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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fully Scaled Mirror and Nice Mid-20's Common Carp

I have been carp fishing for almost 3 years at this point. That's 3 solid years concentrating on carp specimen fishing. I don't fish for anything else.

There is a local venue known for mirror carp. I fished the venue a lot when I was starting out because it's loaded with carp and it's close to my house. I see others catching mirror carp at that venue on a regular basis, but they have been elusive for me at that venue. I fish there because the action is usually fairly steady, although a 20 pound common would be considered "large" for that particular location. I had always hoped to catch a mirror and finally did last year.

There is another venue that I fish quite a bit as well. I like it because it's near Lake Erie and there is a chance to catch a nice lake fish at any given time, especially in autumn.

I was at that location today hoping to catch a new personal best, which for me is 27 pounds or greater. The action was fast and furious for me beginning within 30 minutes of my first cast.

I never really considered the chance to catch a mirror carp at that location, but today I was rewarded with a very nice fully scaled mirror.

Mirror carp

I caught 14 fish in total ranging from 4 pounds to 24 + pounds. Most of the fish were in the mid-teens.

Here's a picture of the largest fish I caught today. It's not a new personal best, but I enjoyed catching it.

24 pounds

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Tie a Blow Back Rig Video

I have been using a simple bottom bait for my first 2 1/2 years fishing for carp. While it is satisfactory for a basic rig, it does have some limitations for more serious carp fishing efforts.

The primary draw back to a simple hair rig that rests on the bottom of the lake or river is the bait sitting down in the mud, silt, vegetation, etc. and the fish doesn't see it as an easy opportunity.

I still manage to catch my share of carp with the simple rig, but I am sure I can improve my catch rate by branching out into some more flexible rigs.

I am committed to using the blow back rig as my "go to" rig next year. This winter will be spent mastering this rig and tying up as many as possible to prepare for next carp fishing season, which in this part of country really doesn't get started in earnest until mid-April.

Here is a video that provides step-by-step details for the blow back rig that my friend Adam uses. This rig caught a 53 pound common carp this year on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Two Nice Channel Catfish

I got out this afternoon to a local pond and enjoyed the 60 degree weather and sunshine with hopes of catching my 100th carp for the year. With the year winding down I am unsure how many sunny days we will have left before the weather turns colder and the snow starts flying.

Things started off well with some nice fish, but they just happened to be c-a-t-f-i-s-h which are usually a big disappointment for carp fishermen, but not today for me. I loved catching these. The pair of cats had some of the best coloring on them for any channel catfish that I have ever caught.

The clouds came and chased away the sun, which killed the bite so my 100th carp will have to wait a couple of days when get back out again.

10 pound channel catfish

7 pound channel catfish

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vacation Day Spent Carp Fishing

I had a vacation day today and decided to get out and enjoy the wonderful fall day with temperatures in the mid-60s. It was cool to start and remained windy throughout the day with gusts near 30 mph, but the carp didnt seem to mind. Many times during the day there were white caps, but unlike the last time I fished this venue it was sunny without a cloud in the sky.

I ended up catching 9 carp and a small bullhead catfish today. Individual fish weights were on the low end, but I dont mind one bit. Multiple carp are better than no carp any day. I had two that were about 11 ½ pounds, but most were near 10 pounds or less.

I fished this same venue on Friday with bigger average size, but this particular spot is pressured a lot more in autumn. Water levels at this location decreases in October and this spot provides easier access for netting fish. The other spot a little further down the bank has a 3 foot drop from the bank down to the water line.

I left for home at 3 p.m. thinking that my 9 carp were enough to put me at 100 carp for the year, but after checking my records today's carp put me at 99 and not 100. I guess I need to get out again soon and catch some more fish so I can top the century mark before the snow starts flying in a few weeks.

Last year I was still catching double digits on November 2nd, so I should have plenty of time to add to those numbers.

I also have some video clips from today that I will post a little later on.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tried a New Carp Fishing Venue

I traveled to a new venue today in search of some carp. It was in the 20's when we arrived, but with calm winds it was tolerable for a while. But then the winds arrived with gusts of up to 30 mph at times. It was cloudy in the early morning, but the sun arrived shortly before lunch time. I caught this nice catfish a little while later.

I didn't catch any carp today, but I'll be going back next spring to give it another go.

