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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Happy 2020

It's the time of year people set some goals for the upcoming year. I have lots of personal goals regarding my personal life, health and career, but since this is a carp fishing blog I'll keep it carpy.

I don't like to put a timeline on catching new personal bests because I usually catch them when I least expect it.

But my primary desires are two fold:

-- Catch some carp on a fly rod
-- Fish more in 2020 than 2019

That's going to require purchasing fly fishing gear, learning to use it, and brushing up on tactics for stalking fish.

The second one should be easy, but it does require a little luck with favorable weather and is sometimes reduced when unexpected family or work events arise.

-- And last, but not least, I'd like to take 3 people carp fishing that haven't experienced it before to help grow the sport.

If you know someone who might enjoy reading this blog, please share it with them.

I am grateful for my core group of 40 or so casual readers and I'd like to continue growing it.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Don't Apologize for Catching Fish

Today I saw a post on a popular Facebook Group of a spectacular looking fantail carp.

The poster had taken some stunning pictures of the fish, which would be a once in a lifetime fish for most carp fishermen around where I live.

The poster felt a need to apologize for the fish not being very "big" (i.e. less than 30#).

The fish was likely a mid-teens fish, but the weight is beside the point. For me, those comments apologizing for the size detracts from the great looking fish.

I did the same thing in the past myself. As carp fishermen I think we sometimes place too much importance on weight. I'm getting away from posting weights on my catches unless it's a 20# plus fish (and I don't post all of those depending on the body of water).

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Fly Fishing for Carp

Sometimes the cold weather of late fall and early winter gets expensive.

When temperatures drop into the low 30's and overnight lows get no higher than low 40's for day time highs, carp fishing ceases in my normal carping spots. Lack of fishing means I have some time for research. Lately, I have been looking into fly fishing for carp, smallmouth bass, pike and even muskie if the opportunity arises.

Never having fly fished before, the learning curve will be steep; but any worthy pursuit requires effort. That's what keeps it interesting for me.

My local fly fishing outfitter is about 7 miles away, so I stopped in on Friday afternoon to check it out.

I met some nice guys at Schultz Outfitters who love fly fishing and spent time with me discussing the possibilities and considerations.

I also found a plethora of videos on YouTube to help pass the cold months and help cure my no-fishing-itis.

I would love to find some used equipment to save a few dollars, but I will buy new too. The winter months provide some time to pull together a proper budget for spring fishing.

Based on my trip to Schultz Outfitters the ballpark all in investment is approximately $450 for gear and then $150 for 1-on-1 lessons.

I am not a boat owner, so being restricted to shore fishing and wading-accessible spots should help keep costs down too.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

November Carp Fishing

I miss the good old days when we had 60 degree weather in November.

This is a screenshot from a video of a capture I had 4 years ago today. The fish weighed 22.5 pounds and was my 3rd fish that day (I caught 2 more after this one).

22 1/2 pound carp
2015 and 2016 were outstanding for carp fishing in November.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Carp Fishing Art

It's been a dreadful few days locally weatherwise. I was hopeful to catch a few more carp on Friday, but the approaching cold front had other ideas.

So, absent carp pictures, I've been working on some abstract photos this weekend.

These photos were taken near a river with the sunlight creating an interesting reflection of the fall colors using random camera settings.

I may have over done it on #2, but it was an interesting experiment.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Michigan Fall Colors

I fished all day on Friday. Carp were jumping to the left, right and center of the swim.
I absolutely crushed the same spot 3 weeks ago, but today I didn't get a single, solitary bite, bump, run, or fish.

I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night (I haven't been in one since May), but I did see some nice fall colors.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Urban Carp Fishing

I caught this nice looking carp in late summer on the outskirts of urban Detroit.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chunky Monkey 2 Years Ago

The photo below was taken 2 years ago this week.

The 20 pound fish was a welcome surprise that day because this swim has not been producing fish of that size with regularity any longer.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Focus on Your Own Effort

Quote of the day from Eric Kim -

Spend large swaths of time NOT looking at anyone else’s work. Spend more time looking at your own work! 

I couldn't agree more about this  concept. I try to follow this philosophy in my personal life.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Improving Carp Photos

It's always frustrating when our hard work catching the fish ends with a sub-par photo. 

Here's a nice option for you - a photo app called Snapseed. Examples of the kind of possibilities the app has to offer are included below with the original and filtered photos.


After filtering in Snapseed

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Mirror Carp at Huron River

I haven't caught many mirrors over the years, so this one was very welcomed earlier this summer at the kid's fishing event.

Exploring New Carp Fishing Spots

The past two days I have been exploring potential new fishing venues. Today's trip was also a strikeout for catching carp.

After arriving at the chosen location at 7:30 a.m., I learned that the park remains closed until after 9 a.m.

So I picked an alternate location nearby. After arriving there I noticed a posted memorandum stating that accessing the lake and fishing from that location is prohibited by local city ordinance.

I identified a 3rd location and fished it for 3 hours.

In summary, I no longer recommend setting out in search of new waters without a great deal of intelligence gathering in advance. It will save a great deal of gasoline, money, time and ultimate frustration.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Carp Fishing is Hard Work Sometimes

Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances.
 Strong men believe in cause and effect.  
Ralph Waldo Emerson

October is Carp Fishing Discovery Month

I left the house early today to do some exploratory carp fishing in the Jackson County area. We arrived at the first spot at 6:30 a.m. with it still pitch black. I used the flashlight on my cell phone and quickly determined that the access for fishing was extremely limited.

What looked like wide open bank space on Google Maps was actually posted "no trespassing" and "private property". It ended up being the driveway to a lakefront residence, unfortunately. It looks like it used to be part of the park, but not any more. :-(

So we headed to an alternate spot 12 miles away near a boat ramp that I've actually looked at previously. With the weather, the boat traffic was very sporadic but I'm not really sure there were any fish in the swim.

There were not signs of fish surfacing at all, but we tried for 3 hours or so. But with no beeps and no signs of fish, we determined that the day was a bust.

Has anyone else been out this week in the spirit of "Discovery Month"?

Have you "discovered" some new fishing spots?