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I've been fishing trout in a trout lake with my kayak. It is a deep lake with little shallow shoreline. In one back sheltered bay giant 20 pounders move around like slow moving subs. There is nothing appealing about this backbay. It is the size of very large waiting room. No incoming water...perhaps it is that little or no sunlight hits the bay. There is no place to land the kayak. The carp slowly dive when they see me coming. It is very clear water. I'm wondering about catching them, my first thought is casting bread and surface fish? Pretty well anything would spook them.

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I once ran into the same problem while fishing in my kayak. First, anchor up out side the bay and look for any surface activity. Be very patient while doing this. If these fish are in the twenties, your waiting will be well worth it. Once you find an are where they tend to show at consistently, Go ahead and slowly paddle in there and put a small amount of bait on the bottom. I would recomend corn and sum sort of plain method. Make sure to be quiet and paddle with only the tips of your paddles. Also while your in there drop your rigs in the bait and baddle back out and anchor up a safe distance from the carp and they will eventually come back. The key to this technique is gonna be to be patient. If you do get into fish, each time you catch a fish put a little more bait into the spot. Goodluck

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I think there are least a dozen huge ones there so I think I could safely place bait in the middle of the bay. This used to be ravine, but it is dammed up and is fed by spring water. The bottom could easily be 20 ft. while I saw the carp at 2-5ft. I have no idea why they have picked this bay and why they are so high up in the water column. My guess is the shade, and deeper depths would be cold. What would they be feeding on?

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if they were close to the shore, there could be a tree or bush dropping a certain sumthing that they liked. They may just congregate in the deep water just because its deep. I think Phone needs to see this thread!

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Generally shallow water contains more food than deep water, (light penetration, thermocline etc). Also they may like the shade provided by this bay if it is sheltered from bright sunlight. Weeds generally grow better & oxygen level can be better in shallow water (but not if the surface temp gets too hot!). Carp will seek out shallows in the spring time because the water temp warms faster & vegetation grows more quickly. Given the choice most carp would instictively live in water between approx 5-20 feet deep. They may go deeper to escape hot summer weather if temp gets too much over about 75-80*f. They will often come shallow in darkness.

You may be able to catch these carp from a canoe. Can you chum the area?

Try baiting up the area last thing before dusk or at least evening time. Return in the early morning & you may be lucky that the fish have found the bait & are still feeding. If so they may be relatively easy to catch (not gaurenteed!). You may be able to sneak up close enough to cast to them while anchoring the canoe to something nearby. Stealth is require but it CAN be done, the key is that they need to be confidently feeding when you attempt this! Use a running lightweight rig or freeline if possible. If you hook one, you may get towed around a bit!

Good luck,

ATB Carpsava

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This is a beautiful finger like lake. think ravine with steep sides and now filled with clear spring fed water. Life is everywhere, animals come for drinks, reams of birds, everything bursting at the seams. The main body of water goes to about 40 ft deep and weeds are growing on the bottom. I snagged them leadcoreing for trout. These are FAT healthy carp, it's hard to get a real sense of weight because the water is clear and fish look smaller in the water. There are probably some 40 pounders in there. I haven't seen one under 20. They look like rugby balls but two to three times the size. I have seen another carp in another finger bay but this one bay I saw 4 or 5 of them and I was only there for a minute or two. This is a back bay that few anglers would venture into. The rest of the lake and most of the bays look a lot more interesting. I came in their silently and they slowly submerged when they saw me, no fear. They may very well have very little to no fishing pressure. Everyone else fishes with a motor and have probably never seen them and most wouldn't want carp. There are very few weeds near the surface because most shorelines go straight down. I only saw one weed bed for the whole lake. The surface water has warmed up considerably recently into mid 70's, I imagine 5 ft down it is still very cool.

Why all the big ones in one area? It is shaded and sheltered. These fish were not feeding...more like suspended. How did they get so fat? The only carp I've seen like that are the better pics on a sites like this one.

