I think I might be in love with a fish.... or should I say I am in love with the idea of what a specific fish should look like. You see this year I have tried to be a little more species-specific in targeting what and when. For an extreme example, carp fishing in January would be a no-no, whereas pike fishing in October would be an, ooh yes. Though these are extreme examples it gives an idea of what I have tried to do. The whole reason I am attempting to keep up with this ethos is quite simply a case of time management. Having so many species I wish to fish for throughout the year it makes sense for me to fish at the optimum times when I am more likely to catch them, rather than wasting time fishing fruitlessly for other species because want has superseded sense. It is this want that has in the past resulted in me missing my window of opportunity to fish for one species whilst fishing for other. It was one such missed opportunity, and the species involved, which inspires me now.
I nearly went to the canal the weekend just passed, but when the idea of returning to Snitterfield to fish for Crucians arose, it just seemed the right fish at the right time. I still kind of regret not fishing it last year and having done so well already there this year I had to go back again, and boy, how well it went.
To regale a story of me fishing a classical lift float would be an honour, but it would also so be a lie. As great as this method is for registering awkward bites I think in all honesty there is more sensitive methods. You see, once upon a time I harboured a real passion to become a garish clothing clad match man; I had all the gear and diligently practised the art of pole fishing, and although that phase of fishing passed for me lot of the techniques I learnt have become very useful parts of my now more specimen orientated approach.
Specifically two aspects of pole fishing have blended integrally to my crucian fishing. The first is the use of a pole pot. Quiet, accurate and reliable these ninja like devices get bait onto tiny areas with zero noise and disturbance. They even allow you to do as I did on this occasion and deposit small compacted balls of ground bait which break down on the bottom along with loose fluffy ground bait which clouds up the water dispersing scent far and wide at the same time.
The second is the use of float floats. Until anyone truly begins pole fishing a lot they have zero appreciation for the millions of types of pole floats available, or what they are used for and when. The simple fact that makes me use them time and time again is the resistance factor of zero they possess. This is where they win out for me over any other methods float fishing for crucians. The tiniest rise on even the finest float fished lift float style translated to a pole float is a sail away.
So Sunday morning I arrived a very low reservoir and began plumbing up the spot I liked with my 4 x 10 kc carpa straight ace float. The float was only one part of my attack for the session and the other main component was a fourteen foot float rod which I intended to use rather like a pole to keep my rig on a very short line. With a clear level spot located I potted quite a large quantity of my all time favourite Bait tech special G green ground bait in along with some generous amounts of 3mm halibut pellets. It is at this point that I think the match angler in me might have been thinking 'I might be overdoing it a bit' and where the specimen angler in me would was just telling me to 'wedge it in and they will come'.
By the time I had finished setting up, the spot was bubbling like a cauldron and I was thinking I may have done for the crucians and attracted the bream, but first flick in my pellet made it to the bottom unhindered then the float dipped slightly before sliding away and my first crucian juddered off around the swim.
The first cast contacting a crucian was a good sign. Then the flood gates opened and they flowed through one after another. I was truly amazed at how much of a dominant force this new stock of crucians have become in snitterfield. I landed easily ten of them before they went off the boil and not one other species managed to get a look in. Their growth rate seem phenomenal too! I caught a few of these on my last visit only two months ago and compared to then the average size seems to have increased by a large amount. Every single one was immaculate. Deepening bodies, scale perfect and fighting fit.
After topping up the swim I switched to fishing an up-in-the-water rig over a area I had been trickling maggots onto. I am little haunted by a roach I saw caught a few years ago which was massive hence every time I have fished snitterfield since I have always spent some time fishing up in the water where these roach seem to hang out in the summer. Before even switching to this second line I had seen swirls of flashing silver shortly after each pouch of maggots went out.
First chuck I hooked a strong fish which turned out to be a roach bream hybrid of well over two pounds. Then after that it was pretty much all roach! I had five around a pound on the trot. The biggest being this long lean 1.3lb fish. In autumn condition it would easy make one and half and if it had a deeper body type it might even make that sacred weight on a good day.
Its surprising how much maggot you can use trying to keep these fish frenzied up in the water. In no time at all I was scrabbling around in the bait tub trying to scrounge the last of my two pints of maggots up for freebies. With them gone so were the fish, just like that.
Maggots gone it was straight back onto the inside line after those perfect little pixies. And they were there and waiting. Six or more brought a smile to my face before a carp turned up. I wasn't as lucky as on my last visit and the culprit smashed me up quicker than I could blink. I once watched a carp clean out a swim I had built up all morning in about two or three sucks here at snitters. So before re-rigging I once again topped up the swim.
After settling back into the swing of thing the crucians came along in small spurts. Once I caught one then three, four or five more would follow in quick succession. The only thing that put a dampener on this crock of gold was the slowly increasing rain. Thinking it would only be a shower I neglected to bother with the umbrella and as the wind was coming straight into my face it just would never of worked. Even with the crucians still obliging I could feel my self getting wetter and wetter even though the water proof top was holding off most of it, the damp still found its way into my clothes.
By the time I had had enough of the incessant rain I reckon I had landed maybe twenty five or more of these perfect little crucians and although I didn't get into any of the big old fish this session has reiterated to me of what potential this water now has.
With so many text book crucians like this one feeding as hard as they are and seeming growing so fast Leamington angling association might well have one of the top crucian waters in the entire country on their hands in years to come, and I just love them so I can see me being a Leamington member for years to come.