Jump to content
Carp Anglers Group Forums

Do BIG carp need or prefer...


fishhead
 Share

Recommended Posts

just wondering if the 20+ pound carp that are known to be in a lake need or just prefer to have deep water nearby?

Obviously, this is an escape route if danger appears but I would like to know from those who've caught 20-30 pound carp if the proximity of deep water was ALWAYS an issue or a bonus.

Second question- should I be casting into the deeper water or the shallows near it? This would aid me in fishing a brand new lake (to me- NOT newly constructed) of considerable size and it's a manmade reservoir that's fairly featureless but has big carp mirrors included.

thanks for you comments in advance.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 58
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm no expert on 30's but all those I have caught have been near deep water. Overall I think a lot of elements have to work together for big fish to exist in the first place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big carp very often come from deep water or spots that have deep water nearby. Of course there are always the exceptions like the big mirror I caught last week which was caught in shallow water without any deep water closeby.

Seasons have major impact as well. In spring time (in colder climates) you can find very big carp in very shallow water. In summer and autumn, I would definitely look for deeper water, let's say up to 30ft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big carp very often come from deep water or spots that have deep water nearby. ---

. --- In spring time (in colder climates) you can find very big carp in very shallow water. In summer and autumn, I would definitely look for deeper water, let's say up to 30ft.

We have them both in the river and the lake but all the river carp leave and head for where they can access deep water after the river gets too warm and they've spawned. That was in early July here. It seems to be happening earlier every year. I think they want access to deep water to shelter during the late summer and fall thunderstorms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Brewboy

Watercraft is a trickey subject simply because there are so many varibles. Usually, I prefer to fish a contour change. Depth is relative to the surrounding water but an edge with a significant depth change occours is a great place to fish.

As far as big fish, I've caught them shallow and deep. They move to feeding areas and comfort zones just like the smaller fish. So they can be found both shallow and deep. Targeting feeding areas very close to relatively deep comfort zones is a good strategy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Watercraft is a trickey subject simply because there are so many varibles. Usually, I prefer to fish a contour change. Depth is relative to the surrounding water but an edge with a significant depth change occours is a great place to fish.

As far as big fish, I've caught them shallow and deep. They move to feeding areas and comfort zones just like the smaller fish. So they can be found both shallow and deep. Targeting feeding areas very close to relatively deep comfort zones is a good strategy.

Totally agree with this one. i also think you'll find a different size of fish depending on the type of "feeding area" you target. Deep water next to a shallow, muddy flat - I would guess to have more small fish. Deep water with/near a rocky botom, will have some clam beds, snails crawfish etc...good food for fatties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks ALL for the replies/tips/advice!

I'll apply what I've gleaned from this and see what happens once I scout the new big water and choose a swim to fish. Most fish I've caught up to 14 pounds have been in relatively shallow waters from 3-maybe 7 feet with some swims near deeper water and some on featureless waters of manmade reservoirs, lakes, and even dredged city rivers.

Utah's Salt lake valley is pretty much treeless and flat. Only trees are planted. Carp were introduced in the late 1800's. I'm just looking to shorten the learning curve in a new state with screwed up regs and manmade waters with big carp in them.

best regards,

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over this last year i have found that larger fish can come from all depths of waterfrom 3' to 34'. how ever the larger fish have genraly come from a shelf line or a drop off from about or between 12' up to at least 28 to 30 ft.

hope this helps on the info.

Joel. NY

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When fishing a large drop off, do you fish on top of the self or at the deeper bottom?.

I think that is the part that takes experimentation during the session. I personally would put a bait at the top and at the bottom. put out a strip of bait that cuts across all depths. If I get two fish from the bottom, both my rods will be in the same spot. my big fish from the discovery month last year was caught about 3/4 way down (at 20-25ft depth - 10yards from shore) a huge drop off slop of fine gravel. i was literally fish on the side of a very steep under water hill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But remember that some lakes stratify so don't fish too deep in the low oxygen zone.

