Welcome To The Carp Side!

It’s been nearly 5 years since I was introduced to carp fishing by a friend. I’ve learned so much over the past 5 years since that first experience and I’ve certainly come to love targeting this species. Of course it didn’t take much for me to fall in love with carp in the first place. I haven’t met a species of fish I don’t enjoy targeting. Carp are one of the largest fish species roaming in our waters and their power is just incredible! Big fish, good fight – what’s not to love?!

Aside from catching them myself, it’s been a lot of fun to introduce others to the thrill of carp fishing. Over the past weekend I had the opportunity to share the water with Justin Hoffman, an outdoor writer and photographer from the Ottawa area. This was not my first fishing trip with Justin as we did a bass excursion quite a few years ago, but this would be his first experience targeting carp. He had been noticing my posts on social media over the past few weeks into this carp-craze and mentioned it was a type of fishing he had not yet tried. Finally our schedules aligned and he joined Eric and I on the bank of Lake Ontario for a day of carping over the weekend.

Eric and I had fished on Saturday trying out a couple of locations that have produced for us in the past. With the extremely high water levels this spring, I unfortunately lost the only fish I hooked to a submerged tree that is usually not submerged. That was the only action that day for both of us. We were a little worried that we may not be able to get Justin into his first carp if the bite didn’t pick up. The bite has just begun to slow down a bit as fish in this area are starting to spawn and are becoming less interested in eating. We gave Justin a heads-up that it may be slow but he was still down to give it a shot anyway.

We set out Sunday morning a little earlier to make the most of our day and get set-up with the area baited before Justin arrived. It was such a gorgeous morning with a thick blanket of fog covering the lake.

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Getting set-up in the fog. What a beautiful scene.

But even better than the scenic view was the fact that the bite was on! Before Justin arrived, both Eric and I each landed a fish. In fact, as I called Justin to make sure he could find the location I sent him, my rod went off! I had to throw my phone to Eric so I could land the fish. We were hopeful the bite would continue.

When Justin arrived, we rigged up a rod for him and settled in chatting away. What I love about this style of fishing is that it can be quite social. We are sitting, relaxing and chatting until madness breaks out when a fish is on. And that is just what happened. While talking away my rod went off and I brought in a second fish just a little smaller than my first.

There was a couple fishing beside us all morning and we noticed that the woman had hooked up and was battling what looked to be a nice-sized carp. Eric ran over with the net to help out and we also brought over our landing mat for a better surface to manage and unhook the fish. It was a nice one! While Eric was unhooking her fish on the mat, it thrashed and sunk a hook into his index finger. Uh oh! The rig she had on consisted of two hooks, so Eric now had one hook in his finger with the other hook in the mouth of a feisty 21.5 pound carp. We had to act quickly to cut the line to free him from the fish and the next step was getting the hook out of his finger. Before being able to do so, Eric’s rod went off amongst the chaos. Justin booked it and picked up the rod and began fighting it out with this fish! At this point Eric had a hook, braided line and a weight dangling from his finger (with no complaints by the way) while we dealt with the excitement of Justin’s first carp. I only wish that I got a picture of the hook-in-the-finger-situation but we were more concerned about getting it out as soon as possible. Pinching down the barb, Eric was able to get the hook free and then clean up his wound with a first aid kit from Justin’s car. That was a pretty crazy chain of events!

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Justin’s first carp – 16.9 pounds!

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I love this group shot! A memorable day for sure.

A compilation of clips from our day 🙂

 

We tried a couple different rigs but a pop-up on a 360 rig was what produced all of our fish. We also included a method mix ball with our rigs.

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A closer look at the method mix ball. Yummy! Photo by Justin Hoffman.

When lunch time rolled around, I decided to see if we could order a pizza to the shoreline. The couple fishing beside us recommended a pizza place nearby. Thankfully this pizza place was willing to deliver to us! And I’m glad the guys agreed to ordering my favourite – pineapple, ham, chicken and bacon. Mmmm!

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With pizza there is no catch and release! Photo by Justin Hoffman.

While the bite slowed down as the day went on, we still had such a fun time bringing in 6 carp between the 3 of us. I’m counting down the minutes until my line is in the water again as we are heading off on a weekend-long camping carping session! Thank you for joining us, Justin, and for the wonderful images to remember this trip by! Welcome to the carp side 🙂

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Casting out my rig. Using the proper equipment sure makes it easier to cast these heavy rigs and manage monstrous fish. Photo by Justin Hoffman.

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Eric’s first fish of the day. 

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My smallest carp ever – but still a nice-sized fish!

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2 replies »

  1. Hey, I’m heading out to buy new gear soon. Anyway you can tell me what rod your using and the how your terminal tackle is set up?
    You should also add buffalo carp to your list of species to catch. They are rare but I caught one in the niagara region a few years back. If you live carp, you will truly appreciate this species. Its almost irredecent in colour. Funny thing is though it’s not a carp as it’s not a part of the minnow family.

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