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MOCarper

CAG Big Four Fall 2016 Monster "Cat"ch!!

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So.....my very first CAG Big Four............wow!!! what an experience!!!

       I switched to fishing at night at a local lake shortly after the leaves filled and the carp left the creeks....I hadn't ever really fished at night but became quite comfortable fishing for carp......I'd chum twice daily for a couple weeks and started catching some nice fish, up to 2 per hour!!......One night, towards midnight, after catching several, I had two poles baited with what I call a "peacorn" sandwich- a sweet pea sandwiched between two pieces of sweet corn, and free-lined on a #4 Gamkatsu circle hook (I've simply had my best success on circle hooks-sorry all)...I had just texted the Mrs. saying I was packing up and on the way home.....Well, I had a fish hit and within a minute, felt the power of a very large carp!...one that through my very short experience felt at last 20 pounds.......yeah!!!- I texted the wife simply "big fish!"......this was going to be special, since I was using 8lb test on ultralight....fortunately I had just retied the hook (its very rocky where I fish) and had 120yds of line.....the fish headed towards open ocean, then back and forth for the first hour, give and take, drag screaming, etc......then.......nothing-no movement, no tug, no slack.... :(.......I had this happen routinely and learned that sometimes, if I just let the pole sit, a small fish (bluegill, small channel, etc. ) would come along and tug at the bait, freeing it from the rock.....so saddened as I didn't even glimpse the huge carp I had, and just lost a larger one to a hook pull the previous week.....oh well....I texted again saying my line was snagged...-tucked the pole in the rocks with a little tension and finished packing-unhooking matt, sling, net, lights, tackle, lines, etc. with occasional glances at the pole-no movement, ..................nothing...finished packing and wrapped the line around my jacket/arm to snap the line-there was just a subtle, soft pull.....there's a thick line of snapped lines, hooks, sinkers, etc., and more and more lines get snapped off....so....but the line moved!!!....I quickly texted again and said fish still on!!! (1:30am none-the-less)..it took off again, but slowly I turned it and knew if I could keep the head up, I could land it.....-in between runs and gives I was able to unfold my mat, the sling, and reassemble the net!!!......after one more hour, it came into view, my biggest, largest carp...one that was going to be my personal best, BY FAR (even though I started carp fishing in June of this year, it still counts!!  :rolleyes:...)., and then a range of emotions as the fish came closer- a massive flathead catfish!!!!....How was I going to land this?...it was far too large for the net-maybe I could slide it into the sling if I laid it in the water just right, but how do I close it?.....I placed the pole cross-wise in my mouth, but couldn't pull the fish into the sling!!!.......then a 25watt light bulb went off-these are the fish of noodle fame!!!! .........so...........................I noodled him!!- lifted all 39lbs 14 oz up onto the rocky shore, laid him on the mat and caught my breath....visibly shaking (don't know how you guys do it catching 30lb carp routinely!!!)........how did I catch a flathead, fishing for carp?....He must have hit the small bluegill or small carp that hit my bait!!, though there was no sign of either-the hook was firmly in the lower lip....WOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!......not a mark on the fish....I've routinely seen catfisherman here and all they catch is small channels.....I admired the fish for just a few minutes, got my pictures, then release him- a survivor, a fish that has been around that area for years and avoided all the lines, hooks, chicken livers, etc..........almost forgot about carping for a minute!!.....he eased into the depths and out of sight........2:30 am!!.........for a time I thought I might have a line-class record, but alas, someone caught a 66lbr on 8 lb test .......oh well.......what an experience!!-just imagine what we all have- I was free to carp fish, I could have kept and eaten him/showed him off, etc.........but....in the end, he earned my respect and admiration and I was a better person letting him go.......will he be caught again?- probably, and probably kept...but maybe he'll sense something up, like the smell of corn and bluegill, and avoid it as he likely has the hooks, the liver, the lines..........fair-the-well kitty!!!,.....my largest cat ever!!!.......thanks to CAG for inspiring me to fish this way! and my wife for boiling corn night after night!!!........

