The mornings and nights are closing in and there is a chill in the air - it’s very nearly pike time. But before it’s too late I fancied a crack at a neglected summer favourite - the crucian.
To The Farm! I fished one rod on the mag ‘n’ wag, on the other I fished the method feeder with scaled down hair-rigged halibut pellet on a bite alarm - traditional verses modern approaches.
I landed dozens of rudd, roach and perch on maggot - and the pellet accounted for three crucians, 1lb 12oz, 1lb 14½oz & 2lb 9½oz plus a bonus tench at 3lb 9oz. Beautiful fish, glad I didn’t miss my chance.
Baffling: All three crucians ripped the rod off the rest on the lead - I couldn’t hit their bites on the float - how can something that bites so delicately on the float be so aggressive on the lead?
Stick ‘n’ pin, half a loaf of bread and an afternoon on the river. And it started so well; four roach, three over a pound; 1lb 0oz, 1lb 2oz & 1lb 3oz and six gudgeon - the biggest of which flicked out of my hand before I could weigh it - definitely over 2oz.
Then my centerpin fell to pieces in my hands - I couldn’t have tightened the screw properly last time I cleaned it. I reassembled it but dirt had got in - my trip was done - back home to wash, oil and reassemble it properly - now it needs a test - I’ll be back...
I cast out a ledgered cube of meat and in the clear water I watched a barbel rush towards it before it had settled - I thought this is going to be quick - but the barbel inspected it and backed away.
The barbel seemed to be alone in the pool and over the next 20 minutes came and examined the meat a couple of dozen times - didn’t touch it, no indication of it’s presence on the rod tip.
I’d given up hope of it taking the bait - but interesting behaviour to watch. Then it grabbed the bait and tried to steal the rod! Makes you wonder what is really going on in this normally hidden world.
There can be no better tackle review that using an item to destruction and replacing it like for like. So even though I rarely mention brand names I’m going to have to recommend the Korum Day Sack. I’ve had the old one for nearly six years and I’ve really put it through a rough ride! Right then; time for a quick test...
I’ve seen this koi swimming about numerous times, but being highly visible she’s seen it all before - still I couldn’t resist. An early start and I positioned myself upstream, floating bits of bread down to her, she examined each piece but wouldn’t commit.
After 15 or 20 minutes she finally sucked in a bit of crust - the next one had a hook in it! Hell of a scrap in the fast water - what a beauty - had to get a quick photo of both sides. Mission accomplished I celebrated with a few splasher barbel.
For the barbel records: 5½lb, 1½lb, ½lb & ½lb (84)