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Discussion Starter #1
Carp...all kinds of things spring to mind when you hear that word. Dirty. Bottom feeding. Trash fish. Invasive and above all, inedible.

So, who said anything about having to eat them?

Not all anglers eat their catch. And the ones that do only take the choice fish. The long and short of it is we all like to fish. That feeling of first contact, not knowing, but hoping, that it is indeed your intended quarry and a fine specimen at that.

We who do, fish.

So what's the fascination with carp? Well, they are intelligent, crafty, cute, powerful and fantastic sportfish. Even a small one, who will readily take your bait more often than a large one, can and do give themselves a good run for your money.

Obviously, a big carp is a big carp for a reason. Like any specimen in the fishing world it didn't get where it was through stupidity. Above all, a big fish is a cautious fish and usually an old fish! Carp reach ages of over 40 years at a conservative estimate. It is thought that carp learn by association, and keeping that in mind, all the ones that have been fished for have probably seen it all before

The role of the big carp angler is simple and has only one motive. To 'trick' his prey into taking a tasty morsel, attached to a sharp hook, attached to a line, attached to an angler who's full of anticipation. Seems simple right?

Hmmm...

Lets look at carp as a species.

They are omnivorous. No problem there. It just means you have a larger selection of baits to choose from.

Carp let you know when they're breeding. Their only interested is...lurve! They can be seen to cruise through the shallow, weed strewn margins in a frenzied orgy of spray, eggs and milt. Groups of three or more fish will attend these rituals. This of course, is not prime fishing time.

Carp are nomadic. They will travel for miles in a body of water, size permitting. On large lakes they will almost always cover the entire bed at some point. Big lakes usually hold big fish. But this is not always the case. Take Redmire in Herefordshire. This pool of water, less than four acres in size sparked modern carp fishing. It produced huge fish for many years. Nutrients, water quallity, and an abundance of food coupled with meager competition from other animals are also important factors that contributed to their immense weights.

What a carp wants.

Like any other animal, a carp wants to feel safe and have a healthy supply of food.

What an angler needs to know.

Unlike anadromous species, carp instinctively know the world in which they reside and all the snags and bolt holes that go with it. You will need all your skill and cunning to work a fish to the net.

Bait choice is a skill to be mastered. Lego blocks won't catch you as many fish!

Induce to feed. By this I mean that your hook bait must appear as though it's a meal to good to be missed. Fresh, good quality baits are best. This doesn't mean that some won't stink. Many flavors and fragrances that are disgusting to us are welcomed by them.

So all in all, carp see to be a worthy quarry. Smarter than most and certainly trickier than the average angler. What I'm saying to you is: Go and angle for carp. Make room for them in your angling year. Take up the challenge and get yourself an apprenticeship in carp fishing. Find a lake that holds a twenty pounder and teach yourself how to outwit the outwiters.

Tight Lines and happy hunting :D
 

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Hmmm I do know where theres some huge carp hiding, I might have to go give them a try. Can I effectively fish them this early in the year? Or should I wait until its warmer out?
 

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Hey Chris. I've taken carp in every month of the year in the UK. The longer days and warmer sun has a tendency to get them back into feeding mode. I'd check the shallow. They'll be looking to pack on a bit of weight after their winter slumber and before the water warms enough for them to want to spawn.

If you need any bait advice PM me or check out VanCarpers on BCFR in the groups section. Or click here:

http://www.bcfishingreports.com/forums/group.php?groupid=35
 
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