Monday, August 04, 2008

The Hunt

Went looking for some truly big carp recently. It required a bit of paddling, which was highly enjoyable. Driving through the countryside and skimming along some of our local water, I saw countless people out there “recreating” themselves I guess you’d say… that is, tubing, boating, floating, running, biking, wading, skiing, fishing, wishing, hoping, etc. Great to see some folks out and about. As we struggle to maintain the quality of our water resources, it’s important to observe folks interacting with them.

Anyway, when I walked up on the water, I could tell directly that I wasn’t going to get into any big carp. I knew it was a dice-roll, so I wasn’t too disappointed. I was still stalking around in an interesting place, with a lot of “other” fish around. I think that the deal was that it was really bright and warm, and the big carpies were out in deeper water… I saw them jump out there, and I also caught fleeting glimpses of cruising fish, just on the edge of my sphere of vision. For another day, I thought… and I then commenced to mix it up a bit. A few interesting notes, in disjointed fashion and in no particular order:

(1) For about an hour or so I was reveling in the belief that I had a muskie chase my carp fly. That was pretty cool. A long, sleek and silver arrow followed the hi-tail craw into the shallows and even gave a little burst or two toward it… No take though. I would later find evidence to suggest that the fish was in fact a northern pike (I saw it from a distance).
(2) I put on steel leader bit and cast a homemade diver around… that was fun. On the first cast, something came in from the side, right along shore and rolled on it pretty hard… but I don’t think the fly ever got in the fish’s mouth. I was not able to discern just what it was – sure it was either pike/smallie though… outside chance it was a muskie.
(3) I found some stationary fish – meaning dead still – sitting on the bottom. First was a pair of carp – the only chance I’d have all day at them. One was big… really big I mean. Could have been 20 lbs. With her was a smaller fish – probably low double digits. I stalked up to them – got within 10 feet… was doing everything right… put the hi-tail craw on the biggie and she ignored it… jigged it… she ignored it. Switched to the mega SJW… she ignored it and then finally spooked. Some good heart-pounding went on during that little affair. It would have been an absolutely perfect location to let her just run and run… too bad. When they don’t want to eat, they don’t eat.
(4) Kept that SJW on and fed it to a white sucker. That fish did eat it… No real drama there - came in slow and heavy like a stick I guess. 100% sure it was right in the mouth though, which doesn’t happen too often with suckers when sight fishing it seems.
(5) Just as I was landing this sucker, a teenager came along with a harem of bikin-clad folk. He told me he has “shot a lot of carp here” with his bow. I figured I’d call him on it… so I asked him if he’d ever weighed any of them. He said he’d scaled one at 41 lbs. He also “guaranteed” me that there is an 80 lb carp in this particular water. Huh.
(6) Sight fishing to a quillback (damn near impossible to get one – I’ve only ever blind-nymphed them in current) a pike (I was hoping it was a muskie) came in and chased that quill out of there… with some gusto in fact. I responded by picking up and laying the hi-tail craw in front of the pike… who commenced to eat it. I had no steel on so I figured a quick hookset was in order… lipping worked out okay and a few minutes later my first true sight-fished pike was on the bank. Pretty cool. I’ve caught a number of them with flies, but until yesterday they were all blind-fished.
(7) I left early to do a little exploring. At one location, I was eyeing some carp, getting ready to cast… when I caught sight of an interesting silhouette in a deep pool. Stared intently for a while, and began to realize that I was in the presence of a venerable predator: a pike or muskie that was absolutely between 15-20 lbs. Very long fish. I left the carp and ran back to the car to put on some steel… thinking that this was a pretty rare opp. I swung some big streamers through there for a while and got no action (I’d lost sight of the fish at that point)… and after a while I jigged the streamer by the log that was right at my feet… and found that the fish had moved up toward me and had been laying in the cut right under that log… pretty funny. She kind of spooked then, so I left her alone. Put the craw back on and looked for the carp, but they were gone. On my way out, I saw her again though – in the same pool. Too much to change to steel, so I jigged the draw in front of her…. Thinking I could take a chance. Not interested though. She faded into the gray of the pool and I drove home.




9 Comments:

Blogger Our Fun with FIVE said...

Excelent photos. Haven't seen the B&W approach on your site in a while, I like how you captured the canoe striking a pose - very striking indeed.
The pic of James on the previous post really pops out too. Fun, nice job, thanks for sharing!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Joe Watkins said...

Let me know when you catch the 80 lber.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Megan O'Shea said...

I think you should get some carp and use them in the following way. You could quit your PCA job:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93209785

8:27 PM  
Blogger Jean-Paul Lipton said...

Looks like that bowsissy had been talking to carpmanjake.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I like B&W, and also sepia. I've been playing around a bit with the photo editor.

I've seen those pedicure-slave carp too. I'd like to drop an 18 lber in the tank there and see what the folks think when a whole foot is engulfed ankle deep in a buglemouth.

Carpmanjake. Who would have thought we'd be talking about him again... ? But when lies and exaggerations abound, one must think of liars and exaggerators.

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