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shad

Grass Carp Florida

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Hi

Im going Tarpon fishing in the Keys second half of May, will have a few days free in the Miami area afterwards.

I fancy trying for Grass Carp in the canals, does anyone have any experience?

I read an article about Andy Mill catching them on Hibiscus Berry imitations, but Ive never seen a Hibiscus berry!

Can anyone tell me what size/shape/colour they are so I can tie up something that might work?

Many Thanks Colin (Scotland)

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Guest phonebush

Shad,

You going to try to bring bait with you? Bad idea as you can get held up in United States Customs for hours waiting for United States Department of Agriculture to clear your stuff should Customs so decide.

Yep, plenty of fun grass carp in the area you are talking about. Our fish are not greatly pressured by your standards. Just think sweetcorn from a can (tin). Cost you a quarter at the grocery store. In American parlayance you can "chum" them a bit with half the tin. Sort of an American groundbait quickie if you get the picture. My personal favorite is a small tomato fruit called a "grape tomato" . "Grape" refers to the size of the tomato. They too are a grocery item. I don't know of anyone who uses a "fishbait" specific bait to catch grass carp.

Others will respond with their "favorite" grass carp bait. Or, you can search this site for "grasscarp" and probably find any number of selections for bait you wouldn't have to carry across the pond.

Phone

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Guest phonebush

Shad,

I might also tell you grass carp are artifically stocked for an exacting purpose in specific waters by "owners". That is, they are there to eat grass. Be sure you have permission to even C&R as it will be VERY site specific and not a State or Federal regulation. Not to many public water has grass carp. Certainly, I am not an expert on Florida - but that's what I suspect. I know I had to get "site specific" permission.

Phone

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Cheers Phone

Had not thought about the access issue, I thought the canals round Miami had public access.Must look into where I can fish some more.

Im a flyguy so wont be bringing any bait over, I had read they eat the berries down there and fly fishers tie flies to imitate them.

this is just a bit of fun after my Tarpon trip, will report my results.

Cheers Colin

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corn well fermented for me , But I do have limited numbers of grassies under my belt . Good luck !!

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Oh yeah how could I forget , for tied flys try a "grass fly ," They are most simple and effective .

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At that time of year Mulberries fall from trees in the north, where I live. the fly I use to simulate berries are made from deer hair. there are a number of English fly fishing companies that tie deer hair flies in sizes #14 to #6 and in several colors. if grass carp will take them you will have a great time, they float.

012-6.jpg

pictured are some deer hair flies I use for carp( never fished for grass carp).

Bill

Edited by Bill de Brooklyn

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Guest phonebush

Shad,

We have a "fly fishing" section on CAG forum. Check over there to see if anyone is catching "grassies" on the fly. If so, I'm just sure they will all share with you.

Phone

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Shad,

We have a "fly fishing" section on CAG forum. Check over there to see if anyone is catching "grassies" on the fly. If so, I'm just sure they will all share with you.

Phone

Now Im confused ,I thought this was the fly section? Will take a look.

Cheers

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Now Im confused ,I thought this was the fly section? Will take a look.

Cheers

I don't think you are the one who is confused B) I think you just got as americans call it " Phoned" :lol:

Edited by carpinken

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Those S FL grassers love to eat bread and grass...so tie something that imitates either! If you're lucky you might fish a big pacu also

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i have fished those canals out in florida city and homestead florida many times and never saw any grass carp. lots of crocodiles! some peacock bass. but never any grass carp. not saying they are not there i just never seen them.

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Hi Lads

Thanks for all the input, Ive now found the article that set this seed in my mind.I was wrong its Ficus fruit not Hibiscus, very good read If anyone wants to join me in May you now know where I"ll be-

By SUSAN COCKING

scocking@MiamiHerald.com

Andy Mill, retired host of a cable television fishing show, fly-fishing tournament champion and Olympic skier, kneels on a dirty asphalt path beside a canal that runs east-west between Griffin Road and Orange Drive in Davie.

It's hard to cast a fly rod from the kneeling position, but this Boca Raton angler does it anyway because it's important not to be spotted by his ultrasensitive quarry.

Mill throws his line in a perfectly tight loop so that the fly alights beneath a broad, leafy ficus tree. The fly, a tiny cork ball painted cherries-jubilee red with Avon nail polish, bobs briefly on the canal's riffled surface. Suddenly, a wake foams up from nowhere and the fly disappears as Mill's rod bends into a semicircle.

After a brief battle, Mill brings his quarry up to the edge of the steep bank -- a 17-pound grass carp that is quickly photographed and released.

''Where else can you catch a fish of that size on dry flies -- especially in an urban area,'' Mill says happily. ``You could potentially catch 40-pound fish in here.''

APPEALING COLOR

Mill and the fishing guide/author who tied the successful fly, Steve Kantner, who also is known as the ''Land Captain,'' popularized South Florida's recreational grass carp fishery in a cable TV show about 15 years ago. Kantner discovered that the vegetarian fish love to eat the magenta-colored berries that fall from ficus trees, usually in late spring and early summer.

''Like kids hanging under a Pez machine,'' Kantner said.

