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Carp Fishing (General)
Carp fishing 101 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 04:10

Fish-Related Terms:

 •Barbels: The two whisker-like organs on the upper jaw of a common carp, used to find food in murky water (see here).

•Cloopers: Carp that are feeding on the surface.

•Coarse fish: A UK term for fish species that are not part of the salmon or trout families.

•Curtain: A flap of skin in the mouth of a carp. If the curtain is undamaged, it may indicate that the carp has never been caught before.

•Mudders: Carp that are feeding on the bottom and creating a cloud of mud.

•Rough Fish: A US term for fish species that are not commonly caught for food or sport.

 •Shoal: A school of fish. Tackle and Rigs •Backlead: A small weight clipped onto the line after casting; helps to pin the line to the lakebed so fish are not spooked by bumping into it.

•Bolt Rig: A rig with a heavy, semi-fixed lead designed to automatically hook a carp when the leader tightens. 

•Bomb: A large lead, or sinker.

•Chod Rig: A carp rig, similar to the helicopter rig, designed for fishing over gravel (chod).

•Circle Hook: A roundish hook with a point that is bent in at a 90-degree angle toward the shaft.

•Controller: A float used when surface fishing; adds weight for longer casts.

•Death Rig: Any rig that may leave a carp tethered to a lead if the main line breaks. Chod rigs and helicopter rigs are often incorrectly rigged as death rigs due to their "fixed" leads.

•Euro: An adjective referring to European fishing gear, baits, tackle, or techniques.

•Feeder: A plastic cage-like device attached to the line instead of a lead (sinker); groundbait is pressed into or molded around the feeder to attract carp to the hookbait.

•Fixed: Immovable; refers to leads or other tackle that cannot slide along the line and that do not come free when the mainline breaks.

•Float: A bobber, often long and slender, use to aid presentation and bite detection; much more sensitive than red-and-white plastic bobbers.

•Flying backlead: A sliding lead that "flies" backwards along the line (toward the angler) during a cast, or when it contacts the water; see Backlead.

•Greedy Pig Rig: A common name for three or more baits (some say four) on a single hair rig; often attracts the largest, "greediest" fish.

•Hair Rig: A rig with a small length of line (the "hair") extending from the shank of the hook; bait is attached to the hair, leaving the hook fully exposed.

•Hair Stop: Anything used to hold a bait on a hair rig; often a small piece of plastic shaped like a dumbbell.

•Helicopter Rig: A rig with a lead at the end of the line, and a leader extending sideways a few inches above the lead. The leader and bait rotate about the mainline during flight.

•Hooklink: See Leader.

•Hooklength: See Leader.

•Lead: A sinker; a heavy lead weight.

•Leader (UK): A length of heavy line (nominally 30 to 40 ft) between the mainline and swivel; can be used for abrasion resistance or to absorb the shock of casting a heavy weight.

•Leader (US): A short piece of line that is tied between the mainline and the hook; called a hooklink or hooklength in the UK.

•Ledger: A rig designed to be fished on the bottom.

•Line aligner: A short piece of heat shrink tubing that keeps the hook at a slight angle to the leader; helps to turn the hook for a better hookset.

•Method feeder: A wire or plastic cage for use with Method mix or packbait.

•PVA: Polyvinyl Alcohol, a plastic-like material designed to melt in water. Comes in bags, mesh tubing, and string, sometimes with flavors and attractants. Used to present freebies (loose bait) very close to the hookbait.

•Running Rig: A rig which uses a free-sliding lead, so a carp feel no resistance when it sucks in the bait.

•Semi-fixed: A rig that allows a lead to come free from the line if the mainline breaks or the lead is snagged.

•Shock leader: A length of heavy line (nominally 30 to 40 feet) between the mainline and the swivel; can withstand the force of a long cast better than the mainline.

•Sliding Ledger: See Running Rig.

•Snowman Rig: Common name for a rig with two boilies on a hair, one that floats (the pop-up) and one that sinks; resembles a two-part snowman.

•Stringer: Several baits connected by a string of PVA string or tape, to present freebies (loose bait) very close to the hookbait.

•Swan shot: Large split shot.

•Trace: See Leader.

•Waggler: A long, slender float, usually affixed to the mainline at the bottom.

•Zig Rig: A sliding ledger rig with a very long leader; the lead sits on the bottom and the bait floats high in the water column. Baits

•Base Mix: Dry mix used in making boilies; often contains soy flour, semolina, corn meal, and other grains. Mixed with wet ingredients to form a paste or dough that is rolled into balls and boiled.

