Catching crucian carp in the pre-spawning period

Gold, he is ordinary, and silver carp noticeably differ from each other not only in appearance, but also in habits. If the first one gives preference to stagnant lakes with a muddy bottom, then the second one also occurs on the current. In this case, we will talk about catching goldfish, the pre-spawning bite of which sometimes begins in mid-May in a friendly spring. I have long been convinced that it is most interesting to catch crucian carp in the pre-spawning period, when there is still no abundance of algae and soft vegetation – its main food. At the same time, the awakened organism of fish requires reinforcement of strength before the spawn.

I usually make my first trial trips to this fishing when the water in ponds and small lakes warms up to a temperature of at least 8 ° C. And after it reaches 15 ° C, it will already be a little late, since the bulk of the goldfish will then be engaged in the reproduction of offspring. Crucian carp tries to be more in motion in the spring. Firstly, it is quite natural after hibernation, when, as the crucian fishermen say, it is necessary to “cleanse”. And secondly, the water temperature is not the same even in the same reservoir in different places. Crucian carp goes where it is warmer and where there is food. In early spring, these are usually shallow waters warmed by the sun (depth 0.5-1 m). As for food objects, today they can be in one place, and tomorrow – in another. Plant and animal organisms that inhabit the surface layers of water, for example, in windy weather drift to the surf shore – it is here that you can find feeding crucians at this time.

In general, it must be said that in any crucian carp (lake, quarry, pond) there is no standing water in the full sense of the word, since even a slight breeze is blown, as the upper water layers begin to move. It should not be forgotten that all living creatures – insect larvae, crustaceans, molluscs – have their own “paths” in the reservoir, and after heavy rains there is a lot of animal food in it, washed away from coastal vegetation and steep banks.

Among the vegetable gardens

Around such megalopolises as Moscow, there are a great many summer cottages. They are located, as a rule, near water bodies and are often surrounded by reclamation and fire ditches. If the width of such a ditch, at least in some places, is 20-30 m and it is connected with a crucian lake or a pond, I advise you to come here in mid-May. It is quite possible that you will be lucky and you will get great pleasure from catching a quiet crucian carp that has wandered here … In my cage there were already six measured silver carps weighing about 400 g each, when the float with acceleration went to the side and disappeared under water. I strike and feel that this time in the crucian is at least a kilogram. The fishing line cuts the water, and I feverishly think that if the fish goes to the left, towards the flooded bush, I can’t keep it on a monofilament leash with a diameter of 0.10 mm.

Crucian carp “justified” my fears and, flashing a wide side at the very surface of the water, found freedom, easily winning the fight. And for a long time I could not cope with the excitement. Who would have thought that in a narrow ditch with rare clumps of last year’s grass and less than a meter deep there could be such worthy specimens! On the very same grandfather, everything was explained simply. On that day, and on subsequent ones, in the lake itself, located three hundred meters from the place where I fished in the ditch, there was no bite. The only small carp that I caught on the brush of bloodworms does not count. The conclusion was this: the local crucian carp does not wait for the water to warm up in a large reservoir, but goes to shallow water and canals, where there is more food and conditions for spawn are suitable.

Knowing of limits

Except perhaps for the plumb line fishing with a jig, in all other cases, bait is required when fishing for crucian carp. In this case, first of all, it is necessary to take into account the nutritional characteristics of this fish, which for the most part depends on the geographic location of the reservoir and the availability of certain food items of both plant and animal origin. In particular, the “planktivorous” of the goldfish is associated with the structural features of its gill apparatus (a large number of gill rakers). However, along with plankton and detritus, he also consumes larger food items: worms, larvae of various insects, crustaceans, etc. Although they make up a very insignificant percentage in his diet. Based on the foregoing, it is not difficult to understand that it is not so easy to please a crucian carp with bait. As for the flavors, a sense of proportion should be observed especially here. An unnatural “bouquet” of odors, and besides strong ones, such as anise, is more likely to scare away the fish than to attract.

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On a crust

Before spawning, crucian carp is usually caught on small dung worms. For small crucians, it is better to bait not a whole worm, but its pieces. In this case, it is not necessary to keep the worms in wet moss. However, before planting, squeeze the earth out of them and grind the tip. Such a slice for fish is a delicacy. In addition, the sting of the hook is less blunt. On 2-3 small dung beetles they catch “large ones”. They bait so that the worms wriggle on the hook. A large crucian carp rarely takes a lifeless and unnatural worm hanging on a hook, only when it is very hungry. In May, the goldfish also bites well on bloodworms and maggots, and at the beginning of June (sometimes earlier) it begins to give preference to vegetable nozzles – boiled semolina, “overstuff”, steamed oatmeal, pearl barley, etc. It also happens that, having tried a dozen nozzles, you will please the fastidious completely unexpectedly.

Somehow in early June I fed a place on a well-known pond, where in the morning I found a crucian carp in the reeds. There was a lot of duckweed nailed here by the wind near the shore. After a while, chains of bubbles began to rise from the bottom. The crucian carp approached and ate granulated feed with gusto, but rejected bloodworms, maggots, semolina, crumpled bread and other nozzles. And when, apart from bread in the form of a sliced ​​loaf, I had nothing to offer him, I cut out several neat oblong pieces from the top crust of the loaf with a sharp knife. I plant one of them and make a cast. A minute passes, then another. The float rose several times and went under the water … An hour later, more than a dozen decent crucians fluttered in the cage. Almost all of them were caught on a crust of bread without the use of attractants.

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A little about tackle

Despite the fact that crucian carp has a fairly strong resistance when playing, the tackle for catching it needs thin. In spring, as a rule, three main methods of fishing are used: with a float rod, tackle for long-distance casting and a plumb line on a jig. I like to fish more with a float rod with a blind rig. The main line (monofilament) with a diameter of 0.12-0.14 mm, the leash is thinner by 0.02 mm. Its length is about 15 cm. The rod should not be rigid, as the crucian carp has weak lips. The hook is selected depending on the type of nozzle and the estimated size of the crucian carp (usually from No. 3 to No. 5 according to domestic numbering). It is very important that the float / shot set system is carefully balanced. Only in this case you will have fewer empty bites.

Experience does not come immediately

Practice shows that when fishing for such an unpredictable fish as crucian carp, success largely depends on the angler’s ability to be in the right place in time. And for this you need to be an observant person: to thoroughly study the reservoir and the behavior of the crucians living in it. And, of course, write down your observations. This article, by the way, is almost entirely prepared on the basis of the diary entries that I have kept for many years. As for the features of equipping the crucian carp, improving the methods of fishing, this is already a separate topic for a detailed discussion.

Vladimir Kazantsev