursed the constant showers, the sun now appeared below the clouds as it sank in the sky, it’s glow on the surface blinding me to the delicate actions of the float tip, forcing me to fish either side of the glare, taking me away from the shoal of crucians, but to the attention of the common carp.

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The bites were slower, but more predictable, taps and lifts developing into unmissable slide aways. The sweet corn was still doing it’s job, the size of grain no guide to the size of fish, the biggest common of the evening falling for a tiny piece.

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This fatty took the elastic out to full stretch in an attempt to reach the safety of  a bed of lilies, but the hook held. The carp kept coming right up to my allotted cut off time of 8 pm. I could have gone on catching, but my wife had a home cooked shepherds pie waiting for me, the rumbles that I could hear being my stomach not thunder. The rain had been warm, everything was wet, but the session had proved productive, well worth a soaking.

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The carp crowded out at the many rudd in this net, just under 14 lb of fish proof of a busy, but rewarding three hours.