My preferred hook baits are small hookable pellets such as the aforementioned Sonubaits’ 6mm S Pellets or small 6mm Imitation Pellets from Enterprise Tackle. These two baits have accounted for 95% of my crucians over the last two years.  I always take a few change baits with me such as corn and small 10mm boilies just in case.

Crucians are one of my favourite species to target during the spring and early summer and for me the sight of their golden scales glistening in the sun is hard to beat; this feature looks at my approach to putting these most delightful of fish on the bank.

Crucian Carp are batch spawners, with females able to produce approximately 100,000 eggs/kg of bodyweight, the adhesive eggs are released over vegetation. This often takes place after rainfall when water temperatures are above 18°C, the eggs are spherical, yellow-orange, and are about 1.5 mm in diameter, they remain attached to vegetation until they hatch after around 4-days.

The age of Crucian Carp to attain sexual maturity will vary with environmental conditions, with individuals in warmer regions generally maturing faster than those in colder ones. Most Crucian Carp mature between 2-5 years of age, at approximately 9cm (3.5”), with males generally maturing a year earlier than females.

Whilst shooting this feature I put the tactics and baits I have mentioned into practice and bagged 15 crucians for the camera, the best just short of the magical four pound barrier, weighing in at 3lb 14oz.   This just goes to show that refining your tactics and adopting a positive approach will often pay dividends. 

Aside from confusion in nomenclature, there is the practical issue of distinguishing true crucian carp from goldfish hybrids in, e.g., competitive coarse fishing. The following is based on a similar table of guidelines constructed by the Farnham Angling Society:[17]

I'm pleased to say that 'Crock of Gold, Seeking the Crucian Carp', as you know the only book devoted entirely to the species, is being reprinted and you can get a copy from Amazon or from the publishers, MPress (Media) Ltd., on 0845 408 2606 or at Calm Productions. The First Edition is now out of print and already collectable.

A reliable main line able to deal with the stresses and strains of casting feeders regularly, not to mention handling tench and carp is paramount. 

Bury Hill Fisheries, The Boathouse, Old Bury Hill, Westcott, Nr Dorking, Surrey, RH4 3JU. Tel: (01306) 877540 Fax:(01306) 877545 Email:

The most popular and effective baits used to catch Crucian Carp are maggots, casters, chopped worms, sweet corn and small cubes of luncheon meat.

Feeding is very important when crucian fishing, many anglers rely on a light baiting approach but I prefer the complete opposite with a more positive approach and feed heavily in a bid to attract the cucians to dine. Using a little feed but lots of attraction in my groundbait mix allows me to do this and this approach throws what has been written in the crucian textbook completely out of the window. 

Many sources state that the goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) is a cultivated breed of crucian carp taken from the wild. Since "crucian carp" is the name of the genus this is not strictly wrong, but certainly ambiguous and misleading. Genetic research has shown that the goldfish actually derives from the Prussian carp Carassius gibelio.[citation needed]

If you can get hold of it, 'The Net on the Garage Wall' may be of interest. It was published by Medlar Press in 1997 and tells the story of my "watery experiences". Amongst all the fishing stories is quite a lot about restoring small ponds and lakes and my early experiences of fishery management. You can always learn from my mistakes!

Due to the range I fish at I use a spod to introduce my groundbait and there is no doubt crucians are attracted to the sound of a spod hitting the water. Many times I have had received bites in shallow water whilst spodding directly over the top of a hookbait and often when a swim goes quiet a few spods of bait will see the action continue. Ring the dinner bell and the results will follow!

The crucian is a medium-sized cyprinid, typically 15 cm in body length,[4] and rarely exceeds in weight over 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds).[citation needed] But a maximum total length of 64.0 cm is reported for a male,[5] and the heaviest published weighed 3 kilograms.[4]

I base my feed around a fine groundbait mix consisting of Sonubaits F1 Dark and Supercrush Green mixed 50/50.  This creates a lovely dark coloured mix.  I add very little feed to this, just a sprinkling of 2mm Sonubaits’ S pellets. I like to rely heavily on the strong sweet fishmeal of this mix to attract crucians into the swim to feed. 

Crucians will often ‘tell you’ where to fish and often give away their presence at dawn and dusk by rolling in their favorite haunts.  A few evenings spent at your chosen venue are never wasted.  Look for any areas that have depth and features close to the margins, these will often be a winner.

These carp are also occasionally kept as freshwater aquarium fish, as well as in water gardens, although they are not commonly available commercially, mainly because they are not in particularly high demand due to the presence of more colourful fish such as the koi or orfe.

I think that Medlar are planning to reprint this book in a cheaper edition. The more people who phone them about it, the quicker it will happen!

