Specimen crucian carp bread punch reward

October 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm

Heavy morning rain gave way to sunshine and a last minute arrangement at lunchtime saw me meet up with a fellow club member Alan, on an exchange water Hitcham Ponds. Despite a covering of green algae on the surface, conditions looked perfect for an eventful afternoon fishing the pond, which has an abundance of common carp, bream, crucian carp and rudd.

Local to this water, Alan was going to fish his usual method, micropellet feed with either banded pellet or maggots on the hook, using a waggler rig with a rod and running line. I have only fished the water a few times over the years and have used the bread punch with great success for crucians and skimmer bream, plus the occasional common carp and was confident of a repeat performance.

Before I had set out my stall, Alan was reeling in his first fish, a skimmer bream, followed by a decent rudd, both on the maggot. I was going to fish the pole, selecting a 4 x14 antenna float with shot bulked a foot from the size 18 barbless hook, I plumbed the depth and set to fish just off bottom. Following a ball of liquidised bread at five metres with the float, I did not have long to wait for the antenna to dip and glide off with a tiny roach clinging to the 6 mm bread pellet. This was the pattern for the next half hour, with me throwing back a three inch roach, skimmer, or gudgeon every cast, while Alan continued to put a bend in his rod as small carp found his banded pellets. Bubbles were rising steadily from my feed, but a raft of small stuff was attacking the bait before it could reach the bottom, despite the bulked shot. I expect to catch smaller fish, until the better fish push them out, but this was not going to plan, made worse by Alan, who was fighting yet another carp. An offer of some pellets and maggots was turned down, just before the float sailed away and a good rudd came to the net.

I had stepped up the feed, also going up to a 7 mm punch and this rudd was the result, another cast bringing a small skimmer bream, the bread punch finally showing progress. The slow thump of a bream bore this out, as it steadily stretched out the elastic and I waited for it to come back to me, seeing the silver flash of its deep flank through the green algae. It rolled off the size 18 hook and I considered increasing to a size 16, but this would mean time lost, so stuck with the smaller hook. Small roach were giving me carp look-a-like bites, dips, then sliding away at speed. It was a surprise when I lifted into the real thing, the 12 – 18 elastic zipping out from the pole, following the carp as it circled under the strain of the elastic. With a direct line to his fish, Alan took no prisoners, bundling another common into his net, while I waited for my carp to come to the surface to be netted.

More small fish continued to take the bread, a rudd photo worthy with bright red fins.

Bites were slower now, the heavier feed bringing in some better fish, another common carp rushing off with the bread.

Alan packed up, content that had sorted out a method for a match on the pond in two weeks time, while I plodded on with the bread, bubbles continuing to burst on the surface around the float. I lost a good carp at the net, that had circled round and round several time, before stopping out in front of me. Impatient to get the fish in the landing net, I pulled up to get the carp to surface, only for it to suddenly come to life, boiling on the surface and pulling the hook out. Hooking into another pellet of punch, I flicked the float back out and it sank away immediately and I was playing another carp.

This was as large as the one that I had just lost and I took my time allowing it circle, until it gave up on the surface, a bit of pressure guiding it into the net. I had been feeding a small ball each cast and now that the bread bag was empty, had decided to call it a day at 5 pm. With minutes to go, the float moved off and sank trailing line. I lifted into a solid weight, that took out the elastic like a rocket, the fish rolling on the surface against the strain. This was not another common carp. It looked and fought like a tench, rolling and diving, but the tail was not black, also being too wide. Soon the mystery was solved, it was a very large crucian carp and again I gave it an easy time, netting the bucking fish, as it barrel rolled on the surface.

The size 18 barbless had held on and I was relieved to get the big crucian in the keepnet, after a quick weigh-in that brought the scales round to 3 lb 8 oz. Coincidentally, the same size as my previous personal best crucian carp, that I caught this year from my local river.

My deadline had been reached, being content that the swim had finally come good, although it had failed to attract any other crucian carp, or the expected bream.

Not a big haul for this pond, but worth the effort of coming out for a few hours, proving that pellet is not always the answer on these hard fished waters.