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Wow! If we had catfish that big around here then my carp fishing time would probably be significantly less :P :lol:

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Thanks Franky!...I catch a lot of channel cats some small buffalo and may bluegill but my first flathead-they are very common in Missouri and generally very large!....still, though, looking for my first 30lbr (I have 2   22lbrs this fall-but just started carp fishing in June...) and just starting big river fishing, trying to prep for the FFF!!!....... Kirk 

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On 11/15/2016 at 10:45 PM, MOCarper said:

......thanks to CAG for inspiring me to fish this way! and my wife for boiling corn night after night!!!........

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Hi Kirk

Can I borrow your wife for the Spring 2017 Big-4? I am prepared to pay extra if she can also cook tiger nuts! :D

Many congratulations on the big kitty Kirk. I wonder how far one would have to drive from Salem, MA, to find Flatheads?

Iain

 

 

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1 hour ago, redcoat said:

Hi Kirk

Can I borrow your wife for the Spring 2017 Big-4? I am prepared to pay extra if she can also cook tiger nuts! :D

Many congratulations on the big kitty Kirk. I wonder how far one would have to drive from Salem, MA, to find Flatheads?

Iain

 

 

Let me ask her; she's a great cook!, so I think she could do it!.....Hmmmm, if she's cooking for you though, I'd have to boil my own corn for the Big Four....maybe if I can convince her to start boiling now, I'd freeze it and use next May, as when the Big Four starts, I'll be fishing every day and evening....I'll draw up the terms and conditions, then have her draw up the terms and conditions...........:D

Thanks for the kudos-totally unexpected fish...Their natural range is basically the Mississippi river system and its associated/connected rivers (Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, etc, but also most large lakes here in the midwest. They are easy to catch, but I don't fish for them......The closest fish to you are introduced fish in Pennsylvania-Blue marsh reservoir, Schuylkill river, Susquehanna River, and Springton reservoir in Media Pennsylvania.- not sure how far that is for you.......to catch them, fish at night, with a small bluegill, or better, small bullhead hooked just below the dorsal fin, and free-line near any large underwater snag- tree, rocks, etc. They commonly reside in holes under shorelines. They are very good eating Im told, but I don't keep many fish to begin with....

Any tips you can give for big river fishing, I'd appreciate it, as I am shifting from the creeks (no good in winter), the local lake (fishing has really dropped off), to the Missouri, in prep for the FFF....never fished it other than for paddlefish............

Here's some larger channels I caught as well- these were hooked on the corn, and one appears to have eaten most of my chum and one, welllllll hadn't... :)

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awesome cat!

Everything will take corn. I've had northerns, dogfish, bass, small walleye and even hognosed suckers pick up single bits of sweetcorn on the hair. 

That cat is a beast!

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That's an incredible story. Thanks a lot for sharing. This is starting to make me think I should visit your home state one of these days...

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Yep- it is a fabulous fishing state..( I have > 12 Master angler certs this year alone!)......cats, carp (commons-just finding those, they're big bow-hunt fish here, not sure on mirrors, though I caught two this fall.. large grass carp-this one's from Kansas but caught a few in Missouri this year too,)..rainbow and brown trout, all the sunfish species, muskies, a few pike, pickerel,  bass (huge fishery-largemouth, smallmouth, spotteds, etc) gar (-alligator, long nose, spotted, short-nosed), drum, buffalo, white bass, hybrids, etc.....I think we have > 200 species in Missouri, with the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the Ozarks, etc.....lived here all my life (except one stint in New Jersey) and haven't even seen all the waterways.....:huh::P

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Shawnee Mission is a great carp lake! I think I talked to you out there once. Caught so many big grassies there this year. 

Good to see someone local still fishing. I am packed up until spring. Haha!