Here are my problems. First off, it's a bit of a drive so after work on some nights will be okay. I can chum but it will most likely fall into a v-like ravine bottom. Not sure if that is an issue. Sounds like 15 ft deep or so is fine for chumming. I could chum it around 5pm, fish for trout for 3 hours and then come back to it. I could try to line up a few nights in a row but weather is not stable. It's been warm and sunny. Storms are moving in and then cooler weather. If I could cast some sort of bait that would suspend in mid-water or sit on the surface, that might be ideal for me.

Edited by scuro

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

For every one you see there might be two in deeper water. Also, they will spawn, regardless of the success of the spawn they will go through the motions. Look for fish in groups of three (a pretty sure sign of spawn).

These fish are catchable by clouding the water column. Personally, I doubt chum will help. You know where the fish are concentrated already. Depending on the bottom you may have to pop something up. I'd say - just off hand without seeing the lake - you will be well off to use "trout competative" baits first. If the carp are interested they will go for high protein first and rather quickly. If that doesn't work right away, since you're in a boat, you'll have to go to a 50 - 80 mm bread ball and bread punch boilie with a milk replacer cloud on the method (see packbait for convience). Maybe a bit of bagle. Blue cloud if it's handy otherwise just milk. If that doesn't work let us know. I'd just freeline, others may have another suggestion. Can you anchor?

Phone

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IMGP0287.jpg

IMGP0288.jpg

Here are two pictures to give you an idea of the lake and water. The second perch pic shows a similar finger like bay in the background. The water is clear, but not gin clear like ocean water. Clarity diminishes a little in these sheltered bays. We are seeing each other at about the same time usually at about 6 ft apart. They have no fear... and just slowly submerge.

Spawning on a shallower lake (10-20 ft) occurred about a month ago. There is one shallow weed bed on the lake and there is little activity there. These may well be post spawn carp. There is little plant life within the bay water...perhaps a short carpet of weeds here and there on the bottom. The bay starts deeper and gets shallower. I saw most of them in 10 ish ft of water and they were not all pairing up. They were just as likely to be solitary. The back of the bay (80 ft by 20 ft) is probably 5 ft deep. I didn't venture in because I would have spooked them all. One could throw an anchor in and I do have one that I can attach to the boat but rarely do. Trout are going after minnow like baits, small flutter spoons and small AC shinners. Lures wouldn't work so are you suggesting minnows under a float? This advice is greek to me, "50 - 80 mm bread ball and bread punch boilie with a milk replacer cloud on the method (see packbait for convience)" :) .

Edited by scuro

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

Oops! My bad. First, try a small bit of fishmeal (trout chow). If you don't have any look at the grocery store for the highest fishmeal content dry catfood you can find (the cheaper the better). It probably floats. You'll have to bust it up and reconstitued it so it sinks and make little marble size balls. For a wetter for these balls try cream style corn. You want these balls to end up very very hard (dry hard). Save some of the crushed catfood for scattering about in the water where you want to catch a carp. With your dry catfood mix add a little (50/50) cornmeal or oatmeal and some dry milk solids (milk solids optional, they are the cloud I was talking about). You'll make slightly larger balls out of this mix with the rest of your can of cream style corn. You want the larger balls really loose so they begin to break up on contact with the water. Don't worry, the fish will return. The marbles were once pretty wet and dryed out. The big balls were never wet and just barely stuck together for throwing.

Now you have to "invent" yourself a hair rig. You have some #6 or #4 (maybe even a #2) hooks? Ok, now do you know how to snell a hook to your mainline leaving your tag end quite long (6 inches or more). Actually, you can make any knot work. You'll need a little glue so the tag end run down the spine of the hook (this glue helps but not mandatory). You'll tie a loop in the tag end as close to the bottom of the hook as possible. Cut off the rest of the tag end of your line. You'll need something to poke a hole through the hard marble size ball so you can pull it above the tag loop you've tied. Put a piece of grass through the loop once the marble is on the line and pull the marble pretty tight against it. Actually, you can do this in the form of a "rig" before had and make up several of various lengths. Then you'll need a swivel to attach the rig to the mainline. This rig is called a hooklength.

If this sounds far to difficult you can do what I'd do. One box Wheaties - one small can of cream style corn. Crush about 1/2 box of Wheaties and add enough cream style corn to make a soft dough. Use marble size doughball on a #2 hook. Be sure your dough is as soft as possible and remain castable.

