Friday, July 29, 2011

Grass Carp? Catfish!

My friend Ben and I ventured out this evening to try chumming bread at a local pond for Grass Carp...then we would toss flies to them.  The first pond we tried is reported to have gotten a "mother lode" of grass carp stocked into it last year.  To the tune of 60 grass carp in a pond that covers 4.26 acres.  After about 1.5 hours, we didn't raise a single grass carp on the bread.  I caught a few bluegills while I was waiting for grass carp to show, and Ben caught a decent bass that put up an excellent fight.

Next, we decided to try this same tactic at another nearby pond where I have seen (and caught on fly gear) grass carp.  At first it was sunfish hitting the bread, but then some bigger fish showed up.  We were excited!

I tied on a "bread fly" that was mainly white marabou with a little tan marabou, tied similar to a Gartside Softhackle Streamer.  I got the first hook-up into a good fish.  It started dragging my line through the algae mats, so I had to wade out into the water to free my line up from this heavy "gunk".
Fortunately, by the time I cleared my line, the fish was still on!

Check out the bend in the rod below!

It was a good fish....but not "grass carp"-sized.
Turned out to be a channel catfish with a huge belly....and it was hooked in the side!

 Anyway, we kept baiting the area, and had some more larger fish hitting the bread.  As the sky darkened, I got another take.  FISH ON!  I had to wade back out into the muck again to land this fish.  It was another fat-bellied channel catfish, and this one was hooked in the mouth. 

Ben switched to a floating bread fly pattern he had tied, and started catching bluegills on it, despite the large hook.
It was fun fishing, and exciting to see the big fish boiling on the floating bread.  Were ANY of those boils made by our target species, Grass Carp?  Until we catch one, we just don't know.

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