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About Pat_Carps

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  • Birthday 05/13/1993

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    Carp Fishing

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    West Lawn, Pennsylvania
  • Who Referred you?
    Dave Liptock
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  1. Since being introduced to carp fishing 11 years ago, so much has happened. From the very beginning, each and every one of us knows there are countless obstacles and challenges ahead of us as aspiring carp anglers. From bearing the elements, to approaching the most challenging of waters; from choosing the proper bait, to presenting the appropriate rig. These are just a few of the ever-so-many feats an angler will face in his or her journeys. To those of you who are still reading; it is at this point where the carp have hooked us, if you will. It is the challenging, albeit somewhat daunting, nature that attracts each and every one of us to this passion. The frustrations that come with blanking, fuel the passion to come back again and again. We draw upon the large body of knowledge and research that is very readily available. From our peer anglers, to renowned articles, to social media, to this very own forum; we are constantly learning and heightening our craft. Day in and day out we hone in, fine detail, and focus in our skill. I am writing this article today, because it is this kind of exchange and experience that has shaped me into not only a better angler, but a better person as well. I am in tremendous debt to those who have inspired me to keep going, even when the frustrations and adversities I've faced had me wanting to give up. It's guys like Zach Testa, David Moore, Wayne Boon, and Brian Wingard to name a few; that inspired me from the very start, to name a few. I still remember watching Carp Angling 101 at Town Lake with head figures Wayne Boon and David Moore at the forefront and just re-watching it over and over in the whereabouts of 2008 and 2009. The humble nature of these top-tier anglers; their ability and willingness to educate had me driven and inspired from day one. Thank you Wayne and David. You guys, truly are legends and have always been encouraging. Along the way, I have also had the privilege of communicating with Zach Testa and Brian Wingard. I am in debt to you guys for fielding my plethora of questions, and giving me honest, un-biased advice and direction without judgment when I was just starting out, to now. These are just a few of the figures who have been difference makers in my angling. I am thankful for so many who share the same passion. This year has already shaped up to be an interesting one for me on the bank, as I take on new challenges and approach new waters. 11 years later, and I am more focused than I have ever been as a carp angler. It's been quite some time since I have put any literature out there and I hope to find more time to share some stories and words with everyone and hopefully get to fish with more and more faces on the same mission. Here's to a killer summer, some cracking fish, and whatever falls in between!
  2. If you're on here reading this, I probably am just stating the obvious when I say that carp fishing is about so much more than carp fishing, if you will. Carp fishing is not simply something that has changed my fishing, carp fishing is something that has changed my life. Carp fishing has undoubtedly played a role in helping me become the person I am today. It has made me feel a part of something that is so incredibly special. I'd like to take some time to thank each and every one of you that helped me stick with it along the way. Lets face it, carp fishing isn't easy. It takes a lot of effort, skill, and patience. And lets face it, we all started somewhere. When we are first starting out, most of us are skeptical of the hair rigging techniques. I remember thinking to myself, "this is never going to work", when my friend tried to introduce me to the world of carp fishing as we know it on this forum. Grudgingly, I went with him despite my doubt. Little did I know, in just one decision that one day, my whole world going forth was forever changed. I remember it like it was yesterday, as we all remember our first fish. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor at that time, to go to and ask questions; to better myself, my techniques, and my understanding of carp fishing. With that being said, I had it easier than many as many have dove into their angling solo without direct interaction and/or a mentor. I owe a lot of respect to those anglers that have endured the learning curve alone. Ultimately, I certainly believe that the general consensus among carp anglers is that we want to encourage carp fishing to all. As carp anglers, we are all lifelong learners. Regardless of skill level or experience, I'm certain that we all should acknowledge the fact that we will never stop learning new things about carp fishing. Naturally, as carp anglers and lifelong learners we are always so involved bettering ourselves and our techniques that we can easily forget how far we've come. Sometimes we do not acknowledge enough, the process and that we all started somewhere as aforementioned. A lot of times, and I fall victim to this myself, expectations for others beginning to pursue the passion are far too high than perhaps it should be. I had it pretty darn good, getting into carp fishing. I started fishing in 2009, and was mentored by a great friend who really taught me about carp fishing and the carp fishing lifestyle. Not only did he