•Boilie: A round, hard bait, like a ball of dough bait that has been hardened by boiling.

•Chum: Bait (often grain, beans, nuts, or animal feed) that is thrown into the water to attract fish to the hookbait.

•Chum Mixer: A type of pet food sold in the UK. Often used for bait when float fishing.

•Donkey Choker: A very large bait; in particular, a large boilie (the size of golf ball or bigger). Used to target large fish.

•Dough Bait: A catch-all term for soft carp baits, often made with flour, corn meal, cereal, bread, and other grain-based ingredients.

•Floaters: Floating baits.

•Groundbait: See Chum.

•Hemp: Sterilized hemp seed used for chum (ground bait). That's it. Really.

•Hookbait: Bait that is put on a hook, or on the hair of a hair rig.

•HNV: High Nutritional Value; used of baits that are a nutritionally sound.

•Maize: Deer corn, boiled and used as bait.

•The "Method": A technique for catching carp that involves molding a ball of groundbait around a plastic cage (a "feeder") that is attached to the line several inches above the hook. The ball of bait attracts the fish to the area immediately around the hook and promotes competitive feeding.

•Method Mix: A semi-moist ball of bait, used when fishing the "Method" (see The Method).

•Packbait: Similar to a Method mix, often used at paylakes.

•Particles: Grains, beans, or nuts when used as hookbaits or groundbait.

•Paste: See Dough Bait. •Pellets: Small chunks of manufactured, compressed animal food, normally used as groundbait (chum).

•Pop-up: A floating boilie.

•Ready-Mades: Boilies that are commercially made, rather than home made.

•Shelf-Life: Used of boilies that can be stored at room temperatures for many months.

•Snotty: Thick and sticky (see Tiger Nuts).

•Tiger Nuts: A small, wrinkled nut (actually a tuber) that often makes an excellent carp bait. Before use, they should be soaked in water, boiled, and left to stand to develop a "snotty" texture. Gear

•Bait Spoon: A shovel-like scoop on a long handle that an angler uses to throw loose bait into the water to attract fish.

•Baiting Needle: A small needle with a hook on the end (like a knitting or crochet needle), used to put baits onto the hair of a hair rig.

•Baitrunner: A spinning reel with two drag systems; the main drag is used when fighting the fish, and the baitrunner (secondary) drag keeps slight tension on the line after a fish takes the bait (also called a "bait feeder").

•Bank Stick: A metal or plastic stick that is pushed into the ground and used to support a rod holder or bite alarm.

•Bed Chair: A high-tech cot, used for sleeping during long fishing sessions.

•Beta light: See Isotope.

•Big Pit Reel: A spinning reel which holds a large amounts of line (300 yards or more) for making long casts to reach fish far from shore.

•Bite Alarm: An electronic device that alerts an angler to a bite; the fishing line is laid through a slot and the alarm makes a loud beep when the line moves.

•Bivvy: A tent that is open in the front; allows an angler to quickly leave the tent to fight a fish.

•Bobbin: See Dangler. •Boilie Stick: See Throwing Stick. •Brolly: A large umbrella, used as a shelter for camping while fishing.

•Buzzers: See Bite Alarm.

•Carbon: Graphite.

•Carp Net: A very large net, often triangular in shape, with a long handle.

•Carp Rod: Often 12 to 13 feet in length, carp rods are designed for casting heavy leads 100 to 150 yards, then gently playing a carp near the net without tearing the hook out of its soft mouth.

•Carryall: A piece of soft-sided luggage, specialized to carry an angler's gear.

•Catapult: A sling shot designed to deliver bait.

•Centerpin: A fishing reel similar to a fly reel; often very expensive, they are ideal for river fishing.

•Clicker: See Baitrunner.

•Clutch: The drag system of a fishing reel.

•Dangler: Something hung on a fishing line to indicate a bite.

•Holdall: A bag for carrying rods, reels, a net, bank sticks, and other equipment.

•Indicator: Any device that visually shows line movement.

•Isotope: A small radio-isotope that can glow for several years; they are attached to fishing rods, bite alarms, or indicators to help an angler find them in the dark.

•Keep sack: A large mesh bag used to store a caught fish until it can be photographed or weighed.

•Mainline: The fishing line that is spooled onto a reel.

•Method Blaster: A cup rigged to cast Method balls with a rod

•Monkey climber: A bite indicator that is attached to a fishing line; movement of the line causes the indicator to move up and down a wire mounted vertically in the ground; resembles a monkey climbing a tree (sort of); works especially well in the wind.

