Targeting crucians on commercial fisheries

Thu 16 July 15


Arguably one of the most beautiful and elusive fish to swim in British waters is the crucian carp. these stunning creates are far from being one of the biggest species in our waters but to catch a 2lbs plus crucian carp is a dream many anglers will never make reality. One of the major reasons for this is because many of the venues that hold specimen crucian carp are either syndicated or not open to the general angling public, meaning the search for these bars of gold must go in another direction.

Commercial fisheries have over the past decade become renowned for producing some hidden gems, with huge perch, roach and rudd now being targeted on these venues by many of the countries top specialist anglers. It may also surprise you to know that a few of these heavily stocked venues also hold some stunning crucian sport but catching them amongst the large number of carp, bream, tench etc is another matter.

Fields End Fishery known for it's quality crucians

One of the UKSA team members who has totally come to grips with the skills required to single out these incredibly cautious and majestic creatures on commercial fisheries is Cambridgeshire based Julian Barnes. So we spent a day out on the bank with him at Fields End Fishery, near Doddington in Cambridgeshire, to find out how he singles these stunning fish.

Location and tactics

Upon arrival, julian informed me that on warm sunny days like today, he prefers to fish the margins close to natural vegetation like rushes or lily’s, as these areas have proven to produce crucians, particularly on the venue we’re targeting today. However, when conditions are overcast and the pressure is low, fishing in deeper water has also produced good fish and can prove to be a winner as well.

Marginal vegitation, a proven holding area for crucian carp

When fishing the margins, Julian’s favourite method is a simple waggler presentation. He fishes 4lbs reel line straight through to a size 12 or 14 barbless hook. As he’s fishing close in, he used a small 2BB Drennan insert waggler which offers more than enough weight to give you a stable presentation. He places two shot ether side of the float connector and the remainder of the shot is placed on the line shirt button style so his hookbait falls through the water as naturally as possible.

Always dot your float right down as crucian's are very cautious feeders

When setting your float rig up, it is very important to dot your float right down to enable you to register every movement of the hookbait and to also offer instant bite indication. As he was using large hookbaits, Julian plumbed up and presented his bait roughly 75mm over depths, to ensure his hookbait was perfectly still on the lake bed. The second rod was set up with a small in-line Drennan method feeder that would also be fished in the margins but further down the reed line.

Method to the left, waggler to the right.


After months of trial and error, Julian stumbled upon a sure shot way of singling out the crusians. He discovered that prawns on his float rig would single out the crucians on this venue, whilst other baits like meat, corn, and pellet led to him catching tench and carp, as well as other smaller silver species including roach and rudd.

Hookbaits and groundbait

On his method feeder rod, he made up a sweet fishmeal grounbait with minimal food content. His choice for the day was a 50/50 mix of Bag’em Matchbaits Pro-Competition Sweet Bream and Commercial Carp. This was mixed to the desired consistency and riddled off. to leave him with a groundbait that would break down in 45 seconds once in the water. He used a Sonubaits 6mm tutti frutti Ooze boilie on the hair as his hookbait. as his research had found them to also single out the crucians.

Julian's groundbait combination

The Session

Julian started the session by introducing a small amount of pellets covered in hemp oil to his right hand marginal waggler line and then cast out a prawn hookbait over the spot. He then cast his tiny method feeder down the left hand reed bed and waited for the fun to begin. After only a few minute, his float burried and he expertly played the fish away from potential snags and after a hearty battle, the first crucian of the session slid into the waiting landing net.

Juian with a 2lbs plus crucian caught on his first cast!

His right hand line produced three other crucian in the next hour but his left hand method line was being smashed to pieces by some of the lakes larger residents, in the shape of double figured carp. after loosing two big fish on the method. Both lines dried up and a re-think was on the cards. so Julian decided to leave the method feeder out of the equation and concentrate on re-establishing his right hand waggler swim, as this had proven to be the method for the day.

Julian fished well back from the front of the platform, to prevent spooking these cautious feeders

Over the remaining two hours of the session, Julian worked hard to restore his marginal waggler line. As bites were hard to come by, he started to introduce 2 to 3 grains of sweetcorn to the spot. This simple change of feeding had brought the fish back into the area and got them feeding confidently and enabled Julian to put another 6 fish on the bank up to 2lbs 5ozs.

An excellent result and proof that crucians can be caught, if you put in the time from some surprising locations


If you do your research and think about your tactics and baits, you can catch some truly stunning crucians from venues that you’d least expect. Julian’s approach has proven that you can single out crucian carp on commercial fisheries. His approach was spot on and even the UKSA team managed to sneak a couple out by following his instructions to the letter.

Foot Note

Fields End Water is a day ticket fishery with facilities for caravan and camping anglers, as well as fully equipped lodges available to rent. For full details about this stunning venue, simply click on the link banner to the right of this page or the large banner at the bottom of the page.


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