show me the methods and techniques he knew, but he also explained and set an example for the lifestyle as well. This includes but is not limited to carp care and why it is important, environmental care, and a basic code of ethics we follow as carp anglers. With such a great mentor, I wasn't holding carp by the gil, or setting them on a rocky surface to unhook them. As such, I was welcomed with open arms onto this forum. With such acceptance, I really found community in CAG and realized how much I enjoyed pairing my passion for writing with my passion for carp fishing. By 2011, I was able to do a write-up for the NACA mag and hope to do more write-ups in the days to come. In recent days, and after seeing some things transpire on the CAG forum and the restatement of CAGs mission statement, I found myself doing a lot of thinking. I thought about my whole experience, and how fortunate I was to have the experience I did to start out. With this, I realized many (if not most) do not have such fortune when they are starting out. With that being said, I realize how important it is to accept everyone into our world, if you will. When someone on here (or another site or platform) posts a picture of their rod and reel catch holding it in a way we're not used to or fond of, or someone has the carp lying on the ground without care equipment, I challenge myself and all of you to fight the urge to say something in an abrasive or offended manner. I challenge myself and all of you to think back to when we first started out and if we had done similar things that might not be what we'd want to see today. It is becoming a new aspiration of mine to stay this open-minded when I see something like this, even if it makes me cringe initially. As such, I believe we can all playback CAGs mission statement in our heads and offer support and knowledge to those who may be more like the old us. I find myself referring to a popular quote, "In order to know where we are going, we must first know where we've been." I truly believe we can all open our minds and take a look back on our early days and allow that to help guide us along in our future. Like everything, carp fishing undergoes constant change. The passion is not the same as it was 10 years ago, and it certainly won't be the same as it currently is 10 years from now. However, I think we have to take this step-back and unconditionally encourage others. We have to ask ourselves: Are we encouraging carp angling techniques? Or are we forcing them? I think it is important that we encourage rather than try to force or instill are beliefs on others. I think it is commonly shared that we do not like being told what to do, but we don't mind constructive criticism, and encouragement on how to maybe do something another way. I think, with enough of you on board with me, being the change we want to see in carp fishing will better it in due time. I cannot believe how far I have come and I truly believe the supportive nature of the passion has been a key factor in my growth. Feeling a part of something, in this carp fishing community is a feeling like no other. For me, it is about so much more than just carp fishing. But, I did not start out that way. The lifestyle came with time and support. I ask that, us more experienced anglers, warrant that support and time to others. And even if we can only help 1 out of 10 anglers catch on, it is one more than if we hadn't at all. I can honestly say carp fishing has changed my life. It has changed me as a person and bettered the person I am today. I couldn't have done that without all of you. I couldn't have done it without the patience of others in helping me get to where I am today and creatively explain and encourage me to try doing things differently. Along the way I have come so far, and I hope we can continue helping anglers on that same path I was so grateful to follow.
  3. In the midst of this busy world we live in, any day we can spend fishing is a day we all certainly can deeply cherish. But, something about fishing that water we've fished for years and are comfortable with offers an incredible experience. I've spent years trying out new spots and locations, and this article is by no means discouraging that. Actually, I strongly encourage it, and the ability to tackle new waters will only better one as an angler. However, so much time is spent writing about the first fish at a new location. Once again, I think that is important subject matter (in fact, my first published article was on the first fish in a new location). I just wanted to talk put out some literature on experiences fishing where one is already comfortable and why it has been so rewarding for me. This year, as most go for me here in Pennsylvania, I was feeling the urge to get out carp fishing in early March. Water bodies go from solid ice to liquid state. I spent some time dusting off the tackle and pondering where exactly I would start my 2016 fishing year. As I am sure is the case for many anglers, I chose a spot I have been fishing for years. Little did I know I was about to embark on one of the most pleasant fishing trips I've ever taken. I got skunked that day. So "how was it one of my best fishing trips?" one might ask. A realization. A carp fishing epiphany. After work, I drove to the spot. The whole drive there, it was like a sudden memoir of my greatest hits fishing there. All these memories fishing there with my father, my first carp there, my biggest carp there, my first winter carp there, and so many more flooded my thoughts. I realized, in that very moment, just how important it is for an angler to embrace his or her comfort zone spot even