Crucian carp bread punch lesson

March 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

After a cold foggy start, the sun came through and suddenly it was spring, inspiring a walk to a nearby park, passing along the way my local pond, which has been undergoing work by the council for months and sealed off by a workman’s fence.


The finish date of Christmas had come and gone as contractors worked to renew the paths, and soften the brick edges with reeds, adding the bonus of a couple of fishing stations, while they were there. Today the barriers were gone and I resolved to walk back after lunch for a final fishing session before the end of the coarse season.

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Travelling light with only a pole, landing net and emptied tackle box on my trolley, the pond is a brisk 5 minute downhill walk from my home and by 2:30 I was set up and ready to fish. Intending to use my default method the bread punch, on arrival I had lobbed three balls out to an area 8 metres out. In summer the surface is dotted with rising rudd, while carp nose around in the lily beds, but today there were no signs of fish and wondered whether the environment agency had carried out their threat to net the water to ease overcrowding.

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First cast in the float tracked off to the left and I lifted into a rudd, the 5 mm bread pellet taken well down in seconds.

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Not the biggest rudd of the afternoon, but the first of many, the fish very cold to the touch, an indication of the low temperature of the pond. A small tench broke the succession of silver fish, the golden tench staying deep until the net, it’s size belying it’s power to weight ratio.

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Next cast the float lifted and held as a small crucian mouthed the bait, the hook holding on the outside of it’s lip.

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Back in again, the small 3 No 4 waggler float never settled, sinking slowly away, followed by the pole elastic as I lifted into a pound plus common carp, that erupted onto the surface of the shallow pond, before coming to the net.

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The rudd were now absent, their place taken by a succession of small crucian carp, any sign of a bite, usually bringing a fish to the 5 mm pellet of bread.

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The elastic came out again with another small common, this one burying it’self among the lily roots to my right, needing several attempts to allow it to swim free, the hook staying put long enough to bully it out.

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Many of the carp in this pond are crucian/common hybrids, this one being an example, they all fight well, so who cares.

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Next up was a true crucian with it’s upturned mouth and fighting in short juddering runs, again the hook was just outside the lip. At this point a couple of young anglers, fishing after school, came up to see me net this crucian, saying that they had nothing, while watching me pulling them in. Could I help them catch? I demo’d a couple of small crucians on the punch, before going down to their rods. Where do you start? The rods were too short, the lines too heavy and their floats too big. They were using fresh bread flake squeezed hard onto a size 14 hook, the fish only able to knock the bait, while dipping the floats that stood an inch out of the water. They were using wagglers, which was a good start, being easier to cast and they had a mixed pot of split shot. With the floats shotted down to the tip and just a pinch of bread wrapped round the line, then pulled down onto the hook, they both had rudd in minutes.

Good deed done for the day, I returned to my swim to find that algae had lifted off the bottom to be blown into my swim, Making it difficult to find an opening for my float. When I was successful, the crucians were still feeding, bubbles coming up from the muddy bottom. Another small tench, this time a deep green fish gave variety.

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Very small commons had moved in, but my last fish was a silvery crucian from an area now covered in algae and I decided to pack up before my 5 pm deadline.

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The lads were back to see my final bag of over 30 fish and were pleased to report half a dozen rudd between them. I hope that they will have learned something from their outing and will want to continue fishing.

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