He sat down at his fly-tying table at home in Fort Lauderdale and fashioned fake ficus berries out of spun deer hair. Then he took Mill with him to use the new flies along Broward's C-11 canal. Both of these expert fly casters caught and released numerous carp for the cameras. Mill said that of all the shows he produced from around the world, that episode drew the most comments from viewers.

But not everyone is happy about it -- especially officials of the South Florida Water Management District, which stocks grass carp in Miami-Dade and Broward canals for flood control.

''I know people recreate with these fish, but go fish for a cichlid instead,'' said Ellen Donlan, an environmental scientist who stocks grass carp for the water district. ``I want these fish to eat weeds. That's what the district pays for them for.''

Fishing for grass carp is not illegal, but they must be released immediately and unharmed, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Keeping fish can result in fines.

Donlan says anglers must use extreme caution when taking grass carp off the hook because picking them up by the mouth or using a Boga-Grip can break the jaw and potentially kill them.

''Anything that stresses them out, they'll do that less munching [of weeds],'' she said.

The water district began using the native Asian fish for weed control in 1987, stocking an average of 30,000 to 40,000 per year, according to Donlan, because they are more cost-effective than using herbicides or mechanical weed-eaters.

THAT'S A BIG CARP

The district buys 10- to 12-inch fish in bulk from an Arkansas fish farm for about $3 apiece that have been genetically modified to be sterile, or triploid, so they don't overpopulate waterways.

She said water control structures keep them from wandering where they don't belong.

The largest grass carp known to have been caught in Florida was 15 years old, 56 inches long, and weighed 75 pounds. In China, they can grow much larger.

Fred Ade, a Cooper City recreational angler, said he once released a grass carp from the C-11 that weighed 42 pounds, 7 ounces.

He often fishes with a 4-weight fly rod and uses Styrofoam strike indicators painted with red magic marker to trick the fish.

''They're the second-smartest fish in the canal,'' Ade said. ``The first is tarpon.''

Adrian Gray, who works for the International Game Fish Association in Dania Beach, recently took a couple hours off from work to catch and release his first grass carp with Mill and Kantner. Using a 6-weight fly rod with 10-pound tippet and one of Kantner's cork-ball ficus berries, Gray released one estimated at 10 to 12 pounds.

Said Gray: ``That was neat.''

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There's a fly-fishing guide in Miami named Cordell Baum...goes by the name "BonefishWhisperer" on his own website and various fly-fishing websites. He grew up fishing along the New England (US) coast. Then he guided for trout/salmon in Alaska for a period of time.

Now he divides his time between saltwater flats in Florida and the freshwater canals around Miami. He has posted pictures of grass carp he has caught on flies. In fact, he posted one earlier this week on the Fly Anglers On-Line website. Here's a link to that, and you can probaby contact him for more info through there if you wish to do so.

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/bb/showthread.php?40574-carp-el-tunnel

I have fly-fished with him for Peacock Bass and other exotics (Oscars, Mayan Cichlids, Spotted Tilapia) around Miami. He's a good guy, and he knows where to go and how to catch fish.

Edited by FishnDave

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There's a fly-fishing guide in Miami named Cordell Baum...goes by the name "BonefishWhisperer" on his own website and various fly-fishing websites. He grew up fishing along the New England (US) coast. Then he guided for trout/salmon in Alaska for a period of time.

Now he divides his time between saltwater flats in Florida and the freshwater canals around Miami. He has posted pictures of grass carp he has caught on flies. In fact, he posted one earlier this week on the Fly Anglers On-Line website. Here's a link to that, and you can probaby contact him for more info through there if you wish to do so.

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/bb/showthread.php?40574-carp-el-tunnel

I have fly-fished with him for Peacock Bass and other exotics (Oscars, Mayan Cichlids, Spotted Tilapia) around Miami. He's a good guy, and he knows where to go and how to catch fish.

Cheers Dave

Have sent Cordell an email, looks great.

Colin

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Guest cornball

Lived in Cape Coral for 4 years, Tri-Ploid grass carp to 70 pounds in many of the Golf Course Lakes.....make sure you put them back fast and alive.....there is a whole page about them in the Reg Books. I would suggest if you have the ability to tie a few when you are there .... A long shank Wooly Bug tied using fresh dill instead of the wool or hackel. Trim and clean and even and taper to the shank so it is slightly cone shaped at the tail end like a very very stubby pencil with the point touching the hook bend. Save the clippings to use to seed the area.

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I had planned to say the same thing Dave did...... Cordell is a cool guy I have not fished with him but have spoken to him on the phone a few times and trust me if you hook up with him you'll have a met a good friend if nothing else.

Steve

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Hi Guys

Just a short report to say I stayed in Cordells cottage for 3 nights and fished 2 days with him last week before heading to the Keys.

Did not manage to land a Grass Carp but came very close when I struck too fast and pulled my Ficus Berry fly out of the mouth of an easy 20lber.We fished canals and Lakes from shore and kayaks caught Large mouths, Peacocks and a few other Tropicals.

Cordell is a great guy and I really recommend anyone with a day to kill in the miami area hooking up with him, he has a basic little fishing cottage which he rents for great rates.His Kayaks are the type which open out for stability and are superb to stand up and fish from.

Great time and I will be back next year.

Cheers Colin

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