Catch A Crucian Month Is Back

For the second year running the Angling Trust and the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP) have teamed up with the Association of Crucian Anglers who came up with the idea of designating June as ‘Catch a Crucian Month’. They have organised a photo competition with some great prizes to be judged by a panel of leading crucian crusaders including Chris Yates, 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, 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.
Since its launch three 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.
Four dark beauties for Richie Martin taken on the float during a stormy day on Harris Lake, Marsh Farm.
New 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.
Patiently waiting for the float to slide away…. A lovely shot taken by Matthew Fernandez at Stoneham Lakes in Southampton.
Martin Salter, National Campaigns Coordinator for the Angling Trust said: “There is no doubt that in less than three years we have achieved a significant turn around in the fortunes of crucians and some of their threatened habitat. Clubs and fishery owners are in regular contact seeking advice on how to create their own bespoke crucian waters managed in accordance with the very best practice from our resident crucian expert Peter Rolfe.
The guys at the EA have been fantastic with their advice and practical support, which has seen over 150,000 true crucians stocked across the country. A species that was in decline as a result of loss of habitat and hybridisation now has a far more secure future thanks in no small part to the endeavours of everyone involved in the National Crucian Conservation Project.”
On the announcement of a second Catch a Crucian Month and photo competition in June of this year Martin Salter said: “This delightful event went down really well last year and it’s great that Bait-Tech and Angling Direct are happy to continue their generous sponsorship. We are making some changes to the categories to offer a new prize for the best short, homemade video capturing the charm of crucian fishing.

C. Junior Anglers with Crucians Gallery 2016 Comp

Here you can see the entries we received  for the “Junior Anglers With Crucians” category in 2016.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE COMPETITION

Sascha Martin
1. Sascha Martin caught this lovely Crucian of 2lb 3oz from Marsh Farm on a whip. Top work!
Marc Walby 1
2. Doug Walby with a superb Crucian from Cicely Mill Pool on 2nd June. Double red maggot doing the damage!
Chloe Abbott
3. Chloe Abbott, aged 6, with a nice Crucian caught from Claremont Farm, Clatterbridge on float-fished sweetcorn. Well done Chloe!
Ethan Hope
4. 12 year-old Ethan Hope with a Crucian caught from Milton Lake on the Bury Hill complex near Dorking, Surrey.
Harrison Moore
5. 8-year old Harrison Moore with his first ever Crucian carp, caught from Milton Pools on 11th June. A Crucian angler is born!
Eveleyn Hinchcliffe
6. Evelyn Hinchcliffe, aged 7, with a nice Crucian caught on double pink maggot from Barlborough Springs Fishery in Derbyshire. Apparently she’s quite the accomplished Crucian catcher!
Michael Ewing
7. Michael Ewing, aged 7, caught this gorgeous golden Crucian of around 2lb on waggler-fished worm from Hill Pond at Godalming Angling Society’s Marsh Farm Complex. Great angling!
Phoebe Cutter
8. Phoebe Cutter caught this lovely Crucian on float-fished sweetcorn over casters and hemp from Long Ponds in Suffolk.
Emily Sophia-Ainsworth
9. Emily Sophia-Ainsworth looks delighted with her first ever Crucian carp, which was caught from Moss Farm Fishery near Manchester on 4th June. Well done Emily!
Oliver Carroll
10. Oliver Carroll, aged 7, with his first ever Crucian (first ever fish, in fact), caught from Redbridge Lakes using maggots. A great first fish to catch!

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

CRUCIAN PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

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

Last Years Entries Gallery

On this page you will find the pictures entered into the “Crucian Pictures section of the competition in 2016.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE COMPETITION

