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barbelfloat

Types of carp fishing

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I was sharing some of my pictures of my 30s I've caught to someone and he said, "Wow you are really good. Are you are a professional angler?" :) I replied, "No I'm not. In fact, I'm not even that good of a carp angler and still have LOTS to learn."

I'll tell you why I told you this incident but first some background........

Since day one I've been greedy ;) and wanted to catch the biggest carp. Some get lucky and catch a 30 as their first ever carp catch so it makes it difficult for them to top this. I on the other hand, pretty much progressed from small to large and really had to work hard to try to get that first 30. I started fishing a venue where only small carp resided (it's been drained many times over so the average fish was ~2lb when I was fishing it) and then I moved on to another small lake where the average was ~5 lbs. Then to Fountainhead where the average was about 13 lbs. Finally because of CAG, I learned about the Potomac River and eventually ended up catching all my 30s from there.

I think most people progress this way in their carp fishing:

1) They want to just catch carp.

2) They want to consistently catch carp.

3) They want to catch bigger carp.

For number 4, there are 2 routes so I'll call it 4a or 4b.

4a) They want to get good enough to fish a tournament and win.

Or

4b) Catch a specimen carp +40 lb carp.

As stated before, I had high dreams from day one, so I skipped right to 3 and 4b. All of my fishing was focused on catching big carp. I always fished with #2 size hooks (sometimes even #1) and double 20mm boilies :D . Naturally I blanked most of the time for I had no understanding of carp fishing. But I did have one thing going for me and that was passion. I started fishing in late 2005 and somehow I became absolutely obcessed with big carp. I basically had no social life from 2006 to 2007 because everyday after work and every weekend I was fishing :P . I could literally sit there all day and just wait for big carp. I traveled to places where I heard of big carp (namely Lake Orange) and spent 3 days there by myself like a homeless man trying to catch those big carp. :) I think this was in late 2006 and I completely blanked at Lake Orange. I was about to quit because I thought, I just can't do it.....a 30 is just not for me. But somehow after a couple weeks, I was back at it again.

I started to learn from other CAG carpers, the American Carp Society, read books, watch dvds, and just try out all kinds of tactics and theories. By the end of 2007, I still had not caught my 30 yet but had tons of upper 20s under my belt. During the winter of 2007 and 2008, all my hours of fishing, studying, and thinking about big carp had started to come together. Those 30 lb carp just started to make more sense.

2008 was the year for me. I ended up catching my first 30 that year and eventually ended up catching 4 more. Remember when I said I started from small fish to large, well my last 30 ended up being my pb at 37 lbs. I can't tell you how happy I was when I caught him for I fished 4 days trying to get something like that. All the strategy and hard work had paid off. I was happy for about 1 week straight...no more like 2 weeks straight. :)

After that fish, I think I was finally exhausted from all those hours I put on the bank. I started to get to my senses and realized that I can't be like a homeless person fishing all day ;) and my priorities started to change. I decided to do more shorter sessions and just catch carp.

But guess what, I had a problem which was I had a hard time consistently catching lots of small to medium size carp (or hauling) because all of my fishing prior to that had been long sessions (+8 hr) and waiting for just one run from a big carp.

So here is why I put this in the Carp Methods seciton and not pics and stories even though it does have a story to it. I believe that there are different styles or types of carp fishing. One can't just say I am a good carp angler. Here's why, just because someone is good at consistently catching 30s, doesn't mean that he is good at catching lots of fish :) . Both involve totally different tactics. Sure, people can and do catch big carp while trying to catch everything but in the long run, the guy who specifically focuses on big carp will have caught more 30s and 40s than the numbers guy....this is a fact....can't prove it but I believe it's true.

Anyways here is my breakdown on the types or styles of carp fishing:

*Specimen angling (+45-70 lb)

* Big carp angling (+30lb)

* Numbers angling

* Tournament angling

Ok this post is getting too long so I'll continue to write on the next post and will elaborate further........

Just to show off a bit ;) , here are the 30s I've caught, which is the result of all my hard work.....basically started with a blank slate (didn't know anything) and eventually was able to strategically capture these carp (except one for one was by luck for I wasn't trying to catch a 30 at that time). And these captures are old (2008)....I need to get some more but I honestly don't have the passion anymore but I'm in no hurry for I have a lifetime of carp fishing left ;) .

Now I need to find a good woman to marry so I can start a family for I'm getting old :lol: .

