“Fishing PVA bags for crucians has transformed my catches” – David Brice

4lb 5oz, 4lb 4oz and 4lb 2oz crucians on big carp tactics...

by Angling Times |

“The Method feeder has become one of the deadliest tools around for catching crucians, but by switching to solid PVA bags instead I’ve just had what truly is the catch of a lifetime.

“I’ve been targeting a Surrey stillwater with a reputation for huge fish, and they see a lot of Method and open-end feeders, generally filled with groundbait with fake casters on the hook.

“As effective as feeders are, I’ve found that offering the fish a different presentation can really boost your catches. This has come in the form of a solid PVA bag, packed full of attraction, like the ones used in big-carp fishing.

“During the day, I fish standard Method and open-end feeders, which I recast regularly to build up a bed of feed. Come the evening, I switch to the solid bags, which I fill with crumbed boilies and micro pellets, before injecting them with a bait soak liquid to boost attraction. My hookbait is a hi-viz 10mm topper, popped-up about 10mm, and the whole set-up stands out well over the bed of feed I’ve built up.

“I put these tactics to the test on a recent trip and had a phenomenal result. I managed to get into a swim where I’d had a good session the previous week, which was handy as my rods were still clipped up to the spots I’d been fishing!

“With 50mph winds forecast to be blowing into my bank, it was serious big-fish weather, and my hopes were high. I started on standard feeder tactics with fake caster hookbaits, and at 7.30am on the first morning I had a bite and slipped the net under a 4lb 4oz crucian – which was a new PB and a great start to the session.

“I spent the day regularly casting the feeders, building a bed of bait, and at midday I had a smaller fish of 2lb 14oz. By evening, I’d fed a pint of casters and 1kg of groundbait.

“As the sun dipped, I switched to solid bags and cast them out at about 8.30pm. One went right on the spot, the other just on the edge of it. After a couple of tench, I had another bite from a hard-fighting fish, and when a huge, young-looking crucian surfaced, I knew it was yet another specimen. At 4lb 2oz, it was already an amazing night. I put the kettle on, recast, and before it had boiled the rod was away again, this time with a 3lb 2oz fish.

“The night wore on, and after no more bites for a while I started to wonder if the crucians had ‘done the off’. Just as I began mixing a new batch of groundbait for the morning, the bobbin shot up but then sat still. Thoughts rushed through my mind – should I pick it up? My questions were soon answered as the alarm screamed into life.

“At first I suspected a carp had muscled in, but when I flicked the headlight on I saw a huge dinner plate of a fish and realised it was another special crucian. It was a gnarled old beast lying in the net, and at 4lb 5oz, it was yet another PB.

“I drove home from that session elated, and just thinking about those fish leaves me shaking all over again.

“If you’re hoping for a huge crucian this spring, I’d urge you to give solid bags a go. They’ve been a true game changer for me this season!”

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