Stu Harris
1. A stunning birthday brace for Stuart Harris, caught on 1st June from HMS Sultan Moat in Gosport, Hampshire .
Michale Brook
2. A fantastic haul of Crucians to 2lb caught by Michael Brook on stewed wheat from his own Youldon Waters in Devon.
Ritchie Martin - Harris Lake
3. Four dark beauties for Richie Martin taken on the float during a stormy day on Harris Lake, Marsh Farm.
Paul Millar 1lb 14oz
4. This gorgeous cru of 1lb 14oz was taken with others of 1lb 12oz, 1lb 14.5oz and 1lb 15oz by Paul Millar from a Prince Albert AS water in the North West.
Kevin Sanders release shot
5. Back she goes! Kevin Sanders slips back a lovely 2lb crucian during the ACA Fish-in at Marsh Farm in Surrey.
Bob Hope
6. Bob Hope with a pretty Crucian caught from Milton Lake on the Bury Hill complex in Surrey.
Vinny Coulson release shot
7. A scraper-2lb Crucian being released by Vinny Coulson during a productive session at a North West still water.
Andy Lewis 2lb 5oz release shot
8. Andy Lewis releasing a fine 2lb 5oz Crucian back into the wild Warwickshire reservoir from which he caught it.
Cole Falconer
9. A lovely little Crucian caught by Cole Falconer on the “glorious 16th” using a scaled-down lift method. Superbly traditional.
Mark Wintle
10. Admiring a fine Crucian that was caught from a venue at Donhead St Andrew, Wiltshire on the 22nd June. Photo taken by Mark Wintle.
David Redwood
11. David Redwood with a cracking Crucian taken from a small pool at Donhead St Andrew, Wiltshire on a pinch of breadflake.
Matt Fernandex crucian pic
12. A trio of 3lb+ Crucians for Matthew Fernandez – part of a 10-fish catch from Johnson’s Lake on the Marsh Farm complex, Surrey.
Garry Procter
13. Garry Procter caught this lovely 1lb 12oz Crucian from a private Wiltshire pond – his only fish of the day but his best from the pool.
Geoff Hunt
14. Geoff Hunt caught this chunky Crucian on sweetcorn over a bed of pellets from Ashby Park caravan site in Horncastle.
Glenys Wood
15. George Wood caught this cracking haul of 80 Crucians from a Canal and River’s Trust reservoir on the outskirts of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.
Karlos Bickerton
16. Karlos Bickerton caught this scale-perfect Crucian along with a number of nice tench and rudd.
Brett Larke
17. Brett Larke caught this lovely Crucian from Diss Mere in Norfolk, fishing the lift method with bread flake over crumb groundbait just feet from the bank.
John Jenkins
18. John Jenkins caught this beautiful little Crucian from Fisherwick Lakes near Lichfield in Staffordshire.
Chris Netto
19. Chris Netto caught this lovely 1lb 15oz Crucian from Harris Lake on the Marsh Farm complex on the 30th June. Talk about cutting it fine!
John Spilsbury
20. “Here’s looking at you!” – a rare shot of a Crucian basking at the surface between lily pads. Photo taken by John Spilsbury.
Steve Withers
21. Small but perfectly formed – a scale-perfect Crucian caught from a Wiltshire pond by Steve Withers.

Photo Competition 2016 – Results Here

 

Winners of ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ Photographic Competition Announced

After some superb photographs and some very tight judging decisions, the winners and runners-up of the Catch a Crucian Month Photographic Competition, which was run throughout June, have now been announced. The results for each category are:

SLR cameras take great shots
SLR cameras take great shots

 

Best Crucian Picture:

1st Richie Martin – a stunning shot of four dark Crucians caught from Harris Lake on Godalming Angling Society’s Marsh Farm complex lying on the unhooking mat.

2nd Stuart Harris – a brace of crucians lying beside vintage tackle, caught from an ancient moat in Hampshire.

 3rd Vinny Coulson – a large crucian being released back into a north west still water.

Best Specimen Crucian Picture:

 1st Andy Lewis – a lovely photo of a high-backed 2lb 5oz Crucian; a fish the captor had been pursuing for several seasons.

2nd Vinny Coulson – a fin perfect 2lb 14oz Crucian caught from a venue in the north west.

3rd Kevin Durman – a beautiful brace of 2lb Crucians caught from Harris Lake at Marsh Farm (the result of a 180-mile round trip!).

Best Junior Picture:

1st Michael Ewing, aged 7 – a gorgeous golden Crucian of around 2lb caught on waggler-fished worm from Marsh Farm.

2nd Phoebe Cutter – a very happy Phoebe holding a lovely Crucian caught from Long Ponds in Suffolk on float-fished sweetcorn.

3rd Chloe Abbott, aged 6 – a nice Crucian caught from Claremont Farm in Clatterbridge on float-fished sweetcorn.

Best Scenic Picture:

 1st John Spilsbury – a beautifully-lit photograph of a traditional float sitting next to yellow flowering water lilies.

2nd Stuart Harris – a striking photo of an ancient and neglected moat inhabited by large Crucians in Hampshire.

3rd David Redwood – the float sits beside large flowering lily pads in a common Crucian fishing scene.

