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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Michigan Fish In Event

The Michigan member of the Carp Anglers Group are hosting the first fish-in of 2016 on Saturday April 2nd at Sandy's Marina on Belleville Lake.

Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This will be a fun, friendly and social fish in. If you have always wondered about carp fishing, but didn't know who to ask or how to get involved this is your perfect chance to get involved and learn the ropes.

20+ pound common carp

Catch and release

Monday, March 28, 2016

Carp Fishing Alliances

I have written about alliances, sharing carp fishing information, baits, techniques, locations, rigs, flavors, etc. in prior blog posts. No one has really taken me up on that idea so far, but it's still valid. Sharing information can provide better fishing results for everyone involved.

I am in a carp fishing club, but sometimes it does not lend itself to the type of fishing information sharing I am thinking of. In large groups there are people with a variety of goals, agendas and intentions. A segment of  any large fishing group might be purely recreational, some might be purely professional, others might be looking for sponsorship opportunities, and still others might be interested only in hard core competition.

I have a day job and can't seriously pursue fishing professionally; and besides that I don't have the talent for doing that. But when I do fish I am semi-serious about catching the most fish or the biggest size that I can on the days I am able to go fishing.

If this sounds like you and you are interested in sharing along these lines, let me know.

Two heads are better than one. We can cover more ground with two than as single individuals. Give it some thought and let me know.

At 24 pounds, this was my personal best carp for quite a while a few years ago

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2017 Austin Team Championship: Cardinal Carpers

I missed the 15th annual Austin Team Championship in 2016, but I have plans to attend the 16th annual event in 2017. With 11 months to prepare I should be able to put a plan in place to maximize the opportunity to participate in the next event.

I'm new to tournament carp angling so I need to get up to speed throughout the year in 2016. I plan to fish a lot of new venues to challenge myself and find ways to make adjustments for conditions that I haven't experienced before.

I plan to fish as "Cardinal Carpers", which is a tribute to growing up in Missouri as a diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. If the names Whitey Herzog, George Hendrick, Jack Clark, Tony LaRussa, Willie McGhee, Vince Coleman, Scott Rolen, and Ozzie Smith mean anything to you; and if you would like to fish with me at the 2017 Austin Team Championship next year in Austin, Texas drop me a line.

Throughout the year, I will be tagging my posts on Facebook as #cardinalcarpers and posting pics of carp I catch wearing my favorite Cardinals ball cap in the photos. To demonstrate your Cardinals pride please do the same and drop me an e-mail. With your permission I'll share the photos on this page to help promote our efforts to compete at the 2017 ATC.

Upper teens carp landed a couple of years ago near Lake Erie
If everything goes as planned I will spend a week in the Austin area and do some fishing at Decker Lake and Emma Long as well. I enjoy catching buffalo and carp. Texas has some huge buffalo opportunities that I plan to pursue.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Carp Session

I headed out this morning with high hopes. The weather forecast predicted a sunny day with temps in the low 50's. With temps in the low 20's, lots of frost, and puddles of frozen water on the bank when I arrived at my favorite carping spot this morning, I was a little nervous.

I got lines in by 8:30 and started waiting. I waited some more. And waited some more. I re-casted. And re-casted again. And then again.

By noon I was having some doubts about keeping my streak of catching fish alive (4 straight sessions).

And then the sun came out strong and proud. Activity started picking up on the rods in fits and starts. Then the right rod got a run.

As luck would have it I was in mid-cast on the left rod and had to stop mid-way through to pick up the screamer. It was muddy, wet and slick on the bank today and I felt a sharp tinge in my left side when I turned to grab the screamer. It truly felt like I had stuck myself with a sharp object. By the time I got to the rod the fish was gone, but my pain remained.

I pulled a muscle about midway down my rib cage and it hurt like everything and then some.

But the pain was all better about 30 minutes later when I caught my largest fish in 2016 so far.

18 pounds and change
This fish snuck up on me today. When I saw it in the water it didn't look very big, but once it was in the landing net it was much bigger than I realized.

Most of the fish I've caught in 2016 to date have been in the 10 - 11 pound range, so an 18+ pound fish was a welcome addition to my fishing efforts.

One of the pretties sights in carp fishing - releasing the fish to be caught another day by another carp angler

I really liked the contrast of the fish against the green on my carrying sling

Heading back home again

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday Carp Session

I got out for a carping session today. The temperatures did not cooperate. With temps at 24 degrees when I left the house early this morning, I was a little skeptical and leery about whether the carp would be actively feeding.