if he or she has been focused on new waters. I did some reading over the winter. I picked up Psychocybernetics: A Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz. I think you can get this book for like a couple bucks, and its value far exceeds that pricetag. In that book Maxwell Maltz insists we all have success mechanisms within us. When we recognize our past successes, we succeed. He suggests this notion of remembering our past successes as the key to succeeding in the future. Typed out like this, it may seem obvious. So much of the things I was reading in this book seemed like common sense. But, it was common sense I wasn't applying in my day to day life. In order to succeed at fishing new waters, we have to go prepared and as confident as we go to our comfort zone spots. By not doing this, we most likely already have failed because we are setting ourselves up for failure. In this life changing read for me, I learned that success, according to Maltz, is... Sense of direction Understanding Courage Charity Esteem Self-confidence Self-acceptance I thought this was a perfect thing to apply to my carp fishing experiences. In carp fishing one certainly needs a sense of direction. Maxwell Maltz uses the analogy of bicycle riding to demonstrate sense of direction. While it is moving forward, a human being can have perfect balance riding a bicycle. However, when it is completely still, balance is lost. In carp fishing, we need a sense of direction. We need some sort of idea where the fish might be, and an approach to catch them. We might not hit the mark our first time, maybe not even our second. But, our balance (or our mark, if you will), will get better and better every time. But we need to start somewhere and have a sense of direction. Understanding is one of the biggest things, in my mind, in the realm of carp fishing. Becoming a more seasoned angler (one can always grow as an angler), one needs to have understanding. This extends from understanding the water he or she is going to fish, to understanding the size of the fish he or she is targeting, to the baits he or she might use, the methods, and the behavior the carp might be exhibiting in this water at this given time. Understanding is everything and I don't think any of us can ever perfect it. Courage. What a great term for carp fishing. You can have a sense of direction and an understanding in carp fishing. But, neither of those things are meaningful until you have the courage to pursue goals in carp fishing. Try new things, even if it is not the venue that is the new thing. Sometimes, just trying different baits or methods in your comfort zone spot can make a world of difference in your angler. Charity. This is something that sung to me corresponding with the realm of carp fishing. Maltz states that "When we are charitable towards others, we are charitable to ourselves." This suggests that our feeling towards other people very much affects how we feel about ourselves. Carp fishing is about so much more than the fish. To me, it is about the group of guys and girls that have the passion, respect, and understanding; not only for carp fishing but for one another as well. I read an article over winter where a gentleman grew very fond of a co-worker of his. They became good friends and the one told many stories of his fishing experiences. The other guy proclaimed he had never been fishing, but always wanted to learn. The guy who had vast fishing experiences took him fishing. He wrote about his experience, and that witnessing the friend who had never fished before catch a fish, was the fisherman's best catch of his life. Passing it along is so important and really rewarding. It is something I see a lot of in this passion. Esteem. As carp fishermen, we are our own worst critics. Once we contract the obsession, if you will. We often get stuck constantly wanting a bigger fish, a bigger mirror, a koi, etc. It is known that low self-esteem can sabotage our experiences. We have to appreciate our worth and how hard, as carp anglers, we have worked to get where we are today. The realm of carp fishing is limitless. One can always learn new things and better him/herself as an angler. However, it's important to realize how far we've come every once in awhile. Self-confidence. This was one of the biggest realizations for me. I would get so frustrated fishing new waters without results. It got to a point where I was only focusing on my failures at those new locations. I had almost forgotten my successes. Maltz suggests that "successes with breed other successes". In my mind, this couldn't be more true. As carp anglers, our successes can and will breed future successes. Last but not least in the Maltz acronym of success is Self-acceptance. Carp angling can be one of the most frustrating things in the world. Guys pick it up and give it up. Because, lets face it, it is not the easiest thing in the world. But, I don't think we would have the obsession so deeply if it was. What is most important to remember is that we, as carp anglers, are going to have failures. But, those failures are not us. We are not our mistakes. I have slowly learned to take my mistakes made in carp fishing, and turn them into learning experiences. Any carp angler will make mistakes. The true carp anglers will turn those mistakes into learning experiences. By simply going to a water I have fished for years and had success at, I was completely rejuvenated. I exchange my ongoing thoughts of failures to thoughts of success. Today, I realize it is equally important to go to my comfort zone spot and allow my previous successes to pave the way for my future endeavors.