The 12 to15 foot deep water I tool you about was a long arm of the lake with deeper water on one side and shallower water on the other side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When fishing a large drop off, do you fish on top of the self or at the deeper bottom?.

i try to find the line at the bottom of the drop off and fish that. most fish follow lines. and most of the time the tighter you fish to a definate line you will pic up the fish. how ever i have had baits from the top of drop offs and all diffrent ranges of them so it just shows that fish feed up the slopes.

thanks .

Joel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a great thread to follow and hopefully it will stir more people to comment and share their observations....... I found with pike that the jacks (fish under say.. 28") all fed heavily in shallow water in the heat of the summer. Those fish over 30" were like a separate species! They needed colder water to help them keep cool so they hung out on the deep sides of weed edges at 16 - 21'. They came up in to the shallows to forage well after the sun set.

"Great story Rick. .... get to the point!" B)

I feel that the carp in a given body of water will "stratify" into like sized groups most probably by: food size, water temperature, oxygenation, and predation factors to name a few.

A 3 lb carp has very different needs than 30 pound carp. I could talk about this all day but I will wait to see if others join the mix..

To finish up: I suspect that deep water availability will prove to be a major factor in locating and capturing the real leviathans that have yet to come from North America. Maybe we haven't caught a 50 because we are all essentially doing the same thing.... I think that somebody is going to learn to catch 60's out of the Great Lakes from a boat ... Or locate giants in the main channel of the Saint Lawrence ...

Just a few random thoughts..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, my 2c:

Big carp need these things to grow big:

1. Low enough spawned numbers to not suffocate the biomass. Many waters the numbers can be kept in check from PH fluctuations (which can lower spawning success), water temps (in the northern climes especially), O2 levels, even preditory fish to a degree.

2. Successful "nursery" areas. Ever wonder why you rarely catch carp under 2lbs on big fish waters?

3. Good water quality. This allows for a healthy biomass, and usually allows for better light penetration.

4. (key)**Ample and varied food sources in all areas and levels of the venue. Typically, a varied bottom substrate and contour helps in achieving this, but not always depth. Most of the big fish waters have varied depths, bottom make-up, flora/fauna, etc.

The above help carp put on as much weight as possible for the 10-15 years of growth they go through typically.

How this helps your question? Well, while big carp may not need ALL of the above to grow big, they need most of them. I have seen huge carp in tiny, shallow ponds, and have seen only small fish in some big, seemingly vast and varied waters.

If there is a varied bottom contour in the water you are talking about, chances are that the larger fish use all levels which provide them with as much nourishment as possible with as little energy exersion (sp?) as possible. Now, if the deeper water in your lake does not hold much food/O2 etc, then chances are the larger fish will not frequent the deeper water. If they can get enough food in shallower waters, and the quality of the flora/fauna and water is good enough, they'll stay very shallow. I have taken more than a few 40+'s in shallow water venues.

So, it all depends on the habitat of the deeper water in your lake. If it holds the "goods" for growing and sustaining large fish, they will definately be found there most of the time. If the deeper areas are not condusive to sustaining larger fish, you will find them shallow most of the time.

Make sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im the wrong guy to ask as I don't catch big fish, but if you want to catch big fish then you have to fish a big fish venue.

Like Scott said above there can be big fish in small shallow ponds or big fish in huge deep lakes, you just have to fish the right location and put the time in to find them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting thread -- and varied thoughts. Sure enough, it's all well and good people posting their successes, however there are many diverse factors that went into each and every one --- and some of those are not clearly defined/known-- no matter how skilful or lucky you are.

Still -- having a dialogue like this is certainly educational. I personally have caught fish from both shallow and deep waters -- both with and without features. Knowing the big fish are there, is clearly a great help, however -- sometimes that is not known, and "blind faith"/watercraft/skill all come into the equation.

Being able to spend many hours watching a water, is to my way of thinking, far and away the best way of plotting a course of action.