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Edited by barbelfloat

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Ok back to the categories of carp fishing:

* Specimen angling (+45-70 lb)

* Big carp angling (+30lb)

* Numbers angling

* Tournament angling

I like Phone's definition of specimen being in the top 2-5% of the carp population. For the Potomac, it would make a specimen carp to be +45 lbs to the 60 lb range. Now I agree with Phone in that I believe these fish are true loners and will not shoal. Fishing for them or trying to catch them on purpose is something else and I believe requires a dedicated full time carp angler who thinks outside the box...not your typical carp fishing baits, tactics, etc.

For big carp, I define them to be +30 lbs. I believe they can be caught on purpose meaning one can fish certain locations, use certain baits, and apply strategic baiting strategies to increase the chances of catching them (that's what I mean by cathcing them on purpose - to increase your chances by a lot).

The number angling I define to be holding the shoal of carp in the swim and trying to catch as many as possible. This is totally different than big carp angling, although big carp can be caught this way as well by luck but this is not the best way to target them.

For Tournament angling, it's competition angling for money and generally people win by total weight. This is similar to the numbers fishing but different for carp do behave differently when there are many anglers fishing for them. For example, when a group of people fish right next to each other in a featureless venue (Hains Point in DC is a perfect example), the anglers at the end generally catch the most.....but if the angler has a lot of experience fishing these types of situations, I believe he can overcome the odds and still win even if he is pegged in the middle.

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Barbel, I was right with you. Then you ruined your credibility by writing the following boldfaced lie:

"I started to get to my senses and realized that I can't be like a homeless person fishing all day..............." :)

I refuse to come to my senses but then, I don't have the number of 30's that you have banked.

Also you failed to note that this illness we call carping can be worse. I have elected to consolidate and run 4A and 4B concurrently. Oh I stink to high heaven at both but I am learning as fast as I can.

And in spite of not being able to get it together this season, I am enjoying every carp that I do catch. Heck, I got in to an epic battle with river 26-6 last Sunday that represented some of my best fishing ever. Two different monumental snags and still banked. This carp was worthy of a name based solely on spirit and its ability to peel off line like he was a Wahoo. And yes......I clearly recognize that sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

I will continue to chase, and continue to get my fanny handed to me at tourneys because............

sooner or later even a blind hog finds an acorn.

Kudo's and thanks for your last couple of posts. They really hit home as I am dead in the middle of where you were.

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Very well written barbel, I agree with you're theory almost 100%. I do believe that 30's can be singled out. And that specimen fish as I would describe as 35+ as the average "big fish" in the local waters are in the lower 30's. The strategies I use to approach said large fish are as follows, single hookbaits, usually fake maize or a single kernel of maize on the hair. This I believe when fishing over maize is very subtle and the wary large carp will feed on the edge of the bait field where ive strategically placed my hook bait/ pickup. But, this also allows me to catch numbers, very high numbers infact because the small juvenile fish simply ravage the swim. I've tried the dedicated "pig rig", or "donkey choker" but to no avail, the big fish just seem to be put off by them, as I don't feed into the whole "they've never seen a boilie, so they're afraid of them" bit, but I will say the few times I've actually been able to view the large fish feeding 10/10 times they took the camouflaged single kernel of maize or fake maize. But I have caught smaller fish on boilies, so I just cannot figure out why my swims are soo different than other angler's. Perhaps it's because the boilie isn't presented to the swim in mass quantity, thus contradicting my belief that the big fish are affraid of them, I think they just lack curiosity. I found a swim this year that has been under my nose for years, one day I felt it, in my pursuit of big fish, which has ALWAYS been my goal, NEVER to catch numbers of small to medium sized fish, I was introduced to this sport in 2006 and the very first guy I saw instantly became my Hero, my goal, my passion, luckily for me he's now a very close personal friend and a mentor. But back to the "new swim". One day I walked around it, noticing things I'd never noticed before, almost an ephifatic feeling of reality. This I said is my new home. That day I caught my first 30. The first fish of the day on a single kernal of my favorite maize, on the edge of a small baited area. I've hand picked 12, 30's from that swim this year in a river that no one had ever heard they were. I've caught my share of high 20's and low 20's teens and singles along the way. Even had my mentor come out to NY, he had been here many times before had seen my swim, but never suspected. His previous pb from this river was 23 pounds I believe and early into the night we picked away many great fish to result in his new pb from this river of 27 pounds. But the point being, once you catch a 30, you realize everything you did to accomplish that and it seems to come easier, I've gone to the surrounding lakes within an hour of me and my first carp session at a lake I've never carp fished before resulted in back to back 30's in the first half an hour there. And other lakes have given up their secrets to me as well, do I think every angler has it in them to be a big fish angler? The answer is no I don't, some anglers are content with the same rigs, same bait, same style, same philosophy. The bottom line is that big carp angling takes the ability to adapt and conform, feel the water, the wind, the fish. To be prepared to change everything to do what it is you set out to do. I was told once on a trip this year that I " had forgotten why I started, why I carp fished, and that I focus too much on big fish" the fact is I've never forgotten why I started and where I came from. Big fish has been my passion and my fuel since day 1. I went almost a whole year before I bought a single piece of kit, I watched every video I could find. Every book, every magazine, every story, photo, before I even set foot on the bank. I had an idea and I lived with it, ate slept and dreamt of it. You make a choice and you go. If you enjoy catching lots of fish then that's great, if you pine for big fish the. Awesome. You're like me I will spend days blanking for 1 fish. I don't care. I recently took a trip to Massachusetts, I spent 3 days for 1 fish I never left the bank for 3 entire days and never once did i think " this blows" just the angler I am. I will reach the goals I set for my self and if you're serious then you will to. Never get discouraged by the eaters or the bass guys, do what you love and do it well, never settle, until you're happy with what you've done.

