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AugustW

Deep lake carp tactics?

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Hello!

ive lurked on the forums for a long time and recently moved to a place where I have dock access out my back door to a VERY large lake, 22 miles long and a surface area of around 21,000 acres! The end of my dock is around 10-12 feet deep and a 35-40ft cast puts me around 25-30ft deep with a small weed/gravel bottom, there are lots of freshwater clams, crawfish and insects in the lake. I’ve seen carp in the 15+lb range cruising by all the time but always on the move never feeding and rarely slowly cruising.

theres an absurd amount of perch in the lake and the one time I chummed with corn I caught perch that were pooping corn the next day or 2 so not sure how quickly the carp would even key in with so much perch activity 

With all of this information, and with the fact that there’s still very heavy weed growth anywhere OTHER then that 25-40ft cast out from the end of the dock, what would be your plan of attack? Start chumming heavily at that range? Say screw it and start somewhere shallower or where carp are seen feeding rather than cruising? Bait selection? Pack baits?

obviously getting out there and trying is going to be the best option but figured I would see what others do in deep weedy lake situations and what the best options for getting carp to start frequenting an area instead of cruising by is!

Thanks guys! (Sorry for the super long post)

p.s. it’s Lake Washington up in Washington state. If anyone’s local and would be willing to help out a noob let me know!

Edited by AugustW

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Super long post? This post is tiny compared to some of mine...

I prefer to fish in deeper pockets simply because that's where the buffalo roam, but I don't think there are any of those beauties up in Washington! You've got a couple options on your hands:

 

1. Fish at the greater depth. 25-30ft isn't too deep for carp and I've had plenty from those depths.

2. Clear out the weed manually, and fish the shallower parts. The easiest way to accomplish this is to get one of those metal garden rakes, not the ones for leaves, and attach a sturdy rope to the end of it. Throw it out and drag it along the bottom, clearing the weed bit by bit. You won't have to do this often, but it's certainly a chore when you do.

3. Use the fish to clear out the weed, and fish the shallower parts. One of the easiest ways to clear weed is by not doing it at all! Chum an area over the course of a week or two with a ton of bait. Small particles work best for this as the fish will have to search around for some time, deer corn is one of the cheapest options. Just make sure to boil till soft.

4. Fish in the margins. Just because the water is a foot or two deep doesn't mean you can't get a nice carp there! I've had lots of fish just dropping a bait into the margins.

 

As for the best option to get carp to start frequenting an area, it's got to be baiting it. It can seem impossible with the massive amount of fish we have over here, but consistent baiting is key. Try to bait at least every other day if not every day. Doing it at the same time is also best, but any amount of bait in the water at any time will attract more fish than none.

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Awesome! Thank you for the quick reply, I think I’m going to do a combo of manually weed raking and just massively baiting the area. Hopefully in the next month or 2 before winter really sets in I can drum up some activity! Seen some gorgeous commons lately including one with a very long almost koi like tail.

 

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I have fished lots of big impoundments in the West. I have always found that a baiting campaign was essential to carpin success. In your case, you might experiment a bit with different particles to find something the perch won't eat. Almost any animal food will probably do for chumming the carp. Stroll down the aisles at any feed store (Tractor Supply, for example) and just buy a few bags of pig pellets, range cubes, or, anything that sinks in water, and try it.  

A good article to read is "The Baiting Pyramid" by Mike Wison. You can find it here: https://barbel.co.uk/site/articles/baitingpyramid/baitingpyramid.htm

Note the following in  Washington Sport Fishing Rules: Effective July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017:

"It is unlawful to chum, broadcast, feed, or distribute into freshwater any bait or other substance capable of attracting fish unless specifically authorized in Special Rules."

 

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6 hours ago, Dale Holmes said:

I have fished lots of big impoundments in the West. I have always found that a baiting campaign was essential to carpin success. In your case, you might experiment a bit with different particles to find something the perch won't eat. Almost any animal food will probably do for chumming the carp. Stroll down the aisles at any feed store (Tractor Supply, for example) and just buy a few bags of pig pellets, range cubes, or, anything that sinks in water, and try it.  

A good article to read is "The Baiting Pyramid" by Mike Wison. You can find it here: https://barbel.co.uk/site/articles/baitingpyramid/baitingpyramid.htm

Note the following in  Washington Sport Fishing Rules: Effective July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017:

"It is unlawful to chum, broadcast, feed, or distribute into freshwater any bait or other substance capable of attracting fish unless specifically authorized in Special Rules."

 

Thanks Dale! 

