David Brice 4lb 5oz Crucian

A switch of methods proved the downfall for this 4lb 5oz crucian, banked by David Brice in a recent outing..
He told us “The Method feeder has become one of the deadliest tools around for catching crucians, but by switching to solid PVA bags instead I’ve just had what truly is the catch of a lifetime for me.I’ve been targeting a Surrey stillwater with a reputation for producing huge fish, and they certainly see a lot of Method and open-end feeders thrown at them throughout the day, generally filled with groundbait with fake casters on the hook.

As effective as feeders are for targeting this delicate species, I’ve found that by also offering them a different presentation during the session, it can really boost your catches. For me, this has come in the form of a solid PVA bag, packed full of attraction, like the ones used in big-carp fishing circles.

Throughout the day, I fish standard Method and open-end feeders, which I recast regularly to build up a bed of feed. Come the evening, I switch to the solid bags, which I fill with crumbed boilies and micro pellets, before injecting them with a bait soak liquid to boost attraction further. My hookbait is a hi-viz 10mm topper, popped-up about 10mm, and the whole set-up stands out well over the bed of feed I’ve built up throughout the day.

I put these tactics to the test on a recent trip and had a phenomenal result. After arriving at the venue, I managed to get into a swim where I’d had a good result the previous week, which was handy as my rods were still clipped up to the spots! With 50mph winds forecast to be blowing into my bank, it was serious big-fish weather, and my hopes were high. I started on standard feeder tactics with fake caster hookbaits, and at 7:30am on the first morning I had a bite and slipped the net under a 4lb 4oz crucian – which was a new PB and a great start to the session.

I spent the day regularly casting the feeders, building a bed of bait, and at midday I had a smaller fish of 2lb 14oz. By evening, I’d introduced a pint of casters and kilo of groundbait – enough bait for the night. As the sun dipped, I switched over to the solid bags and cast them out at about 8:30pm. One went right on the spot, the other just on the edge of it. After first catching a couple of tench, I had another bite from a hard-fighting fish, and when a huge, young-looking crucian surfaced, I knew it was yet another specimen. At 4lb 2oz, it was already proving an amazing start to the night. I put the kettle on, recast, and before it had boiled the rod was away again, this time with a 3lb 2oz fish.

The night wore on, and after no more bites for a while I started to wonder if the crucians had ‘done the off’. Just as I began mixing a new batch of groundbait for the morning, the bobbin shot up to the rod but then sat still. Thoughts rushed through my mind – should I pick it up? But my questions were soon answered, as the alarm screamed into life and line poured from the reel’s spool. At first I suspected a carp had muscled in on the action, but when I flicked the headlight on I saw a huge dinner plate of a fish and realised it was yet another very special crucian. It was a gnarled old beast lying in the net, and at 4lb 5oz, it was yet another PB. I drove home from that session elated, and just thinking about those fish leaves me shaking all over again.

If you’re hoping for a huge crucian this spring, I’d urge you to give solid bags a go. They’ve been a true gamechanger for me this season and could be for you too!”

Well done David!