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scuro

carp fishing problem

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That sentence should have read, I have options of where to place my bait. The rest of the post makes that clear anyways. Previous posts have also stated that I am no longer baiting. I am trying to figure these fish out and I am perplexed. My hope is to hit on the right food. There seems to be too many of them for the space they occupy. They are healthy, some some plump. They don't appear to be interested in worms, corn, or bread. They don't appear to be actively eating in the spots that they rest. My thoughts are that the main body of water is still too cold. That they feed on the main lake proper in 20-30 ft where it still is very cool say 50 degrees. They do this because there is so much food that they are stuffed silly and can spend a good deal of the day in the shallow warm water warming up and resting. But it is just a theory.

If I am going to do this without baiting, I had some important questions on my last post.

Edited by scuro

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The competing species are trout and bass. I can anchor. I can clip myself onto a root but I can't get out of the boat. I can do stealth but hours of patience isn't an option because stealth would go out the window. I am leaning back heavy on a back rest. The back rest doesn't support your weight. An hour would kill without adjusting.

What is usual here is the lack of activity when food was introduced. No surface activity on the bread. The water also looked no more disturbed on corn on the bottom. I could see no visible sign of feeding. Could it be that the carp are feeding on insects? There was some sort of hatch last night but very little surface activity. Can they be feeding at times when I am not there? I usually am there after 4pm gone before 9pm at the latest. Any other time I have fished for carp usually the bite is on with 15-20 minutes.

All I see are two types of carp. Carp with a purpose and moving in a direction, but mostly I see suspended carp about 2ft deep in all different depths of water and usually along the edges of the lake or in a channel...granted there could be double or triple the amount of carp deeper where I can't see them. I don't know about movement patterns, is it all predictable. Will they all generally stay near this area of the lake or do they all disperse as the lake warms up?

Yes, predictable to some extent. The fish suspended are not feeding they are sunbathing/ resting, unlikely to feed on your bait while in this mood. As I see it you have two options,

1) Find feeding fish & present something consumable which is a natural bait, any particle bait & worms, crayfish etc.

2) Create a feeding area, this will take time, maybe 3-4 days but the advantage is you could catch multiple fish with this method.

To cast to inactive fish & try to induce feeding in the type of water you are fishing is going to be hard work but sometimes is possible, most times though it will be a fruitless exercise. You would likely have more success early morning with this tactic, since fish are more likely to take an offereing first thing in the morning. They get lazy in the daytime & may not even feed until the next morning.

IMO......Your best bet for an "instant" Carp meal is a Crayfish tail or a whole one with the claws nipped off. I would go there early morning & look for clouded water or feeding bubbles,(they may not bubble but mostly some fish will). Carp are easier to approach when feeding in earnest, since they are using their senses to locate food.

You can see why we rate carp as a challenge & it is addictive!

Good luck, ATB Carpsava.

P.S. These fish will likely go deep when the lake water warms up (the thermocline level deepens). You may have a better chance at that time.

Edited by Carpsava

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

Let me correct myself.

You can/could begin a plan to execute #2 in Carpsava's post. I just got the idea you didn't really want a "project".

I agree on all fronts. The fish you see are not feeding. Usually IMO there is a way to encourage them to do so. Carpsava may be right in this case. I am at a loss. Shoals of large, similar size fish (carp) usually mean the population is pretty well fed. Carp as a species do not "perodically" feed. They feed and feed and feed when the biological conditions are favorable. They can feed and poop at the same time, they don't even have a stomach, just one long gut.

Phone

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Scuro -- seems you've had a good few well meaning folks giving their ideas here, and that's cool :D I had no idea you were short on time - but, that's diplomatic really. I've been hunting carp for around 50yrs, and tried an awful lot of different approaches --- some worked better than others -- but, I've had a fair bit of success along the way. My ideas were the only real way I could honestly guarantee you success. If there were quick fixes -- the World would know about it by now :)

Good Luck,

Brid.

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Guest KrisKarp

Sorry guys but there's something not right here, it just don't smell right!

Not least of all "virgin" carp NOT taking bread, corn or worms, they aint carp I think or something else just isn't right.

Trying to teach a sport fisherman how to fish for carp is one thing, having carp that aren't behaving right, sorry I just don't buy it. Maybe they're buffs or grassies ??

