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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fly Fishing for Carp

Carp Anglers Group

When I started researching "how to fish for carp" on Google, it didn't take long to find the CAG website. CAG stands for Carp Anglers Group. It's a membership organization that promotes carp fishing and information. There is a forum for beginners and also a members section.

I started posting on the beginner forum and within a few hours I had established several local contacts in the Detroit area to help answer my questions about equipment, bait, tackle, rigs, etc. There is also a section on the forum specific to Michigan carp fishing information with sources of information about local fishing spots, social gathering aka "fish ins", etc.

I have met many local carp fisherman via the CAG website and have fished with the group having learned lots and lots just by observing. I have found everyone to be very friendly and willing to help. I'd recommend the site to anyone who is interested in carp fishing.

Here's a link to the Michigan section of the CAG forum:
Michigan Meet Greet & Questions, Fish-ins, and Social Events

Here's a link to the Facebook page:
CAG on Facebook

Big Lake - Oakland County Michigan

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Big Lake is approximately 215 acres, 14 feet at it's deepest point and is located in Oakland County Michigan. According to reports available via AdvantageOakland.com the lake has a fishable population of carp present in the lake.

Whether or not there is significant boat traffic on this lake is unknown to me. A couple of websites I found stated there is no public boating access, but other sites state that the boat ramp is "pay-for-access". I could find nothing via the Michigan DNR to confirm it one way or another. If anyone knows for sure, please post a comment below. I find jet ski traffic frustrating when I'm fishing. I've had some past experiences with jet skis running over my lines requiring a re-cast or severing my lines completely.

I haven't yet talked to anyone who fishes this lake regularly for carp, but when the weather begins to turn I plan to put it on my places of future carp fishing spots.

Places to Catch Carp

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website the following lakes in Oakland County Michigan are lakes known to have high concentrations of common carp.

             Big Lake

             Big Seven Lake

             Cass Lake

             Cedar Island Lake

             Crystal Lake

             Heron Lake

             Kent Lake

             Lake Oakland

             Lake Orion

             Middle Straits Lake

             Pontiac Lake

             Proud Lake (upper & lower)

             Stony Creek Lake

             Upper Silver Lake

             Valley Lake

             White Lake

             Wildwood Lake

             Wolverine Lake

I've never fished any of those lakes to this point, but I plan to them on my "to fish" list for 2014. It makes sense that if you want to catch carp regularly, then fishing areas known to have high concentrations of carp should increase the odds.
Here's a video I found from carp being caught at Kent Lake:

The Ohio DNR also has some information available to help improve carp fishing skills for the beginner (like me). This information sheds light on some key traits and characteristics of carp behavior throughout the year.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fishing for Carp

I started fishing for carp in July of 2013. I had never tried it before, seen it done before, or even thought about it before seeing some YouTube videos about it earlier in the spring.

After watching a few of the videos, I got excited about giving it a try. If you haven't fished for carp before or are just beginning to learn about the possibilities, maybe these videos will help you gain confidence and encourage you to move forward with a carp fishing plan.

Here are three videos from catfishmaniaBill Wazelle and fitzz1971.

I had fished for bass, bluegill, perch and catfish before, but I had never seen fish of the average sized carp landed from the shoreline. So I headed out to Ford Lake on a Sunday morning in July to give it a try for the first time.

I had a very vague idea about how to carp fish using a hair rig. I learned how to tie a hair rig by watching other YouTube videos.

As luck would have it, Bill Wazelle was at the lake that morning and gave me several pointers that helped a lot. I didn't catch anything the first time out on my own rig, but Bill let me reel one of his in to get a feel for it. It happened to be a 16 pound mirror! From then on, I've been hooked on carp fishing.