Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fly-Rod Carping, 7-26-2011

Catching carp on fly-fishing gear is FUN!!!
For at least the past year, my friend Ben (his blog site is located at http://bent-rod.blogspot.com/ ) and I have been talking about trying to coax the carp at the marina of a local reservoir into hitting bread flies.  There is a restaurant at this marina, and kids and adults occasionally toss bread into the water to see the big carp come up to feed on it.  Its pretty exciting seeing those big fish in a wild feeding frenzy.  Without bread in the water, the fish disappear.
So...our plan was to "chum" with some actual bread.  We hoped this would get the carp to show up and start feeding.  We'd toss our bread flies and....catch fish!  Sounds easy, and it sort of is.  Cheating, maybe.
We've had a few weeks of blazing hot temperatures.  The fish seem to be deeper, or hiding under the docks or something.  We got some fish to show up today, but not as many as I'd hoped.  Still, we caught fish, and had an absolute BALL fighting these powerful fish on fly gear.  And several times, the carp beat us.

I've caught carp on flies before, but this was to be Ben's first time.  Ben is an experienced fly-fisher, for sure.  His casting is spot on.
Ben fished from his float tube, and I fished from my kayak.
We selected our location near the marina restaurant docks, and tossed some chunks of hot dog buns.  After about 10 minutes, a couple of carp showed up.  Ben hooked up first.  We had been concerned that the fish would get tangled in the cables under the docks that secure them in place.  Fortunately, his fish soon headed for open water.
video

With an audience of a mom with her two kids, the battle was on.  And right after I stopped taking the video above, my line took off and I was hooked up as well.  My fish darted under the docks, then turned and headed straight for Ben's fish.  It was taking me on a "sleigh ride" in my kayak!  It circled Ben's float tube.  Ben threw my line over his head to avoid getting wrapped up, and somehow our fish didn't tangle the lines together.  We were able to land Ben's fish first.

His first fish measured 24"+ and over 7lbs.  After pictures and measurements, he helped me land my fish.  Mine was 25"+ and @ 8.5 lbs.  These were both CHUNKY fish!

As I recall, Ben landed another carp in the 8.5 lb range, then caught this 27", 12 lb jumbo in the picture below.  It was the biggest fish of the day!


 I had a BIG carp that I'd just hooked drag me towards the dock, then turned and dragged me sideways, slamming into the dock to my right side!  GEESH, STRONG FISH!  I couldn't turn it, and eventually I could feel that it had wrapped around a cable.  I could still feel the fish on.  Ben pulled my kayak away from the dock, while I worked at trying to free the fish from the cable.  My line eventually broke.  That was a nice fish!  I did catch another.  My biggest carp of the day was this 9 lb 11oz fish.

 If you can change your thinking, they ARE kind of pretty!

Ben had at least two other fish on that broke his line.  I think we did land the one he's fighting in the picture below, however.
We weighed most of the carp we caught.  They ranged from 7lbs to 12 lbs, with the average being around 8.5 lbs.  Lengths were tough to get accurately since neither of us had a long enough flat area on which to lay them.  As best we could manage, the fish were at least 24" to 27" (and possibly up to an inch or two longer).
Oh...and I also caught an 8" bluegill.

The carp battles were epic, the shortest probably being 10 minutes.  We had a blast!

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