Carp Fishing 101

Discussion in 'Carp Fishing' started by ScottWiseman, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    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.
     
  2. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Great article, I really think carp are just misunderstood. Great fighters and I personally think they aren't half bad looking fish either.
     

  3. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Great job, this should go in the featured article section on here.:)
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Great article!! One point Scott said where man has polluted the rivers so much that only carp and catfish of course can tolerate it. I carp fish very often in Philly with CAG members (Matt and Louis).
     
  5. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Messages:
    979
    State:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    Great post scooter! :)
     
  6. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

    Messages:
    1,454
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    They just had a big tourney in Austin TX with a 250,000 prize for anyone breaking the TX state record (and the last records have come out of this lake). Also 25,000 for a winning weight of something. It was 2 days I think and now they have a 5 day tourney going in Austin for carp. A friend caught a 52 lb buffalo (but they don't count except for the fun). Hopefully our cat contests can get larger prizes! Hannibal Mike
     
  7. D-NICE-OK

    D-NICE-OK New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    INDY
    Good post Scot. I know I have caught my share of carps out of the canal!:p
     
  8. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    The Philly guys!! they are excellent carp fishermen. ...and Louis is a nut!! haha
     
  9. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    The winning weight for two days was over 400 lbs. It is the ATC in Town Lake, and yes, I would be down for a catfish tourney like that!! :)
     
  10. squirtspop

    squirtspop New Member

    Messages:
    968
    State:
    Glencoe, Arkansas
    Carp is what I started out fishing for when I was about 9 or 10. We lived in Wichita about 1 block from the Arkansas River and it was always low except in the spring. About the only water there was about 30 feet wide. I would buy one of those cards with the braided line and a hook for about 40 cents and a can of whole kernel corn. I would tie on a bolt for a sinker and ready to fish. I didn't own a rod and reel so I would lay out the line on the sand bar and throw it out. Talk about a fight..no reel to crank, just pure boy power. Would always drag home 5 or 6 carp every day that would weigh probably 10 pounds or more each. People in the neighborhood noticed and pretty soon there was about 8 men and loads of other kids fishing there. Was in Wichita about 2 years ago and visited the "old fishing hole". Doesn't look the same anymore. But the memory still is.
     
  11. tdpasser

    tdpasser New Member

    Messages:
    829
    State:
    Gilbert AZ
    I've caught them for fun and for bait, have you all caught them to eat and if so are they decent eaters? and how did you cookem? I remember always hearing carp aren't so good for eaten but I've also heard they are good.
     
  12. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Messages:
    979
    State:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    Here is a link that might help, you can also do a search on here on cooking Carp, there are several other threads also.
    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2590&highlight=cooking+carp
     
  13. tdpasser

    tdpasser New Member

    Messages:
    829
    State:
    Gilbert AZ
    Thanks Fatkat, I'm willing to try it, I figure if I fillet and then put on ice would give me the best quality. Thanks again for the link.
     
  14. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    When are we going and where is Bringhurst?:) :) :)
     
  15. chesapeakecarper

    chesapeakecarper New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Maryland
    Nice article on carping with typical gear...seen you on some other carp forums. Won't quibble re some facts cause we're about the fishing here...plain and simple carp are a blast to catch, a wonderful resource and we need more anglers to give them a try.
     
  16. CoonX

    CoonX Member

    Messages:
    737
    State:
    Oklahoma City O
    Way it looks, Tal's going to get the money, the new state record is now 43lb 2oz.
    Will post the pic as soon as I can.
    Will
     
  17. chesapeakecarper

    chesapeakecarper New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Maryland
    Saw some pics of this already and they're starting to circulate. Awesome fish...like all records just hope the "i"'s are dotted and "t"'s crossed to make it bona fide. Congrats to the captor.
     
  18. chesapeakecarper

    chesapeakecarper New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Maryland
    I agree, there should be some featured carp articles but first Scooters article needs some peer corrections re carp and environment. I'd be willing to lend a Resource Professional hand on this for balanced and scientific info/perspective re American carp so we have more and better educated anglers looking for great fun pursuing and catching carp.
     
  19. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    Like? I was pretty factual I thought. No one has ever caught a 100lb carp, but they have been seen and netted. That was about the only thing I could find.
     
  20. TNcat

    TNcat New Member

    Messages:
    150
    State:
    TN
    Great post scooter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!