Watch out for the next issue of UsCarpPro!

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Barbel , GREAT POST !!!!!

Zoomie, it ain't always the big ones that mean the most

Carpoholic , I have underestimated your dedication .

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Very well written barbel, I agree with you're theory almost 100%. I do believe that 30's can be singled out. And that specimen fish as I would describe as 35+ as the average "big fish" in the local waters are in the lower 30's. The strategies I use to approach said large fish are as follows, single hookbaits, usually fake maize or a single kernel of maize on the hair. This I believe when fishing over maize is very subtle and the wary large carp will feed on the edge of the bait field where ive strategically placed my hook bait/ pickup. But, this also allows me to catch numbers, very high numbers infact because the small juvenile fish simply ravage the swim. I've tried the dedicated "pig rig", or "donkey choker" but to no avail, the big fish just seem to be put off by them, as I don't feed into the whole "they've never seen a boilie, so they're afraid of them" bit, but I will say the few times I've actually been able to view the large fish feeding 10/10 times they took the camouflaged single kernel of maize or fake maize. But I have caught smaller fish on boilies, so I just cannot figure out why my swims are soo different than other angler's. Perhaps it's because the boilie isn't presented to the swim in mass quantity, thus contradicting my belief that the big fish are affraid of them, I think they just lack curiosity. I found a swim this year that has been under my nose for years, one day I felt it, in my pursuit of big fish, which has ALWAYS been my goal, NEVER to catch numbers of small to medium sized fish, I was introduced to this sport in 2006 and the very first guy I saw instantly became my Hero, my goal, my passion, luckily for me he's now a very close personal friend and a mentor. But back to the "new swim". One day I walked around it, noticing things I'd never noticed before, almost an ephifatic feeling of reality. This I said is my new home. That day I caught my first 30. The first fish of the day on a single kernal of my favorite maize, on the edge of a small baited area. I've hand picked 12, 30's from that swim this year in a river that no one had ever heard they were. I've caught my share of high 20's and low 20's teens and singles along the way. Even had my mentor come out to NY, he had been here many times before had seen my swim, but never suspected. His previous pb from this river was 23 pounds I believe and early into the night we picked away many great fish to result in his new pb from this river of 27 pounds. But the point being, once you catch a 30, you realize everything you did to accomplish that and it seems to come easier, I've gone to the surrounding lakes within an hour of me and my first carp session at a lake I've never carp fished before resulted in back to back 30's in the first half an hour there. And other lakes have given up their secrets to me as well, do I think every angler has it in them to be a big fish angler? The answer is no I don't, some anglers are content with the same rigs, same bait, same style, same philosophy. The bottom line is that big carp angling takes the ability to adapt and conform, feel the water, the wind, the fish. To be prepared to change everything to do what it is you set out to do. I was told once on a trip this year that I " had forgotten why I started, why I carp fished, and that I focus too much on big fish" the fact is I've never forgotten why I started and where I came from. Big fish has been my passion and my fuel since day 1. I went almost a whole year before I bought a single piece of kit, I watched every video I could find. Every book, every magazine, every story, photo, before I even set foot on the bank. I had an idea and I lived with it, ate slept and dreamt of it. You make a choice and you go. If you enjoy catching lots of fish then that's great, if you pine for big fish the. Awesome. You're like me I will spend days blanking for 1 fish. I don't care. I recently took a trip to Massachusetts, I spent 3 days for 1 fish I never left the bank for 3 entire days and never once did i think " this blows" just the angler I am. I will reach the goals I set for my self and if you're serious then you will to. Never get discouraged by the eaters or the bass guys, do what you love and do it well, never settle, until you're happy with what you've done.