•Multiplier: A baitcasting reel.

•Quiver: A bag used to transport fishing rods and reels.

•Remote: A wireless device that makes a sound when a fish pulls on a line.

•Rod Pod: A rod holder; can be set up on concrete or rock in addition to soft ground. Some can hold 3 to 5 rods, and are often used with bite indicators.

•Spod: A bait delivery device that looks like a small, hollow rocket (sometimes called a bait rocket). The spod is filled with groundbait and cast out on the end of a fishing line; when it lands on the water, it tips upside down and empties its payload into the water.

•Swinger: A bite indicator that hangs from a fishing line, usually between the reel and the first guide, to indicate a bite when the line moves.

•Test Curve: A European measurement of a rod's strength, the "TC" is the amount of force needed to bend the tip of a rod 90 degrees.

•Throwing Stick: A plastic tube designed for throwing boilies into the water to attract carp; capable of reaching 100 yards or more.

•Unhooking Mat: A padded mat onto which a fish is laid after being caught; protects a fish (especially its eyes and scales) from damage.

•Weigh sling: A bag with handles that is used for weighing fish; the fish is weighed within the bag, and the weight of the bag (the "tare") is subtracted to obtain the fish's weight. About Carp Angling

•Chumming: Putting baits into the water to attract fish (see The Art of Chumming).

•Backwind: When fighting a fish, to wind the reel backwards instead of relying on a drag system.

•Blank: To catch no fish; also, the "pole" part of a fishing rod onto which the handle and guides are attached.

•Drop Back: When a fish bites and swims toward the rod, causing the line to become slack.

•Feeding: See Chumming. •Fish-In: An open-invitation gathering of anglers for fishing and socializing.

•Line Bites: When fish bump into the fishing line while roaming or searching for food.

•Margin: The edge of a body of water.

•Paylake: A small, man-made pond in which anglers pay to fish, often while participating in for-cash competitions.

•PB: Personal Best. An angler's biggest fish of a particular species.

•Peg: A pre-marked fishing spot on the bank from which angler fishes during a tournament.

•Pit: An old gravel pit that has been converted into a fishing lake.

•Plumbing: Dragging a heavy lead across the lakebed to feel for weeds, gravel, silt, etc. Sometimes a float is raised from the lead to determine water depth.

•Pre-baiting: Putting groundbait into the water one or more times during the day(s) before the day one actually begins to fish.

•Run: When a fish bites a hook and swims steadily away, pulling line from the reel.

•Screamer: A fish that bites and causes the line to "scream" from the reel; results in a single, solid tone on a bite alarm.

•Session: A fishing trip; may last from several hours to several weeks.

•Specimen: A very large fish; a "lunker" or "trophy" fish.

•Specimen Angler: Someone who tries to catch very large fish (i.e., specimens).

•Stalking: Walking around a lake and looking for fish to cast to.

•Swim: The place in the water where an angler fishes.

•Take: A bite or run (when a fish "takes" the bait).

•Venue: The body of water where one fishes, especially as in a tournament.

•Watercraft: The ability to understand a body of water and discern where fish are likely to be.

•Wacker: See Specimen.

Carp and Related Fish PDF Print E-mail
Written by carp walker   
Friday, 02 July 2010 02:08

Asian Carps: In the US, this term usually refers to certain carp species that have escaped from catfish farms into public waters, where they threaten native fishes:

Bighead Carp: Has a large, scaleless head (see here).

Black Carp: Feeds mainly on snails and mussels (see here).

Grass Carp: See White Amur.

Silver Carp: Known for jumping out of the water when threatened (see here).

White Amur: Occasionally used to control aquatic weeds; often called a grass carp (see here).

Common (European) Carp: Introduced from Europe in the 19th century, this is the most widespread type of carp in Texas; often reach 30 pounds or more (see here). Variants include:

Ghost Carp, or Ghostie: A cross between a metallic koi and a common carp (see here).

Koi: An ornamental Japanese carp (see here).

Leather Carp: A smooth-skinned carp, though a few scales may be present near the dorsal fin (see here).

Linear: A smooth-skinned carp with a row of large scales along the lateral line (see here).

Mirror Carp: A carp with very large, irregular, and patchy scales (see here).

Buffalo: Native to Texas, buffalo are actually suckers, not carp:

Bigmouth Buffalo: Similar to smallmouth buffalo with a thicker body and a forward-facing mouth (see here).

Black Buffalo: Closely related to the bigmouth buffalo, the black buffalo is darker and has a more horizontal mouth with thicker lips (see here).