  4. I got into beginning carp angling in 2009. To start, I got some hand-me-down gear from the friend who introduced me. I was using 2 no-namer baitrunner reels, and mastercast 12ft rods to start out. He also gave me a generic bag to hold gear and 2 fox micron bite alarms with banksticks and hangers. In the time since, I have been slowly trying to upgrade my gear as my passion for carp fishing is at an all time high. I am sure almost everyone one here uses BCT for purchases so if any of you can shed some light on the following products, I am looking for a good... -Holdall for rods (completely padded protective, not just a quiver) 3-5 rod capacity -Rig Wallet -Rucksack (I've looked at Gardner Specialist, Nash Rucksack, Fox Rucksack, etc.) -Pod or Banksticks with Buzzbars (I've looked at Cygnet 20/20 setup) -Chair -Hangers or Swingers Any advice any of you have regarding your exact products, or brand of product, or if any of you are selling anything of this nature would be completely appreciated. One final question is if any of you have direct experience with Nash Tackle products. In the states, in PA, my peers have used and I am very familiar with the quality of Fox, Trakker/Cygnet, Sonik, Gardner products but never met someone with Nash products. Thanks For The Help! Patrick
  5. As I am sure is the case for every carp angler, I will never forget being introduced to carp fishing. For me, at age 15, It was an emotionally charged experience. It was an experience filled with excitement, mystery, wonder, and quite honestly a little bit of skepticism too. After the catch and release of that very first carp, I am the one hooked. 7 years later, at age 22, I have the very rewarding and unique carp fishing obsession and almost all of you can relate. In these colder months, even though I could be, I am not as active actually fishing as I am come Spring. However, the obsession doesn't just disappear for 3-4 months. In these months, I review my techniques; I look over my rigs and learn how to tie some new ones. I think about the previous year and review my success or lack-there-of and ask myself why. I think of some new venues, new baits, and new techniques I can try among many things. I take a look at my gear and make a list of what I need, or sometimes what I think I need. All this time, as the obsession has this affect on most anglers, I am only thinking of the things I can do to improve my success and better my experiences. There is nothing wrong with this and, I would argue, this is necessary for a true carp angler to continuously grow. However, I am a lifelong learner. I'm always learning, and this year, I took some time to reflect on my successes as a carp angler. I took the time to basque in all of its glory. Have I caught the 30 I've been after yet? No. Have I even gotten close to my PB last season? No. But, I had my health, I had my 2 fishing buddies, and I had the opportunity to spend some unforgettable hours bankside trying. That, in itself, is something to take pride in. As I continued to basque in this glory, and take a look at "the road so far", I was able to learn more. I was able to learn more about, not just carp fishing, but life. It has been sad in the past that, "in order to know where something is going, you must first take a look at where it's been." This self-reflection not brought back those nostalgic feelings that send the good chills down your spine, if you will. It gave me the inspiration I needed to realize why carp fishing has, should, and always will be a major passion and staple in my life going forward. To begin, at least for me, I firmly believe that I couldn't have done it without a little help. I don't think I could have started carp fishing on my own, and even if I could have actually "gone out there" on my own, I would have needed someone to introduce me to the proper methods. It wouldn't have been easy, and it might not have ever happened. That said, I am inspired by and commend any and everyone who started their journey without a helping hand who knew the ropes. For me, I couldn't have done it without being introduced. It has been said, with anything in life, " The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs, and pushes, and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes pushing you with a sharp stick called 'truth'. " Though, I was "carp fishing" since 2009, I feel as though I have just started actually carp fishing this past year in 2015. Only a true carp angler will understand exactly what I mean in that sentence, and the definition certainly does change. I am grateful for everyone I met along the way in my journeys as a carp angler. If it wasn't for every single one of them, I wouldn't be where I am today. However, after meeting up with and fishing with a friend of a friend who carp fished, my experiences forever changed. It was then that I began fishing with Nate Prout, who I would later call my best friend. It was pretty clear to me, when I began fishing with Nate, I was slacking a good bit on my techniques. I watched him very closely as he fished; I watched how particular he was with all of his rigs, bait placement, amount of bait, and casting. In that moment, I knew I was fishing with someone who had more knowledge than I. The bittersweet thing about this, and this goes for anything in life, when someone is more knowledgeable than you it seems that a few different things can happen. 1.) They have a lot of patience and introduce you in appropriate pacing to the things they know (this is the rare ideal). But more frequently, 2.) They want to show you, but aren't great teachers and go way too fast with information and lack the patience, and even 3.) They play hardball and have no intentions of spreading the wealth. These are just a few of the things I've recognized over the years. Nate is the man. Selflessly, he did his best to show me everything he knows. From watching me tie my own rigs and giving me constructive criticism, to showing me some of the gear he uses and explaining it, Nate has taught me so much of what he knows. Fishing with him, I was always learning. He wasn't afraid to tell me when I was doing something wrong and that's the only way one can succeed in carp fishing; to make the mistakes and learn from them. When I had learned more and more, he would get a run and tell me to take it so I could experience the reward when you put the work in. While I learned, and continue to learn, a lot about carp