Crucians - Golden Piranhas
Crucians, "I call them Golden Piranha", says John Ledger "and although I am no lover of carp I make an exception where this fish is concerned."
Crucian Carp - Golden PiranhasI HAD A call from my pal and fellow angler Mike Townsend to see if I fancied a session fishing for stillwater chub at a venue close to home and with chub being my favourite of all fish I readily agreed.
I was really looking forward to a bit of chub fishing when a little later in the day my mobile rang again. This time it was Mike saying a change of venue was the order of the day as the chub fishery was match booked. We had to find another venue and settled on a small picturesque lake about 20 minutes drive from my home which, among other species, held a few crucian carp, which is another fish I have time for and things were looking up. All we had to do was catch them.
Mike and I fish quite regularly together and we tend to go for the early start-early finish and we could even be classed as antisocial on the bank, both of us liking our own space with no time for skyliners. First sign of large groups of anglers turning up and we move off faster than we set up. I always work on the idea that if I want to fish with a load of anglers I would go back to fishing matches and there is not much chance of that happening these days.
Meeting up at around 4:30am we arrived at the venue, a small lake of about two acres with an average depth of 5 to 6ft with around 30 pegs and set up using two different methods. Mike opted for the pole while I went for a 15ft rod and loaded crystal insert waggler shotted with four No 6 locked two above two below the float. There was another No 6 below midway and a No 8 and No 10 as droppers, the float shotted to a tiny blip; virtually below the surface. Reel line is 2lb with a 1.5lb hook length and 20s hook which would be a pretty standard set up this end of the country.
Anyone not too familiar with crucian fishing should remember that this fish gives the most delicate of bites and you will always miss quite a few. Even though the float sinks slowly and the bite looks hard to miss you will miss your fair share (that's crucian fishing).
After starting off with red maggot and picking a few silver bream, skimmers, roach and rudd it was time to change to pellets, so off came the 18hook to be replaced by a size 15 wide gape barbless.
The next item on the agenda was to wet a few micro sinking pellets so that after about 15 minutes you can squeeze them into small balls and hand ball around the float. I also add a bit of liquidized hemp to the pellets and believe you me it works.
Another trick when fishing for crucians with corn is to squeeze the guts out of the corn and just hook the skin which leaves the fish feeling nothing and more fish in the net. When the going gets tough this method can really work.
It was not long before the float buried and I felt the solid zig zag of the first crucian and what a beautiful looking carp this fish is. I call them Golden Piranha without teeth and although I am no lover of carp I make an exception where this fish is concerned.
Looking over to Mike he was also bent into one and then we had them coming at regular intervals; nothing big, the largest would have been around the 1lb 4oz to 1lb 6oz class, but very welcome indeed. We do not get the large crucian like they get on southern waters and a fish of 2lb would be an exceptional specimen for this small lake.
The sound of voices plus the rain now coming down in lines meant it was time to pack in and go. As I stated earlier, on the bank we are very antisocial and anyway, I could call back at my local and become sociable again.