Nice channel catfish caught just before lunch

Here kitty, kitty

Saturday, October 17, 2015

More Michigan Carp Fishing Pictures

Here are a few recent pictures from various local sessions.

Nice 17 pounder

Mid teens common carp

Another mid teens common carp

First fish caught at a new water last week

Interest tail "notch" on this fish

Michigan Fall Carp Fishing

I have been looking forward to autumn for a few months. The leaves are turning, college football is in full swing, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the chances of breaking by personal best weight for common carp increases to way above average. Last year I caught my current personal best of 26 pounds 10 ounces in October when the weather was very similar to our current temperatures, winds and cloud cover.

I left the house at 6:30 and arrived to my favorite fishing spot about 7:10 after a stop at the convenience store for snacks and soda to tide me over for the next 10 hours or more. With the thermometer registering 39 degrees, I was appropriately layered up, gloved up and wearing a stocking cap to keep my bald head warm.

I started out with peach flavor for my ground bait and peach flavored maize for my hook bait and had lines in by 7:35 and my hopes were high.

My strategy was to feed them and feed them some more and keep on feeding them until I landed a couple of carp. I had a 5 gallon bucket full of panko bread crumbs and lots of cream corn so the race was on.

I re-casted every 75 minutes until the first fish was landed and then backed off to every 90 minutes. With water levels lower than normal, I had to cast out 70 to 80 yards and started hooking fish shortly before lunch time.

I made a miss-cast one time and the bait landed about 15 feet from the bank. I decided to leave it and see what happened. Well guess what happened…20 minutes later I hooked a fish. Unfortunately I didn’t land that one due to a hook pull.

Overall it was a very good day of fishing. I hooked 12 fish, landed 10 and had 2 hook pulls. My second hook pull was a very good fish. I am kind of bummed about that one. I would have loved to see just how big it was. I am sure it wasn’t new PB material, but it was very likely the biggest fish I hooked today.

My smallest fish weighed 10 pounds and the largest tipped the scales at 19 pounds 5 ounces. The majority of the fish caught today weighed in the 16 to 18 pound range. The average size for this time of year is lower than in the two previous seasons. I am sure the commercial fisherman who cleaned out the lagoon back in June impacted the average size. It will take a while for bigger fish to move back into the lagoon from the main lake.

Here are some pictures I snapped during the session. My photographer had to work today, so I had to do my best with the 10 second timer function on my cell phone. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. Hopefully I’ll have my photographer back for the next session for some better snapshots.












Saturday, October 10, 2015

Michigan Small River Carp Fishing

Since I started catching carp in 2013 I have been wondering about the possibilities for catching carp in a local river (really more like a creek compared to rivers where I grew up in Missouri), so I decided today was "the day" to try it out.

My day of carp pursuit started at 6:30 a.m. When I was in the U.S. Army my Sergeant Major had a saying for days like today - O Dark Thirty. Hey, that would make a nice title for a novel wouldn't it? If I ever give up carp fishing, maybe I'll give that a try (probably not).

The area of town has a shortage of street lights so I had to scout out the area in the dark and picked a spot. I got set up and rods out, but after sunrise doubt set in.

First venue.jpg

The spot was weedy, shallow and generally a "downer", but I stuck with it for awhile. I ended up catching a small catfish before deciding to try another spot 14 miles down the road to the west.


After a short drive to the second venue it didn't take long to put a fish on the bank. My fishing partner, Bill "Buffalo" Wazelle landed a nice 9 pound 11 ounce catfish.

Second venue.jpg

A few minutes later I landed a nice fighting carp, which confirmed the decision to move had indeed been "wise".

Fisrt carp.jpg

It took a while to land the second one; so long in fact that my fishing partner had to leave before the "screamer" occurred. I landed the second fish and couldn't have been happier.

Second carp.jpg

The fish hit the bait hard and headed for the hills before the drag got him under control and in the net. I didn't notice it until looking at the picture later on, but the fish had an interesting tail "notch".

Tail notch.jpg

I called it a day around 4 p.m., but regret it for not staying a little longer. I am confident I could have caught at least one more (if not two).

I am happy with my "discovery" today. It's a spot with good average size (so far) and I'll definitely go back there to fish another day.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Looking for Gold at a New Spot Close to Home

First fish weighing 10 pounds

Second fish 8 pounds

I love this close up of the scales on the 2nd fish