Watch out for the next issue of UsCarpPro!

Carpaholic,

Man you and me are on the same frequency....I also agree with 100% of what you said. Like you, I love exclusively chasing big carp and our fishing style is the same in that I also never fish on top of bait and constantly try to think rather than being one dimensional. But I do fish big baits and rigs but I think the differences are just associated to the fact that we fish different waters and as you know, all waters are different.....I mainly fish the Potomac River and those river carp have no problem taking big boilies for I think a lot of them are used to eating big food items.....lots of those carp have big mouths and have tough calluses around their mouths.

I think if we fished together, we'll really click. I look forward to your future success and will watch for you! Good luck!

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Barbel , GREAT POST !!!!!

Zoomie, it ain't always the big ones that mean the most

Carpoholic , I have underestimated your dedication .

Thanks Carpinken!

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I guess it depends on the person (or maybe it's a male vs. female thing? :) ) Don't get me wrong; I love to catch BIGGIES and it might be nice to place in a tournament. However, I just think that a Carp, any Carp, any size, is a beautiful thing. I like to just look at them. I also get a huge "charge" out of the gear that I use. I love it when people come up and ask, "What is that?" and I can talk about the use and history of whatever I'm fishing with (really old rods and reels, alarms and pods, hair rigs, huge "Euro" net, etc.). I don't even carry scales with me; the only time I get my fish weighed is when I'm fishing with someone who has scales, and I normally forget the weight after a while anyway. I remember the colour of the fish, any strange shapes or markings, the SCREAMING RUN (!!! :D ), and the fight it put up. Somehow, I don't foresee myself ever reaching stage 4, and it will take a LONG time for me to reach stage 3.

Great fish in the pics, by the way!!

Edited by Anna Werner

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I just think that a Carp, any Carp, any size, is a beautiful thing. I like to just look at them. I also get a huge "charge" out of the gear that I use. I love it when people come up and ask, "What is that?" and I can talk about the use and history of whatever I'm fishing with (really old rods and reels, alarms and pods, hair rigs, huge "Euro" net, etc.).

Thanks Anna! I also love to look at carp :P and I think they're are the most beautiful fish in the world, no matter what the size. Just absolutely love them....kind of reminds me of my pet dog in a strange way.

But personally I don't like talking to strangers when I'm seriously fishing for big carp and now, I generally am in hiding and never fish public spots anymore when I do fish alone :D .....probably has to do more with my personality than anything but you are definitely doing a great thing sharing and educating others about our ways of fishing and fish! :)

Edited by barbelfloat

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Barbel , you left out one thing from your catagories , TOP END FISH , a top end fish could be a 16 lber to an 80 lber, varying on the water you are fishing . For example I fish a pond not to far from my house everything to ever come out is under 10 lbs , One day I got a 16 lber which I considered to be "top end " . Some waters top end is 20 lbs some 30 lbs others 40 lbs , on the best U.S. waters it may be upper 40's On some euro waters it could be upwards of 80 + lbs .

"Top end fish " come in ALL sizes just depends on the body of water .

I believe a great deal of CAG'ERS are seeking top end fish . As sometimes the chaseing " specimen "or" big fish" isn't a viable option on most waters .

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Barbel , you left out one thing from your catagories , TOP END FISH , a top end fish could be a 16 lber to an 80 lber, varying on the water you are fishing . For example I fish a pond not to far from my house everything to ever come out is under 10 lbs , One day I got a 16 lber which I considered to be "top end " . Some waters top end is 20 lbs some 30 lbs others 40 lbs , on the best U.S. waters it may be upper 40's On some euro waters it could be upwards of 80 + lbs .

"Top end fish " come in ALL sizes just depends on the body of water .

I believe a great deal of CAG'ERS are seeking top end fish . As sometimes the chaseing " specimen "or" big fish" isn't a viable option on most waters .

