Spring is a great time to get big fish- and rightfully so, most species of fish spawn from March to June; bringing into casting range trophy fish ready for the catching, making them easier targets.
My personal favorite fish to target isn’t bass- I can catch them in the rural Wisconsin cranberry marshes all year; it’s not Walleye- I live on the Mississippi River, and let’s face it they are too small; it’s not panfish- because well as tasty of a snack they make, they are an all year around catch. It’s CARP- yes, you read it right; I love catching carp.
Targeting carp is a great past time for anglers of any skill set, come big- and I mean big, and in quantity. One day alone, I caught 5 carp over 30 inches and ranking at 15-25 pounds per fish, per fish.
People ask me “WHY CARP”, well as a catch and release angler, I love big fish of any species. But there’s something special about hooking into a tanker carp, watch it bog down to the bottom of the river and just scream my drag. The battle between carp and I can be quite epic; at times lasting 5-10 minutes.
To get into the muck where the big’uns lie I rely heavily on my NuCanoe Frontier. I use both my Frontier 10 and Frontier 12, depending on the application at hand. One marsh I fish has a 16 foot bank that I need to shoot down, so the Frontier 10 is the tool of choice. Weighing in at 55 lbs, the 10 footer makes going up and down the banks an easy task.
For big water and flat land launches, I rely on my Frontier 12. I like the length as it gives me plenty of room for my carp hunting gear: anchor, net, two poles, and a drift sock. I also enjoy being able to stand up and sight fish from a distance to monitor where the target carp might lie.
With the spawn in tow, the carp have very sensitive lateral lines- one false move, even a whisper and your trophy fish is on the go, disappearing in a smoke of muck and mire; so stealth is key. The low profile of the Frontier allows me to get within casting range of these queens and drop my fly right on their territory.
Snagging a carp is elementary, but getting one to bite is a challenge. For this, I use Rough Fisher’s legendary flies, namely, the Crawdiddy- a fly that looks like a small crayfish or shrimp. The Crawdiddy serves as dropper fly to a ¼ oz jig with a Big Bite Baits twister tail. I find that using the ¼ oz jig gives me the weight for a controlled cast, as well as giving me the weight to get me to the bottom fast. I like the action and scented appeal that the Big Bite Baits twister tail provides, as carp tend to be attracted to sweet things. The twister tail gets their attention, the fly gives them a meal. The only thing I pray for is to avoid a doubler- can you imagine what it would be like to bring in two 15 pound carp?
Over all, carp fishing is a great way to get beginning anglers of any age into the sport. Quantity and quality, catching carp provides great results to any skill set and are a blast to catch.
Posted by Anthony Larson of Coulee Region Adventures.