Smallmouth Buffalo: Most common buffalo in Texas; looks like a gray carp with large black eyes and no barbels (see here).

Other Carps, Suckers, and Carplike Fish:

Barbels: Small carp-like fish found in Europe and Central Asia (see here).

Crucian Carp: A small member of the carp family found in Europe and Asia (see here).


Beginning Carping PDF Print E-mail
Written by carp walker   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 06:41
All you really need to start fishing for carp is small hooks (#6 is good) and several cans of whole-kernel sweet corn. Circle hooks and octopus circle hooks seem to work best with sweet corn, but any hook should be effective. I usually use a free-sliding egg sinker as a weight, with a tiny split shot about 12 inches above my hook--sort of like a Carolina rig.

When you first get to your spot, chum the area with a few big handfuls of corn. Throw it out as far as you can (which can be tough if you're facing the wind, easier if it's at your back). Don't worry too much if you can't get it very far from the bank; feeding carp are very happy to come near shore. Once you've chummed, thread a few good, fat kernels onto your hook. I like to push the hook point through the bottom of the kernel (where it was cut from the cob) and out the top. I usually prefer three or four kernels, just enough to cover the hook. Some like to thread it up the line; both are effective. Make sure to leave your hook point exposed.

Cast into the area you've chummed, or just beyond it. If you have more then one pole, you can put them all in the same area, or chum several spots; try one near shore, one a little further out, etc.

Unless you are going to leave your bail open or your reel on free-spool, make SURE your rods are well secured. Even a small, 2- to 3-pound carp has absolutely no trouble yanking a rod into the water in the blink of an eye.

My last trip out I had three carp on; each of them hit so hard that my poles completely doubled over and the fish started screaming off drag before I could even lift the pole to set the hook. Needless to say, if I hadn't weighed the poles down with a heavy tackle bag, they would have been gone before I touched them.

You also want to make sure your drag is set well--about half your line test. If you have 8-pound-test line, fill a gallon milk jug (which weighs about eight pounds when full) about halfway and hook it onto your pole. Then set your drag so that when you lift up your pole, the weight pulls out just enough line to keep the half-full jug on the floor.

You don't have to be that technical about it, but you do need to keep your drag set correctly. Carp have soft mouths, so even if you are only getting small fish, you're likely to pull the hook right out if you try to horse them. Plus, you never know when you'll hook a big carp that can easily snap your line. Besides, the whole reason I fish for carp is the fight. You want to hear that drag scream, right? I know I do. Anyway...

Continue to chum your "swim" now and then with a few more handfuls of corn. If you start getting a pod of fish in, you want to keep enough chum out there to keep them feeding, but not to fill them up.

Dough bait is also good for carp. Dough bait is fairly self explanatory, but there are many kinds. One of the simplest and sometimes most effective dough baits for carp is a Wheaties ball. Take a handful of Wheaties cereal and crush it in your hands; get it wet with some lake water and knead it together until it's a good dough. Be careful with your consistency. You want to make sure the dough bait is firm enough to stay on the hook, but soft enough that you are able to easily set the hook through the dough into the fish's mouth when it runs. Roll the dough into a ball around the hook. If you can manage to roll the dough around the shaft of the hook and leave the point exposed, that sometimes helps with hook ups.

Another good carp bait is an old-fashioned night crawler, but of course with those you're likely to hook just about anything in the lake.

Bring a net, a scale, and a camera!

It is best to weigh a carp while it's in the net; subtract the weight of the empty net to get the weight of the fish. The net supports the fish and you don't have to poke a huge hole in its mouth. Plus, as heavy as carp are, the scale is likely to rip out of their soft mouths anyway.

Hope that helps, and let us know how you do. Good luck!
Alternative Baits PDF Print E-mail
Written by randy smith   
Saturday, 27 February 2010 19:26
Hello everyone I joined recently and noticed I havent heard a word about a bait we use for carp in the south when corn just dont do it. Its a type a doughball you can get from the stores. wheaties, or bran flakes. Depending on mood of wheather the fish want light or dark. Wheaties being a little lighter. pour you some wheaties in a rag crunch up good and dip in water. Then ring out good make a large dough ball just break off small piece and ball it up around your hook. You cant sling it hard or it will sling off like liver. But it put out the scent they love in the creeks in the south. On average carps around here run from 10 to 25 lbs. Catch a grandma every now and then get around 40lb. I wish every one the best of luck with the fishing season to come.
Kids N' Carp PDF Print E-mail
Written by chris bennett   
Monday, 25 May 2009 17:42
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