As spring is nearly coming to an end, I thought I would share 10 memorable carp from this season so far. I love targeting carp here in Ontario and this happened to be the most memorable spring yet! I’m sure I will still get some carp sessions in before the year is up, but my favourite time to chase them is during spring when they’re chubbiest and on the feed prior to spawning. There is great potential for some HUGE carp to be caught during spring!
#1 – Lori’s First Carp
My friend Lori joined us for a weekend on the water originally planned to be spent aboard my boat chasing walleye and pike. The winds became too fierce forcing us off the water early and decided on targeting carp from shore. This was Lori’s first carp ever and judging by her reaction, I am certain there will be many more to come! I cannot wait for our next carp adventure.
#2 – A New Personal Best
I knew it would be hard to top my 32-pounder from last year, but I had laid eyes on some giant carp this spring which gave me hope for a crack at a new PB. It finally came together during the long weekend in May when I landed what I thought at the time was a 33-pound, 2-ounce beast! As it turns out… the scale we had been using was weighing 9% lighter then it should (this was verified using 3 X 10lb weights). So as it turns out, this fish would have actually hit 36 pounds! Time for a mechanical scale..
#3 – Grandpa’s First Carp
I’m grateful my grandparents were able to join us for a carp session one day this spring. My grandma reeled in her first carp a few years ago which was quite memorable, but this time it was grandpa’s turn to bring in his first. He ended up bringing in a couple with the largest shown here at over 30 pounds. He said this was his biggest fish ever and seemed pretty happy about that!
#4 – An Epic Double Header
Eric hooked into this beast of a fish weighing 34-pounds, 6 ounces! Before his fish was landed, my rod went off with a fish I’d be dreaming of catching for a long time… (see #5)!
#5 – My First Mirror!
Ever since I learned about mirror carp, I’ve wanted SO badly to land one. Until landing my very own, I had only ever seen one in person years ago. They are somewhat rare and it seems some areas have more than others. A mirror carp is a common carp with a genetic mutation making for some very unique and beautiful markings. Each fish has it’s own unique scale pattern and in some areas people will even name the fish as it’s easy to identify if and when they’re caught again. Eric landed his fish (above), then got the net ready for mine. When he caught a glimpse of my fish approaching the net he kept shouting:
I couldn’t believe my ears or eyes until the fish was laying on the landing mat for a few seconds. This was certainly my most memorable carp yet! With the weight adjustment, this mirror would have hit 25-pounds.
#6, #7 & #8 – A Triple Header
Carp fishing isn’t very popular in Ontario in comparison to many other species, so it’s always fun when you meet other anglers who are setting out to target these bugle-lipped beauties. We experienced a fun day on the bank with our friend Will (who we met through carp fishing a few summers ago), and a new friend Sean we met this spring. Four carp-heads on the bank (including Eric who took the photo) and lots of carp action sure makes for a memorable day! This photo is of a triple header that took place during our adventure.
#9 – Unique Scale Pattern
With such big scales, it’s neat seeing any pattern that’s out of the ordinary on a carp. Before landing a mirror (and even more so after), I am always eager to examine the scales on every fish that makes it to the bank. This markings on this one were quite beautiful!
#10 – Another Double
This unique fish above was also part of a double with my friend, Will! Double headers are always exciting and provide a nice photo opportunity, too!
Carp is still very untapped here in Ontario as mentioned, so many people are curious and even shocked at the sight of the carp-specific gear. I started out using my bass equipment which worked, but gearing up with proper gear designed for carp has certainly brought about way more success with less risk. These fish are large and very strong and can snap through regular equipment with the flick of a tail. If you’re thinking on getting into carp fishing I highly recommend browsing YouTube and seeing some of the gear in action. Like any type of fishing, it can seem overwhelming at first with all the options, brands, and product pitches on the market but don’t overthink it! 🙂
On these recent adventures I was using pop-up baits on a 360 rig. Here’s an underwater image of this rig taken last year.
This presentation allows the bait to hover just off bottom and the rig design enables it to rotate freely. Many of the areas I fish have muddy or silty bottoms so this helps my rig to be found by carp as opposed to sinking down vanishing into a soft bottom.
Where to Buy Equipment
I’ve noticed more fishing stores are beginning to carry carp gear as it’s popularity grows which is awesome! I have seen a few rods and reels at SAIL, along with some basic baits and rigs. Another good Canadian option is CarpKit.com.
I hope you’ll considering giving carp a try and would be happy to help shed some light on this species if you have any questions. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.
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