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Tony Locke

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About Tony Locke

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    Just warming up

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    Atlanta GA
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  1. Can't say I have cracked buffs at all, but I use a fine tipped rod ( quiver-tip) and you certainly have a better chance of spotting the bite with such a rod. I have tried, without any real success, to catch buffs on a float (bobber) system on the basis that such a method should make even the slightest bite detectable. I suspect that my lack of success with a float may be that buffs dont take a moving bait...they seem to be grazers. I have caught many buffs where the line and hook has been blown out of the gills. When this happens, you most definitely get a "run"! I would suspect that a lot depends on what size buffs you are targeting and if you are fishing for the pot, then buffs in the 2-5lb would seem ideal. For buffs of this size, I find worm or worm/cocktail effective especially in cooler weather. They appear to be shoal fish, especially at this size and so your problem is finding/ attracting a shoal. To this end, prebaiting can be very effective. I haven't tried spice/pepper and so cannot comment on it. I am happy to fish using a system that can account equally for buffs and carp. Tony
  2. Hi! The nearest place to you that guys from GA fish is the Appalachicola where it enters Florida. There is a dam on the FLA /GA border and downstream of that they regularly catch carp in the 10-30lb range. I have never tried it, but it would seem well worth your while ...and maybe someone who knows more will reply to you. I have caught grass carp and Koi not far from you...in pools on Cape San Blas Cheers Tony
  3. I am a fisherman first and foremost. Yes, I prefer to catch carp, but if very little is biting, then I am perfectly OK targeting other fish....buffs, suckers, catfish and yes, even sunfish as many of my friends have witnessed. At a noted big carp venue earlier this month in neighboring TN, I amused myself catching quite large shiners for example...none of the 3 of us fishing had a sniff of a carp in several hours at the lake. So back home and back on the 'Hooch and a plan was forming in my brain. Barry had landed a GA twenty and quite a few upper teens. I wasn't doing as well, so over my long ( actually pathetically short) Easter weekend I was going to solve the problem, or at least try to...and that meant airing out the carp gear. Could I soon be found sitting behind bite alarms, possibly fast asleep? Am I on the path to becoming a real carp angler? On Friday, fish as per normal for me ( size 10, to 6lb hooklength, 8lb main) and bucket in the bait. Fish for 3 hours. Return Saturday and repeat. Return Sunday, fish with carp rod , 12lb mainline, 10lb hooklength, size 6 or 8 hook and clean up! Easy enough! So several cans of corn, 2 tins of spam, 2 pints of hemp and 1 bag of Red Robin pellets later and the results are in. The average weight of the carp did go up ( Sunday average of 11lb, exceeded Saturday's of 10lb and Fridays of 9.5lb....trouble is I only caught 2 on Sunday as opposed to 4 and 5 the other two days. Disappointment: On Saturday I hooked an 8 man rowing boat (+cox) but unfortunately couldn't land it with 6lb hooklength...if I had been using the Sunday carp gear, I might have! Conclusion... if I am only going to be catching carp up to mid -doubles, then it is back to the lighter tackle/ lighter rod. Why? The carp rod put me in total control, whereas the lighter gear involves a far more equal fight..or to put it another way, it is just more fun, more challenging. Of course if I end up losing the fish of a lifetime, I may have to reconsider tactics... However the scientist in me cries out for more trials before coming to solid conclusions....sounds like a good excuse to go fishing next weekend
  4. Yes, you got that right...fished the Hiwassee in TN a couple of days ago and got "bitted" to death. After two carp-less days and loads of sunfish! it was a relief to get back on the Chattahoochee where, for some strange reason right now, a bite on worm/corn cocktail will be a carp.
  5. As per usual, I have fished right through the winter months but, of course, living in GA that is a darn site easier than it would be further north. Having said that I have "frozen my butt off" on several occasions. What I would like to pass on is that in previous years the #1 successful bait for me was worm. This year however a worm/corn cocktail has proven to be far more effective, not only in terms of getting bites but also in terms of the average size of carp caught. Of course I have no idea why! Bread and spam have been nigh on useless this winter and corn has been little better. It is about now that I switch from worm to corn and I had my first corn carp of 2017 last weekend, BUT in that session, all the corn caught carp were in the 6-8lb range and all the cocktail carp were over 10lb. It is not that I haven't tried the cocktail in previous years because I have. Back in Europe I have fished waters where the carp seemed to go through a cycle of preferred baits. So you would go from seafood to berry to seed and then back to seafood boilies. So maybe that is what is going on here. What I prefer to think is that i have a double attractant...the visibility of corn + the movement of the worm. Most of us are familiar with the fact that twitching a bait can often induce a bite. It would be worth pointing out that for reasons that are not clear to me, where I fish in winter I never get pestered with small fish, other than the odd sucker. Last weekends 3 hour session for example yielded 13 carp and not a sniff of any other type of fish and I fish 2 grains of corn or a small redworm + 1 grain of corn on a size 10hook. So I thought I would pass this on in the hope that it may prove useful to somebody out there.
