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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Something to do While Waiting for Carp Season to Start

One of the popular carp fishing forums has had a long running discussion going about what carp fishermen do when they can't go carp fishing. I have lots of other hobbies like keeping South American cichlids in my aquariums, reading, writing and making homemade beer.

Disclaimer: Making homemade beer is governed by law in your state of residence. Please research all applicable regulations before emulating my techniques and processes for beer making. This video is not meant to promote underage drinking or to promote alcohol consumption in any way.

Here's a video of a recent session:


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Budget Carp Alarms

When I started carp fishing I didn't want to spend a lot of money on carp bite indicating alarms. I fished without alarms for most of my 1st year of exclusively fishing for carp. And now after 3 years of carp fishing and catching 100's of fish I still don't want to spend a lot of money on bite alarms. I just don't think it's necessary. Instead of $300 on alarms, I'd rather spend $300 on other things - like funding my retirement account!

Photo courtesy NGTdirect.co.uk
I purchased some inexpensive NGT and BFS alarms from Resistance Tackle and Bank Fishing Systems a couple years ago and I am still using them. They work fine and get the job done. I bought them for under $20 each and have been quite satisfied with the results.

But when I do replace them, options have slimmed down quite a bit. Resistance Tackle and Bank Fishing Systems are no longer in business and the majority of alarms available through the remaining U.S. carp gear vendors are not designed for the extremely budget conscious angler. However, I did run across a new NGT design available through Big Carp Tackle that is still on the affordable side of things.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Posting Carp Pictures - Big or Small

I saw some comments recently on a social media carp fishing page making reference to posting pictures of small fish vs. large fish. Reading between the lines the poster was insinuating that pictures of small carp are somehow "unworthy" of posting to social media. I disagree with that sentiment.

Catching carp is not a simple process. Preparing for a session usually entails several hours of packing, traveling, unpacking, setting up, casting out; waiting, waiting, and waiting for a bite; and then hopefully - it all pays off with a fish on the bank.

And then when everything goes as planned - you might get lucky enough to catch a nice 20+ pound fish. If you are living right and are blessed enough by the fish giving gods - you might catch a carp weighing 30+ pounds.

To me, its' immaterial whether the fish weighs 30 pounds, 20 pounds, 15 pounds, or 3 pounds (yep I've caught one of those). I'm going to take a picture to document the moment - every single time!

What is your opinion?


Here's a picture of my 3 pound carp. Believe me, the fish was smaller than it looks in the picture!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Promoting Carp Fishing

I am writing this post as a "report card" or "editorial" or "opinion piece". Some who read it might not agree. Some might not like the post at all. I am taking that risk with the hope that my words might help change attitudes and help the growth of the sport.

I have been writing this blog, sharing pictures, tips, information about equipment, etc. for more than 2 years. I don't have a lot of regular readers yet, but that is also not surprising because compared to other types of fishing; carp fishing in the U.S. is still in it's infancy. I am fairly sure that a blog about Michigan bass fishing would have more readers. But I believe in carp fishing and I keep writing, keep teaching and keep sharing.


A picture of scales weighing a small mouth buffalo
I have been thinking a lot about how to promote carp fishing to more people, get more people out on the banks fishing for them, and remove some of the stigma that exists with guys and gals that have fished primarily for bass, bluegill, walleye, and catfish.

A lot of people who fish for carp talk about growing the sport, teaching more people how to catch carp, and promoting carp as a sport fish. In my 3 years of focus on species angling for common carp I have heard it 100's if not 1,000's of times, which I applaud, but I haven't seen a lot of people follow through by taking action on those desires.

I think there is a tendency to say we want growth of the sport; we want respect for carp; we want them regarded as a worthwhile sport fish on the level of bass or walleye; but what have we done to actually help that happen.

Sometimes rather than share the sport with others who mention an interest in carp fishing things are kept close to the vest. The specific techniques, equipment, baits, lakes, rivers and streams are a closely guarded secret. That is something I haven't seen as much with bass fishing. Bass fishermen I have known and do know are fairly open about the lakes they fish and the baits they use. There are probably close to 25 or 30 weekly television programs about bass fishing on at least 10 or 15 different cable TV channels. This free sharing of information has promoted bass fishing and allowed it to grow and prosper.

If we want carp fishing to prosper at that level, then we need to open up the doors and bring carp fishing out into the open with more vigor.

To demonstrate what I am referring to, I am reminded of an example from last year when I posted some pictures taken during a recent fishing trip on a "secret" closed Facebook page focused singularly on carp fishing. Within two or three minutes I received a private message asking me to remove the pictures from Facebook because the particular spot was a place where other carp fisherman have also caught fish. I was asked to "safeguard" the location of this public park as a "secret" because other carp fishermen have at some point fished in the same park at some time in the past.

