Tuesday, 27 September 2022
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!
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