Phone

The stuff in the first two paragraphs are commercially available from any of the CAG vendors. You want : a pretied hair rig hooklenght: fishmeal boilie: baiting needle. Some sinking fishmeal.

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Guest KrisKarp

For goodness sake guys!

He has found what to all intents and purposes are virgin carp, he doesn't need 21st century applications.

If they're on the top take a fresh uncut loaf and a craft knife, cut off chunks an inch or so square and scatter on the surface. Once the fish start taking stick your hook (about a size 2 or better) through a chunk, quickly dunk it in the water for just a second to give it weight and cast freeline. Stand well back and wait for fireworks.

Proprietary dried dog food can be prepared by soaking 1lb in a plastic tub/bag in 120mm of water rotate regularly for 5 minutes or so and allow to soften for an hour or so, they will then be soft enough to hook with a size 4/6/8 (to suit size). Weight can be added by using a bobber, use hooklength at least 6' from bobber.

For the bottom use a tin of jolly green giant, stick as many grains as needed on size 2/4/6 hook on a light 1oz - 11/2oz running lead.

Fish mono as light as you can 8 - 10lbs bs and check your clutch!

Make sure you have a good sized landing net and have lots of fun!!!

Tight lines,

Kris

PS DON'T forget your camera and scales!

Edited by KrisKarp

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I did get out again today and had a much closer look at this bay. Really it is a narrow channel within a bay, and there are not one but two channels. The best way to visualize it a crab claw. It narrows and then it opens up, and then you have the two claws. I never gave the other channel much thought because it looked short but it has a bend to it and then goes a fair bit back with incoming water. That water is cloudy. There are big carp in there too although not as much as the other channel. There are carp in between the two claws. This channel would be good for spawning because there is grass at the end of it. Both channels get shallow as you go to the end of them and flatten out. The water is warmer here than the lake. Surface temps are already in the low 70's. In the main lake it is 70. Main lake has a maximum depth of 50ft. Not sure about the inner bay but it is probably 20 ft.

IMGP0307.jpg

Here you can see the cleaner of the two channels about 1/2 way down looking up the shore. Mr. Racoon came and visited me tonight. I went all the way to the end and saw at least a dozen carp. All suspended a few ft from the surface. All of them sloth like with no activity. These are fat carp that act like they have just had thanksgiving dinner. As I got shallow I did spook three but they were fine once they were past me. Others came up to me to have a look. Most just slowly descended. Today I tried bread on the surface and didn't have one nibble or even any interest shown. I sat there for about an hour and then with no action whatsoever went out to fish for trout. I did see an even a bigger one today.

IMGP0305.jpg

A close up of the water. Now I know that carp guys often stay up a whole weekend to fish carp but that is not in the cards for me. First, I am in an inflatable Kayak and about 4 hours is max for me. Second, this is after work so that is the max time I have on the water anyways. I can chum the area, go out and fish trout and come back. I'm generally not a passive fishermen. Hours of waiting is not in the cards. Advice? Can you offer bait that the biggest ones will want and smaller ones will shy away from?

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Guest KrisKarp

Scuro,

As others have said, your first two requirements are patience and stealth.

Give them plenty of freebies, get hold of some nice yeasty bread, use the regular sandwich cut loaf and cut or tear the slices into quarters, scatter them about wherever you have seen carp. Get a few tins of Jolly green giant sweetcorn and bait up the areas you regularly see the fish. The advantage of sweetcorn is twofold, the carp can’t miss it and its easy for you to see and confirm that its being eaten.

Curiosity WILL take care of the rest!

Remember stealth and patience!!! Not necessarily in that order.

There is NO bait that is size selective per se’, however a BIG doughball or boilie has more chance by elimination of catching a bigger fish, though not guaranteed! Single maggots have caught many 20lbs + carp and 20mm (and bigger) doughballs many 5lbs carp.

Enjoy your journey…

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Guest KrisKarp

What happened to edit????????????????

BTW you are more likely to catch them within 20 feet of the bank than in the centre. Pick clear spots on the bottom where the water is 2ft deep or better, to bait up with your sweetcorn.

