Crucian carp, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods and techniques.
Crucian carp is the most general fresh-water fish that inhabits in every place of Japan, China and most of Europe including Russia. They live in lakes or stagnant areas of rivers, feeding mainly on plankton and fauna. The Crucian Carp was first selectively bred in the western part of Japan for its thick flesh as an eating fish. In Japan, it is commonly referred to as Herabuna however its real name is Gengorobuna. There are many reasons for it being called Herabuna, however the most probable is that the top part of the fish is flat therefore resembling a spatula (spatula are called HERA in Japanese). Crucian has 3 different kinds, Gold crucian, Silver crucian and Gengoro crucian. Crucian fishing is really good fun. Most of the methods of fishing for them are a pleasure to use. They usually live in beautiful waters, and the fact that they present the ultimate challenge to get them on the hook makes them all the more interesting Add to that a spirited fight on the right tackle and you have an adversary worthy of the attention of any angler.
The Crucian Carp - Carassius carassius,
family Cyprinidae, also called
Карась in Russian is easily hybridises with both
Common Carp and Goldfish, and Brown Goldfish, with which it can be easily confused. They natural range is in the rivers of the North Sea, Baltic and Black Sea; they are common in Japan, China, and most of Europe, especially in Russia, Germany and UK.
A deep bodied fish with a distinctly high back, It is easily distinguished from a small
Common Carp by the absence of barbels, the slender, whiskerlike tactile organs found near the mouth of certain fish. Other characteristics of the Crucian Carp are a lateral line count of between 26-31, and a convex dorsal fin with a weak leading ray, although many of these features will be shared with hybrids. Their external characteristic is the way the fish top section bulges up, which is not found in any other carp. Also Crucian Carp growth is extremely fast. In just 2-3 years a Crucian Carp can grow up to 30cm. In comparison the silver and gold Crucian Carp take more than 5 years to reach this size. Maximum Weight: 7lb (3.2kg), Maximum Length: 18in (50cm), Average Weight Caught: 8oz (230g), Life Span: 15 Years.
The Crucian Carp is the smallest of the Carp family. They have an oval shape with an even pattern of small silvery white scales, which varies in color from bronze to gold based on the fishes living environment. This coloration makes the Crucian Carp an impressive looking fish. The Clawford Crucian Carp is bronze in color with a gold/Red upper half below the dorsal fin. Crucian Carp do not have the two tubercles each side of the mouth unlike the King Carp. The fins are very rounded and note the dorsal fin. It too is rounded but convex, unlike all other carp which have concave (rounded inwards) dorsal fins.
When Crucian Carp eats its main food plankton, they suck in water as well. In this case, the gills of the Crucian Carp filter out the plankton from the water. Compared to silver Crucian Carp and gold Crucian Carp, the gills have developed from this eating style, and are double the size of other carp.
The Crucian Carp are shoaling fish, thrives in small ponds and overgrown waters where larger members of the carp family would not find enough food or oxygen to thrive. Crucian Carp are not fussy eaters except that when they are very young they feed only on planktonic crustaceans. When fully-grown they will eat almost anything in the water such as insect larvae, crustaceans and lots of water plants.
Crucian Carp are very attuned to changes in the temperature and noise, basically a very wary fish. For this reason, they never live alone. They always form groups of about equal size fish and move together. Because they are so wary, even the slightest sound in the water will cause them to flee. This is why it is important to be as quiet as possible when setting up for a day of fishing. Crucian Carp cannot control their own body temperature, their body temperature changes along with the external temperature, add to this the fact that they have an air bladder used to control their buoyancy in the water, and you can see why they will move around to the most comfortable position for them according to the temperature and air pressure during the day.
Crucian Carp are mostly bottom feeders but can also be found feeding at other levels and, on very sunny days, will take food from the surface. Crucian carp are just like all other carp - they are very aggressive feeders. They feed on almost anything that lives in freshwater, from leeches to snail eggs, and daphnia to emerging insect life - they will take it all. They will feed by sifting through the bottom silt as they hunt for bloodworms, right up to taking flies from the surface - nothing really escapes a hungry Crucian carp.
Crucian Carp spawn mainly on water plants in spring any time and even twice between the beginning of May and the end of July. All they require is warm weather and warm water and they are off. They come in groups to the shallow shore to spawn during this season. The males follow the females until they are ready to release their eggs, then spawning occurs in a really frantic way in the weed-lined fringes of stillwaters dotted all around the country. Crucian Carp usually laid their eggs on water weeds or similar objects in the shallow areas. Due to the size of the eggs (No8 split shot) and the water temperature, the eggs hatch really swiftly - within a week or in 6-10 days, but the fish stay attached to the plants for 2 to 3 days to feed on the yolk sack before swimming off.
After the spawning the Crucian Carpís body can be damaged. So the angler should wait until the next spring for another chance to catch large carp.
A telescopic hera fishing rod poles are used in Crucian Carp fishing. It is all about throwing your bait in, letting it sink and then waiting for a bite. The clamp and rod holder is used to stop the float being moved around anymore
than it needs to, by fixing the rod in place. It is as necessary as the rod and float itself. This fixes the rod holder in place and the rod rests in top. There are clamp types where the cane or carbon rod slides onto the clamp and there are large gun shaped models that are staked into the ground and then the rod is slid onto the clamp. In Crucian Carp fishing you don't pull the fish up out of the water with the ord. To protect the fish and also to protect your tackle, use the net to get fish out of the water that have been drawn in close. The float is an important tool for fisherman, used to discover if the fish are attracted to the bait, if the fish have taken the bait, etc.
The most popular baits to catch Crucian Carp are Maggots, Casters, Luncheon Meat, punched bread and Sweet Corn. The Crucian Carp swims in shoals of fish of the same age. It is a very shy fish and takes the bait very gently. This Carp is best fished on a light float rig and a relatively small hook size.
Using float fishing methods does not present a bait that is absolutely stationary on the bottom. Even when there is little or no drift the turbulence created by nearby fish, feeding or not, can be enough to make the hookbait, and therefore the float, move around a little. Float fishing is the preferred method for catching crucians, for this method is often the only way you will see a bite from them, and although I don't fish with a pole myself I would think that it would be the best method of all.
Once a crucian carp is caught a few times it soon learns and they can be the most frustrating of all British fish to catch. They seem to gently nudge the bait, sucking it in really very gently to test it for hooks - and for that reason the best way to catch them is to use the tiniest of floats dotted right down to a mere millimetre or two poking above the surface. The large carp is more nervous, and so they usually do not come to the shore within reach of the anglerís rod. But during this spring spawning season, they do come to the shore to lay their eggs, and so it is a good opportunity to catch the larger carp.