Carpinken,

You are right that some places just have smaller fish. Lake Accotink comes to mind for my area. The average size of fish there is like 2lbs because it's been drained many times over. But my friend Axel, one time caught a 13 lb'er from there and it was just incredible for that lake. You would consider that to be a "TOP END FISH" correct?

Using the definition I was using for "specimen carp" (which was Phone's which is = biggest size in the 2-5% of carp population). Wouldn't specimen carp defined Phone's way, be the same as your definition of "Top End fish?"

As you know, the numbers I assigned to specimen carp and big carp are somewhat arbitrary and was just going on the assumption of a healthy wild water which was conducive to allowing some or lots of the fish reach their full potential size. That's why I said specimen was in the +45 and big carp was +30 because I was assuming it was a healthy water with lots of food and a healthy population of carp....in wild waters like that I think my numbers are pretty representative of what a big carp is and what a specimen is but I do admit that those numbers are a bit arbitrary....difficult to assign an exact number so a range is good, i.e. + or -?

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Carpinken,

You are right that some places just have smaller fish. Lake Accotink comes to mind for my area. The average size of fish there is like 2lbs because it's been drained many times over. But my friend Axel, one time caught a 13 lb'er from there and it was just incredible for that lake. You would consider that to be a "TOP END FISH" correct?

Using the definition I was using for "specimen carp" (which was Phone's which is = biggest size in the 2-5% of carp population). Wouldn't specimen carp defined Phone's way, be the same as your definition of "Top End fish?"

As you know, the numbers I assigned to specimen carp and big carp are somewhat arbitrary and was just going on the assumption of a healthy wild water which was conducive to allowing some or lots of the fish reach their full potential size. That's why I said specimen was in the +45 and big carp was +30 because I was assuming it was a healthy water with lots of food and a healthy population of carp....in wild waters like that I think my numbers are pretty representative of what a big carp is and what a specimen is but I do admit that those numbers are a bit arbitrary....difficult to assign an exact number so a range is good, i.e. + or -?

I guess Phone is right (as always :) ) What your friend Axel caught would most definately be considered Top end . I have always considered myself to be a topend seeker . Looking at things from that perspective I guess specimen and top end are two words in the same .

I see what you mean now . :D I will say out of that particular pond that 16 lber was like a 30 lber from other waters .

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I guess Phone is right (as always :D ) What your friend Axel caught would most definately be considered Top end . I have always considered myself to be a topend seeker . Looking at things from that perspective I guess specimen and top end are two words in the same .

I see what you mean now . :P I will say out of that particular pond that 16 lber was like a 30 lber from other waters .

Great! Glad we cleared up the confusion in semantics/wording. As categorization goes in any subject, the less or more simple the list (theory), the better. :)

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Barbel, I agree with you 100%. I started off at 1) and 2), and for a while I was content just hauling teen fish. However, then something hit me when I watched a fellow Michigan angler Drew land 3 30s in a year...that was the start for me, and I jumped straight to 4b) :D You're right, it is crazy obsessive...the challenge of being able to pout everything together to successfully haul a 30+ out a swim is immense, but it is what keeps me coming back. Like I stated in your other thread, I have learned more in the last 4 months about bait, rigs, etc than I have in the past 3 years.

I CANNOT wait until I get my 1st 30 :)

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Barbel, I agree with you 100%. I started off at 1) and 2), and for a while I was content just hauling teen fish. However, then something hit me when I watched a fellow Michigan angler Drew land 3 30s in a year...that was the start for me, and I jumped straight to 4b) :D You're right, it is crazy obsessive...the challenge of being able to pout everything together to successfully haul a 30+ out a swim is immense, but it is what keeps me coming back. Like I stated in your other thread, I have learned more in the last 4 months about bait, rigs, etc than I have in the past 3 years.

I CANNOT wait until I get my 1st 30 :)

Thanks Frogfish! That's awesome you jumped right to 4b....that's the way to go :P . Look forward to your success!

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macfish here. Barbelfloat, you have instigated a very interesting thread and discussion. I was a little confused at first by your distinctions but you have written your piece very well and concisely. I guess I would fit into the numbers group because I have not yet been bitten by a bug to catch any particular size fish (or numbers either for that matter) more than a bug just to catch carp. Really my reasons for fishing for carp have more to do with meditation time, contemplating life, etc. It doesn't have so much to do with fish in particular as it does with achieving and maintaining a certain level of good mental health, spiritual health, appreciation of life. I'm probably doing a very poor job of explaining it, but it is why a blank can be at least as beneficial and sometimes even more so than catching. Jonathan

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I was introduced to this sport in 2006 and the very first guy I saw instantly became my Hero, my goal, my passion, luckily for me he's now a very close personal friend and a mentor.

