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