Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carp for Lunch....8-2-2012

No...its not what I ATE....its what I CAUGHT!

In order to diminish the chances of ruining a potentially good fishing spot by publicly NAMING it, lets just say I did my research and determined there would be current in a certain area, despite the very dry conditions we've had all summer.

I arrived during my lunch hour, air temp in the 90's, dressed in my casual dress slacks, casual dress shoes, and button-up short-sleeve casual dress shirt.  In short, a rather dapper fella, given the circumstances.  At least I threw on a ball cap before I left my car.  It was a fair 10-minute walk to get to the spot I wanted to fish.  When I finally got there, there was abundant evidence of schools of shad throughout the area.  In fact, it was pretty much PACKED with shad!  I could see backs of carp along the shoreline.  Big sucking, smacking sounds and splashes in one particular area.  Many large fish vacuuming up shad.  As I walked closer to that area, I could see many of them were nice catfish.  That would slowly rise mouth up beneath the schools of shad, then suck them in near the surface, before splashing and rolling on the surface to disappear back below the shad.  Looking back...I should have gotten that on was pretty cool to watch!

The shad were in at least 3 distinct sizes.  6"-7",  3"-4", and 2" +/-.

I had both spinning and fly rods with me.  One spinning rod had a topwater lure on it.  I made a few casts, but it wasn't what I wanted, and I didn't really give the fish a chance to chase it.

I switched to the fly rod and tied on a Ward Bean's Jointed Baitfish in a shad color that I had tied up.  I had two VERY LARGE fish  on it.  One got free before I saw it, the other broke my 12 lb test tippet.

Next I tied on a gray-over-white Clouser Deep Minnow.  I caught an 11" White Bass on that, and then lost the fly to a big fish.

I tied on a #6 White Woolly Bugger, and stuck it under an indicator.  I brought in a carp that was hooked in a pelvic fin.  Had another fish on I think may have been a large catfish.  It also broke my line.  DARN IT!

The catfish seemed to stop coming to the surface so obviously as they had been, but the carp were still there.    Even though the carp were clearly targeting shad, I replaced my tippet with fresh 12 lb mono, and tied on an egg pattern under the indicator.  There was some waiting involved, and probably a few subtle strikes I chose to ignore, but I was eventually rewarded with a 26.5" Carp.  After that, my fishing time was up and I had to hurry back to to the office!  It was tough to leave a feeding frenzy like that!

While I was there, I knew there were probably plenty of catfish deeper, plus a Freshwater Drum had recently beached itself and was still barely alive.  Who knows what else may have been prowling the bottom of the area looking for an easy meal.  Maybe I should have keep fishing with Clousers or other fast-sinking fly patterns, but I mostly chose to target the fish that were feeding on the shad near the surface.  My decision was based on several thoughts.  First, there was so many shad in the area, bumping into my line all the time, it would have been very difficult to get a sinking pattern down, and also difficult to detect strikes properly.  As it was, I was snagging a LOT of shad unintentionally, just in trying to move my fly pattern around.  Second, I just didn't have a lot of time to spend fishing today.  The driving and walking each way took up 2/3 of my lunch hour.  Third, its more fun and easy presenting the fly to/near visible fish.


  1. Nice! Those must have been very big fish to break you off like that. Lucky!? you!


  2. I could tell they were BIG. Because of the short amount of time I had to fish, I have to admit I put a lot of pressure on the fish to try to land them reasonably quickly. I was using an 8wt rod. It was mostly my fault the lines broke. But they were BIG fish! :)