  6. Your details say Atlanta, which is where I live. If this is so, you might want to save some gas and fish around here. If you need help on where to fish for carp in the Atlanta area I am happy to give you details on where I go. Cheers Tony
  7. I have never fished West Point, but I do fish a lot of other GA" lakes"...or to be more precise the rivers that enter or leave said lake. Typically they leave the lake to spawn in Feb/March/April and so this is a good time to try these rivers. For me, this is when I am most likely to catch a GA twenty. I know quite a few GA carp anglers go south, just into Fla and catch large carp in the Appalachicola and so that must not be so great a drive for you. I think they regularly catch them to over 30lb, but I myself have never fished it Having said that, I much prefer to fish a river and so I am biased. Accepting that the # of large carp will be kept low by bowfishermen on the lake, I would assume that this is typically not so great a problem on a river. Cheers Tony
  8. Alex, I live in Atlanta and I have not found any shop in GA that carries even the basic carp fishing gear. So I get my gear from the vendors on the CAG website or I order direct from the UK. If you do the latter, then obviously shipping costs can be exorbitant. Quite often on line UK sites refuse to ship to the US and if that is the case, get in touch with me as I have a friendly shop..in fact the shop I have used for most of my fishing for the last 50 years. Bass pro shops are a waste of time with the possible exception of okuma reels and they dont sell a hook I would want to use! However, having said all that and as cannonball pointed out, there are not many carp anglers here in GA. So the carp are pretty naive. Thus you can fish for them with pretty basic stuff if you want. For every carp I get on a boilie, I probably get 100 on simple baits...corn or worm. Maybe as they wise up, I will need the hair rig/boilie approach. GA carp are typically not big. I thought it was just me being not very good when I was unable to crack the 25lb barrier, but far better carp anglers than I struggle to catch "wild" twenties as well. Pay lakes might give you a better chance of a 25lb+ carp. Lots of lakes here are devoid of carp and so make sure of where you fish. Most of the rivers in contrast do hold carp...and it is possible to catch quite a lot of them. If you need help with potential fishing spots, just ask. There are not many GA carpers, but I dont think any of us have secret venues that we will not reveal to other serious carp anglers. Cheers Tony PS: It would be a very rare weekend when I am not out there somewhere trying to catch a carp or two!
  9. This was my first FFF and I was there at dawn in driving rain and temps below 40C...and my fellow GA CAG members were presumably still in bed, having decided that conditions were too tough... the wimps. Things were so bad that I admit that I only put one rod out for carp. The other was for "anything with fins" and I kept my interest going by catching some suckers. Without those fish, I doubt if I would have hung about long enough to catch a carp. But catch a carp I did....photographing it and me was impossible in the rain, and so as the last thing I wanted to do was harm the carp, I returned it. I then entered my two photos..one of the fish and one of me and a tail and disqualified myself ( Not following the rules of entry) Then I packed up because I was cold and soaked through and the forecast was rain all day. And on the way back to the car it stopped raining and stayed "not raining" for the rest of the day. For those concerned about the big question...is there a God or not? ...Well I am an agnostic and so there is your proof. So I will be out there Jan 1st 2018 come rain hail snow wind or tornado... Thanks for those who organized this, as despite what is written above I had a blast...a cold blast it has to be said, but if conditions are the same next year I will do it again...but I may get myself some waterproofs! Cheers Tony
  10. Fished alone in driving rain and, armed only with a cell phone camera I could either get me or the carp in one shot. So I will disqualify myself for that failure, but trying to hold one fighting slippery fish and trying to get a shot of it was endangering the fish and that is not on! Caught out of the Chattahoochee, Roswell, GA Tony Locke 13lb 12oz 10:02 AM
  11. Your name: Tony Locke Your CAG forum name:??? I assume Tony Locke Your state or province of residence: Georgia The weather forecast is "bloody awful" for GA on 1/1/17 with heavy rain apparently. But no problem as I have two large fishing umbrellas....one in Rugby , England and the other in Frankfurt, Germany! However skin is waterproof and I shall remain optimistic as December has been particularly kind to me...... Good luck to everyone! Tony