fishing, I learned something from Nate about life too. One of the posts I have on here, is about a Bittersweet Realization, that their aren't a lot of carp anglers in the U.S. (at least not near the amount of bass fishermen and trout guys). This is kind of bitter, because you want to be able to share the passion, but it's also kind of sweet because your favorite spot usually isn't taken, and if it is, chances are you know the angler and can bank with him (or her). I really want it to be more known, this thing we know and call carp fishing. Nate taught me how to take steps in that direction, and that the beauty of carp fishing extends far beyond catching some carp for yourself, snapping a pic, and releasing it. I could feel Nate's excitement as he let me take more than a few carp runs and reel in the gold medal. To feel that excitement, in that moment, radiating off of him, I knew I was doing it all wrong for many years. I was too caught up in all of the fish I was going to catch; how I could catch a 30, how I could catch more fish, how I could top my PB. All this time, when I should have been sharing the passion with others. So, that's exactly what I did. My fiance loves to fish with me, so I took her with me a few times now, and she loves it. Whenever I am fishing with her, I find I am letting her reel in the fish. And to see the excitement in her eyes, as she fights the fish, instills newfound excitement in me. It turns out my PB so far isn't measured in pounds; my best catch is watching someone else run to the sound of the alarms screaming off, bringing in their first gold medals. I want to shout out a huge thanks to my fiance Carolyn Kurtz, for supporting my passion and understanding the carp obsession and now, even being a part of it. I also want to shout out to Mario Kok, who inspired me to write about my experiences carp fishing I want to shout out to Brian Wingard for being very much the same as Nate, offering his knowledge and help at free will And a huge thanks to Nate Prout, one of my best friends, so excited for the 2016 fishing year man
  6. As many of you know, being a young carp angler doesn't always prove to be the easiest task, especially in the states. There are certainly many barriers one can face trying to get into carp fishing. From personal experiences, I've found very few fishermen who understand the fish or rightful methods of fishing for them. When talking about your methods, some people look at you like you're crazy while other's won't even give you the time of day. The idea of this has come to me over the years as rather bittersweet. Sure, I enjoy that there isn't someone fishing for carp at my favorite spot every week (and afterall that is pretty sweet). But there is serious pain in the ignorance of people, especially in the cases of bowfishing for carp (and that's quite bitter). This is one of the largest obstacles I face daily in my day to day life as an avid carp fisherman. With only a few friends who have the carp obsession with genuine respect, resources like CAG become an absolute must. About 4 years ago, I caught the carp fishing fever. I was (and still am) obsessed! I was so busy indulging myself in basic carp fishing tactics and euro methods. It was those first few years that I occupied myself for countless hours learning the basics. However, as every carp fishing fanatic knows, there is always room for and almost a need for advancement. Almost every avid carp fisherman I know hits a bump in the road of period of time where they struggle to improve their results. From changing some aspects of your rig, to fishing new waters and trying new baits, everything changes. With only a few friends who carp fish, I am constantly using CAG Forums as a tool and resource to better my results. With that being said, I turn my attention over towards gear. As a college student, with a nack for carp fishing, I guess you could sometimes say I have "champagne taste on a beer budget". Sometimes something that's more fun than anything, is to go on a website like the popular "bigcarptackle" and drool over some of the gear. Currently, I fish two 8.5ft rods. I wasn't able to upgrade to 12ft rods after purchasing two baitrunner reels. While this never proved to be a problem at the pond I used to fish or the small lake where there were loads of smaller carp, it has surfaced as a problem at the latest location I've fished. I spent 10+ hours fishing with one of my friends who has carp fished some time now. He does use 12 foot rods. All day, all of the fish were caught on his rods due to the distance the carp were from the bank. So I figured out right then and there, getting myself 12ft rods is an absolute must. I know that personal preference is going to probably be one of the biggest factors, if not the biggest factor in trying to decide on a set of rods to buy. The friend I fished with mentioned he got his rods at low cost by asking around on here if any are available for sale. My preference currently is in the 3-3.5TC range. I have never seen many of these rods I see many pictures of and value any and all opinions! Thanks For Your Time! Patrick
  7. I really need to work some extra hours to pay off these car repairs and become a cag member, not just a forum guest!

  8. It is to my belief that perfection is the most ambiguous word in the English language. The mere belief that perfection exists, to me, is an imperfection. As a keen observer of the human condition, there are many kinds of people out there, but there is no perfect kind. We are all different and we all make mistakes. It's just the nature of the beast. After recollection of all my prior fishing follies this past fishing season I have learned to laugh a lot of my mistakes away. I am sure I am not the first to say, I have thrown the infamous "I just lost a Carp" tantrum. Simply, having that adrenaline flow through you; it is the greatest feeling like none other. But that feeling can reverse so quickly when that one fish gets away. When the fish is lost, the "What ifs" start to circumnavigate the brain. "What if that was going to be my Personal Best?" "What if it was a mirror carp or even a Koi?" "What if it wasn't even a carp?" I am convinced that often our brains are playing tricks on us, forcing us to believe such "What ifs" just as a result of simple disappointment that things didn't play our way. I have to admit, to this day, I still have a difficulties initially coping with losing a fish