Thankfully I've been reading the WDFW fishing regulations word for word almost every year since I was  12 or so and I live on Lake Washington which, under the "special rules" states that chumming is allowed :) I appreciate the concern though 👍🏻

i went out today and tossed a few handfuls of strawberry/oat/corn pack bait I made before my phone decided to fall in the lake (second phone I've donated to the depths in 2 weeks....) I'll continue tossing a few handfuls in the same general area every day for the next 3-4 days and see what happens. The weathers been very warm and sunny but looks like that's going to shift this weekend to more of the normal rainy and grey WA weather I'm used too, hopefully that doesn't out too much of a damper on the carp

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I got range cubes at Tractor Supply. As an experiment,  I put one in a dish of water in the sink. It broke down after a few minutes. I have made a feeder cage mix out of them- soaked the cubes to break down, add canned sweet corn and fish.

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I’ve got some good news!!!!

As I said above I started baiting the area with corn/oats/strawberry packbait Thursday and last night when I got home from work I went down and tossed another 4-5 big balls of packbait into the area then went up to grab all my gear, when I was coming back down my neighbor and fishing partner Kevin was tying up a hair rig and said he’d seen a big one roll over the bait area.

2 hours later and we had one in the net and each got 1-2 runs that we missed or that pulled the hooks in the weeds.

once I can size down the pic I’ll post but Kevin got a BEAUTIFUL little 4-5lb common! Which is a young in because I’ve seen ones easily doubling his size 

time to get a big landing net, unhooking mat, and a cradle and scale. 

Also looking at getting the Vader 3rod combo with net from BCT anybody use those rods and reels before?

I think we’re both hooked on carp and you’ll be seeing a lot of carpy content coming from me in the near future

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Lol, welcome to the carpy side! Your tackle and PB addiction is already starting I see. I bought 3 Sonik S3's on sale and have only good things to say so far, but then again I've never used anything else. I got mine in 12' 3.25TC but I'll definitely be getting them longer and a bit beefier next time just for the added distance. I also have a Sonik net which has held up to the abuses I've put it through.

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Today was amazing! Landed 5 carp in total, 2 at 10+lbs, 2 in the 5-7lb range and a little 1-2lber to end the night. Kev got home and I was hanging out having a beer while he made a few casts, it was already really dark out and all of the sudden his drag starts screaming! 5 minutes later and I was netting a GORGEOUS 10+lb mirror for him! we didn’t even know they were in here as we’ve only seen commons, needless to say I’ve already got a big bag of pack bait mixed up and tomorrow should be rather eventful. Follow the adventure at @wa_carp_angler on instagram at least till I figure out a good way to resize my pics and then I’ll post them here also

Edited by AugustW

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Hello, and welcome to CAG!

I don't have much experience fishing lakes, but I fish large rivers frequently so I'll try my best to help you out!

Firstly you mention that there isn't any weed growth in the deeper water, and that is important to take into account. You want to fish as deep as possible to avoid being swarmed by perch, but also shallow enough so there IS weed growth. You will likely only find clams, crayfish etc. in shallower areas with weed growth due to the amount of sunlight. Crustaceans feed on Phytoplankton, which require sunlight like algae does. If there is no sunlight at depth of 40ft+, no Phytoplankton or Crustaceans will be there, and no carp as well! You may find carp temporarily passing through deeper water, but they are likely to feed only in areas with ample weed growth, and therefore food.

Your best plan of attack, in my opinion, is to find the exact point where the weeds stop growing. If swimming is allowed and the water is clear enough, you could find it yourself with a good pair of goggles. Alternatively, you could cast a lead out and feel around the bottom. You'll be deep enough to avoid weed growth, but shallow enough so that feeding carp will still be able to see your hookbait.  Bait that spot every day, at the same time of day for several weeks. When you want to fish, it will revolve around your 'baiting hour' as I call it. So if you've been baiting at 6:00 PM every day, you could fish from 5:00 - 7:00, the period of time when the fish will be most active. 

                                                  CAGHelp.png

Perch are going to be your biggest issue, so you will want to avoid chumming with sweetcorn, birdseed, or any other small particle. You want to keep your prebaiting limited to boiled maize (deer corn) and boilies, baits that are too large for the small perch to pick at.

Good Luck!

CarpCrazed

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23 hours ago, AugustW said:

Today was amazing! Landed 5 carp in total, 2 at 10+lbs, 2 in the 5-7lb range and a little 1-2lber to end the night. Kev got home and I was hanging out having a beer while he made a few casts, it was already really dark out and all of the sudden his drag starts screaming! 5 minutes later and I was netting a GORGEOUS 10+lb mirror for him! we didn’t even know they were in here as we’ve only seen commons, needless to say I’ve already got a big bag of pack bait mixed up and tomorrow should be rather eventful. Follow the adventure at @wa_carp_angler on instagram at least till I figure out a good way to resize my pics and then I’ll post them here also

Congrats guys! Looking forward to seeing the photos!

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This lake is insane! I caught my new PB today, 20.8 lbs and my neighbor caught one that was 23lbs on the dot. These fish have never been fished or chummed for I don’t think because as long as we consistently are throwing a few handfuls of packbait in every couple hours they’re around, we both caught a few 8-10lbers today besides the 20’s. 

Im completely addicted to carp 

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