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(CO) JohnFinney

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Everything posted by (CO) JohnFinney

  1. Colorado 2017 - Master Angler Awards and year end report. The "Highs" 2017 was a challenging year for carp fishing here in Colorado. Old venues that produced consistently were tough challenges for the majority of anglers. It was a wet and cooler year, windy, though we did not experience the crazy flooding we saw back in 2016. Late spring and summer produced the best catch rates and larger fish on average. MA stats dwindled somewhat, with 21 commons being reported (compared to 41 in 2015). However there was an uptick in grass carp catches and reports, 20 fish logged, albeit two anglers caught nearly all of them from the same private water (compared to 5 in 2015). The increase in grass carp catches could be a result of stocking programs for pond cleanup and weed/algae removal. I usually only submit a couple of fish per year to this program (common and grass carp), else the stats/page would be a wee bit skewed. I did manage to equal the best common of the year and topped the grass carp list; though my fish was not officially submitted within the time limits; out of respect for the angler whom invited me to fish that lake. Fly carping remains the showcase for carp in our state. A strong contingent of fly anglers target these fish year long and the "Trout Unlimited" Carp Slam event on the South Platte river for charity remains popular (albeit very expensive entrance fees and requirements). The gold medal consistent water for carp in Colorado remains "Chatfield Reservoir". This venue holds carp in excess of 30 lb's, both mirrors and commons. It faces substantial angling pressure and recreational activity. CPW patrol on a regular basis and are very "watchful" of all behaviors of carp anglers, especially from afar with their binoculars! Tightline Outdoors, a local outfitter, hosted 2 Catch & Release Carp Tournaments during 2017. Attendance peaked at just over 30 anglers. For Team CarpQuest I managed to WIN the day/night event at Chatfield Reservoir with my partner James. For me, it was a huge highlight, my 6th tournament entered and 1st individual win. Team CarpQuest also won the 2016 day/night tournament, this time James taking 1st with me as his partner. It would appear Team CarpQuest fishes well in the blackness of night. The tournament at Lake Arbor was won by a new angler to carp fishing, Bleu Patino and his partner Ryan Quist; I had previously met Ryan and Bleu a month before to provide some encouragement and advice on carp fishing tackle & tactics. They certainly learned fast! CAG membership wise, we remain steady at "2" We lost a member in 2017 and gained a new one. The challenges we face with regards to CPWs view of the sport, the tactics and the species as a whole, present a serious uphill climb here in Colorado. Next to Utah, Colorado is arguably 2nd on the list of carp hating states. Oh well ! The "Low's" Whilst 2017 saw an increase in the local anglers targeting carp, this also brought increased attention from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Many angers were being "enthusiastic" about their use of packbaits, especially with regards to Colorado laws requiring the bait be attached and with packbaits, inside of the pack. This resulted in numerous tickets being issued to anglers. Though CPW realizes carp angling is becoming popular here; they are still no fans of the species. Individual wildlife officers can be openly negative. Bow Fishing for carp continues at all venues where shooting is legal; however their endeavors are rarely posted in a social media context; all but driven underground here locally. Catch & Release has become the new "trendy" behavior for Trophy fish of all species. On a personal note, my own carp fishing adventures during 2017 were seriously curtailed (my trips out were reduced by 75%); mainly due to personal health and family reasons. I am hopeful 2018 will be a great new year with some excellent carp fishing during the season. Closing 2018 is set to be another great year here for carp fishing in Colorado. With the mild winter there should be an early ice-off and a great season ahead. Colorado has stunning wild carp, both commons and mirrors, with many venues holding 20s and some with a very rare 30s. Our fish are typically slender and powerful fighters. If you are looking for an opportunity to wet your line and hold a stunning wild mile-high carp in your hands, then Colorado should be on your list of places to visit. By all means drop me a PM, or message if you are looking to come to Colorado to fish for carp, I can certainly provide assistance, local information and advice, especially with regards to our draconian regulations with regards to bait use.
  2. Colorado MA Carp 2017.jpg