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Guest phonebush

Kris,

I just think scuro hasn't given them much effort yet. He is simply intregued by the presents and size. He is currently trout fishing from a kayak. They have a "sit still" potential of about 15 minutes - at most.

I suggested salmon(?). Buffs live, or can live, up where he is but I doubt grassies would make it. He, scuro, can get quite close and says they are definately carp.

It could be the "something else" and we, the rest of us, are just missing it. I'm sure he is dealing with carp at the practical limits of their northern boundry (cold water). At least I have that feeling.

Still, like you, I am bamboozeled. You can't have carp weighing in at 10 kg that don't eat - and eat pretty well. You can't tempt virgin carp 3 or 4 times on different days with bread freebies and not get an almost instant take. It's like feeding the ducks when you can see they are present(?).

Phone

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Guest cornball

Not behaving right? If they are that big they have long figured out how to survive in their enviroment just fine. You need to figure out how they have done that for the past 15 years (or longer if they are that far North and the growing season is shorter).
The treeline in the pictures suggests hills. The water temp seems a little low, most likely springs. There are alot of tree branches and trees on the bottom according to the other posts. The carp are spending alot of time suspended in the water column during the day, and not visably feeding. And they are on a set pattern. As much as I agee "virgin" carp should be easy to catch there are alot of Big Virgin carp in lake Michigan that only get hooked up by spoon throwing salmon anglers and guys trolling crayfish crank baits. If your big, your old, comfortable and set in your ways, your not gonna fill up on garlic bread if the restraunt has the best seafood in the area....... Throw them a injured or fresh dead medium shiner, no weights, and you can even sight-fish, if it makes it to the bottom, wait 10 minutes then throw it again. They are gonna take it on the drop during the day. At night with all that timber there having "Lobster", or running through the schools of minnows tightened up for safety at night. If you want to get them the easy way you'll have to do it after a heavy rain at the nearest in-flow point (creek or ditch) when the muddy water comes in it will give you an approach advantage as well allow you to use more standard carp fishing techniques as they will have their heads down taking advantage of the few times when the energy expended vs. forage consumed justifys changing their habits (also when very clear water muddies the carp can no longer efficently site feed so the minnows and crayfish are no longer the best food source for them and they will go to an alternate pattern.) If you find the point at witch the midsize particles drop out where run off comes in, that is your easy stop and time. The rest of the time your gonna have to earn it.................and for gosh sake try the leech, what do you think lives under all thase leaves and branches on the bottom. Edited by cornball

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If the fish is moving, it's catchable. The ones sitting motionless on top are tuff.

See what's hatching and try some flies. If they are not actively feading, make they strick instictively. Reactional bites are great.

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not sure if anyone mentioned the zig on the other pages as I dod not have time to readm them but, if you dont have any luck off of the surface then I suggest the zig rig!! if the waters around twenty feet deep then pop the bait up around 16 feet.. devastating rig in the right conditions and has pulled fish out where all other rigs have failed.. find youself a nice popup bait you are confident in and go land one or all of them!! good luck

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Went out last night. It was father's day so there was way too much activity on the lake. Boats fishing out of season bass, who fishes for trout tossing lures into the shoreline? Bass is in season this weekend so my days of carp fishing will probably be over this week. Next week for sure...depending.

They were all spooked yesterday, a whole heard of them on the surface more out on the lake proper. As soon as one of them saw me they all bolted. Trout fishing was just as useless. Both carp areas were all clouded. My guess is that the bass boys were in both spots and created a stir. I tried fresh uncooked shrimp on the bottom. Saw some carp slowly moving around. I didn't have a watch but not even a twitch in both spots and I must of been on each spot for almost an hour. Then I tried a spot where I saw carp on the surface and have seen a number of carp. About 16 ft of water...again I tried that with shrimp and waited about 40 minutes with no luck. To me this is a bit nuts because when I have fished carp previously 20 minutes is a long time not to get your first action...you know...the "bumpy" line.

Carp are all the way up to the top of lake superior, and big ones too, so no this spot is far from the northern limits. The pattern I have found now is that they don't stay in shallow water anymore. They did earlier. Now they want shallow water and incoming water. They are starting to break the surface more. Previously it was rare to hear that. Surface temps still at about 70 degrees. Trout are going lower.