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Ahhhhhh yes, I did talk to you....just started carping this June.....while I like the grassies (and my Shawnee grassies were >25lbrs this summer), I'm really into the commons and want a larger mirror (caught my first two this fall but small 2lbrs)..Ive been to Shawnee lake twice and only caught large grassies and the day I talked to you caught nothing in ~90 minutes toooooo slow (im used to catching 2-4 carp/hour ;)).....while we kinda talked, Id like to know more specs on how you fish for them......seems like you chunked very large pack bait, but we didn't discuss the details....care to share?....looks like your the local pro!!...I like the looks of some other points and forgot to ask you about the doc-ever fish off that?- seems like a more likely place for winter fishing, which I'm going to continue through the year..........here's a small grassie and a couple 8lb commons I caught creek fishing  Monday...........thanks!!

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Yeah, Shawnee Mission was kind of off this year. I did manage some really nice commons though.It was strange, the last few years were really good. That lake has everything you could want to catch, commons, mirrors, ghosts, and even some koi. It's hard for me to stray from that lake just knowing what's in there. The grass carp were hot this year, at least one every trip. My favorite swim out there became unfishable because of snags about halfway through the season. I lost a lot of fish, and gear, to those snags. It was really frustrating, I had put a lot of time in at that swim and it was a great producer. It was obvious other people were fishing that spot and breaking off because if I did manage to work free from the snag I would drag in a big wad of line. I hope whatever is down there washes out over the winter, haha! 

Yeah, am always throwing some sort of packbait. My rigs are simple also. If I am fishing my baitcasters, it's just a 1/0 or 2/0 baitholder with a piece of foam as hookbait with the packbait molded around it. If I am using my spinning gear, it's a simple blowback rig with fake corn or boiled corn on the hair and the packbait molded around a gripper lead.

I have not fished from the dock, too exposed, I like some shade haha! Lots of people do though. My main swims are shelter 6(now a snagfest), shelter 5(were we met) and down closer to the dam. 

Good luck with your cold weather fishing. I just can't do it, I like the heat! I use the winter months to reorganize and of course buy new stuff!! Hope to see you post some winter fish!! 

Ugh, now I want to go fishing!

 

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Do you know anyone who has fished Shawnee in the winter?- ya know, in the winter you don't need shade!!!:P.......I've seen the dock fisherman, but none I could say were fishing carp-all cats or bass/bluegill.......maybe you could use a rope with a large treble and pull the snags to shore with your vehicle?...If I get the chance, I'll do it-how far out do you think? is there some cedar tree-drops by the parks for fishing-is it snag-free closer in?.......Unfortunate to lose a swim...............by the by- you mentioned Olathe lake....have you tried Lake Lenexa, or cedar lake?- I fished cedar one morning and caught bullheads, channels, and turtles, but saw a fair amount of breaching carp and I like the layout (look at me with all that carping experience!-like I know what I'm doing:P-ya just needs to go.....otherwise you just spend all winter reading posts:P:rolleyes:...its just weather.........

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I don't know of anyone that has carp fished any of the local lakes during winter. So I would be clueless on where to even start! Haha!

That was my first thought, that they had dropped a new brush pile in my swim. I would say it's at least 40 yards out. I need to take my kayak out with the sonar and see if I can see any abnormalities on bottom in that area.

I have caught carp at Olathe Lake and Cedar Lake. Olathe has some big ones while I have only caught smaller(under 15lbs) carp at Cedar. I have only fished Lake Lenexa for bass while on my kayak. I am sure most every body of water around here has some carp in it.

I will just cross my fingers for an early spring! Haha!

 

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Forgot to ask-are there carp in the small ponds as you pass the admin building (on the right)?- seem kinda small but maybe?.........thanks for the advice!

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I would bet that there is definitely carp in those ponds. Pretty sure they stock catfish in those ponds also, so be prepared for that. Haha! Most smaller waters are stocked with catfish around here.

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