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Sunday, April 26, 2015

My First Small Mouth Buffalo

I have been fishing a venue that is known to have a supply of small mouth buffalo. Everyone I know who fishes for carp has caught one there, but I had never caught one -- until today.

I caught this nice 10 pound small buffalo at mid day on Sunday.

Michigan small mouth buffalo

Small buffalo in sephia colors

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Saginaw River Carp Anglers Group Fish In

We headed to Saginaw on Saturday in search of big Michigan carp and a new personal best common carp. This social event provided a nice orientation to the river in advance of the CAG Regional in early May 2015.

During last year's event I caught 3 carp and a pike so hopefully with a little practice I can do better this time around.

My goal for Saturday was to catch a lot of carp and in the back of my mind I was hoping to catch a new personal best weighing in at more than 26 pounds to provide a new personal best.

I caught 2 carp and a catfish on Saturday.

My first fish on the Saginaw River near Bay City in 2015

My third fish (second carp) in the range of 15 to 16 pounds.

I didn't get a new personal best, but the weather was excellent and I enjoyed fishing with some of the Michigan members of the Carp Anglers Group. We'll be back in Saginaw in early May for the Regionals. I hope I can sort things out a little before then and catch some more fish.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fishing With Bow and Arrow vs. Killing Fish for Fun

Follow-Up 4/12/15:  In case anyone is wondering what ever became of the letter I sent the DNR back in March I am sharing an update. I am still awaiting a reply to my e-mail. I don't know how long those types of things usually take, but I honestly expected a note back by now.

I can only guess that it's because there aren't many people writing them letters along the lines of mine. For anyone that enjoys carp fishing even half as much as I do, please consider sending your own e-mail to the DNR and let them know that there are those of us who enjoy carp fishing just as much as others enjoy killing them with bow and arrow. It would be a shame if all the big carp are exterminated and all that's left are the run of the mill 8 - 10 pounders.

It might make more sense to limit the killing of carp with bow and arrow to those below 10 pounds and preserve the larger trophy sized carp for those like us who carp fish for the enjoyment that comes with catching the once-in-a-lifetime fish weighing 25, 30, 35 or even more than 40 pounds.

It's something to think about.

Original post from 3/21/15:

Some may wonder about the title I chose for this post. The point of the title is to draw attention to the difference between fishing and killing.

In my opinion, fishing includes catch and release; and catch and eat. However, my definition for fishing does not include killing fish for entertainment, killing fish to use as fertilizer, killing fish to discard them on the bank after you return to the boat ramp, or discarding them in the trash can in the parking lot on your way home.

I have been following a conversation about shooting fish with a bow and arrow in a Facebook Group that I follow closely. I sure will be glad when the weather warms a little more and everyone can get outside on the bank and do some fishing because the arguing and name calling is getting a little old.

I headed out for a few hours this morning to fish and things were pretty slow. There is still some ice on the water, so the water is bound to be cold. There are fish being caught, but they are few-and-far-between right now. But it's nothing a couple weeks of 60 degree weather wouldn't cure.

The conversation over on the Facebook page inspired me to write a letter and send it to the DNR. I have included a copy of it below. If you have always wanted to write a letter, but didn't have the time; feel free to copy and paste the words below and modify them for your own use. You can e-mail the letter to DNR-Fisheries@michigan.gov.

Hello,
 
I am writing to ask a question about bow fishing. 
 
I am an avid common carp fisherman as are many of my friends. I have been wondering for a while whether there are limits to how many fish bow fishermen can kill each day. Are there any actual limits? Are there any actual regulations that bow fisherman have to follow when they kill fish?
 
I have seen pictures of bow fishermen with more than 30 common carp killed in one day. I have seen people locally shoot a boat bottom full of carp and empty the fish into a trash can. I am guessing that since they placed them in a trash can they were not planning to eat them. I completely understand killing fish to eat, but I do not understand shooting fish and discarding them like trash.
 
I realize that many people do not regard carp as worthwhile, but their viability as a sport fish is highly underrated. I have caught many bass in my life and I've never experienced catching a bass that compared to the experience of catching even a small carp. Everyone that I have helped learn to fish for carp have told me the same thing.
 
There seems to be a lot of animosity between those who are serious carp fishermen and those who are avid bow fishermen. I am sure the two groups can peacefully coexist, but I feel some improved communication is in order.
 
Perhaps the common carp's viability as a sport fish could be acknowledged by the DNR in some way. They provide a multitude of angling opportunities in Michigan. They are one of very few fish that can be consistently caught from the shoreline without a boat in good numbers and with average size in the 8 - 12 pound range by even inexperienced fishermen.
 
Not everyone who likes or wants to fish has a boat. Not everyone who fishes aspires to catch bass, crappie and walleye. I urge the DNR to take a look at indiscriminate killing of common carp for the soul purpose of killing them to discard on the bank ,near the boat ramp, or in the trash can. I would encourage the DNR to consider implementing some rules and regulations for fish killing. I also urge the DNR to discourage the posting of pictures to social media and other websites that promote the indiscriminate killing of common carp.

Sincerely,

Brian Pearcy
Belleville, MI

First Fish Caught in 2015 (and 4 more)

Yesterday was the first very nice day we've had in 2015 on a weekend and I waited all week to get out and enjoy it. I was hoping the warmer weather would help with the chances of landing my first carp in 2015. With water temperatures hovering near 48 degrees, my hopes were high.

I landed the first fish shortly after 8 a.m. and another after 9 a.m.

The third was landed in the early afternoon and then two more between 4:30 and 5:00. It was a nice day on the bank and the sunshine certainly helped a lot.

Started the day with this little guy

Landed this 20 pounder about an hour later

Waited several hours for the third fish

This one sounded the middle alarms about 4:30

This one made the left rod scream just before 5 p.m.

It was a wet swim, but pretty productive after all. The muck boots were a must have for this spot.
It was must first time using butternut flavoring and it did not disappoint. Overall the flavor was very productive with bites throughout the day, 6 fish hooked and 5 landed.