I do understand the passion of fishing and how one can be consumed by it. I'm just not there yet with carp, then again I have never caught anything over 5 pounds. Perhaps my next carp, which will be a personal best, will change my mind. Right now this is a way to relax. I can sit for an hour in the kayak but that is about it comfort wise. This is a nice spot so I am content to sit and watch nature. Something is always happening. Even though I am catching nothing I am not disappointed. I was disappointed yesterday when I had to share every spot and the carp were off their patterns. I'm tenacious. If I don't catch one in the next week or two I'll be back at this in late August and I'll fish it well into the fall. For me half the fun is understanding the fish. It makes fishing that much easier the next time. I enjoy the challenge, I enjoy thinking about this and using your ideas. It makes it oh so rewarding put all the pieces together.

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Not behaving right? If they are that big they have long figured out how to survive in their enviroment just fine. You need to figure out how they have done that for the past 15 years (or longer if they are that far North and the growing season is shorter).

The treeline in the pictures suggests hills. The water temp seems a little low, most likely springs. There are alot of tree branches and trees on the bottom according to the other posts. The carp are spending alot of time suspended in the water column during the day, and not visably feeding. And they are on a set pattern. As much as I agee "virgin" carp should be easy to catch there are alot of Big Virgin carp in lake Michigan that only get hooked up by spoon throwing salmon anglers and guys trolling crayfish crank baits. If your big, your old, comfortable and set in your ways, your not gonna fill up on garlic bread if the restraunt has the best seafood in the area....... Throw them a injured or fresh dead medium shiner, no weights, and you can even sight-fish, if it makes it to the bottom, wait 10 minutes then throw it again. They are gonna take it on the drop during the day. At night with all that timber there having "Lobster", or running through the schools of minnows tightened up for safety at night. If you want to get them the easy way you'll have to do it after a heavy rain at the nearest in-flow point (creek or ditch) when the muddy water comes in it will give you an approach advantage as well allow you to use more standard carp fishing techniques as they will have their heads down taking advantage of the few times when the energy expended vs. forage consumed justifys changing their habits (also when very clear water muddies the carp can no longer efficently site feed so the minnows and crayfish are no longer the best food source for them and they will go to an alternate pattern.) If you find the point at witch the midsize particles drop out where run off comes in, that is your easy stop and time. The rest of the time your gonna have to earn it.................and for gosh sake try the leech, what do you think lives under all thase leaves and branches on the bottom.

Think flooded ravine...so hill like along the edges. I am in the warmer part of Canada. Think upper new york state. Yes...spring water and I would have to say cooler water. Yes I do see some trees in the water as they fall off the edges of the "ravine" hills. Local fishing store doesn't have bait beyond worms. That should all change shortly with bass season starting.

I am with you on the sight fishing. These carp remind me of bass except they are motionless without cover. Some cruise like bass. I have to paddle to get to these spots and occasionally I see a large carp along the shore. If I could troll some lure that may occasionally catch a large carp that would be productive. Trout have gone low enough that most of the paddle no longer catches trout. I have thought about a walleye rig. Basically a spinner with no weight and a bit of line before the hooks. If you take a piece of trout skin with a bit of meat it could flap while you troll. Cut it in a longer triangle shape. It's an idea I will try at some point. The other thought I have here is to use a leech or crayfish with a float and small jig. Basically you rig it so the jig is a few inches off the bottom. The fish or leech or whatever struggles to get to the bottom but never can stay there because of the float. That is very attractive action.

Edited by scuro

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Got out for what will probably be my last time for at least a month. I had two takes on a worm ball. They picked it up and pulled line on the baitrunner and then dropped it. Say a ft or two of line. I also had a granola peanut butter bar. It nice compacts into a ball and stays on a hook. No takers for that one. All other bait but worms was sold out locally.

Observations

-The spots I can find carp on the lake are shallow areas with incoming water. Other shallow spots no longer hold carp.

-These spots are no longer full of carp. It has got to be about water temperature, these areas are in the low 70's. These areas are murkier now. The bigger ones have moved out. Knowing this I should be able to knock em dead in the early spring.

-For the first time I saw several big ones in deeper water around a submerged tree. (the spot is not in either pic) That spot must of been 10-20 ft of water.

-For the first time I saw fish feed. They were angled slightly downward perpendicular to the slopping shoreline in about 2ft of water. Max depth of this spot would be 6-8 ft

-I found a new spot. The real big ones are not here and there are not that many but they have been here the two times I have gone. This spot is accessible by foot so I could shore fish from this spot and not be uncomfortable and have the advantage of stealth.

