Carp: Catching big ugly fish is FUN!
With so many species to catch during the spring, carp have been a species that I’ve overlooked. I thought that carp were hard to target, as fish that seem to spook so easily. Figuring that I would have to invest in a whole new assortment of tackle just to catch them, I always found myself targeting other species when the carp are in their prime time for fishing. This opinion changed for me last year, after I spent a few days on the water with my friend Paul Castellano. You can read last years blog post, here. We had a blast!After that trip, I knew carp fishing would be on the agenda this spring. A recent outing with my fishing partner, Matthew Heayn, brought us more success than we expected! Our original plan was to locate some panfish and do some shore fishing. As soon as we noticed some carp cruising around in the shallows, our plans quickly changed. We grabbed our heavier gear and set out to fish for carp! Using size 4 Gamakatsu octopus hooks, split shots and live night crawlers on 20 pound Sufix fluorocarbon, we casted out and waited for the carp to come along and pick up our bait. It didn’t take long before my line twitched and tightened… I set the hook and the battle began! Since our first day of carp fishing this spring, we have been back several times. It’s not everyday that you get to land such large and powerful fish, and it is definitely addictive!
A common carp on the Bay of Quinte
I am starting to wonder where the small carp are, because it seems like there are SO many giants out there! Carp can be found in shallow warm water where most species cannot survive. They have somewhat of a bad reputation due to their ugliness, and feeding habits. Yes, they are bottom feeders, but not the ‘garbage fish’ that many people refer to them as. They eat algae, plants, crustaceans and insects found on bottom. They have a whiskered-snout that only a mother could love, but it grows on you after awhile!
The biggest fish of the day – on one of our carpin’ adventures
The most interesting catch so far, was a mirror carp, caught by Matt. The bright orange, and scale-less skin (except for on the back and tail), was a neat surprise and a very unique fish to see! It turns out that mirror carp aren’t overly common, and each fish has it’s own unique scale pattern. It’s the first I have ever seen in person, and I hope to land one of my own!
Matts GIANT mirror carp! What a beauty!
Carp fishing has also given me a reason to do some night crawler hunting! It’s not often that I use live bait, but the carp are loving it!
If you love catching big fish (and who doesn’t), you should definitely consider trying carp fishing! They aren’t the nasty, smelly old beasts that people make them out to be. They’re a blast to target, land and provide great memories and even the possibility of catching the fish of a lifetime! I know I can’t wait to get back out there carpin’!