    From the album My Images

    Colorado Master Angler Awards for Carp 2017
  3. Georgia Carp USA

    Great video !
  4. Big carp tackle

    Zach is always lurking the forums, yet, with his monumental beard now, nobody recognizes him anymore!
  5. Carp fishing in fall can be both challenging and very rewarding. In this weeks new episode of CarpQuest we fish an afternoon session at the fairgrounds and land several great looking common carp. I also discuss the important difference between "Victory Coffee" and "Proactive Victory Coffee". One tastes better than the other, but both will do in a pinch. Hope you enjoy !
  6. Possum & Dunkel Fall Fantastic

    Top stuff !
  7. Congratulations to Iain ! As for the low turn out, it must have been the Russian hackers that worked against Larry Seriously, thankyou to both Iain and Larry for stepping up and having some constructive dialogue in the Q & A.
  8. Epic Vacation Session!

    Dang, great session ! #victorycoffee !
  9. Well, it's been a long tough fall, the victory coffee could not keep me from being sick for a month and out of work. Finally back on my feet and found the time to put together a new episode of CarpQuest. So, it's time to break out your java, heat up the water, grab a huge mug, sit back and enjoy our latest episode. In this session I travel up to northern Colorado and fished with two anglers new to carp fishing, Ryan and Bleu. It's one of the things I love about CarpQuest, the opportunity it provides me to meet so many passionate anglers. It was a great day, good conversation, lots of commons in the net and finally a new PB grass carp for me landed. What an amazing session. Both Ryan and Bleu continued with their carp fishing, with Bleu winning the TLO Carp Tournament at the end of this year, and Ryan placing in the previous one. What a great couple of guys, passionate and dedicated to their fishing. Hope you enjoy ! John CarpQuest
  10. Mirror Carp..?

    Perhaps 5% here in Colorado on the lakes we fish are mirror, perhaps higher depending on location. On one lake, over 4 yrs, and 100+ fish, not a single mirror, then a couple in a few sessions. When i fished a lake in UT, it was nothing but small mirrors it seemed. That's the joy of carp fishing, never know whats on the end of your line!
  11. A quick introduction and my PB carp

    Welcome to CAG !
  12. Two PBs busted in one session!

    Epic, well done !
  13. With only a few day's to go until Colorado's final carp tournament of the year, at Lake Arbor, 1st Oct it's time to sit back, drink some java and enjoy our latest episode of CarpQuest. A great day's carp fishing on the banks of a favorite venue with friends. Andrew lands a handful on his Nash Sawn Off Scope's, myself and James each land a fish before a strong thunderstorm moved in and we had to depart of the day. Hope you enjoy ! John
  14. Are Rod Pods Worth it?

    I would say, my little "red-wagons" have been a life & back saver over the years. The first one lasted me about 5 years, the second one, is still going strong. Sadly I have overgrown the wagon and now it's getting ridiculous with the amount of stuff I pile on there and expect to be able to drag it to the swim. A barrow in my near future. Rod pods, bank sticks, each has their place, though I have a couple of pods there are still occasions when I will just pack a couple of sticks and the alarms, especially when traveling real light (which is a rarity for me).
  15. Marchin carp!-BEAUTIFUL MIRROR!!!!

