Still determined to get some crucian action before the season starts I went back to snitterfield pretty much exactly one week after my last visit. Though the place could not have been more different. Gone was the clear skies and early morning sun, replaced by cloudy speckled skies and a stiff breeze. The night before I had messaged Andy to see if he fancied a trip out and when I arrived to a busy snit he was already set up on the windward end of the lake. Leaning out of my car window bidding him good morning Andy told me he had already seen a few crucians topping in the area. With the car stowed I walked back to fish a swim I have never fished but had heard it can be a quite good.
Again I went with the long rod and pole float combination, whilst a short zig was placed into the margin for good luck (lucky it was not.) After putting a few small balls of pellet laced ground bait tight to a over hanging tree I cast a tiny blob of paste over it. I had purposely bought no maggots with me to prevent a repeat of last week. The stiff breeze was getting worse as the morning progressed and I had the horrible feeling that the ripple caused by this was working against my bait presentation. The crucians here can, like all other crucians I have ever encountered before, bite very shyly. So getting the right balance between being able to present the bait well enough for them to pick it up and being able to register those tiny bites can be very hard.
After an hour of sitting on my bait all I had to show for my efforts was a skimmer and a couple of roach. The cloud breaking and the sun peeping through heralded a change and soon I began to see some tiny bubbles pop up over my bait., though my hopes were again soon dashed as with the warmth came stronger winds and the ripples became more like small waves.
I stuck it out as long as I could but with every gust of wind my confidence drained away. Walking round to chat with Andy I soon realised that a little way up the bank the wind was alot less vigorous, so a move was in order. Five minutes chatting to Andy who was fishing the pole close in and I could see the difference a well dotted down float controlled by a short line made; as he was hitting bites my crude set up would never even register. After moving to a swim up the bank I again baited with ground bait. But this time my pole float was kept on a very short line directly under the rod tip. Sadly it made little difference. The bites were so shy even from the roach population who had last week plagued me. I did bag another better roach and bump of a couple of fish but sadly my lack of finesse today had let me down.
Once we had both had enough I went over to see what short of a catch Andy had amassed whilst I had been staring at my float. An impressive hall of roach, hybrids, perch, bream and a single crucian lay in the bottom of his net. When asked it turned out that none of the other anglers fishing today had fared much better than me so Andy's slick pole tactics put him at the top of the pile on a all round poor day.
So it would seem that this self confessed lead chucker will have to delve deep into his shed and search out my dust covered pole and make up some more refined rigs if I am to really get the best from this lake.