Finding fish can often be incredibly frustrating -- and even when found, often don't react the way we'd like them to B)

I have recently fished a smallish shallow (5ft) water where the fish are definitely not "showy". The bottom is mostly gravel/hard, and they don't appear to ever throw up feeding bubbles. There is only one feature, that is at present unreachable due to heavy weed. The only clear spots are in the shallower margins, and the water is crystal clear. In the hours I have spent watching the water, I have only ever seen a few fish -- just hanging out, not feeding. I have previously had 3 different 30+ and two 20+ fish from there, and know there are bigger ones. There is plenty of natural food, and the PH is generally perfect at around 7.3 or so. Night fishing is not allowed -- just like chumming.

So -- how would you approach it? I've tried lot's of different approaches, and just when I think it's all in vain -- BOOM, I get one !!

Just recently, I had a 26+, in bright sunshine, in the afternoon-- when most sensible Carpers are taking siesta's -- from the margins in about 3 feet of water. Most of my previous fish from there were all caught fishing at around 70+ yards.

Point I'm making, is (certainly this year it seems !!) even in waters you think you know well, there is always the exception to the rule, and if you aren't prepared to take chances and different approaches occasionally -- you'll possibly be missing fish.

Certainly look for the obvious things like drop offs and activity close to weed beds (cover), as these are generally productive areas, however -- there's a reason it's called fishing and not catching -- because there's always the exception to the rule !! B)

Cheers,

Brid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up here in the ice fields !!! Big carp def need deep water access. The river fish are an exception but then in the rivers in my area there are not many 30's to be found especially further upstream you go. I'd say deep water increases the chances in that water holding big carp. Theres always exceptions though as pointed out. In the U.K 30-40 lbs fish can be found in waters with 10ft & less depth. Over here with 4 ft of ice possible & 30*c summer water temp it's another ball game. Extremes of temp like that are not perfect to produce huge carp so deeper water tends to help moderate this situation. The Great Lakes have the most moderated temps & the deepest water & they produce the biggest fish.

Something to think about.

All the fish of 30 lbs or more to my rods in Canada have come from water which has in excess of 20 ft available to the fish. I believe this to be linked to climatical conditions & also linked to draw down & fluctuation of marsh levels.

ATB Carpsava

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s hard to make rules about where should fish be when every water is a little bit different

I think in river (no termocline) fish will be anywhere but on a lakes thermocline can play significant part in late summer

when I fished Specialist tournament at Larry we had a lot of low teens come from over 50-60 feet of water so they definitely go deep but interesting think is that I heard of few big fish 40 + coming out from close in at similar location

I don’t think there is a general rule as I had 30 from deep channels and shallow flats without deep water near

But I do think that big fish are loners and I usually catch them away from the productive/baited spots

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In order to survive all creatures need to inhale as much energy as they burn. In order to grow they nee more, obviously, and the bigger the fish, the bigger the intake for maintenance needs to be.

Bigger fish have honed their instinct to maximize their use of energy in finding food. I believe this accounts for the reason smaller fish tend to crowd them out, they simply will not expend the energy to fight for small amounts of food. The smaller fish are more efficient and can move faster and easier than their oversized cousins and the larger fish have learned ho to find "Bigger Bites".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im the wrong guy to ask as I don't catch big fish, but if you want to catch big fish then you have to fish a big fish venue.

Like Scott said above there can be big fish in small shallow ponds or big fish in huge deep lakes, you just have to fish the right location and put the time in to find them...

thats a good one there Eric. putting the time in is where its all at.

.

joel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just being in the right place at the right time with the right bait is how you do it.

i have been close (28-6) so if you fiqure out how to catch 30's then write a book and i will buy it. B)B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone think of the time of year it is? In the spring most carp are shallow yet this time of year most go near deeper water. We fish one area that is 25-30 feet deep and catch lots of smaller 5-15lbs fish. Then another area on the same body of water, the fish are shallow less than ten feet of water but the average fish is 15-30lbs. It is close to a 70 foot drop off. Does the bottom make a difference? The big fish must look for better food? or do they suspend in the deeper water till the need to feed. I don't think you can catch 30's all the time but the more big fish over small fish you can catch the better chance you have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...