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hi there.

if i were you, i would try float fishing bread flake. overcast them and draw the float back into position. you could put a small piece of foam on the hook as well to make the bread sink slower and literally waft the bread in front of them. let us know how you get on as it would be lovely to see you catch a few of them.

cheers

andrew

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Guest KrisKarp

Nice idea Andrew!

You could also try the same with a nice fat nightcrawler.

Better yet for a proper ambush get 2 good lumps of roadkill. Make sure they get lots of eggs from big black blowflies on them. Hang one at the bottom of your yard over a bucket to collect the falling maggots when they hatch and grow. Hang the other from an overhanging tree on the lake.

Falling maggots from the tree will guarantee you know where the carp are and what they are feeding on! There isn’t a carp on the planet that can resist big fat juicy maggots!!! :)

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Hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions about things I don't understand.

There are so many healthy big carp in this area. How can such a small area support all these big fish. What are they feeding on?

Is it normal for big carp to just sit in an area and be docile for long parts of the season? It's like I have found the carp waiting room.

Why wouldn't they go for the bread? Could it be that they were naive to surface food? Not hungry? Are some breads "scentless"?

Is scented better ...ie corn? How far does scent travel where there is no current and how far will they come?

Now that I have found this waiting room, will they will be there until it gets cold enough that shallows are the coolest part of the lake? Is there a season when I can count on them being there are very aggressive for food?

I'd like to try easiest methods first. If two are there for everyone that I see, there are a lot of big carp here so theoretically this should be easy. With regards to chumming could two chummings within a few hours produce faster results the second time around? I'll be going out this weekend.

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HI Scuro,

These fish are probably sunbathing & enjoying the warm water (until it gets too hot). They probably feed nearby ...... but likely not exactly where you are spotting them. Look for an area where it starts to deepen ,maybe as you enter the bay area, before you get to the "claws". They may feed in slightly deeper water (possibly in the 10 ft range). It is VERY difficult to fool a carp in shallow water less than 2 ft deep, look for an area you can chum where you can JUST make out the bottom & it forms a bit of a plateau. Bait up in such an area, the idea is to find out the route by which these carp come into this bay & get them feeding on your chum BEFORE they get to their sunbathing area. In this respect you would have a better chance early morning, since you could look for the clouded water created by the carp feeding. If you come along in the evening this may not occur until the light stats fading & you wont be able to spot the smokescreen so easily!

Even if you cannot find a natural feeding area, you can create one by feeding a suitable spot .... in just a few days. Find the fish feeding & you are 75% of the way to catching them. Of course it is even better if you create this spot since you will then have the advantage of knowing exactly what they are feeding on. For bottom bait, as stated Sweetcorn is probably the most instant bait you can buy off the shelf, they will probably feed on this within 2 hrs or so even if they have never seen it before. Bread is also a great bait & even better when ducks are present since your prebaiting will have been done for you by people who feed the ducks.

You will have to use all of your skills to creep up on these fish ,since as soon as they know you are there they will NOT feed on your bait. What I have done fishing from a canoe is this technique. When you arrive at the water, put in a few handfuls of bait in 2-3 different areas, where you will be able to return later. Go off trout fishing for 2 hrs or so, & then return to the baited spots & with your poloroids check out the spots where you put in your bait. If the areas look clouded you can bet there are fish feeding there & you will have a good chance of hooking these fish. Use a fairly light rig & watch the line, as soon as it moves steadily, (open bail arm) hook the fish & hang on!

Let us know how it goes,

ATB Carpsava

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

Not much I can add? I can tell you carp do seek their "most comfortable zone" and it is 74 degrees F for water temperature. They are not big fish by accident and carp eat darn near anything. First try, make it easy on yourself, fish are not intellectual giants. If you're sure they are going to be "there" (where ever that is) I'm 100% against chumming them. Chumming is less sporting and will only change their natural pattern of movement in the water - which may be a good thing or may not be so good. Certainly anything you chum will attract other creatures who feed on similar diets.

If you can't anchor or tie up you'll probably only catch one anyway. It will tow you right into the target zone first strike.