Crucian Carp are a shoaling fish and swim with others of the same age and size, often found in year classes and moving around in large groups, they can however be very shy and are easily spooked by bank side disturbance and are shy biters.

As with all feeder fishing accuracy is paramount.  Stops knots used in conjunction with a line clip are vital and the more accurate you are, the more bites you get.

The crucian carp is also the type species for the genus, which has led to confusion in the taxonomy of species native to East Asia.[citation needed]

The variation in shape of a crucian carp can be very high. When cohabiting waters where predatory such as pike or perch fish are present, there occurs an induced change in the morphology of the population, from a sleeker to a deeper bodied form,[11] into almost perfect disc shape with well-rounded fins, making it difficult for predators to swallow the crucian carp.[12]

Yes, there is a big part in crucian fishing for watching a sensitively-shotted float with pin prick bubbles surfacing around it and pitting your wits and reflexes against this supposed wily creature.  Yet sometimes these methods don’t suit the venue or style of fishing needed to catch really big crucians. Imagine sitting by a lake all day waiting for that one all-important bite, the float disappears and a strike is met...with thin air. Frustrating indeed! 

In Russia, this particular species is called Russian: Золотой карась meaning "golden crucian", and is one of the fish used in a borscht recipe called borshch c karasej[21] (Russian: Борщ с карасе́й)or borshch c karasyami Russian: Борщ с карася́ми).

Whilst the Crucian and Prussian Carp species are closely related, the following table lists the visually different characteristics that will aid your correct identification:

Scientific Name: Carassius carassius Maximum Weight: 4lb 9oz 9dr Average Weight: 6oz - 1lb 8oz Average Length: 6 – 12 inches Life Span: 10 years

Crucians have traditionally been known as tentative feeders and sensitive float fishing tactics at dawn and dusk have been the accepted textbook way to target this species but I think it is fair to say that as specimen fishing has moved forward, tackle, techniques and rigs have become more refined and there is another approach.

Except when very young, during which this time they feed only on plankton crustaceans, the fish are omnivores and adult fish will eat almost anything in the water such as insect larvae, crustaceans and water plants.

In terms of freshwater catches of C. Crassius (read Carassius spp.), FAO's 2006 statistics show 5.53 thousand tons harvested, which ranked 13th worldwide among freshwater fishes caught. The breakdown was Kazakhstan 2.2, Japan 1.12, Serbia 0.84, Moldova 0.19, Uzbekistan 0.19, Poland 0.13.[18] In these figures, the tonnage from European countries may represent C. Crassius in some part.

When it comes to venues for catching a big true crucian, look no further than the Marsh Farm complex run by Godalming Angling Society.  This ticket has been widely known for its massive crucian carp for a number of years now and many anglers have walked away with a big smile on their face after netting a personal best.  Yes, other venues do exist, but for the sheer number of big crucians, Marsh Farm is hard to beat.

The crucian carp (Carassius carassius) is a medium-sized member of the common carp family Cyprinidae. It occurs widely in northern European regions.

Crucian Carp

Scientific studies in Sweden have shown that if predators like Pike or Perch are present in a water they can affect population densities and size structures. In lakes with predators, Crucian Carp attain dense populations and grow in length rather than height with fish becoming slender, whereas lakes without predators have been found to contain lower numbers of larger, deep-bodied individuals.

6lb Hydro Flo from Gardner Tackle is my favourite; this sinks well allowing me to do away with heavy tubing or flying backleads that some anglers favour.  When it comes to feeders, I find a weight around 25-30grams ideal and there are many good designs on the market these days and most fit the bill perfectly.  When it comes to hook lengths I prefer Gardner Target fluorocarbon in 5lb breaking strain with a short length of around three to four inches ideal.

When it comes to rigs simplicity is the key, there is no need for complicated set ups when crucian fishing. 

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To add to all this, ecological factors such as predatory pressure, can result in variations in the body shape of purebred Crucian's. They can be either deep bodied or shallow bodied: with the typically deep-bodied disc shaped fish being strongly arched dorsally whereas the shallow-body form is more typically elongated and tapered at both ends, known as fusiform.

It has been suggested that this is a heavily farmed fish worldwide; FAO's newest statistics from 2008 (pub. 2011) shows total production C. Crassius at 1,957,337 tonnes, worth US$2,135,857,000, ranked 9th in worldwide in aquaculture, including marine fish and crustaceans,[18] however this statistics treats the Asian C. gibelio carp as a subspecies of the European crucian carp,[19] and it is evident that the greater bulk of this number is from the Asian fish farmed in China.[19]

Carassius carassius is a widely distributed European species, its range spanning from England to Russia; it is found as far north as the Arctic Circle in the Scandinavian countries, and as far south as central France and the region of the Black Sea.[2] Its habitat includes lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. It has been established that the fish is native to England and not introduced.[3]

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