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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pictures of Recent Carp Catches

Here are some pictures of various catches from a recent session. I ended up with 8 carp and a small-mouth buffalo. I also have a pretty funny video I will be posting later on. I was using panko, chicken feed, peanut bird pellets crumbled up, and cream corn with peach or butternut flavor and hook bait dipped in 3D powder. These fish were all caught within 20 minutes of recasting fresh pack bait. Waiting longer than that yesterday did not produce results.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Carp Fishing Blooper Video

Here's a video from a few days ago of me releasing one of my better catches in 2016. It's kind of a blooper clip. You will see why pretty quickly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Vacation Day Carp Session

In the autumn of each year I look forward to the chances to catch some high quality carp specimens. I am lucky to have accumulated quite a bit of vacation in my 20 years working at my employer, so I can actually fish several days during October.

After blanking on Saturday after driving 3 hours round trip, I headed out Monday morning with high hopes and the carp did not disappoint me. In fact I caught 9 carp and a small mouth buffalo. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

1st fish of the day

2nd fish of the day

3rd fish

Carp close-up

This fish was the second fish in a double header.
I was struggling to get pictures before another fish screamed off,
so I snapped this picture of the fish while still in the landing net.

This is the first fish of the double header.
It was the big fish of the session at 20 pounds.

This fish was still eating pack bait even after I captured it in the landing net.
It made me laugh so hard I decided to snap a picture as a reminder.

My last fish of the day was caught while I was actually packing up my gear to leave.

Here is a little better picture of the small mouth buffalo. I love this fish.
For a small mouth buffalo, this fish was in pristine condition.
It's not the biggest buffalo I've caught, but it's definitely my favorite.
And in case you are wondering, this fish weighed a little over 16 pounds.
If I am lucky I can get a few more sessions in before it turns too cold to catch. The last few years on Halloween I have had very good fishing luck. My fingers are crossed for this weekend.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Carping in Michigan

I have been fishing for carp almost 4 years at this point and fall arrives each year with mixed emotions for me. On one hand it signals winter's pending arrival. On the other hand I got my personal best 26+ pound common a couple of years ago in October, so it can be a good thing too.

I had a vacation day on Friday and decided to head out to a local spot and spend the day fishing for carp and small mouth buffalo.

I arrived to my spot and got set up for fishing only to realize that
I left my alarms and bite indicators at home sitting on my garage
floor. I had to transfer my gear from one vehicle to another and
didn't get everything transferred. I fished old school style for a couple
of hours until my wife brought the alarms and indicators later.
There are realistically only 3 weeks or so remaining before I will be out of fishing season for a few months. I don't ice fish at all so we're in the home stretch for 2016. Here are some pictures from Friday's efforts. There were 3 catfish and 6 carp landed ranging from 3 pounds to 24 pounds.

I was fishing alone and had no one to snap pictures of my catches. So I posed the camera and took some test shots using the timer on my cell phone. I prefer someone else to take the pictures so I can get the fish posed properly, but self-pictures work in a pinch. I took several pictures to judge the distance and lighting and settled on this spot. Luckily I had fish to pose later.
 The day started out with 3 channel catfish. Even though I was primarily targeting common carp, I really don't mind catfish too much because it does help pass the time until the carp start feeding.

This was my first carp of the day. I took a little extra time reeling this one in because when I picked up the rod from the cradle I sensed this fish was very high quality. I turns out I was right. The fish weighed a few ounces over 24 pounds. I wish I could have gotten a better close up to show the size, but it's hard to judge the distance using my cell phone.
That fish was caught on plum/berry flavored corn with a butternut flavored pack bait.

This was the second fish of the day caught a short while later.

Third carp (6th fish of the day)

The 4th carp was uniquely shaped. I think this fish has the potential to be a lot bigger some day soon.
Although shorter and stocky, this was a very dense fish. I hope I get a chance to catch this fish again when it finally "grows into" that long and slender tail section.

I took this picture during one of the releases

Pardon my pose. The camera fell a little low on the tripod and I was trying to ensure I got the fish in the shot. Taking self-photos can be tricky at times when you're catching fish every 5 or 10 minutes in succession.

Little guy that actually jumped out of the net twice before I got him corralled for the final time.
I wish I had it on video because it was very funny to see.

Here's a picture of the 24 pounder being released back into the lake. Hopefully he'll be back to be caught another day (or by someone else who appreciates carp fishing like I do).

I took a short video to go along with the release picture above. It's not great, but this is on the side of a 3 foot bank that drops down into the water with one hand on the carry sling and one hand holding the camera and me trying not to fall or slip into the water.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Small Mouth Buffalo, Channel Catfish, Bullhead Catfish and Common Carp

After blanking for 7 hours on Friday I decided to return to an old venue with mixed emotions. The old venue isn't what it used to be, but it's definitely better than blanking at a new spot.

I was targeting common carp obviously but I caught a little bit of several different species. The buffalo are cool, simply because they are relatively rare in the venues I have fished in Michigan. I have been fortunate enough to catch quite a few in the last couple of years. They rarely set off a bite alarm, but if you watch your rods closely and see the indicators bounce a couple of times chances are it's a small mouth buffalo at this venue. I've probably missed several others because if you are not watching your rods you may not know you need to set the hook.

I caught a total of 12 fish and at one point in the day just keeping 3 rods in the water was a challenge since I was fishing alone and trying to take a few pictures. My right arm is sore this morning from carrying fish in the net, but it's a good soreness for sure.

I'll rest up this week, pop a few Aleve and hope that my fishing sessions next weekend turn out well too.

None of these fish broke a personal best for any of these species, but almost all were high quality. When I saw the buffalo jump and splash as it neared the net I hoped briefly that it would be a new personal best but it missed that mark by about 15%.

The bite stopped after about 3 p.m. and I only managed a couple of runs (and hook pulls unfortunately) until 5 p.m. so I headed home.