The most recent Association of Crucian Anglers fish-in took place at Hinderclay lakes in Suffolk. The fishery is more known for it's match fishing then it's crucian fishing but is gaining a reputation for producing big catches of crucians. It's not unusual to have in excess of 20-30 in a day session with most fish being in the 1-2lb range. Plus the odd bigger 2lber. The lake we would be angling on was Spring lake. The largest on the complex. Stuart, the owner of the venue kindly reserved the whole of the deep water bank for the fish-in. There were 7 members fishing so this gave us plenty of choice. There were classic crucian swims all along the bank with Lillie’s, overhanging trees and reed lined margins.
Chris Netto was not setting his stall out completely for crucians and had a ledger out for the Perch. Commercial waters like this often produce big Perch. He had been getting constant bites using prawns as hook baits but up to now only small Perch were falling to his rod. One fish coughed up a small Roach so the Perch were feeding well. As the evening was drawing ever closer there was the hope a bigger fish may come along. Alas the bigger fish stayed a mystery so maybe it would be worth a go for them come the Autumn?
By mid afternoon everyone was pretty hungry. Our hunger was postponed for a while as earlier Robert Turrell made a trip to the local shop and bought ice cream for everyone. It was much appreciated as the sun was shining all day! Good for the tan but not for the fishing! We all gathered around the bbq and tucked into the burgers and sausages (not so much the salad). We had a good feed and a good chin wag about all things fishy before getting back to our swims and settling for the night.
Evening fell and it was getting increasingly difficult to see the float. Kevin dropped a method feeder in the margin and within a few minutes had a take that turned out to be a Cucian of 1lb 8oz. A few of the guys came equipped to float fish through the night and had several crucians between them. Others elected to get some sleep and make an early start the following morning.
The 2nd day continued in the same fashion as the 1st with a steady trickle of crucians falling to float tactics. Luncheon meat and pellet paste seemed to catch well. Chris Turnbull ended up with around ten crucians to 2lb 4oz and most of the lads had 4-8 crucians each. While nowhere near as prolific as it can be we still managed to net around 40 between 7 of us. Not forgetting the ravenous bream!
If you can make it to Hinderclay you may be in for one of the big catches it is getting a reputation for. It will be well worth the trip!