Today, by dint of a late change of Judy's mind and therefore of family timing I found that I had an entire post - work evening free to fish in, if I wished, and as the weather seemed to be on the mend after yesterday's spat, I thought it would be rude not to.
I returned first to the scene of my new rudd personal best and ten pound total catch of said species just yesterday, just to see if they were still there and biting freely, but they weren't really biting at all; the wind had swung around a full 180 degrees since and I had a hard time finding three below average fish in two hours of fishing. I'm starting to see that that rudd are seriously affected by any unsettling weather variations, they do seem to like a bit of chop on the water but not sudden changes in direction.
Of course, knowing that I was wasting my time there, I then moved over to Parkers Pool to have another crack at the crucians thinking that if I could find just one, I would be more than happy, for now, having failed to locate them in all my previous attempts. Thinking that perhaps it was the corn and meat that had failed me I started off on maggots. This proved to be the start of a change of tack when perch after perch began to come to hand and I then began to think, with gratifying numbers of stripies filling the keep net, that I could now safely pursue a perch challenge point and leave the crucians till another day.
This would have been a good idea if the perch had kept coming but after I'd put together twenty or more small fish for a pound and half, the bites suddenly and finally stopped altogether. "Perhaps that was it?" I thought. "The entire perch population of the pond!"
I tried another swim and had a couple more perch of no size whatsoever but it wasn't happening so I released the fish and decided to spend the rest of the evening fishing corn — a prospect that was not actually very appealing anymore, as all I had ever caught with it in this pond were silver fish of one description or another or between. Nevertheless, I certainly weren't going to cave in, go home and scratch my nads watching the footie, especially as I had spent all my beer money on bait earlier in the day.
Half-heartedly I cast my corn, expecting once again to fail to find the elusive crucians. The very first bite looks just like any bite from the numerous resident hybrids, except on contact that is, when the fish tears around the swim like a bat out of hell. Strewth! My first Parkers Pool crucian, surely?
Unfortunately, not — on closer inspection I find barbules — it's a little common carp. Drat. Foiled again...still, it's the first carp I've had from the pond, of any type. Interestingly the fish was minus both its pelvic fins with only stumps remaining and so, as all carp must be named, let's call him 'Legless.'
I recast to the same spot. The float settles and dithers, lifts a little and then settles again. This keeps happening, over and over, but I am waiting for positive action as I have become conditioned to expect it. Ot of sheer curiosity I try to hit one of the tiny lifts of the float and am surprised to find myself fighting another carp, only this one turns up most definitely, sans barbules...
A crucian, yeehah!
Now I am chasing a point! I have a couple of hours of light, half a tin of corn for feed and bait. Every little movement of the float is a potential increment toward it. I must earn it! This is my best chance yet...!
I'm amazed to find that hitting the small movements gains me another fish shortly after the first and about the same size, and then twenty minutes later another fish, this time over a pound weight. All come from the same spot a rod length out next to the weeds. Infuriatingly the crucian bites then stop when the hybrids move in and I wonder if they will ever return. Three fish is just not going to get me there, I'm afraid.
I cast around the swim exploring my options but it starts looking hopeless until the light starts to fade when I suddenly find another crucian. Game back on, it seems. Sure enough, the fish have come back and I land a further two in the next half hour. Blimey, they are exciting to fish for but I believe I have now passed the finishing post — thinking these six fish will be probably just enough I pull the net and weigh the catch...
Five pounds exactly. That'll do, ta very much!
I fish on just to see if I can get one more to put the whole thing to bed with and lo, another fish in the nick of time!
Along the way home I am thinking of all the tiny little bites that I have ignored over the previous sessions believing that all were from silver fish...