Besides the obsession with clown punching and heels, you've picked a good mentor. :)

Me personally, catching big fish happens because: 1. You fish venues with big fish; 2. You fish during the periods when big fish are the heaviest and most actively feeding (roughly April-May and October in my general region); 3. You have confidence in your technique, whether its fishing donky chokers over a bed of jumbo boilies, pack bait, fly, whatever; 4. most importantly...you go fishing a lot.

The majority of my biggest fish have all come on small single bait rigs, with or without a small pva. But, that tactic catches me tons of small fish too, because that's my confidence rig. :D

Probably my most rewarding fish (the mirror in my avatar) came after a lot of fishing, blanking and hard work and patience. A new venue on my home river, which required serious work to make it fishable, seemed destined to produce big fish. Louis and I fished it nearly every day or night from late march through mid april. After probably 8-10 sessions, I had yet to catch a single carp, which is really rare on the Schuylkill. I didnt start changing my rigs or baits or move onto another location. Louis had caught a few decent 20s, I still kept blanking. Very frustrating. Finally, after a long Friday night session I got a solid run, just as thoughts of hitting up my neighborhood bar for last call were beginning to dominate my mind. It really was a rewarding moment to net the biggest mirror I had ever seen in person. The hard work and consistent effort paid off...and that ended up being the first of many awesome fish we caught at that location. But...within a week, the big fish were now where to be found at that location...right time, right place, consistent effort.

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macfish here. Barbelfloat, you have instigated a very interesting thread and discussion. I was a little confused at first by your distinctions but you have written your piece very well and concisely. I guess I would fit into the numbers group because I have not yet been bitten by a bug to catch any particular size fish (or numbers either for that matter) more than a bug just to catch carp. Really my reasons for fishing for carp have more to do with meditation time, contemplating life, etc. It doesn't have so much to do with fish in particular as it does with achieving and maintaining a certain level of good mental health, spiritual health, appreciation of life. I'm probably doing a very poor job of explaining it, but it is why a blank can be at least as beneficial and sometimes even more so than catching. Jonathan

Hi Macfish, what you said makes perfect sense and thank you very much for your compliment. By the way, I love how you always start your posts with an introduction :) .

I should add "fishing for fun or relaxing" or "leisure fishing" to the list for I know there are lots of people out there who view carp fishing this way. But I forgot about that because I was mainly focused on the crazys like me out there :D or those with the disease "cyprinus carpio-itis" (I actually borrowed the name for this life ruining disease from the ACS guys). If one can immediately recognize which of the 4 categories they fit into without thought or if one fits into more than one, they have a serious problem and need to get help :P but you had a hard time so this means you are ok.

Now that I think about it, I think it's safe to say that I fell so deep into this sport between the years of 2006-2008 that this was my life (especially 2006 and 2007). I never watched tv actually between those years except for one channel and that was "The Weather Channel." I watched the weather channel so frequently that I literally memorized all the instrumental songs on there, LOL.

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Probably my most rewarding fish (the mirror in my avatar) came after a lot of fishing, blanking and hard work and patience.

Congrats on that mirror Matt! When I saw your avatar a couple days ago, the first thing I thought was what an incredible mirror!

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Anna, I do concur that every carp caught is gorgeous. One of my favorite carp ever caught was a Mirror that came out of a local swim that would have a hard time tipping the scales at 2 pounds. It was a shock that this Mirror showed up out of this swim and made my weekend.

P2070014.JPG

I think that chasing big fish or top-end fish gives me focus. One of the primary reasons I love chasing carp is that it provides escape from the day to day grind of life. It is also the only time I can actually sit still. Oh I sometimes just grab a rod, a bankstick and a single flavor to mess around, but usually I prefer having my entire laboratory with me ! :)

Edited by Zoomie

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That is a pretty mirror Zoomie! Actually I especially enjoy catching fall carp of any size and looking at them because autumn carp generally have these amazing colors. I don't have any pictures with me but I think many of you know what I'm talking about and if you have a picture available, maybe you can post an autumn carp here.

I was obviously joking and being sarcastic about dedicated carping being some sort of disease but really chasing big carp or any target carp for that matter is an incredible hobby/passion to have and very rewarding when all the hard work pays off. I don't regret for one second all the time I spent on this awesome sport because I now have the experience, confidence, know how, and the tools available to catch big carp in any water if I decide to spend the time there and work at it (although I still have LOTS to learn)....now that's an awesome feeling and accomplishment.