  12. Hi "Carperama" According to your info that I can see, you live in or near Atlanta. So for me there are two stretches of the 'Hooch. There is what I call the lower 'Hooch, which runs from Bull Sluice Lake down to High Point Lake. On that stretch, where admittedly I have only fished the area around Atlanta, I have never had a twenty...I have come very close with a 19.75lb fish and in my early years here I did have one that was weighed by an angler who had a set of scales and it went 21lb BUT looking back, I really doubt it and dont count it...I bet it was no more than 15lb. I bet I haven't had more than half a dozen "upper doubles from the Lower Hooch. The upper 'Hooch ( for me) is from Bull Sluice lake up to Lanier and that is where my twenties come from and almost all have come from water under 3feet deep in Spring and especially when the river is the color of coffee. On one memorable day I had nine fish all 20lb +/-1 in the space of 3 hours. My big fish come on worm or spam usually, but I have a lot of faith in sweetcorn. I have given up on boilies and hair rigs! Cheers Tony
  13. Generally here in GA I find that my success on the rivers starts hotting up in late February, reaches peak in March and then progressively deteriorates as the year progresses until September when it peaks for a few weeks before tailing off again. For some reason this year has been a little different in that the first peak was in April and September was a bit of a disaster. This September, my diaries show 3 or 4 runs per 3 hour session from carp in the 5-9lb range, which is small even by GA standards. Now as October is well underway I am getting 12-15 runs per 3 hour session with quite a smattering of doubles gracing the net. I assume the reason for this is the hotter and drier than normal late summer, but whatever the reason, I hope it lasts into November. I took a friend who is a novice angler and certainly novice with respect to carp..and here he is with an 11.5lb carp caught over the weekend Roll on next weekend is all I can say!
  14. What interests me is what is causing the weed to decay in the first place. Certainly as water warms up, oxygen levels fall and this can be particularly bad in deeper water. Years ago I used to fish in Canada and one day went to try at the base of a high dam, where water was exiting from the base of the structure... it absolutely stank. I assume low oxygen+ lots of fertilizer were the cause as upstream was very agricultural. At this lake, shallow water should result in good plant growth not stinky weed. So I suggest 2 potential causes: a) Maybe agriculturally polluted water entering from a creek nearby or (b) carp anglers...if we pile in the bait and the fish population do not ingest it, then it will cause massive bacterial growth on the bottom and as a result, oxygen levels will plummet and the weed will decay.
  15. I struggled to summon up the enthusiasm to go fishing last Saturday. Maybe I was fed up with the fact my favorite fishing hole now holds a mega snag and I got fed up of losing terminal tackle to it. Whatever the reason, I was sorely tempted to stay in bed Saturday morning and it was only the cat demanding to be fed that finally got me moving. I just chucked every rod I possess that is used for a different style of fishing in the car and was about to grab the usual couple of cans of sweetcorn when I decided that I would try frozen peas instead. Back to the freezer for the bag of peas and a small pot of frozen hempseed and off I went to Rome to fish the Coosa. Normally I would be fishing at dawn, but it was nearly 9:00AM before I was ready to cast out. From the get-go I was catching carp...I started off with a British style float called a stickfloat, which is attached top and bottom and designed to fish at less than the speed of the current. I had two peas attached to a size 12 hook and was loose feeding hemp and peas. 2nd cast I had a small carp and had another soon after that. I took the float off and free-lined two peas and had another small carp. I then tried a waggler float, which is fished attached at the base only and is fished at the speed of the current...and had another couple of carp. I also had quite a nice striped bass take the peas when I was retrieving. I had a little bit of "method" ground bait and so I got out the method feeder and fished with a 4 inch hooklength and had some incredibly strong pulls and managed a couple of carp in the 8lb range. Finally I just fished a straight lead and continued to catch carp. Essentially whatever method I tried I caught carp. In the end I had about 15 carp, 2 small mouthed buffalo, a channel cat and the striped bass in a 3 hour session. I also caught 2 turtles....I had hopes that I would avoid these things, but no...they eat anything and everything! Are peas the new wonder bait? I doubt it. Sometimes the fish are just there and you will catch on virtually anything. However I shall be trying peas on the 'Hooch this weekend. If you do want to give them a try, then use frozen peas as they generally tend to stay on the hook better and dont let the peas dry out otherwise they tend to float!