Crucian carp brighten a mixed bag

June 16, 2020 at 6:27 pm

My plan to fish a local river on the opening day of the coarse fishing river season of June 16th, was changed while drinking my morning coffee, as I watched the TV weather forecast on the morning of the 15th. It showed thunder storms sweeping in from Europe, starting later that day and carrying through to the rest of the week, my rivers being small, would soon be in flood. If I was going to fish anywhere, it would have to be today.

After a quick consultation with my wife, the bag of liquisied bread was withdrawn from the freezer, then sandwiches and a flask of tea were made before heading the van toward my nearest lake, the Farnham AS water at Badshot Lea, Kings Pond. It was past noon when I arrived, finding most of the swims already occupied, but a longer walk found a bit of space, although the general impression of the anglers that I passed, was that the fishing had died off already, a couple in the process of packing up, having earlier caught a few tench and crucians. I’ve heard this before and pressed on.

On a bend, this swim looked promising, with lillys bordering the drop off into deeper water, going from three feet to four. Setting up the pole with a 4 x 16 antenna float to a size 16 barbless hook and mixing up a damp mix of ground carp pellets and heavy white crumb, I dropped a couple of egg sized balls to the right of the small patch of lillys and cast in. Nothing. Not a movement of the fine float tip. After five minutes a tiny movement of the float, hardly seen by the eye, but more felt in my brain. Then again, this time a ring radiating from the tip. Something was down there and I guessed it was a crucian carp. Over the next five minutes the bite continued to develope, slight dips and bobs as the 5 mm pellet of fresh bread was played with, until it slowly marched under. A strike and the elastic came out briefly as a small crucian tried to avoid the landing net.

Dropping the float back in, the antenna was dipping and bobbing again, but slid under minutes after and the elastic came out further as a larger crucian dived for the lillys, but failed to reach sanctury.

A few small roach got to the bait first, before a more positive bite saw the elastic stretching out into the pond as a decent roach made a run for it.

The small roach had moved into the right side of the lilly, so switched to the middle of the patch following with another couple of feed balls. More fiddly bites and I was playing another crucian.

Crucian carp are tough little fighters, that bely their feeble bite, standing their ground to battle it out, unlike their larger common brethren, that storm off with the bait in an often unstoppable run. I landed a 2 lb crucian from this pond last year and was hoping for better things, plus a tench or two would also be appreciated.

After I netted this crucian, the clouds disappeared and I found myself searching for my sun hat, put in the bag by my thoughtful wife. The heat was beating down from a clear sky and even the small roach went off the feed, it was like a switch had been pulled. Extending the pole, I rested it while I worked my way through the sandwiches, missing a couple of bites that sat, then sank out of sight. Unmissable, but I did. In that hour I scratched out a few small roach and decided to start to feed plain fine white liquidised bread to concentrate them into an area out in front of me.

This worked, shallowing up and dropping the bait through the cloud began to produce some better sized roach.

Patchy cloud brought a change, a lift, then a slow sink saw the elastic out again as a different fish sailed out toward the middle. It was a skimmer bream and I took my time easing it back to the net.

This is the first bream that I have caught from this water and I put it down to a fluke, but two roach later I netted a smaller one.

Roach were still taking the bread, not big but net fillers all the same.

As the clouds grew, the wind picked up and I was having trouble holding the pole out straight, the float flashing on and off in the ripples. When it stayed off I lifted, skimmers still in the swim.

I struck into a decent bream, larger then the first, but had trouble keeping the tension on the pole against the gusts and the hook pulled free. That was the last I saw of them. The wind dropped and the sun came out again and I scraped together the last of my feed for a last shout session. In the distance the sky was black and this was obviously the lull before the storm.

This feed was heavier and I increased the depth again to fish just off bottom, this roach taking without any fuss. The cloud was coming closer and the wind had increased again, causing a right to left drift and I held back the float river style to take a few more roach, whenever the float held under. Already committed to finish by 3:30 to avoid the rain, I was in two minds to continue, when a small crucian took the bread.

Was the crucian shoal back on the feed? I’ll never know, as I stuck to my guns and put the float rig back on its winder. I’ve had more than one soaking in the past, when outstaying my welcome and today was not going to be another. Pulling the keepnet from the water, I was pleased to see a reasonable haul of fish, pausing only to take a photo before tipping them back

Walking back to the van, the first drops of rain were beginning to fall and I hurriedly loaded my tackle to be on my way, only having to step out into the rain briefly to unlock the gate to drive out, another angler following me out to lock the gate behind us, being not so fortunate, as the heavens opened with a whoosh.