Edited by barbelfloat

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Guest phonebush

barbel,

See, these threads are always a lot more fun if you risk some investment or your own opinion. Trust me, in my 70 years of participation and observation I only use the word "wrong" as a way point. Often there really is no wrong way only several "righter" ways and of course, the Phone way. We can't just sit around and agree to agree to agree with one another.

Let me add a dimension to this thread. Matt mentioned, quote; "location...right time, right place, consistent effort". Many old timers, I think a lot more than you younger guys, put a LOT of stock in fishing at the right "TIME". You would be surprised at the number of "older" or "experienced" anglers that keep a pretty detailed journal. Do you?

Do any of you young guys attribute a successful session to the moon or some similar natural event. How about pressure. In KC this week we had the lowest BP ever recorded at the weather station (28.?? in. mercury). "Wind in the East - fish bite the least". You believe that??

Phone

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Now that I think about it, I think it's safe to say that I fell so deep into this sport between the years of 2006-2008 that this was my life (especially 2006 and 2007). I never watched tv actually between those years except for one channel and that was "The Weather Channel." I watched the weather channel so frequently that I literally memorized all the instrumental songs on there, LOL.

man i wish i could get a couple of years worth of NBF in :)

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Phone, you are always welcome in my threads, especially if you disagree with me :) . I will respond to your post #24 on this thread but first I will move one of your posts from the carp etiquette thread here and respond to that first for that particular post belongs here.

Barbel,

Say What??!!

We were posting on top of each other. I'll now respond to your post #34.

First, there is no way I can fish there. I can't picture such a swim. Crazy talk, 40 yards here 50 yards there - you animal. I freeline from a 7ft UglyStik. But if I could fish there I can tell you EXACTLY where the specimen carp will be. You would be foolish to bait the area. Why in the world do you want to scatter the fish into a co-mingled fashion? The "specimen" fish will, in this case, be naturally concentrated by circumstances and pecking order.

Now, the only fish you should be interested in will naturally be in two places. One, where large food particles settle, second, smaller food particles and lastly where no food partlcles settle but is a respite. For specimen you can pretty well be ensured of there location by water temperature. 76 - 72f cast into the large particle depository. ALL other circumstances they will be in the respite. That is unless you've jacked with their natural surroundings and stirred thing up with a bunch of junk.

As for bait. In the depths of the large particle area ALWAYS start with very high protein (just a recommendation - not mandatory). Depending on the amount of current you can go up to 40mm if you insist on boilies. In fact, this is one of the swim configurations I'd like to try boilies some day. Big bait here means big fish.. In this area I would not be opposed to using a method feeder or pack bait with large particles (even range cubes). In fact, I probably would do "something" as I'd need the weight to cast that far. In the respite use small pop-up (10mm) - sweet to very sweet. DON'T pre-bait this second area but a very small pack or method would be OK. Makes me cringe but I'll allow it.

Smaller, average fish may be taken in front of the pylons and in the flats on both sides in the current. On rare occasion the single largest of all specimen will be laying in front of the pylon in the rip-rap. You only need to give this cast 20 - 30 minutes. The huge specimen is either there or it isn't and this is a great place for a heart breaking hookpull.

This type swim is far from "limitless" as you suggest. It is the most structured and predictable swim in all of carp fishing. If you can fish the swim semi-frequently you will soon be able to predict - based on current speed and water level - how far forward and back the nucleus of these two "honey hole" has moved. One is always going to be against the back of the pylon - the other down stream "X" distance and behind the pylon.

Ohh, rest assured, ultimately size matters among creatures in the pecking order when choosing an exact spot in the river. Even with carp.

Just don't stir the fish all up in their natural habitat by "baiting the area" whatever the heck that might mean(?) Consider this, in 36 hours the baited area will look exactly like the area was before all the stuff was thrown in since it is subject to the dynamics of the river current. I mean arranged by size and location.

Really, you have NO options in your example until you decide to stir the pot with prebaiting.

location, location , location.

Phone

Barbel,

First, all my stuff is right. It is only wrong when you disagree.

We used to have a guy by the forum name "globetrotter" (Tony somthin somthin). For a couple, maybe three years he spent some big bucks in search of North American "specimen". Anyway my story goes - - - either on purpose or by accident many "followed" globetrotter. Physically followed him - fished his swims the next day, the next weekend, the next chance. He was marked (and he loved it).

