“I don’t normally target crucian carp until late spring, but with strong, warm, south westerly winds blowing in recently, I decided to rip up my normal plans, have a crack for them, and I ended up catching what for me is truly the fish of a lifetime!”
“I don’t normally target crucian carp until late spring, but with strong, warm, south westerly winds blowing in recently, I decided to rip up my normal plans, have a crack for them, and I ended up catching what for me is truly the fish of a lifetime! Most of my crucian fishing is done at Sugar Mill Ponds, in Goole, East Yorkshire, not far from my home in Hull. But a few times a year I make the 500-mile round trip to a Surrey stillwater that holds some truly special fish. Usually, I wait for the weather to warm up a bit, but with a brief mild spell forecast I headed down for a two-night session.
Upon arrival, the car park was deserted, and I quickly dropped a chair and bag in a swim I’ve never fished before but that looked ideal in the conditions, with a strong south westerly blowing into the bank. I rigged up a pair of ultra-light feeder rods with 2oz Feeders. Usually, I use 1oz, but I decided to up the size due to the wind. My hookbait would be fake casters or boilies, fished on a size 16 and surrounded by sweet Method mix groundbait, crammed onto the feeder.
Generally, I introduce a spod mix of hemp, dead maggots, and small pellets, but on this session, I just had a feeling that I wouldn’t need it, so never bothered. I wanted to keep a bit of bait going through the swim though, so recast my feeders every 30 minutes using the line clip for accuracy, to build up little areas of feed. My crucian PB was 3lb 3oz, caught two years ago from the same lake. I really wanted to beat that, and at 8pm, the right-hand rod took off, giving a typical crucian bite of a few bleeps before going off again a few seconds later.
Lifting gently into the fish, it headed sideways in the shallow water. I got the other rod out of the way and netted it in my headlight beam. At 3lb 6oz, I was delighted with a new PB, but the best was yet to come! I recast, but almost as soon as I set the rod down, the other one was off and a 2lb 6oz fish was soon returned. At 1am, the right-hand signalled another take, and this time the scales showed 3lb 10oz – another PB.
Come 8am the next morning, I recast and within seconds another fish took the bait. Initially, I thought it was a tench, but after a little while I realised it was a crucian. Lifting it onto the bank, I wondered if it could be my first ‘four’. It was thick across the shoulders – much more so than the others. Weighing 4lb 5oz, it was less than half a pound off the British record! The next bite turned out to be from a 25lb 8oz mirror carp, and 30 minutes after that I landed a 7lb 1oz tench – both of which were new PBs as well! I’d managed five PBs in the space of 24-hours, plus my first 4lb crucian.
There’s some great fishing to be had when we get mild spells at this time of the year, so if you’ve got your sights set on a specimen crucian this year, get out at the first opportunity is my advice… you may just bag a big one earlier than you expected!”
Great fishing Mike!