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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Carp Fishing Video

This video shows what carp fishing is all about.

Lake Erie Carp Fishing

The carp fishing plan for yesterday included fishing at a new venue on Lake Erie that I have always wanted to try but never got around to it.

We arrived as dawn was arriving. Paid our $10 to park. And headed to the fishing spot. Once dawn was in full swing it became clear that we had our work cut out for us. The two foot ways and spray from Lake Erie made it challenging to have confidence that carp would be feeding.

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

A local arrived later on and after a short conversation he pointed out that most of the days this location has very calm waters and is a joy to fish. We were lucky enough to get around to fishing it on the worst day possible year-to-date.

So we decided to move to another location.

I caught a carp and a catfish at the second location, but left disappointed with the low production.

Mid teens common carp

Carp on the landing mat

This fish was caught on a Gamakatsu carp hook. I've written about my testing and experiences with Gamakatsu in this article and others on this carp blog regarding the suitability of the Super G carp hook for carp fishing.

I do recommend a size 4 hook if you decide to try Gamakatsu for carp. I used two pieces of corn for this fish, but 3 pieces will also catch fish if rigged properly. In my experience testing the Super G hooks they hold better if the hook has some room to "turn" and "hold" in the fishes mouth. If the corn rests snug against the hook when hanging freely on the hair rig, I have experienced more hook pulls and lost fish. I have found that an 1/8" gap works well for me.

If you are using Gamakatsu hooks for catching carp I would enjoy hearing your impressions of them in the comments below.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Carp Fishing Pet Peeves List

This post is going to be a running list of things that bug me about carp fishing. I will update it from time to time to amuse myself (and hopefully a few others who read it).

1. People aren't really very good at estimating distances

I read a post on another site recently that described a fish peeling off 100 yards of line. I read another about how someone casted 150 yards with enough accuracy to hit the exact same spot time and time again in the course of a 24 hour session.

I ran varsity track in high school and covered 100 yards in a range from 10.95 - 11.1 seconds at various times. I also played baseball for 12 years of Little League, Junior Babe Ruth and American Legion. My specialty was center field, but I also played catcher quite a bit. Fortunately, I was chosen to numerous all-star teams representing our district in numerous tournaments. I made the throw from deep center field to home plate many times and I'll tell you - It's a long w-a-a-a-y-s.

As a result I like to think I am a pretty good judge of exactly how far 100 yards actually is. When someone says they casted 100 yards my antennae goes up and when someone says they cast 150 yards over and over and over again with pinpoint accuracy during the course of a 24 hour session...let's just say I am skeptical.

2. Focusing too much on the weight of carp ruins the fun of fishing in the first place

I know a person or two that have grown so accustomed to catching big fish in the 30 pound plus range that they actually complain when catching huge numbers of 15 to 16 pound fish. Once when the alarm was going off on a run I heard another guy complaining in anticipation that the fish would be on the smaller side. Some people have developed such a strong focus on catching fish that weigh X amount that I'm afraid they have lost sight on why they fell in love with fishing to start with. As someone who hasn't yet caught a 30 pounder, it's pretty demoralizing to struggle to catch a few carp now and then - and then actually hear an elite carp fishermen complaining about catching too many carp. I see it on Facebook cap fishing groups and I see it in online forums where carp fishermen congregate. I think these types of tendencies and attitudes in the online carp fishing scene are making it difficult to attract new people to the sport. But far, far worse in my opinion - it's making it hard to keep them.

Michigan Carp Videos

Here are a couple of fun videos I shot of some fish caught recently. Sometimes I like to do stuff to break up the wait times on the bank, so I shoot a short video of the fish instead of snapping a photo.

That video won't win an Oscar I know, but it's not cinema; it's carp fishing. Wink! Wink!

I filmed it myself using the cell phone. Fishing alone it's sometimes difficult to channel Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, etc.

These are two of the videos I shot just goofing around trying to entertain myself between runs.

I ended up with 4 carp, 1 smallmouth buffalo and 7 catfish. The biggest catfish weighed 7 pounds and the biggest carp was in the low teens.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Late Summer Carp Fishing - Lake Erie

After a 3 week hiatus due to some traveling and family duties (including my nieces' wedding), I was able to get out for some carp fishing today.

The first several fish were catfish. For reason the catfish were h-u-n-g-r-y today. It took the carp a little while to warm up to my bait offerings, but I was able to land a few carp later in the day. Two of the carp fell for my homemade almond/vanilla/Southern Comfort flavored deer corn.

I caught 7 catfish, 4 carp and 1 small mouth buffalo. In case you are wondering that is more catfish than I have ever caught in one session before. Although it's not what I was hoping for, since I was targeting carp, it was kind of cool to set a new personal best for catfish.

The catfish were hitting everything I threw at them early on. Butternut flavored ground bait, wild cherry berry, bumble berry, sweet plum, anise, and peach hook baits. I switched out butternut ground bait for pineapple and finally broke the string of catfish. Then I landed a couple on my homemade almond/vanilla/Southern Comfort flavored deer corn as hook bait.

The carp did not look too healthy for some reason. Many of them were scared up more than usual with lots of redness that is not typical for this location near Lake Erie.

Here are a few pictures from today's session:

A little worn down looking, which is rare at this venue

Low teens carp

I have learned that a small amount of pressure on the fish when preparing for a picture
 helps them relax and they stop flopping around / risk hurting themselves

Mid teens small mouth buffalo

Ranger net
Low teens common