His attitude was it is the price for being really good at what you do. He would say, "to copy me whilst fishing is the highest form of flattery. I just wish they would also buy my books."

I don't know how "famous" he really is or was but I certainly can't improve on his attitude. He was held in high esteem for those few years by NA Euro guys. I ask him repeatedly how he justified getting to fish a worthy swim just once or twice before it became "public". Does anyone remember him keeping a "secret" when he was ask? He always seemed to have a plan "B" and was happy just to be fishing.

Second subject

How I would do it - - - by Phone - - - The "missing" link in your approach or how I would improve on your approach is I have a lot more faith in flavorings (attractants). I really, truely, honestly, for sure believe "robin red" (for example) can attract a fish to a swim from one mile. In the big bait you are going to need pretty convincing attractants. I would fish - 1st, in front of the pylon for 20 minutes with the "big bait" combo. 2nd, fish at least half the session in the presumed active specimen honey hole and NO WHERE ELSE. 3rd, Since I have to catch "something" to save face I'd give the "tight behind the pylon" honey hole a go. Another of my non-Euro things is to put 3 rods as close to on top of each other as possible. I relish a good "clusterfu_k" since I usually only have a freelined hook to contend with. I trust my watercraft (or someone elses I've received second hand, but trust). You also have to accept the HIGH LIKELYHOOD of blanking all together. Remember a specimen is probably in the top 2 - 5% of the fish in the venue.

I have to tell you I consider(ed) it a violation of "fair pursuit" of the sport to chum at all. I didn't chum, I didn't hunt game over a salt block, I never used beaters.

I no longer subscribe to this. I now use pack bait (or method or miele bom or whatever you wish to call it) and I'm nearly always fishing with guys who "prepare" the venue before and/or during the session. I even contribute my share to the "kitty". That damn stuff begins to cost $$ after a while. On this point I am now one of you. And, for the most part reconciled.

Phone

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Ok now I will respond to the posts I copied above from the other thread. You know, I just read that first post again and you actually make a lot of sense and I don't think you were kidding like you usually do :) . I read it carefully and there's a lot of logic and watercraft there.

But I think there was a little bit of confusion and we were actually talking about 2 different things. In that carp etiquette thread, I used the words "specimen carp" and "big carp" loosely and interchangeably. I like your definition of specimen carp (ie: largest 2% of the fish in the venue). I defined big carp to be any carp over 30 lbs. Now I am referring to big wild water venues in the USA, like the larry, potomac, LBL, etc. and have excluded unhealthy venues where 30s or even 40s don't exist. So using those definitions and excluding small fish venues, a specimen would probably be in the upper 40 or even the 50 lb range and there would be a healthy population of big carp or 30s as well.

So now that we got our definitions straight we can talk clearly. I think I was talking about capturing big carp (+30) and you were talking about specimen carp (+45 lbs). I broke down big carp angling this way (1-location, 2-bait applicaion, 3-bait and rig) and you disagreed and said (location, location, location)....you know, maybe you are right.....I mean, I believe my formula applies to big carp but maybe it breaks down when it comes to specimen carp....?

Because I don't have an alterantive formula for specimen carp, I will accept yours which is (location, location, location) but I am 100% sure that my formula works for big carp (+30) and that they can be caught on purpose (i.e. spefically targeted). Now I will admit that others can have a different approach which could work equally as well if not better than mine. One example would be the HNV theory which probably would give bait much more priority than I do but HNV is another thread on it's own.

Now I want to comment on you saying this about my bridge abutment swim, "This type of swim is far from "limitless" as you suggest. It is the most structured and predictable swim in all of carp fishing." Yes you are right in that the current, eddies, and where the fish will relate to is predictable but the baiting strategy and choice of bait the angler can implement is almost limitless. This is where creativity and the angler's differences in approach comes to play.

When I fish, I use bait as a tool because carp respond to bait. In fact, sometimes the bait becomes a new feature which I created. Phone, there are many ways to target a 30 and bait application is a big part of the equation, which is why I place it so high up on the list (#2) because if it in fact can become a feature, then in some sense it's a "location."

So what I'm trying to say is that if one places bait strategically, it's not as disruptive and disaterous as you suggest.

But I will submit and say that for specimen carp, your option of not prebaiting and possibily even using natural food items wins :D .

On my next post, I will respond to post #24.

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