I was pretty upset by the request. I was asked to keep carp fishing "quiet" at that location because someone else might go to that public park and catch a carp. This park has yielded some 30 pound carp in prior years, so I was being asked to keep the secret presumably so someone else might not go there and catch a big carp.


A day on the banks of the Rouge River last spring
So please, if you are serious about promoting carp fishing to the masses, share your information (and yes, some of your fishing tips and secrets), so that others may also begin enjoying the sport.

The counter argument of course is that bow fisherman may go to that public park and shoot a trophy sized carp. True. That is a risk, but bow fisherman already know where the trophy carp are. That sport is promoted. Secrets are shared. Big money corporate sponsors host large events with large prize money for bow fishing. So if we want carp fishing as a sport to grow and reach those levels, we need more people fishing for them to create a bigger voice to curtail or place some limits on the bow fishing and unlimited killing of trophy carp.

Keeping carp fishing a secret is actually counterproductive in that regard. Bass fishing has a large voice because they have large membership organizations that mobilize and influence regulations, corporate sponsors, advertisers, and televisions producers by providing eyeballs who watch programs. They didn't grow those bass fishing organizations by keeping bass fishing a secret.

But if the real goal is keeping the trophy carp to yourselves. Keep the sport in the shadows and limited to a small fraternity of people, then by all means; continue to keep it secret.

A Better Bucket for Carp Fishermen

I have been using a 2 gallon food grade bucket purchased at Gordon Food Service (GFS) to mix my
 
ground baits and method mix for 3 years. The GFS bucket works fine, but the mix dries out quickly on a hot, mid-summer day. To solve that problem I purchased a 2 gallon food grade bucket from Amazon.com that uses a gamma lid. It's a lid that screws onto the bucket to create a much better seal that will help prevent my ground mix from drying out so quickly.

They have bucket and lids sizes ranging from 2 gallons to 7 gallons. These buckets are also well suited for long term storage of good items like dried beans, grains, etc. as part of an emergency food storage plan. They also come with a humidity indicator strip to help you monitor the contents without breaking the seal on the lid.

If you would like to purchase a bucket with gamma lid, here's the link:


 




Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Break From Our Regular Carp Programming

It's too cold to fish here in Michigan right now and the lakes are frozen over, so all my favorite spots are inaccessible. So I use the 3-months away from carp fishing to catch up on some of my other hobbies. I work for an auto manufacturer. I enjoy car shows. I like taking pictures. Sometimes I try to combine them into one activity. Each January I attend the Detroit Auto Show aka North American International Auto Show. Here are some pictures from my recent visit. I hope you enjoy them.

F-150
Lincoln Continental
Indy Car

Viper
Ferrari

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

North American Carp Angler Magazine

Yesterday the post man delivered a new North American Carp Angler Magazine - one of the benefits I receive from my membership in the Carp Anglers Group.

The magazine has a lot of wonderful carp fishing pictures and stories about carp fishing trips from 2015.

2016 Special Print Edition of the North American Carp Angler Magazine

The magazine and organization focuses primarily on catch and release carp fishing. I also enjoy catching small mouth buffalo, which are actually in the sucker family of fish. Interestingly enough, the common carp is in the minnow family. The average American fisherman may not realize that (I know I didn't until I started researching carp fishing in greater detail.)

If you are interested in a membership, simply click the banner link at the top of this website page and it will take you to their website so you can check it out. If you decide to become a member, please tell them your were referred by Brian Pearcy.

They also have electronic editions of the magazine available at the website as well.

If you have questions about membership benefits, please let me know.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Health Benefits of Carp Fishing Through Meditation

I have previously shared my thoughts regarding the health benefits of carp fishing in a post I published a few weeks ago. Here is a video that offers some more information regarding the positives of spending quite time to ourselves on a regular basis.

I am not referring to clicking symbols, burning incense or aroma therapy types of meditation. I am referring to meditation in its simplest form; and it's something you likely find yourself doing naturally from time to time anyway.



 
 
If you would like to read more about meditation and how we can simply do this activity while we are sitting bankside waiting for the carp to bite I have included a video below from ABC News Anchor, Dan Harris, from Good Morning America.
 
Meditation can be done in 3 simple steps: 
 
1. Sit upright
2. Feel your breath
3. If your mind wonders, simple return focus again on the breath
 
 


 
 
Here is another way to mindfulness meditation is described courtesy of Wikipedia:

"going into the forest and sitting beneath a tree and then to simply watch the breath. If the breath is long, to notice that the breath is long, if the breath is short, to notice that the breath is short.[34][35]
By observing the breath one becomes aware of the perpetual changes involved in breathing, and the arising and passing away of mindfulness. One can also be aware of and gain insight into impermanence through the observation of bodily sensations and their nature of arising and passing away."[36]

Dedicated specimen carp anglers have likely been meditating for years without even realizing it.

If you decide to purposefully try these exercise while carp fishing, I'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts about the results.