The plan for this morning was to try a well known local lake where I've fished in the past for a morning stint bagging a few 2lbers and with an outside chance of something bigger. For the challenge I also need to catch a king carp of some kind, so a sleeper rod complete with pop up would have been lobbed out in hope of a nice bonus fish. Unfortunately when I arrived there was a match on, bugger !
So onto Plan B - head to a club ticket lake to fish for cru's of a smaller stamp, but they'd be crucians at least. After waisting over an hour driving round the Midlands I was finally set up and ready to fish for about 9:30am. Using a float rod and pin with one of my own crowquill float efforts ( they're actually rook quills), crude but as I found out, perfectly functional and sensitive enough for these shy biting scallys.
A swim on the deepest side of the pool along the dam wall was chosen, in a quiet corner next to an overhanging bush. A few balls of some old method mix I had knocking around in the shed with some added green betaine swim stim combined to make a nice seedy, crunchy ground bait that would get any fish in the area picking over the tasty morsels it contained, hopefully they'd home in on my hookbaits too.
A few roach and rudd, no more than bait size, were first to the table taking caster on the hook, which was pleasing as I knew the float was doing the job it was designed for. After a while though, I started to think that I would go home with out landing any crucians. I changed the size 16 hook for a small red drennan size 20 maggot hook and stuck on a red maggot. It wasn't long before I was hitting a sudden sharp bite, the float disappearing and the rod bending into a thumping fish that circled round and round in a familiar motion. Was it a tench, was it a crucian ? the first boil on the surface didn't give away its identity until a sudden flop on the surface as it gave up and I quickly slipped the net under my first buttery bar of gold of the summer.
|A badly over exposed shot, rescued slightly by a bit of grey scalling !|
After a little trouble with the scales during the weighing, the battery running out at a crucial moment, I swapped it for a spare and was able to give the fish a number. Shame it wasn't the prettiest crucian I've ever seen, with an old injury or deformed tail and a bit of a manky mouth !
A small tench came to the net next, one that also took a red maggot.
The sun finally came out about 12 noon and it was almost as good as a summers day, it didn't seem to affect the fishing as I managed four crucians in total and a few more roach and rudd.
It was interesting when the bites started to get more and more finicky as time wore on - as if they were learning that something was up. Changing the bait to corn or caster didn't help either as I could only hook any fish using red maggot. They did play about with other baits at times, but the bites were so miniscule it was near impossible to decearn them as bites. Proves the point that it's always a good idea to have a selection of baits to see what works best on the day.
The average stamp seems to be about a 1lb in this pool now with me landing three at a pound or more and just one under that mark. This is a nice improvement since I last fished for the crucians here about 3 years ago. Who knows, if they are still on an upward trend and keep packing on the weight they could be averaging 2lb plus in the coming years.