IMGP0379.jpg

The shore is slanted here 40 degree angle.

IMGP0371.jpg

That is about the best I could do for a pic of a carp.

Your insights are appreciated. I'd be interested in predictions of where I will find fish in late August and also when the lake starts to cool again.

Edited by scuro

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seems like your are done with yak fishing for a bit but let me say few things

first off you are trying to do something not many people here ever tried or achieved, myself included

I have small 9' inflatable I use for spinning or moving carp gear/baiting up and once I actually tried fishing for carp from it but I got 5lb cat first and it towed me for 10-15min so I gave up from using it for carp fishing it just didn't seem right to me to be dragged around when I can go to shore and lend them easy

second if you can see them they can see you and even though they are still around it will take them long time to relax and start feeding

in relatively shallow clear water with big bright yellow thing floating on top it will be hard to get them without chum, so if you can't stay still for a long time you might need to fish in deeper water and cast further out and its probably better if you can't see fish at all

find some deeper water 12-15 feet would be great and trow a hand full of sweat corn and your hook with 2-3 kernels of sweat corn and wait

maybe you can bait up then go fish for trout and come back later for an hour of carping they should be waiting for you

third I might be wrong but your gear is probably main reason you didn't catch one yet, 4-6lb line and small super sharp thin wire hooks will do the trick, guaranteed

and one last thing if nobody is feeding bird/fish on top you'll have hard time getting them to take stuff from the surface, you are better off with bait on the bottom

good luck when you go back

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Finally got back to fishing over two months later. The carp have all left the shallow arms. None to be seen at all. Bubbles coming from several spots just before where the arm meets the lake. Roughly 15 ft of water. I can't see bottom now after say 8 ft. Saw a carp breaching at the end of the arm and at several other spots on the lake. Bubbles coming up from the bottom on most parts of the lake. The trout fishing was great last night. They seem to be concentrated in one area. Trout fishing closes in a few weeks. I hope to get out once a week till trout season closes. It is getting dark earlier so I doubt I will fish for carp if trout are on and carp are not chomping at the bit. Carp season is open all year. :) Water surface temp is around 70. This lake will cool in the next few weeks and then have turnover probably mid to late oct. I look forward to fall fishing carp. As it cools the carp should be putting on the feed bags. I don't know a lot about this. The lake will not freeze over till Christmas and I would fish it pretty late in the season if it was worth it. Advice?

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Scuro, I live in a state full of virgin Carp water, White Bread is always my go to bait in areas with little to no pressure, it is always readily accepted due to the smell and sight factor, try getting a loaf of white bread each time you visit and roll most of the loaf into balls the size of marbles and vary the sizes a little smaller and a little bigger, toss out atleast two good handfuls in areas that you have seen Carp or seen them feeding. Wild Rainbow Trout like bread also, I have caught some up to 24 inches on freefalling breadballs, so don't worry about the chum not getting eaten.

Freelined breadballs, keep track of how long it takes for your bait to touch bottom, or watch for any slight change in speed of the sinking rate, most Carp if they were going to hit a sinking bait, would probably sit there and hold it for a second, so you have to be right on the rate that your bait is sinking. Plus you should get a bonus Trout once in while that is curious about the smell and brightness of the bread. I have to say, (hold back any quotes, fellow Carpfishers) Lasersharp treble hooks or the thin wire (not gold) Eagle claws (not any thick, dull, or inturned hookpoint variety) in size 12-14 are my personal favorite if I want to feel sure I am not losing the fish due to the hook slipping right out, but most of the real carp fishers will say no trebles. I think you are sure to pick something up using this simple technique, 6lb Maxima UG is my favorite for Carp around 12lbs, anything bigger, then I would probably bait up in a visible area from shore and place my bait where I can see it while using 8lb, that way I can see when my bait is taken and know when to slam the hook home. Roll the breadball first, then put the hook in, and don't roll it too tight, the point is to set your bait through the breadball which requires a sudden, quick snap of the wrist when you set the hook, drop a little slack then snap, make sure your drag is loose before the fight.

Edited by Drew

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Because people don't target the Carp there and because there is probably no duck-feeding going on, my first impulse would be one of three things: 1) a redworm allowed to drift slowly toward the bottom with no weights or floats, 2) a reworm fished under a very sensitive slip-bobber, or 3) a small bread-ball or bread crust fished either way. I would use a small hook (no larger than a sz. 10) and light line (perhaps 6-8 lb test, yes, even for the BIG fish). The only trouble with the redworms is that the trout would probably hit them as well.

