Catch a Crucian Photo Competition back with new sponsors and big prizes!

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 Angling Direct, Dynamite Baits and Medlar Press 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, 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 July, August and September, 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.

Matt Minter

Since its launch five 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 2014 and 2018 saw a staggering total of 172,155 DNA-tested crucians stocked into 244 separate waters.

The Angling Trust and Environment Agency now receive regular requests from angling clubs and fisheries for advice on how to set up new crucian waters or restore derelict pools to their former glory. Funding for this work is available through the Environment Agency Fisheries Improvement Programme, which is accessible via local EA Fisheries Officers.

Always Summer
Not only will our three winners receive a copy of Peter Rolfe’s latest book from Medlar Press, but they will also have the opportunity to fish Peter’s private crucian pools in Wiltshire!

On the announcement of a fourth Catch a Crucian Photo Competition in 2019 James Champkin, Campaigns Officer for the Angling Trust, said: “It’s brilliant that we’ve been able to continue this popular competition into its fourth year. The National Crucian Conservation Project is a very rewarding initiative to be involved in and it’s fantastic to be receiving so many enquiries from angling clubs across the country that want to set up their own specialised crucian fisheries. It really does seem as though this endearing species now has a bright future.”

Thanks to some generous sponsorship from Angling Direct, Dynamite Baits and Medlar Press, each of the three main winners gets a £100 Angling Direct tackle voucher, plus a special Dynamite Baits bundle containing crucian groundbaits, pellets and additives. In addition, they will also receive a copy of Peter Rolfe’s latest book Always Summer and have the opportunity to fish his private crucian pools in Wiltshire!

Dynamite Baits Prize Bundle 2019
Each of the winners and runners-up will receive this fantastic bundle of Dynamite Baits crucian baits!

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

Oliver Harper, Angling Direct’s Marketing Manager, said: “What a great competition! Not only does it encourage the next generation of crucian anglers but directly helps to raise the awareness of crucian conservation across the UK. Angling Direct are again, very proud to be associated with the National Crucian Conservation Project and to support this great competition. We hope the winners not only use our Gift Vouchers to buy the crucian tackle they desire but helps them all catch some quality crucian carp to match.”

Richard Naylor

Daryl Hodges, Head of Marketing for Dynamite Baits, said: “It’s a fantastic competition that gives anglers the opportunity to target one of the UK’s most iconic summer species while also helping to protect them. Lots of anglers also use our baits to catch crucians so we needed little persuasion to get involved.”

Peter Rolfe, crucian expert and competition judge, concluded: “This competition goes from strength to strength and I am already looking forward to seeing more superb crucian photographs. It’s wonderful to find out how many people, young and old, are now fishing for crucians.”

Logo - Dynamite Baits


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2018 Competition Winners

Best Crucian Picture Category

Matt Minter
Matt Minter – a classic shot of an ancient-looking 2lb 5oz crucian lying alongside traditional crucian tackle: a centrepin reel, cane rod and an insert waggler float. Matt caught this glorious fish from a southern stillwater on float-fished paste.

Scenic Crucian Waters category

Rhys Kolze Jones 2
Rhys Kolze Jones – a gorgeous photograph of the sun rising over the trees at Onslow Estate Long Pool in Shropshire. Rhys used a very low angle position above some yellow water lilies to achieve this unique image.

Junior category

Lauren Stevens
Lauren Stevens – a smiling Lauren, donning a pink raincoat, proudly holds out her first ever crucian, caught from Hinkshay Top Pool in Telford. 8-year-old Lauren beat her father’s personal best!

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

July 1st – Sep 30th 2019