Ok. So you have been a panfisherman all your life. You have probably caught more than your share of bluegills, bass, and catfish, yet, you want something more. You want to catch a fish that will wear you out upon fighting it...a fish that is truly a monster. Welcome to the world of carp fishing my friend. Carp fishing is gaining more and more fishermen every day thanks to groups like Carp Anglers of America and American Carp Society. Carp have long been thought of as a trash fish...with no useful existence in American waterways since their arrival here in the late 1800s from Asia. But while most "sport" fishermen do not fish for them, they all will tell you that pound for pound, carp are one of the hardest fighting fish in freshwater. The carp's existence is misunderstood. Many people think that carp will trash a waterway, while the truth is MAN trashed the waterway until only carp are left because of their hardy nature. Carp (Cyprinus carpio) can be found in almost any waterway in America these days....from clear running streams to heavily polluted rivers to lakes and ponds. They exist in all 48 lower states and some provinces of Canada. They are found on every continent of the world except for Antarctica. Carp can grow to more than 3 feet in length and exceed 100 lbs. in weight.The carp is omnivorous and can adapt its feeding behavior and diet to feed by a sucking action, straining bottom mud for insects and detritus, or taking insects and other food items, including small plants, from the water surface. Males mature at 2-4 years, females 3-5 years. Females produce large numbers of small eggs. There is no migration associated with spawning, which normally occurs in spring and early summer. Spawning takes place in shallow water with much surface action; this activity and splashing spreads the adhesive eggs. Young fish hatch about 5 days later. Large females may breed more than once in a season. Spawning success and growth of fish varies considerably, depending on water conditions. Fishing during the spawn can be explosive with as many as 50-75 fish being caught in a day. In Indiana, this is usually around late April- early May. To get started in carp fishing, you could probably use your existing bass and panfish equipment. Eventually, you will probably want to go with a medium to medium/heavy action 9 foot rod and a baitrunner reel, but for now your current tackle will do. Carp will sometimes nibble on bait....but more often then not they will run once they feel the hook. For this reason, if you are not using a baitrunner reel, you will want to fish with your bail open so as not to lose your pole in the lake. I would also recommend line no heavier than 14 lb. test as carp are very sensitive to feeling the line. I have personally caught 25+ lb carp on only 12 lb test. Adjust your drag settings too as you will not be able to horse the fish in, but will need to play it until it tires out. As far as other tackle goes, you will really only need a hook and a sliding sinker. It is important to use a sliding sinker and not a sinker that clamps on your line. In lakes or rivers with no current, it is best to use no weight at all...or as little as possible to get your cast out. Hook sizes vary from fishermen to fishermen, but I always use the Eagle Claw Razer Sharp size 4 hook (they are red in color). Bait - Bait for carp is a guesstimate at best, but whole kernel corn is a staple of all carp fishermen and is widely available and easy to use. Before putting the corn on your hook, you will want to toss a few handfuls out into the area that you are fishing to "chum" the water. (Check local laws about this...in Indiana it is legal to do) Simply string corn on your hook (and a little ways up your line past the hook if you prefer) and you are set. Baits can range from something as simple as corn to more involved baits like doughbaits, packbaits, and groundbaits. We will not get into the latter baits here, but if you want to learn more about them go to google.com and type in "carp doughbait recipes" (without the quotes) and you will have thousands of possibilities at your fingertips. Another very successful method is a hair rig. Essentially, the bait is strung on a line that is tied to a hook. Carp inhale their bait (or suck in/blow out) and when they inhale the bait, the hook gets lodged in their mouth, creating an instantaneous hook-set. Carp can be fun...and be a challenge. If you want to battle a monster, fish for carp.