Catching Carp 101

Discussion in 'Carp Fishing' started by ScottWiseman, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    This is an article I wrote about carp fishing:

    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. It is this authors opinion that unless you are eating the fish, bowhunting for carp should be illegal. People will say "They are a nuisance"....but deer and other mammals can be a nuisance too, yet, we are not allowed to just go out and shoot them and leave them lying dead on the riverbank. Selective harvest is a beautiful thing and should be maintained, but take the fish that you are killing and donate them to a food bank.

    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 any internet search engine 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. D-NICE-OK

    D-NICE-OK New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    INDY
    Good Post:)

    I got a carp spot on the canal that produces some monsters. They are truly a good fight and if cleaned properly can taste exactly like buffalo.
     

  3. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    D-Nice.....my avatar came from the canal just 3 weeks ago....you should PM me and we can hookup sometime and go there. I live 3 minutes away.
     
  4. D-NICE-OK

    D-NICE-OK New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    INDY
    That sounds like a winner. I'm not that far from it myself. The spot I am talking about is off Burdsal Pkwy. I used to fish right off of Kessler bridge back in my younger days.:p
     
  5. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    I love to catch carp too, but I'm a bowfisherman!! There is no way the carp will be thinned out or even done away with by bowfishing. CAG for the most part is linked to Peta and there has been several acts of putting carp in lakes and ponds for there own enjoyment and causing a lake or pond to become ruined. Several studies show carp are harmful to the enviroment. I have caught them on rod and reel before and shot them with a bow. They are fun to catch and some people eat them. I know most of you CAG members will step up and say what they do is not me, I don't do the things they do. The fact remains that CAG members support them to to what they do and then become dumb when asked about it. I will step down for now. I know lots of you guys like to fish for carp , don't start talking about getting rid of bowfishing. DNR has it in Ohio and the reason for that is they are trash fish and over populated. If some of you don't believe some of what I said I can show you things from the news and different studies. Just send me an e-mail. This is my opinion.

    Clarence Cremeans
    Bowfishing Assn. of America
    State Rep. for Ohio
     
  6. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    As a CAG member...show me something that supports this statement. I actually have an editorial about PETA posted on a few websites as I am VERY MUCH anti-PETA. CAG is not in bed with PETA. As far as illegally stocking carp...that was one guy who made an extremely poor decision.
     
  7. ScottWiseman

    ScottWiseman New Member

    Messages:
    193
    State:
    Indianapolis,Indiana
    Additionally..I said that it was "my" opinion..and not the opinion of CAG or any other group as far as bowhunting goes. I have no problem with it at all...but wanton waste of fish is illegal in Indiana, where carp are now classified as game fish.
     
  8. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    As far as fish being a "gamefish" Some are bowfished. Which are pike in a few states and catfish in others. Also the bluegill is a gamefish and we use it as bait for catching the gamefish bass. I understand it is your opinion, but as I said that is mine. But as far CAG and Peta not linked, I just don't believe it. Same acts against nature to show a point, both do the same.
     
  9. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Gills aren't a game fish in all states. In Texas, catch as many as your want, any size you want, use for bait or fertizer, take with any means. Carp actually do little damage to the environment, except for maybe grass carp when stocked in too large of numbers for vegetation control. The so called degradation of lakes and streams by carp is actually a result of manmade actions, such as pollution. Carp get a bad rap because they, just like catfish, can live in some pretty off-putting places. I'm not a carp fisherman, but do have respect for the capabilities of the fish.