because, quite frankly, most the fish one loses are larger fish as they definitely have their sense of authority over us carp anglers sometimes. My first 20+ lb carp astounded me, and quickly showed me one of the many reasons why my fellow carp angling peers were using 12' rods and large spool reels. Though I have caught many of them, I certainly have lost a fair amount of them as well. Initially, I become so distraught, often in total disbelief that I just lost a fish. Trembling from the adrenaline, time is the greatest way for me to become level headed. A few deep breaths and some relaxation in the heavenly bed chair, and I become more dedicated to get my lines back in the water and get the next one. Thinking now, it really is quintessential that we don't catch every fish that we hook into. (yes you read that right that we do not catch every fish we hook into). Thinking about what really keeps fishing interesting, I realize how abstruse the nature of any fishing is, but especially carp fishing. It is the fish we don't catch that are equally as important as the fish we catch. Light and dark, black and white, our whole life is shaped by contrast. We would not know good times if we haven't experienced bad times. It is somewhat unique to fishing, especially carp fishing, that we have this contrast to keep our sport alive. Of the many components regarding carp fishing, the challenge involved in catching them is crucial to maintain its highly esteemed reputation. I know now that, I can attribute the complexity of carp fishing as one of the main reasons I became carp obsessed. Without a challenging nature, catching a beautiful carp would not be full of so much pride and perhaps there would be less of them out there and the sport would slowly disintegrate. Overall, I think this revelation among others has helped me look back and laugh at a lot of the sour fishing experiences I have had in the past. Clifton Fladiman once said "A sense of humor is the ability to understand a joke - and that the joke is oneself." Additionally, Payne Stewart once asked, "If you can't laugh at yourself, then how can you laugh at anybody else." I certainly have a lot of things to laugh about now. I remember going to my favorite fishing hole alone and catching a carp larger than the typical 10-12 pound commons. It was about 18 pounds. I laid it on the unhooking mat and lightly poured a bucket of water over the fish as I quickly grabbed for my phone. The low battery light was blinking and when I went to access the camera mode, it kept giving me an "Unable to use this feature: Please recharge device" message. It was one of the most defeating feelings, as every angler likes having the photos to support his or her fishing story. Things always find a way of working themselves out, and the next day I got another one around 20 pounds. One thing I definitely learned from that experience was to always make sure I had a charged camera handy. I remember another time, fishing with my dad after a pretty heavy rain. This particular spot was outlined with boulder size rocks before it turned into a grass bank. In order to access the better spots, I had to walk onto the rocks. I remember my Dad vividly telling me, "Be careful on those rocks the moss makes them slippery!" So a few steps on the rocks, and of course, right on my butt I went. Certainly, my Dad had laughed followed by the smart remark, "I told you so!" However, as a result of karma, it was only a few minutes until he wound up doing the same exact thing and then I certainly had to mock his words, "Be careful, the moss on those rocks makes them slippery!" Fortunately, with the presence of the right people, even a fishless day like this is most memorable. A final recollection of a funny experience when I was fishing can be noted as the day, I was so eager to fish and almost lost all of my gear. I had just ordered a whole bunch of new fishing tackle and the day it had shipped, I decided to just take the box, my bait, rigged rods and go fish. It was super windy and I was prepared, if not over-prepared, (although many will agree there is no such thing as over-prepared). I was bundled up in layers. When I got to the water, the wind chill felt even more brutal and logically so. I set my box down with all my tackle and put my lines out, as I perused the tackle in the box. I tied a few rigs while I was waiting for my bite alarms to go off but soon called it quits, as my hands were becoming far too cold. I put on my gloves and just decided to stay huddled close to my rods. Soon a wind gust blew my box into the water! Instinctively, I plunged into the water and retrieved my valued carp tackle. Going back to the "you can never be over-prepared" statement, I had a change of pants, socks, and some moccasins in the car. I left everything in the car then, minus the rods and net of course. Somehow the day kept snowballing, I saw my one rod slowly creep up and move. At first, I thought it was the wind, but when it fell off the bank stick I knew what it was. I neglected to activate the baitrunner feature on my reel. Luckily enough, I got my rod back and the fish too. This was the beautiful block of ice that landed on the bank that crazy day. It's amazing, the extremes we go through, to catch these carp. Even more amazing, are some of the stories that go along with it. I have certainly looked back and simply had to shake my head and laugh at myself for some of my flaws when carp fishing. I would love to get some replies about others laughable fishing flaws or just fishing stories for that matter.
  9. Right back at you Horace, Always enjoy reading "Captain's Corner in CAG." My mother is dachshund obsessed. We have three of them!
  10. Dave, You aren't kidding about that statement. Just when you think you knew it all... Or a great deal anyways... Someone or something either shows you up. Pat
  11. Dave Pickering, That means so much man! I appreciate your thoughtfulness, I admire writers like yourself. It's guys like you that inspire me to write like this. It must be an honor to be an outdoor writer! Thanks for taking the time to read and post, Patrick Allen
  12. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read the story, I am more than happy to share my stories to those who are interested and experienced with carp fishing. Thanks Slimy, Oh how I would love to be an outdoors sports writer, but perhaps that is a bit of a pipe dream for me, but you never know!