It was cold, overcast and windy until about 1 o'clock. The sun popped out from behind the clouds and when it did the alarm on my far left rod sounded off on a run. The lone fish I caught today weighed a little more than 11 pounds.

11 pounder

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Second Time Out Catching Carp in 2016

It was a cold day to be standing at the water's edge this morning. When I arrived at my chosen spot near Lake Erie at 7:30 a.m. the temperature gauge on my Explorer registered 26 degrees. Before I even opened the door I pulled the stocking cap down a little tighter over my bald head because I could tell from the way the vehicle was swaying in the wind, this session would be a cool one.

I scouted the venue once before when it was iced over, but today was my first day fishing the location. It has a lot of bank space and it's on a river known for a large carp population. Since Lake Erie holds some 30+ pounders (at least), I had hopes that I might catch a lot of carp and that one might be at least in the 20+ pounds range.

I tied on some fresh hooks, baited up with some corn and casted out.

Since it was my first time fishing the spot, I decided to re-bait every hour until I landed a fish. And after 3 hours I landed a nice fish with a wonderful golden hue.

A nice little golden bones to celebrate the weekend
Unfortunately it was the only fish I caught today, but with a 4 day weekend coming up I hope to catch some more soon.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

First Carp Session of 2016 - Two Carp and a Catfish

I have been looking forward to getting out on the bank in search of some gold for the past couple of weeks. The weather here is Michigan has been teasing us with some above normal temperatures and until this weekend I have been stuck indoors. Yesterday was a beautiful day with a high temperature near 60 degrees with sunshine and a very light breeze. Unfortunately I was not able to fish yesterday though and my only available time was today. The forecast when I went to bed was for rain in the afternoon, so I slept well with a plan to get out early after taking my wife to the airport at 4 a.m. for a flight to Nashville.

I dropped her off and returned home. After pulling up the radar on my laptop I confirmed my suspicion. The weatherman is terrible at forecasting the exact timing of when rain will arrive. He is are usually early with the forecast, but today he was late. The rain arrived at 6:30 a.m. It was a light rain so I decided to chance it with the hope and a prayer that it would be a light drizzle and I could still fish.

I drove 35 minutes to my fishing spot and started pulling out my gear. When I started making the pack bait, I searched around in a panic for a can opener. It was starting to rain a little harder at that point and I wanted to hustle up and get lines in the water. But without a can opener it would be a major bummer because I had no other way to open the cream corn and no other options for ground bait this morning.

A guy out for an early morning walk stopped by and offered his Leatherman tool. I gave up on that after about 10 seconds and besides that the rain was really starting to come down. I decided to throw in the towel return home. It was still dark so I figured with rain that hard so early it might not get any lighter for a while.

Instead of going straight home I headed to Mejier and purchased a can opener. Of course the cheapest can opener I could find was $11.99. Ouch.

I got home and flipped on the Sunday morning talk shows. It didn't take long before I was so disgusted with listening to who's accusing who of what and when, where and how, that I turned off the TV. I looked outside and noticed the rain had let up a lot. So I decided to head back out to the fishing spot. At that point I had a can opener.

I drove the 35 minutes back to the fishing spot. When I opened the rear hatch of my Ford Explorer there was the can opener staring me right in the face. I have no idea how I missed it earlier, but I'll chalk it up to early year rustiness. It was my first carp fishing trip of the year.

I got my Panko mixed and lines in the water. It was still a very light drizzle at that point and 48 degrees with almost no wind. Things were looking up.

The rain gradually picked up. And picked up some more. And picked up some more.

And the winds came. And it got a lot colder. And before long it got even colder with more wind.

But then I got a run, so all that discomfort went away at the first sound of the alarm screaming.
Then after a few turns of the reel handle I knew it wasn't a carp. I landed a small 3 pound channel catfish a couple minutes later.

By this time I was rather damp.

But I decided a rainy, windy, cloudy day fishing was much better than listening to the Sunday morning talk shows and it was light years ahead of going to work, so I continued fishing.

About an hour later I landed a small carp. But my hands were almost numb before I got him back in the water.

First carp in 2016

I just love catching a nice, clean golden bones

2nd carp caught in 2016

And my favorite part -  Returning the fish to be caught another day by another carp angler

And after a recast and a lot more rain, wind and cold. I even caught another one.

 These were the worst conditions I have ever fished in. That automatically makes these the most challenging two fish I have ever caught.

And after a rocky start earlier in the day, my first session of 2016 was salvaged. My confidence is sufficiently boosted now after a long, cold, snowy winter of no carp fishing.

Now I can't wait until next weekend to do it all again.