Specimen angler James Champkin has continued his impressive run of form with his most recent outing producing a haul of big crucians – this stunning 3lb 15oz example the highlight.
The fish is the fifth different personal best which the 22-year-old from Norfolk has added to his CV this season, capturing pb bream, rudd, eel and barbel in the last couple of months as well.
“With summer coming to an end I was keen to catch a really big crucian before I missed my opportunity,” he told Angling Times.
After wandering around a local stillwater the day before his session he spotted a good-sized crucian show in a particular area of the lake on the end of a warm wind. Heading to the same area the next morning he setup a flatbed method feeder, around which he moulded a sweet fishmeal groundbait, in conjunction with a 6mm pellet hookbait. This was then cast to a clear area at 30yds range.
“It didn’t take long to start getting indications and then my rod wrapped round moments later,” said James. “I knew instantly that it was a crucian by the way it was fighting - a series of dips on the rod tip as the fish tried to shake the bait. When I finally got it to the net I thought there was a chance it could be a new personal best.”
He prediction proved correct and the scales registered a weight of 3lb 15oz, breaking his old pb for the species by 1lb 11oz.
He returned the next day and using identical tactics added five more specimen crucians to his tally with fish of 3lb 8oz, 3lb 1oz, 2lb 11oz, 2lb 7oz and 2lb 6oz.
“I think the key to catching big crucians is to feed a sweet, vibrant groundbait with small particle baits on the hook. “You’ll catch a lot of tench and roach this way too but eventually the crucians will show,” he added.