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Monday, December 15, 2014

Fishing Tip #5 for Carp - Bolt Rig

Yours truly baiting the hair rig.
You can see the 2 oz. lead in the picture.
I have written a few articles with specific tips about things I have learned that helped me catch more carp. It's only fair that I share what I've learned because many have helped me too.

In the past I have tried to rank the tips in order of importance, but thinking about it more today I realized that there is no one particular tip that helped me more than others. It was a combination of all the above!

I prefer flavored maize, hair rigs, inline leads and braided fishing line. I rig it all up using a "bolt" set-up.

Here is a photo series from Flickr.com that helps explain it in pictures: Click here The photos were put together by user TimJC513. I found them via an Ohio fishing forum.

I have used 2 oz. and 3 oz. inline leads from Resistance Tackle with success. I like to keep it lighter when possible, so I use 2 oz. leads 90 percent of the time.

I typically store the hook like in the picture below for casting. I have tried it a few different ways including 1) leaving it loose (hanging below the method ball) and 2) wrapping it inside the method ball (as in the Flickr pictures I linked above).

This picture was taken just prior to landing a 21 pound common carp
 near Lake Erie this fall.

The disadvantage to #1 is that it can tangle during the cast. The disadvantage to #2 is that sometimes the method ball will break apart during the cast leaving the hair rig laying on the bottom of the lake without the aid of the "method" to attract the carp.

If using a 1 oz. or 2 oz. lead for the bolt rig, be sure to keep the slack out of the line. It will help you catch more fish. With a 3 oz. or heavier lead, and appropriate test curve rod, you should be able to cast farther and when the fish "bolts" it will still get hooked if everything works as hoped. Even so, I still prefer the 2 oz. leads when possible because it's easier on your tackle, knots, rods, line, etc.

CAG Midwestern Regional - Saginaw River - Near Bay City

I just signed up for the CAG Midwestern Regional today. I enjoyed this team event last year. I hope the weather is a little better this time around.

We stayed in Bay City last year at the Doubletree and we plan to stay there again. It's a nice hotel within walking distance to downtown Bay City (as long as it's warm). Last year we had raging wind gusts of 30 - 35 mph for much of the weekend, but we still caught carp. For anyone who is planning to go in 2015 I'd encourage you to bring plenty of warm clothes along. You may not need them, but you'll be glad to have them if you do.

Here are a few pictures from last year's event:

Baiting up

My spot on day 1

This was the first fish caught in the tournament by the Michigan Team in 2014.
It only weighed 13 pounds, but at least I was on the board for a short time.

Our spot for day 2 of the event

I caught 4 fish on day 2, but for some off reason I didn't take a picture of the largest carp I caught all weekend. It only weighed a little over 15 pounds. By that time it took a 17 pounder to make it onto the team board.

My 4 fish on the second day, including the pike in the picture above, were caught in the last 90 minutes of fishing. It was quiet all day long and then bam, bam, bam, bam. It was an onslaught of small carp.

This is my favorite picture of the weekend taken on Linda's cell phone and featured in CAG's online magazine. Linda wasn't given credit for taking the photo in the magazine, but I'll give her credit here again.

The calm morning turned into a very, very windy afternoon on day 2.

2015 Wooden Shoe Carp Classic - Holland Michigan

It looks like I'm going to miss the event this year because I didn't see the sign-up for it until last weekend and it's full up at this point. I fished it last year and had an enjoyable weekend. My luck on the first day was terrible, but the second day was pretty good.

For anyone who will be going to fish the event, make sure you take a very sturdy net with a long handle. A 10' to 12' handle would be best. We were able to make our 6' handle work but it's borderline depending on the water level.

Here are some pictures from 2014:

My largest fish was in the 16 pound range if I remember correctly. I caught several nice catfish on day 2.

For anyone who missed the "official" Wooden Shoe Carp Classic event sign-up, but would like to take a nice drive to Holland and do some carp fishing anyway on another date; I plan to fish that venue this spring.