Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gloriously ugly fish

Monday night I got a couple hours to fish before dark so I decided to fish Beaverdam Reservoir for some topwater bass... Evidently they are slackers because they were still closed from the weak little hurricane we had. My next idea was to fish Ware Point for some speckled trout... Fail again. Had to be home by 9pm. Lastly I decided to fish for carp in a local pond. I knew they were there because I saw them while struggling to catch bass last week.

I had never fished for carp before, but I always wanted to. I had a good idea of how to catch them, but knowing how to and actually doing it is sometimes difficult.  I had about 2.5 hours to fish, but nothing was ready. Within 15 minutes, I called Rob Choi, got more info, mixed my carp bait (quick oats mixed with juice from canned corn and a touch of sugar), threw it in a plastic bag, then loaded my kayak.

I was at the water within 15 minutes of leaving my house but I didn't have a whole lot of daylight left. I quickly tied on a carp "rig" which consisted of a swivel to a 20lb test floro leader to a 1/0 bait hook...that's it. On my other rod I put on a Zoom Super Fluke. I never even leave the house without a rod with a fluke on it so naturally I had to have at least one rod set up with one.

I paddled nearly as hard as I could so I had more time to fish before dark. I realized I wasn't paddling at 100% so I decided to turn it up a notch and "CRACK!" I broke my paddle at the junction. It split about 6" down the shaft so I grabbed my handy pack of zip ties from my crate and cinched them down so my paddle could make it for the rest of the day without splitting the rest of the way.

After the mile paddle, I made it to the spot and immediately noticed some tailing carp. Before I started chunking my concoction, I tossed the super fluke and hooked a few bass and managed to catch two small ones. After soaking my bait for about 10-15 minutes with no luck, I cast in another spot where I had just spread a can of corn. It only took a couple minutes til I had my line slowly roll off the spool. I waited for about 3-5 seconds and snatched up on it just to see my hook fly out of the water. I baited up again and tossed it right back in the same spot. This time I waited a little longer and that seemed to do the trick! I hooked my first ever carp! It was a great fight that lasted about 5-6 mins through grass, sticks, and small trees. I finally got it up to the boat and realized... How do I grab this thing? I never heard that they had anything sharp on them but at the same time, I didn't want to go reaching in somewhere I'm not familiar with. I decided to grab the leader and just give it the ol' leg scoop. That did the trick! I measured my first carp at 31".

Unfortunately I forgot my camera and had to use my phone

For the next 30-45 minutes, I caught 3 more carp all between 30" and 31". At one point, I had one carp hooked on my 6'6" med act spinning rod and another hooked on a 6' med light action rod. It was a fun battle trying to keep one away from the other, untangling them from my anchor, landing them, and snapping pictures.

I was running out of time, but the fish were still biting. I decided to do the right thing and leave the fish biting... It was painful, but I managed. I got home with plenty of time left.

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