Catch a Crucian Competition back and bigger than ever!

The Angling Trust and the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP) have once again teamed up with the Association of Crucian Anglers to organise the Catch a Crucian photographic competition. Thanks to Bait-Tech and Angling Direct there are some great prizes of offer, with entries to be judged by a panel of leading crucian crusaders including Hugh Miles from Passion for Angling, the author and crucian expert Peter Rolfe, angling artist Chris Turnbull and big fish specialist Gary Newman.

The competition, which is open to all and will run throughout June, July and August, is designed to promote crucians as a species, to assist in the recognition of true crucians, to encourage more anglers to take up crucian fishing and to highlight the need to develop specific crucian waters.

Ollie Cater 2

Since its launch four years ago, the NCCP has inspired interest from all over the country with clubs and fishery owners creating a number of new, bespoke crucian fisheries. They were often helped by the Environment Agency’s fish farm at Calverton who increased their production of true crucians to support these stocking initiatives. Crucian production at Calverton between 2013 and 2016 saw a staggering total of 152,046 DNA tested crucians stocked into 195 separate waters.

Recently established bespoke crucian waters include: Little Melton Lakes in Norfolk; Rocklands Mere and Mill Lodge Farm Fishery, both also in Norfolk; Yaddlesthorpe Ponds at Scunthorpe; Grace Lake at Biggleswade; the Moat at Marsworth; the Kinver Freeliners water; Warwick’s Water in Newbury; Holtwood Ponds at Christchurch and Edmonsham Ponds at Wimborne.

Crucian Group Photo
Launch of the NCCP some four years ago. (l to r) Martin Salter, Gordon Copp (CEFAS),Malcolm Richardson (Godalming AS), Daniel Jefferies (University of Hull), Mike Holcombe (Godalming AS), Chris Turnbull, Dr Carl Sayer, Mark Owen (Head of Freshwater – Angling Trust)

On the announcement of a third Catch a Crucian photo competition in 2018 Martin Salter, National Campaigns Coordinator for the Angling Trust, said: “This fantastic initiative has grown in popularity and compliments the excellent practical work that is going on to enhance and restore crucian habitat. We decided to extend the competition over three months to give anglers more time to get their entries in and it’s great that once again Bait-Tech and Angling Direct are happy to continue their generous sponsorship.”

Thanks to some generous sponsorship from Bait-Tech and Angling Direct each of the four main winners gets a £100 Angling Direct tackle voucher, plus a special Bait-Tech bait bucket containing £35 worth of crucian groundbaits, pellets and additives.

Our judges will choose three finalists in each category and all nine finalists will receive the Bait-Tech bait package. All appropriate entries will be displayed on the competition website and we are hoping for a great selection for the judges to choose from.


Neal Greenslade

Oliver Harper, Angling Direct’s Marketing Manager, said: “Angling Direct are proud to be associated with the National Crucian Conservation Project and to support this great competition again. We are 100% behind the aims of the project to restore the crucian carp and its habitat.”

Hayley Goldsmith, Managing Director of Bait-Tech, said: “The Catch a Competition is growing each year and it is a delight to see the engagement levels from the public – the photo submissions not only show a variety of people fishing for these lovely fish, their smiles are contagious. It’s an easy decision for Bait-Tech to support this competition for another year and to encourage people to catch fish they might not usually think of. Good luck to all those who enter and happy dangling.”

Jack Pells

Peter Rolfe, crucian expert and competition judge, concluded: “This competition has helped the crucian conservation cause and it gives me great pleasure to be involved as a judge. I’m already looking forward to seeing photos of great fish and places. In particular, I think it is a brilliant idea to offer a prize for photos of crucians caught by youngsters, sowing the seeds for years of pleasure ahead.”


Photo Taking Tips from Hugh Miles

You don’t have to have a fantastic camera to take a great crucian photo, so whether you have a fancy SLR camera or just an old compact, or maybe a smartphone you have every chance of winning the competition. The most important thing about a good photo is the composition so we asked Award Winning filmmaker and photographer Hugh Miles to give us some tips on taking the perfect snap.

Click here to find out more about the competition


1 – favour the fish rather than the angler in compositions. Crucians will always be more beautiful than you. Make sure it is a true crucian that you are taking a photo of by using the Crucian ID guide on the Angling Trust website HERE

Here is a great example of making sure the fish is the star, as Hugh presents the fish beautifully for the camera.
Here is a great example of making sure the fish is the star, as Hugh presents the fish beautifully for the camera.

2 – try to ensure the background behind the fish is uncluttered. Too many pictures ignore the background and spoil it completely. What is behind is as important as the foreground.

Here is an example of what not to do ! A nice picture of Martin and his fishing buddy, it's just a pity about the cars in the background
Here is an example of what not to do ! A nice picture of Martin Salter and his fishing buddy, it’s just a pity about the cars in the background


3 – beware the ‘banana-finger syndrome’. Everyone notices if you try to make the fish appear bigger by pushing it towards the camera.

Any further forward and this would definitely be a banana fingers shot ! Luckily when the subject is a fishing legend he can get away with it !
Any further forward and this would definitely be a banana fingers shot ! Luckily when the subject is a fishing legend like Chris Yates he can get away with it !

Here are a couple of extra tips if your photography knowledge extends further than just clicking the button !

4 – use a wide-angle lens so that both fish and its’ habitat can be included in the same picture. Two for the price of one.

5 – try back-light with fill in flash. It can make the crucian’s fins glow. Or try to use cross-light so those golden scales are enhanced like medallions.

NB – make it quick – fish live in water

June 1st – Aug 31st 2018