I went carping on Thursday of this week. I worked on the July 4th holiday and I knew I would also work on my regular Friday day off this week, so Thusday was the only chance to get away. I tried a new lake this time in the hope of getting my grandkids into carping. For that reason I also brought along a spinning rod because that's what they'll be using and I wanted to test a PVC rod holder I made for them. Actually this lake is one that is adjacent to the lake I usually fish. It is full of carp, too, but the larger lake always kept my attention. Anyway, I wasn't disappointed with my choice for today.
I spent the first hour paddling around in my solo pack canoe, checking depth and structure with a clamp on depth/fish finder. The deepest part of the lake is about 6 feet. Most is between 3 and 4 feet. Lots of fish were active, as evidenced by the frequent appearance of moving "carp bubbles" in many spots. The canoe didn't seem to spook the fish the way my float tube did on a former trip. It might even be possible to fish from the canoe for carp if I could come up with a good anchoring system.
Here's a shot of one corner of the pond. The veggie mats are floating .
After the exploring I found a good spot on the bank, set up the rod holder, and tossed out my rig. Soon I spotted a nice carp moving across the surface in front of me. He was taking something from the surface every few inches. My first impulse was to lay out a cast to the fish, then I remembered that I was anchored to the bottom with the spin rig so I just watched. As the fish went by, apparently he spotted my bait lying on the bottom in the shallow water. He disappeared from view moving in the direction of the bait. The line twitched, I set the hook, and the fight was on. Looked like the same fish. This was a really hot one. He ripped line from the reel as he headed out one way, then changed direction and repeated the process, heading for a raft of floating veggies in the middle of the pond. I applied hard pressure in do-or-die fashion and turned him. Eventually the fish was landed, a very nice and sleek 11 pounder.
The rest of a day was a series of waits and bites. I was using a technique called "touch ledgering" which allowed me to feel even the slightest tick on the bait. Hook is set at the slightest tap to try to catch the fish before he blows the bait back out. I want to perfect the technique because I think I can teach it to the kids. Their reflexes are in better shape than mine (though I've had a liftetime of practice!) In addition to the fish above I caught an 8, a 6 1/2, a 5, and a 4 1/2 pound fish. Pics of these four are below. I've lost track of which fish is which.
It was a great day on the water. These are the first carp I've caught on anything but my fly rod. While I prefer the fly rod, it was very relaxing and enjoyable. I hope to bring the kids soon. The shot below was taken as I gathered my tackle and headed back to the truck. The end of a very nice day on the water. Carping is fun!