Crucians, Mirrors and Common Carp take the bread punch at Allsmoor

September 14, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Not fond of sitting baking in the sun, or being soaked to the skin during a thunder storm, has meant no fishing for me lately, but this week the rain stopped for long enough to chance an afternoon at my local Allsmoor Pond. Although within walking distance from my home, I tend to ration myself to only a few visits a year, as this prolific water, within a public recreation ground, has a tendancy to flatter the competant angler.

Arriving at 1 pm, I was not too impressed with the look of the water. Heavily stained with run-off from overnight rain, there was no surface activity, not a sign of cruising carp, or even rudd. I wondered whether there had been an oxygen crash, due to the sudden drop in temperature. Oh well, let’s mix up some feed and get the pole out. I have never fished this section of bank before, as it continues to get silted up from the inlet, with bull rushes soon to meet in the middle.

I damped down a mixture of coarse liquidised bread, ground hempseed, and a spicy ground seed mix with a scattering of mixed 2 mm pellets, that had been lurking at the bottom of a ground bait tin. They are not fussy in this pond and I have had equally good nets with curry powder and liquidised bread. Convinced that the fishing was going to be hard, I fitted a rig with a 4 x 16 antenna float, to a size 16 barbless hook, the overall depth being set at two feet, with the bait resting on the soft black mud.

I had put a couple of balls of feed out on the 7 metre line, before setting up the pole and could see bubbles rising already as I made my first cast. The float cocked, then lifted and I struck into a small rudd.

That was quick. Maybe it was going to be better than I thought? Into the area again and the float dithered and dipped long enough to strike and the elastic was out for a decent crucain that burst onto the surface, then came off. Wait for them to take it away next time.

Bubbles were everywhere in the baited area and there was no messing with the next fish, when the float disappeared followed by the line.

Wow, a beatifully scaled mirror carp put on a turbo charged performance, as it rushed about trying to avoid the landing net.

What next? A small common, that’s what. This one swimming in an arc away from the bank.

A small ball of feed to the left, or the right of the float each cast, kept these commons active, while they sifted through the mud.

The bites were still very cautious and leaving them to develope to a sink away was the answer.

Schoolboys had started arriving armed with rods and landing nets, some on foot, while others cycled. One was still in his school uniform. The peace of the pond was now filled with chatter, reminding me of similar times years ago, when I would have been shoulder to shoulder with friends and strangers, fishing with hempseed for roach and dace on the bank of the River Thames near Windsor.

Small carp were coming out at a predictable rate now, with all eyes on my actions, rather than their own. A couple attempted to cast over into my swim, but fell short, their floats like bouys compared to my fine antenna. I never saw any of them catch a fish. Hopefully they will learn.

Despite the distractions, I was zoned in and the commons kept obliging.

A small mirror seemed to throw a switch, as crucian carp moved over the feed, sending up bursts of tiny bubbles.

This hard fighting crucian had a massive growth on it’s side and was returned immediately.

Brown goldfish, or crucian/common hybrid?

The carp came back with a bang, larger carp pushing the crucians off the feed. This one taking my breath away, when it flashed through the swim hooking itself.

By now it was nearing my going home time and I had a pair of polite goal hangers asking questions. They already had slices of bread and I persuaded them to add weight to their floats to dot them down to the surface.

I hit into a much larger carp, that took some playing, as it was trying to reach a post standing up in the water to my right. This brought the rest of the tribe round to my swim to watch me land, or lose it.

A nice common landed. About 2 lb.

A fat crucian was followed by another fat crucian.

With five minutes left of my four hour session, the elastic was out for the last time and I was playing a decent common, with this band of eger beavers breathing down my neck, one standing on the landing net preventing me from using it.

That was the end of a busy session and I sat back drinking a cup of tea, while the hoarde jockied for position, keeping my head down, while rods swished overhead. The lad in the school uniform asked what I had been using. “Bread”. “We’ve got sweet corn!” He began ladling it in.

My humble bread punch had been enough on the day to get them all shouting at once, when I pulled my net out, the quiet pair holding the landing net open, while I emptied the keepnet.

The scales bottomed out at 6 kg