Tips and advice for Beginners
Welcome to the CAG Carp Baics section.
The trick is finding fish that can be caught readily. Of course, you don't have to start out with 20 pound fish. An 8 pound carp puts up a good fight, especially on light line, and is probably the largest fish caught by the majority of anglers.
The best places to start are small public waters such as the Forest Preserve Lake system in Chicago. This type of venue is easy to scout and the fish usually have nowhere to hide. In addition, if the water is over 10 years old, fish will have reached a good size. Public water always has carp because carp minnows are favorite bait.
Carp are often found on the margins of a small lake or pond because that's where the food tends to be. In public water where citizens feed the ducks, the carp are right under the food supply. Because there are few anglers interested in carp, these fish will be caught readily on bread flake or dough balls.
Another good tactic is to fish with the wind in your face. Eventually carp will migrate to the windward side of a pond because the waves cause the grubs and other protein sources to be more available.
Rivers, such as the Connecticut, the Potomac, the Red River in Canada, and the St. Lawrence Seaway, are prime producers of very large carp. CAG members report 30 pound fish on a regular basis on these rivers. Rivers are more difficult to fish, so you might want to bring a guide or an established carp angler with you.
Check out the CAG Forum for contacts on where you can find carp in your area.
In this section you will find tips, tricks and advice given by Carp Anglers. These articles vary from the most basic methods to more advanced techniques.
We cover all from Fly Fishing for carp, Wild waters carping to “Paylaking”. You'll see what the differences are in the way the anglers approach their favorite way of carp fishing.
For each topic you’ll get 100 different opinions on “how” or “why” to do things, all of them are correct since they work for that angler.
We’ve just selected a couple articles pointing out the basics, a point we all started at some time in our life.
We also have a growing library of tutorial videos from CAG members showing how to make, create, modify or apply the different tackle, baits and gismo’s the carp angler use.
The CAG Forum contains a wealth of information with 500 000 + posts on carping.
When done browsing the basics on these pages, jump on the CAG Forum and see the rest of the story.
GEAR & TACKLE
First question most new "Catch & Release" carpers ask is "What's the basics I'll need to start?". That question will give many different opinions, so the following is what we consider "The Basics".
There are a couple questions you must ask yourself before you take on carp fishing.
“Do I want to just fish for carp?”
“Do I want to become a Specimen Angler?”
“Do I want to fish Euro Style or Paylake?”
“What is my budget?”
Each one of those question will take you in a slightly different direction.