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Surprise day’s fishing for ‘Crucian Month’ winners


Crucian Competition winners with Peter Rolfe
The 'Catch a Crucian Month' competition winners receiving their copies of Crock of Gold from crucian expert Peter Rolfe. Peter's private crucian pools provided the backdrop.

Following the success of the ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ competition in June, the worthy winners were treated to a surprise day’s fishing at crucian expert Peter Rolfe’s private ponds.

The competition was developed to promote renewed interest from anglers in targeting true crucians and to encourage angling clubs to conserve declining crucian carp habitat and create new, properly managed crucian fisheries.

Peter Rolfe's two small pools, which are nestled in the heart of rural Wiltshire, featured in the iconic Catching the Impossible DVD series as the scene for Martin Bowler’s and Chris Yates’ own ‘Catch a Crucian’ competition, the prize for which was a pint of cider.

Fortunately, the crucians fed with enthusiasm throughout the day, with each of the anglers netting around a dozen scale-perfect specimens. 

During the day, each of the winners received a signed copy of Peter’s book Crock of Gold, which is dedicated to the natural history, identification and conservation of true crucians. Crock of Gold was launched in the early days of the crucian conservation movement the information held within its pages has since helped many individuals and angling clubs set up their own bespoke crucian fisheries. 

Crucian head
The head of a fine true crucian caught from one of Peter Rolfe's pools.

Andy Lewis, winner of the ‘Specimen Crucian’ category, said: “After my surprise at being selected as the winner of the Specimen Crucian section, I was made up to be informed that I had been invited to fish Peter’s lakes. 
Having Crock of Gold presented, autographed and personalised by Peter was an honour and capped off a wonderful day.”

John Spilsbury (Jay SS), winner of the ‘Scenic Crucian Waters’ category, said: “The waters I usually fish never seem to produce any crucians under a pound-and-a-half, which is worrying for the future. The fish-raising sections of Peter’s book Crock of Gold are exactly what all angling clubs that want to conserve the crucian carp should be reading, especially those clubs controlling waters that also contain king carp and brown goldfish.”

Richie Martin, winner of the ‘Crucian Pictures’ category, added: “Peter Rolfe’s company on the day was everything I had wished for and more; an absolute gentleman with extensive angling knowledge and a wicked sense of humour. A true ambassador for the crucian carp and for everything that is right about angling! 

Peter personalised my very own copy of Crock of Gold on the day and I have already read it from cover to cover. I cannot thank Peter and James Champkin from The Angling Trust for the day. I will never forget these moments.”

It is hoped that ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ will now become an annual event in the crucian anglers’ calendar, and key sponsors Bait-Tech have already committed to supporting the competition again next year.

Peter Rolfe has just released a new book - Reflections on Still Water - which details the development of a fishery and is available from Calm Productions.

Crock of Gold, which is now on its second print run, is available here.

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