    Big or small, i do have a soft spot for mirrors.
  16. Just in time for the eclipse, before the world's end, it's time to refill your mug, put up your feet, sit back and enjoy our latest episode ! A busy work schedule had too long kept me from the water. Finally we managed to get out and put in a couple of sessions at the Fairgrounds. With the clear skies, burning temperatures, it was always going to be tough fishing. Yet we stuck it out and managed to land a few nice fish. Victory Coffee, tastes as good ever ! Hope you Enjoy ! John
  17. Well, it's not been too long, your coffee pot is likely still warm, so sit back, pour yourself a hot mug of java and enjoy our latest episode. With our recent success fishing overnight we returned to Chatfield for another session. Over confident from our previous trip we setup in the rain and wind, anticipating many catches. A few catfish graced the net, including a big fat channel cat. We did land some baby carp and finally a few nice low doubles. Tough night, but still fun. Victory Coffee is not just for carp, any great catch is worthy of a mug! Hope you enjoy ! Tight-Lines, John CarpQuest
  18. Thanks ! i do admit, a good sized cat can put up an almost carp like battle, well worth of a coffee ! Now, being over-run by lots of small catfish is no fun, those little suckers can pack down everything, their guts seemingly endless, no matter how full. Their tiny mouths, able to suck in and crunch down the largest of boilies and snowman rigs, etc !
  19. Well carp fans, it's been way too long with the mug sat empty. So it's time once again to put on the coffee pot, rinse off the mug and prepare to watch another episode. In this week’s new episode of CarpQuest we fish an overnight session at Chatfield Reservoir. With daytime temps pushing 100F, the bite slow, this could be our best change to get some fish on the mat. Hope you enjoy ! John CarpQuest
  20. Well carp fans, though it's been a while, hopefully the wait will be worth it. Time to grab a bucket of coffee sit back and enjoy our latest episode, a single cup just won't be enough ! In this week’s episode of CarpQuest we only had time for a very short afternoon session. Aided by a Deeper Smart Sonar Plus we quickly found the fish. The next four hours were incredible, with a dozen carp landed, including four twenties, five mirror carp and a new PB mirror carp for me. Hope you enjoy !

    John/CarpQuest https://www.instagram.com/carpquest/
  22. The sonar doesn't tell you exactly what species the fish are. Earlier versions of the device tried to show you the relative size of the fish, however, given that this readout can greatly depend upon the angle of the fish to the beam, the time the fish spends in the beam, etc, I believe this feature was removed. Often what I find myself doing is using the "fish icon" feature, to locate fish, then going back and reviewing the playback on the history function, turning off the "fish" icons to show me the actual arcs. What would show you the actual fish more accurately would be a sidescan sonar feature; alas i doubt we will see a castable sidescan sonar anytime soon. Saying all this, what I am doing is using the sonar as an aid in my fishing, rather than allowing it to dictate how I fish. The only caveat would be, if you are looking for fish with zigs, then the sonar would be hugely beneficial in locating what depth the fish are at. Knowing the venue, what species of fish are in there, where they typically congregate, especially for depth of water and any features, helps in determining what species the fish are likely to be. In this particular video/session, I was fishing an area of the reservoir I knew pretty well, having fished there dozens of times before. Any fish spotted just off the bottom were highly likely to be carp, closer to the bottom, potentially catfish or suckers. If I had been casting a lot further off the shore, walleye would have been another fish to add to the probably list - though they have a very distinctive arc with their swim bladders. So, given the fish we marked were a little ways off the bottom, were at a transitional shelf, where we had caught carp from before, we banked on them being carp. In this instance, it proved to be true, and them some! I will certainly write a detailed review once I have used the sonar a lot more. I prefer to give a product a good season, or at least many sessions of use, before forming a verdict. I can say, the things I like about it so far, the GPS Mapping, History Playback, plethora of free functions, including calendar, moon phase, custom locations, private maps, local maps. It has been accurate so far for me in topography, water temperature, and wireless range is excellent. I have not outcast it yet, but i'm sure someone with a better casting range than myself could do so. It was quick to setup and I have encountered few issues with it's use. The main problem I have encountered is how fast I burn down my cellphone batter when using it, < 45 mins, with wireless and GPS enabled on the phone, screen brightness at 100% so I can see it. I do carry a portable charger for the phone, both a power pack 15000mah and I also have a Goal Zero Yeti 150. If i wanted to map a large place, i'd likely hook the phone directly up to an alternate power source, though this can be a little unwieldy. I have previously used both an iBobber and a SonarPhone castable sonars, so have a fair comparison. I would certainly spend a few extra $ and get the Pro version, if for nothing else, the mapping function. Tight-Lines, John