Winners will each receive a £100 Angling Direct voucher to spend on the tackle of their choice, a copy of Peter Rolfe’s book dedicated to crucians, Crock of Gold, in addition to a special tailored selection of Crucian groundbaits, pellets and additives from popular bait suppliers Bait-Tech. The runners-up will each receive the bucket of Bait-tech bait worth £35. We are particularly grateful to all our sponsors for their generous support.

 

If you are a winner you could get your hands on some fantastic Bait-Tech Baits
If you are a winner you could get your hands on some fantastic Bait-Tech Baits
£100 to spend in here looks fun ! Thanks Angling Direct.
£100 to spend in here looks fun ! Thanks Angling Direct.
Almost certainly the best book ever written about Crucians - Peter Rolfe's "Crock of Gold"
Almost certainly the best book ever written about Crucians – Peter Rolfe’s “Crock of Gold”

The Angling Trust and the National Crucian Conservation Project teamed up with the Association of Crucian Anglers who conceived the idea of designating June 2016 as ‘Catch a Crucian Month’. The competition was 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 immediate need to develop specific crucian waters in line with the aims of the National Crucian Conservation Project.

Entries were judged by a panel of Crucian enthusiasts: leading expert on crucian carp in the UK, Peter Rolfe; Passion for Angling filmmaker Hugh Miles; well-respected specimen angler and founder of the National Crucian Conservation Project, Chris Turnbull; famous author and vintage tackle aficionado Chris Yates; and big-fish angler and Angler’s Mail columnist Gary Newman.

Peter Rolfe, competition judge said: “I was grateful for the chance to be one of the judges in this lovely crucian photo competition.  There were some splendid entries for all the categories and it is so encouraging that anglers, naturalists and conservationists are becoming much more aware of this beautiful and remarkable fish, thanks in no small part to events like this. I do hope it will become an annual event on the angling calendar.”

Chris Turnbull, campaigner for Crucian conservation said: “Crucians are one of the UK’s most loved summer species but in a short space of time they have become highly endangered and therefore it is really important that we anglers work to prevent their demise. The first step must be in education so what a great idea this photo competition has been as part of that process and I am honoured to be associated with it.”

James Champkin, new Angling Trust Campaigns Officer who managed the entries to the competition website added: “The number and quality of entries into the competition this year have been fantastic and as a keen crucian angler myself it’s been very rewarding to be a part of this initiative. Seeing so many anglers, particularly juniors, getting out there and specifically targeting crucians is brilliant and I hope that more fisheries will now start to recognise the importance of implementing the correct management measures to conserve this very special species.”

PLEASE NOTE – THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED UNTIL NEXT YEAR

 

TO ENTER COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION FORM BELOW. ONCE YOU HAVE REGISTERED YOU WILL BE SENT AN EMAIL EXPLAINING HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO/PHOTOS

 

About The Crucian Project

 

Over the last 30 or so years, the beautiful Crucian carp has had a very tough time. It’s traditional habitat of small ponds and shallow weedy stillwaters have been disappearing all too fast, as farmers fill in ancient farm ponds and urban sprawl and new housing replaces small lakes and village ponds. They have been under threat from other fish too, as the huge rise in the amount of king carp introductions leaves little room for the Crucian. Common and Carp and Mirror Carp out compete the smaller more timid crucian and lakes that were once full of the beautiful little golden fish are now devoid of them. Ornamental fish too put the Crucian under threat due to hybridisation leaving waters filled with muddy coloured brown goldfish rather than the stunning golden Crucian.

 

The threat to this amazing native British fish was all too real but thankfully a few very concerned anglers got together and started to talk about how things might change. The National Crucian Conservation Project was the brainchild of angling artist Chris Turnbull and he along with Crucian expert Peter Rolfe, Dr Carl Sayer of university College London, Russell Robertson of the Environment Agency, Martin Salter of Angling Trust and a number of other anglers and fisheries experts started pulling together the threads of a plan.

 

(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)
(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)

Over the last 12 months, clubs have got on board and beautiful bespoke crucian venues have been created. In total the Environment Agency have stocked around 60,000 crucians into 20 fisheries around the country and it looks like there will be a similar number stocked in the next 12 months. It’s an absolutely brilliant result, but we’re not stopping there !

Crucian group

For more information about the Project take a look at the Campaign pages on the Angling Trust website HERE

June 1st – June 30th 2017