  13. Here in Pennsylvania, when most water bodies are frozen in the brutally cold winter months, there's a lot of time to spend pondering about one's past fishing experiences and all the future fishing to come. Personally, this has become a sort of hobby in its own. A lot of days, I devote to watching informative DVDs and reading up on the plethora of information on this beautiful forum. It's great; the balance of pessimism and optimism involved in carp fishing. It is equally important to assess the circumstances when you are going to fish as well as to allow yourself a little bit of luck. Typically, I lean to the optimistic side. I use the great knowledge I've attained over the years to put myself in the best technical fishing scenario. From previous experiences, I have gleaned tips and learned a lot of the "what to do's" and even more importantly a great deal of the "what not to do's." The art of carp fishing is not learned over night, just as the art of fly fishing is not learned over night. A skill set is comprised through time. I am a firm believer of a little bit of everything plays a role in the transformation of one into a seasoned angler. Visually, one learns by seeing. He or she is able to grasp certain concepts such as playing the fish, constructing a basic hair rig, casting a twelve foot rod effectively etc. However, it is not always possible to see why an individual casts where he or she casts, or why one baits where he or she baits. Aurally, one can hear and read the tips from peer anglers and gain an understanding of the somewhat more obscure concepts of carp fishing. Kinesthetically, one learns by doing. This could not be more true in my opinion. Surely an inspired individual may love watching football and read up on the fundamentals of the game, to better understand how it is played or how to properly catch a ball and throw a ball. However, a great deal of playing football quite obviously is from the actual playing of football. As a young fisherman, at only 18 years of age, I always wanted to just go fish. I would beg my Dad, who initially inspired me to fish, to take me constantly. However, in my younger years that's all I had under my belt; a kinesthetic skill set from reeling in trout, bass, sunfish and the occasional carp (as we were not familiar with euro style fishing). I would always have my Dad tie up my rigs, because who wants to tie up rigs anyway? We just want a fish! At least that's what I would have told him at around 12 years old. My Dad, having been a hardworking man for most his life, later would not always have the energy to fulfill all of my fishing voids I would constantly have. That's when I started fishing with other friends, less knowledgeable than I, when it came to fishing knowledge. This sort of forced me into learning the true beauty of fishing. One tying his or her own rigs, making his or her own bait, and catching a fish that would be 10 times more meaningful as that rewarding feeling (that "I did everything that's to be done to catch this fish") feeling made me feel on top of the world so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I still itched to fish with my Pop. But, needed to impress him a great deal to get him back out as he lost interest in just catching small fish in large quantities. As a kid, it was the logical mathematical equation quantity>quality. With the attention span of a 40 cent watch, I just wanted to see my bobber go down within the first 30 seconds after casting. Then it became clear to me that, if I was going to interest my Dad and steal back my fishing partner, I better would do some research and at least get the skill set similar to his so we could relate on some of the overlooked aspects of fishing; the preparing to fish, and complete logical process. It took some time, but from age 14-now, I read more and more and watched more and more Informative things from you guys and started falling into the carp obsession. I started tying the most basic hair rigs, and bought a 50 lb bag of whole-shell corn. Who knew if it was going to work? How would you catch a fish when the bait is not even on the hook? Quite honestly, I thought it was crazy. But, certainly there was nothing to lose as I had pretty much lost my fishing partner and therefore, everything to gain. After fishing the hair rig and catching a great deal of carp, I began posting pictures. By luck, a peer in my high school saw some of the carp I was catching (about 10-12lbs or less) and said he, too, enjoyed carp fishing. Before I knew it, we were fishing together and I was learning more than ever. I began to learn from him, and it was truly inspirational to be able to take in such information so naturally when you are interested in it. Soon enough, I was confident that I was ready to tell my stories to my Dad with the pictures to prove it. Not just "one of those fish stories" that no one would ever believe even if it were true. So I began showing him pictures and telling him how the hair rig worked and why we were not catching carp due to the "lollipop effect" when we just threw some sweet corn on the hook. To see the sparkle in his eye then was like to see the sparkle in mine 6 years ago when we would fish for sunnies and bass. I started to transform the quantity>quality to quality>quantity and now, every time I get a PB, it becomes more and more imperative to catch one larger than that. Now I am happy to say, I have taught my Dad a thing or two about fishing as he was amazed at the style of fishing and its effectiveness. It truly gave me the goose bumps to think, just a few years ago, I was helpless asking him to rig my lines up and now I was tying his! Presently, we fish the most in fall, spring and summer, and a bit in winter. Little by little, I am learning things in leaps and bounds and progressing as a carp angler. I am beginning to learn that, this forum as well as other resources has truly polished the edges of my fishing experiences. I had the entire framework in catching the fish but needed to gain an understanding on preparation. Currently, I continue to prepare to make each fishing season more efficient than the last with larger fish. I am grateful to be aware of such a great forum and have the opportunity to collaborate with all you guys on here. Become a seasoned carper is truly a process. I was inspired to write this thanks to a fortune cookie I got at the Chinese restaurant quoting, "The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground." Carp Fisherman all have to start somewhere, and the growing process is a true revelation. It is a complex sport and one can always learn more if he or she is willing. Below here is a brief picture timeline of me seeking larger fish...