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Because people don't target the Carp there and because there is probably no duck-feeding going on, my first impulse would be one of three things: 1) a redworm allowed to drift slowly toward the bottom with no weights or floats, 2) a reworm fished under a very sensitive slip-bobber, or 3) a small bread-ball or bread crust fished either way. I would use a small hook (no larger than a sz. 10) and light line (perhaps 6-8 lb test, yes, even for the BIG fish). The only trouble with the redworms is that the trout would probably hit them as well.

Redworm...like earth worm? If only the trout would hit them!! The spot I am looking at is about 20 ft deep or less. I've never had a hit there from trout. Caught a good sized large mouth bass early in the season there. Trout are suspended probably at over 20 ft deep in about 40 of water more in the main part of the lake. I'm wondering if the trout are smacking lures now because visibility is just a bit poorer. I had a wonderful smack the other night but it was almost dark and I had to still pull the kayak up a hill to a car. Probably a five pounder.

I have a good feeling about the carp but 6-8 pound test with a carp that could be the size of a pig at a pig roast? I'll be horsing that one around for hours. It would take the smoothest of drags and nothing for the carp to get leverage on. I do have an anchor...but small one, I could tie around a tree trunk. If I don't use the anchor I do have foot pedal power so I can fight the fish and not be dragged around. But there is no backward so sometimes the wrong judgment is made and you go exactly where you don't want to go. And do you want to fight at 6 pounds?

What I am interested in is potential changing of patterns. The water is about the same as it was just before the real heat of summer. Soon it will be cooling and I can't see the carp coming in shallow nor do I see them going real deep just yet. At least some of them haven't moved far at all...just deeper. When are they going to be less cautious as they try to fatten up for winter?

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Guest phonebush

scuro,

It is a mistake to think a carp can "do much" in open water. The maximum swimming strength of a carp is about 7 - 8 lbs of pull. Just keep him or her out of a snag, use your rod tip and free moving boat and the fight will last no more than 10 minutes at optimum temperatures for the carp. A carp in open water cannot break a 6 lb line. (Actually, 6 is right on the edge. Keep that rod tip UP.) A 15 lb fish is stronger than a 30 lb fish. The problem is to keep an unimpeaded line between the rod and the fish. One "flop" onto the line at the boat and you're done with the big girl. Tip UP

Phone

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Phonebush is right, 6lb Maxima UG is all-purpose line if you know how to fight your fish in the right conditions. I horse 12lb Carp through moderately thick elodea on 6lb, and continue to use the same spool of line the whole season. Fighting a 20lb Carp in open water on 4-6lb test wouldn't be too risky if you have a good knot and drag setting (along with a good spool of line), but it looks like your area might have 'a few' logs laying around, it reminds me of a Coastal lake here in Oregon (no Carp, but nice Rainbows, Bulls, and Cohos).

This is no doubt a tricky type of water, but there are always a few fish willing to try something new.

Edited by Drew

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Our local Steelheaders and Salmon guys (the non-snaggers, at least) are using no heavier than 10-lb mono these days, and one of my employees won't fish any heavier than 6 lb for Steelhead. They are strong fish.

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Guest phonebush

Anna,

It can be argued but - IMO steelhead are - pound for pound - the strongest of all freshwater fish weighing over 10 lbs in NA. Certainly IMO the "best" fighting fish.

Phone

Carp are in the top three.

Number "two" is left to the individual angler. For example, a flathead catfish can lay on the bottom with considerable determination when hooked. Since it is subjective I won't dispute anyone's choice for number two.

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Looks like Sunday is the day. High of 64 and rain. There will be a couple hours for carp and trout. Any thoughts about best time? More lunch time or heading towards dinner? I saw breaching around dinner a week ago.

I'm normally not one to play a fish much. I screw right down on them and usually the only time my fish pull line of the reel is with a good run. You can do that with 6 pds? I'd certainly like to have some control where this fish is going.

Thought I'd share some trout pics. Certainly you can't blame me for fishing "sure thing" trout!! :)

IMGP0715.jpg

IMGP0714.jpg

IMGP0718.jpg

IMGP0719.jpg

Edited by scuro

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