Phone

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A little more info...both "claws" may be some of the shallowest water in the lake. Not exactly sure how deep the end of the claws are but I'm guessing 10 ft. The rest of the lake basically has steep sides and averages 20 or more ft deep. These claws are narrow so they are mostly shady the whole day, unlike the rest of the lake. The water was warmest in the claws probably from the transfer of heat from the air. It is a spring fed lake and holds trout so the cold spring water may act as a natural barrier for other parts of the lake. Little wind gets in here with the steep slopes so there would be less water mixing. The water is a little stagnant at the end. The carp might very well stay there most of the year except during real hot spells where they might venture out just bit further towards the main body of the lake. They may be "trapped" by the cold water of the rest of the lake. The other plus from a carp's point of view is very few people go back there. The hand of the claw is about 2/3 rds the size of a football field where I caught a good sized largemouth bass on the troll about 20ft. deep. Could they be venturing out of the claws to feed and then vegging out in the claws until they are hungry again?

Edited by scuro

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

Carp don't get "hungry again" like predatory fish. They will seek their "comfort zone" but they are eating machines. When possible, they eat 24/7 and just poop undigested food. Your goal is to find water in 70's with a good food source.

Phone

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I have found the warmest water on the lake and the carp. I am baffled by what they are eating? That is the other thing, I have seen no small carp, none under two ft. Anyone of the carp I have seen would put up a good scrap. There are dozens of these fish, if there are two for everyone I see. The space is so limited if they eat whenever they can, what food source wouldn't be completely depleted in days?

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

You might be able to save yourself taking anything extra. Under a small splitshot I caught a zillion carp on trout marshmallows. Do you have any? Just might be the ticket.

Phone

So, marshmallows under a small splitshot. - A small ball of Wheaties about the size of your little finger (be sure and leave the hook point exposed. - A kernel (or two) of sweetcorn freelined. If you want to cast the sweetcorn farther than just the corn will carry it add the "packbait" around it. Packbait is Old Fashioned Quaker Oats and cream style corn. Just barely wet the oats so it begins to break on contact with the water after the cast.

All of this on a #4 or #6 hook

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I have found the warmest water on the lake and the carp. I am baffled by what they are eating? That is the other thing, I have seen no small carp, none under two ft. Anyone of the carp I have seen would put up a good scrap. There are dozens of these fish, if there are two for everyone I see. The space is so limited if they eat whenever they can, what food source wouldn't be completely depleted in days?

In a cool spring fed lake like this, I doubt the carp are overcrowded, as such they are not in competitiion with each other. Where food is plentiful & the water is relatively cool & the carp population is below normal (or low density), they will not feed all the time. They may feed for 3-4 hrs in the morning & another few hrs in the evening if conditions are clear & bright. In overcast or windy conditions they may feed most of the day.

What do they feed on?

All types of Crustacea, mollusca, chironomid, nymphs, dragonfly larvae, shrimps , beetles, water fleas (daphnia) ...... almost anything they can catch or dig from the bottom substrate. Carp often spend hours sifting through rich detritus. It has been found that carp will take advantage of the most plentiful food supply in the lake in conjunction with the need to fulfil biological requirements & essential nutrition. There are obviously some loopholes in the above theory, since many carp have been caught by seemingly "junk" foods like bread or semolina /soya baits. Suffice it to say all baits have their day but some are just SO much better!

BTW it is rare to see small carp where there are big carp in the area, they seem to keep well out of sight, maybe due to predatory activity & lessons built in from the hatchling stage of life. When they get to about 10 lbs or bigger is when they seem to start to come into shallower water where they can be seen.

ATB Carpsava

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

Carpsava is right to this extent. I should have said WHEN carp find there comfort zone they are eating machines. In cool water (colder than 70) there is a lot of merit to what he says (also true when in water above about 82).

Except that they are not often "chasers" they will eat pretty much what trout eat as a first choice.

Phone

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A quick mini-report. Tried last week with chumming. No luck although I could see some bigger ones cruising by. Looked like carp were spawning at the only weedy spot on the lake, either that or an aggressive feed. They tore up the whole weedbed. I also brought a depth finder and my spot was about in 15 ft of water. My next thought is not to freeline but do a bolt rig and be about 100ft away using a baitrunner.

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