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Friday, May 29, 2015

Why Isn't Carp Fishing More Popular?

I am in one of those moods tonight. The kind where I start wondering about things that most people could care less about. Tonight I am pondering why carp fishing hasn't gained much traction here in the United States compared to fishing for bass, crappie, bluegill, perch or even catfish.

Catch and release fishing has been in vogue for quite a while now. If I recall correctly, catch and release was made popular by the rise of bass fishing and bass fishing was made popular by the creation of BASS Masters and BASS Masters' success was fueled by sponsorships from boat manufacturers like Ranger, Stratos and Tracker.

A top of the line Stratos bass boat with a 200 hp outboard motor that is 3 or 4 years old sells on the used market for $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the way it's outfitted, accessorized, and the trailer it comes with. And then they need something to tow it with that totals another $15,000 for a reliable used tow vehicle and $40,000 or more for a new pick-up truck.

So there are literally tens of thousands of guys spending big bucks on used boats, burning gas running up and down the lake, catching fish that average 4 or 5 pounds (or even less) when they could have spent less than $500 fishing from the bank, and catch fish that average 15 - 18 pounds (or even more) depending on the specific fishing venue.

I don't know about you, but I'll keep the $80,000 in my retirement account and fish for carp!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Results of Boilie Making

Caught on a homemade boilie
I wrote a previous post about my first attempt at boilie making several weeks ago. I tried them out in early March at a local venue, but water temps were still pretty cold and it wasn't really a good time to test them. This past weekend I finally got around to testing them out thoroughly and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

I fish with corn 95% of the time, but occasionally I will use commercial pop up dumbbells if fishing is slow.

The weekend was typical and I baited up with corn. I fished for 4 hours with no catches, so I decided to switch over to my homemade boilies. Guess what happened? I caught a new personal best small mouth buffalo near Lake Erie within 30 minutes!

You're probably wondering about the recipe. You can access it here via my previous post or simply keep reading.

  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 6 jalapenos
  • 3 habaneros
  • 2 TBSP cayenne powder
  • 1 TBSP white pepper powder
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP Southern Comfort

  • It's probably not a conventional recipe that most people would use, but I had to improvise a conventional recipe with ingredients I actually had on hand.

    I am pleased with the results.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Small Mouth Buffalo and Common Carp Catches

    I caught my first buffalo a few short weeks ago at 11 pounds. I broke my personal best twice in about 30 minutes on Monday afternoon.

    One of these fish was caught on a WCB pink pop-up dumbbell and the other was caught on a homemade habanero boilie. In fact I caught 5 fish on my homemade boilies.

    The first buffalo weighed # 20.4 and the second one # 21.11. I really enjoyed catching these fish.

    I hope you enjoy the pictures.
    20 pounds 4 ounces
    The colors on this fish were very unusual

    21 pounds 11 ounces
    Profile picture?

    Small Mouth Buffalo close-up
    I caught 8 others ranging from # 20 down to # 7 for a total of 12 fish (2 catfish and 10 carp).

    13 pounds

    10 pounds


    8 pounds

    7 pounds

    9 pounds

    8 pounds

    11 pounds

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Saginaw River Carp Tournament

    Some pictures from Saginaw River.

    My view at the event on day one

    My spot on day one of the event

    Day one, first cast

    A view on day two

    Getting set up on Sunday

    My spot on day 2 of the event

    Saturday, May 23, 2015

    Memorial Day Weekend

    I headed out early on Saturday to my favorite local lake for carp fishing.

    The day started off with several catfish. I ended the day with 3 catfish in total.

    9 pounder
    3 pounder

    The carp weren't far behind.

    13 pounder

    Big common carp in the net

    Nice 20 pound 6 ounce common carp

    Just prior to release this lunker back into the water

    Here are a few more pictures from today's activities.

    A shot of my Sonic bait runners
    3rd carp of the day
    4th carp of the day
    I had another fish on that I lost. It was a good day to be sure. Bill was with me and landed the first fish of the session weighing 30 pounds 11 ounces. That gave me something to shoot for today, but I didn't catch anything nearing that size.

    We'll back out on Monday to try again.

    Saturday, May 9, 2015

    River Carp Fishing

    I headed out to a local river spot today and fished for a while. The day was fantastic with sunshine, light wind and overall great conditions. There were a couple of periods of light rain, but nothing to worry about.

    I started slow with only 2 carp by noon, but things picked up in the afternoon hours. Here are a few pictures of today's catches.

    These weren't quite the "river monsters" I was hoping for, but maybe they will grow up to be "river monsters" someday down the road.

    12 pounds 12 ounces

    12 pounds 12 ounces

    I love the colors on this fish.

    17 pounds

    15 pounds 4 ounces

    14 pounds 14 ounces

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Saginaw River 2015 Midwest Regional Carp Anglers Group Event

    We headed up to Bay City on Friday afternoon. Arriving at 3 p.m., it was a little too late to fish so Linda and I headed to the hotel for check-in; and then to downtown Bay City. We walked around downtown checking out the shops and visited 5 or 6 different antique shops.

    After eating at the buffet at Bay City's most popular Polish buffet restaurant, we turned in early.

    Saturday morning we headed to the peg draw and the to Veteran's Park for day #1 of the tournament. I spent the morning passing time by watching my rods. In the early afternoon the alarm on my middle rod screamed.

    13 pounder
    Then it got very quiet for 5 hours. Until shortly before time ran out my right rod screamed.
    Carp fighting pose
    17 pounds 14 ounces
    It was a long time coming, but this fish was worth the wait. I landed the fish and snapped this picture with less than 15 minutes remaining in the Saturday session.

    Day two on Sunday was not very productive for me except for a small channel catfish. I had a good spot on the bank that held a lot of fish just a few weeks ago at the pre-tournament fish-in, but someone forgot to tell the fish.

    The fish were AWOL from near shore and those to the right and left of me were catching fish farther out near the main channel. I was unable to cast the 100 yards out to the channel and did not catch any carp. There is nothing worse in carp fishing than your friends and neighbors catching loads and loads of carp; and you not catching any.