Huge crucian bonanza

Matthew Fernandez has been amongst the giant crucians (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Two stunning catches of crucian carp were taken last week, including a 4 lb giant caught by specimen ace Matthew Fernandez, part of a stunning catch from a local lake.

Southampton-based Matthew explained: “I arrived at the venue at first light to find it very busy, much more busy than usual, but there were a couple of swims on the bank where I wanted to be.

“With wind and rain forecast, I knew exactly where I wanted to be, and luckily that area was free. I opted to fish at my usual range of 50 yards."

“Not knowing how the venue had been fishing, I didn’t want to overdo it with bait, so I put out seven Spombs of Dynamite F1 groundbait mixed with 6 mm halibut pellets, Frenzied Hemp and a good lashing of hemp oil," he added.

“I fished two Drennan 35 g in-line flatbed Method feeders with 3-in. Drennan 6 lb micro braid hook links and size 16 Super Specialist wide gape hooks with a single buoyant fake white caster.

“I lost two carp just after 6am, then the action dried up. A little while later I landed two crucians, weighing 2 lb 12 oz and 2 lb 14 oz, but then it went quiet.

“After recasting, a 3 lb 9 oz crucian graced my net, then it went quiet again for a further two hours.

“At one moment I thought that would be it, but recasting the feeders regularly, keeping the bait going into the swim, did the trick, as usual.

“A few anglers were in my swim, socially distanced, of course, and we were all having a good bit of banter when my right rod roared off. Instantly I knew it was a crucian, and it felt big.

“The lads continued the banter, which made me feel very uneasy and under pressure, but I held my composure and landed a monster that went 3 lb 15 oz.

“I didn’t have time to do much before the left rod roared off and again I was into what felt like another good fish, only this time the crucian went 4 lb.

“The lads were as amazed as I was. But the crucians weren’t done yet.

“While taking photos of the brace, my rod was off again and I landed another at 3 lb 15 oz.

“The lads were bantering me, saying how honest I was and I could have had three ‘fours’ on the mat, but honesty is the best way, as karma always pays its way. Overwhelmed, I packed up early and headed home to spend the rest of the afternoon with my wife and two kids,” added Matt, a 33-year-old watch technician.

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.