  14. A few years ago, I found this fishing spot that grew on me in that I have had the most success, and know the most about this particular spot. After baiting several spots of the waterbody and undergoing some classic "trial and error" fishing, I started favoring this spot. Just last year, in the autumn months, I dedicated all my fishing endeavors to this particular spot. One of the beauties of carp fishing is when you can see the shadows of the fish swimming across the waterbody in packs. Of course, here in the states, most anglers will come up to and say something like, "Boy, those are some enormous bass!" or "Look at those Pike!" It is always laughable, the ignorance of many here in the states regarding Carp. Just the talk of the local fisherman gave me the optimism that this spot has never been fished appropriately for Carp. (I am so glad that Carp are such an intelligent fish and are generally not caught by average fishermen because I am a huge supporter of Carp care and become enraged when people are bow and arrow fishing carp, or killing them for the soul purpose of killing them.) With such optimism and the broad view of the carp, I began to bait preferably when no one was around to avoid others from questioning me what I was doing and why. I baited 2-3 times a week, for a few weeks. Each time I went back, I could see more and more activity in the water. But was that just my minds instinctive impulse assuming things? I figured there was only one way to find out... To get the lines in the water. I arrived a about 5 hours before dusk would set in the first day. I threw out a bait spread of maize, casted my rods right around the spread, and set them up on the bite alarms. I sat there, in the comfortable weather, playing the infamous, peaceful waiting game. Patience will forever remain a huge necessity for true carp fishing success. One never can know when the gentle giants may take the bait causing the reel to scream. Confident that my bait was where I wanted it to be, as I cradled the hooks in PVA Nuggets, I let the bait sit in its initial location. 4 hours passed, and I began to grow weary that perhaps I put out too much bait, or that I didn't cast right. I decided to fight the impulse to move the rods and began taking stuff up to the car. As I walked back after packing in everything except my net and set up rods, I saw a carp surface and splash. It was a split second sight, but I knew the carp was large from the sound and the fact that the head was all that came out of the water, I reinforced such thought that the fish was large. It was another second or two till my reel screamed and I realized that fish was on the end of my line. Having been the first time I fished the location, adrenaline was pulsing through me as I worried about underwater structures the carp could get stuck in. The thing ran me clear across the other side of the waterbody, and was heading for what seemed to be a fallen down tree. It was then that I decided to play back with the fish and use the authority of a 12' rod. Slowly but surely, I kept it away from the tree and soon enough it was in my net. A 23lb common it was, and a memorable one. At the time my PB. This would be the fish that would inspire me to keep fishing the spot. Ever since this catch, it has been to my surprise that every fish I have caught has been in the upper teens to mid twenties. However, it wasn't until the summer months that I realized there was a lot more to be had than just a superb spot for a beautiful 20lb common carp. I seen an orange koi, and a white koi, the orange koi looked massive. A very wide head and long body would be very visible in the water and compromise the other carp in the spot. From that point on, it became my dedicated goal to get that koi. I knew that it was just a matter of time and I could have it on the end of my line. A couple months into summer, my father and I went to carp fish. Showing my Dad a thing or two, I tied up hair rigs and put his bass rods out there in the hopes he could experience the pleasures of reeling in a plausible carp and have a fun time doing so on a 6' bass rod! I'm sure you can only imagine what happens next, the 12' poles laid silent as the 6' bass rod started to scream off. My father grabbed the rod, tightened his drag and began tug of war with whatever it was on the other end of that line. If I say so myself, it was a pretty one-sided war as the Carp was dominating my Dad, running him almost to the end of the spool of line on the dinky bass rod. As my dad realized he was losing line he began tightening the drag, in the hopes that powerful surges from the fish would not snap the line, rod, or lead to a hook slip. Soon enough, my Dad began to gain on the carp and as it began to surface, sure enough, it was the monstrous orange koi. As it got closer and closer, the line raced back and fourth. Soon enough the line seemed to stop moving and while My Dad could feel the fish on the other end of the line, it was clearly stuck. My Dad did the best he could trying to allow the fish to free itself, but it has been my experience that often times, that is not always the case. So there we stood, the one got away. We were fishing safety clips and I have seen the fish, healthy and well this season. I hope that we can get him back and get a glimpse of the beaut who broke our hearts that day.
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