Saturday, August 1, 2015

Curing a Carp Deficiency

Carp are a frustrating animal. As Kirk has been learning the past few weeks, you can fish even in areas loaded with them, see them regularly, and not catch them.

The cure comes with two very important rules.

Rule 1: By observant. And I'm not just saying while looking for fish. Once you spot a feeding fish,  Carefully look at the surrounding area. Look for smaller fish species that, if hooked or spooked will alarm the target fish. Look at the bottom type. Sand and rock bottoms are better for smaller flies, muddy or leafy bottoms call for bigger flies that would stand out from the bottom. Those are the times to use worms or big woolly buggers. Pay attention to how the fish is behaving. Subtleties in their feeding can signal the best times to give them the artificial: turning, lifting up to change position, or aggressively sucking at the bottom without kicking up mud are all good times to get the fly in front of the fish.

Rule 2: Set at the slightest sign the fish took your fly. If the fish clearly stops moving over your fly and dips down, set the hook. If the line so much as twitches, set the hook. If you feel a light pull, set the hook. If you just have a feeling that the fish ate the fly, set the hook. If the fish is close to you and within sight set just as you would for a trout, UNLESS the fish has already taken off with the fly. Then just hang on for the ride. Hook setting is often difficult to understand when it comes to carp. If the fish is farther than 15 feet away it's a good idea just to give a long slow tug. The best way to set the hook for close range fish is to set towards the tail. if you set away from the direction the fish is facing most likely you aren't going to be holding it ten minutes later.

It took me two years to perfect my technique for my local water. Just stick with it, pay attention to the little things, and by as slow and methodical as possible. 

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