Carp Czar

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The Hammer Comes Down on Another Mirror Carp photo by Louis Cahill

I am planning my presentation to at, least, the one hundredth fish of the day. For the record i have had one look and no eats. It’s not quite lunch time. I look down at my feet to be sure I’m not standing on my line and notice a spent shotgun shell. I’m thinking, “yeah, that’s the way to do this”.

I Will Work For Carp photo by Louis Cahill

I recently had the great pleasure of spending a day carp fishing with my friend Bruce Smithhamer. It was every bit as challenging as promised. The fish were gearing up for the spawn and were lock jawed. We would have gone fish-less if not for Bruce’s encyclopedic knowledge of the species. We changed locations and tactics several times and eventually got into fish.

Carp, especially Mirror Carp, are a remarkable fish. Their color and scale patterns are reminiscent of classical Japanese painting. Their eye sight is excellent and there hearing quite acute. They are even able to communicate danger to other carp by releasing a pheromone in to the water. Their behavior is unpredictable except that they will refuse more often than eat.

Perhaps their most remarkable quality is their ability to completely ruin a good trout fisherman. I’ve seen several guys go down this road and few come back. They started out just curious about this carp thing and maybe went out and tried it with a friend and now their totally hooked. Couldn’t quit if they wanted too. Bruce is one of those guys. He guides for trout on some of the best water in the world and when he has a day off you find him staking the banks of a carp lake. He tells me. “All I want to do is sight cast to big fish in shallow water.” Can you blame him?

Bruce tells me, “they say carping is good practice for bone fish, I think it’s the other way around”. I’ve heard people say that carp fishing is like bone fishing. I don’t see it. This has it’s own unique challenges. You do need to make a soft presentation but often at 20 feet. Not easy with an eight weight. It is stealthy sight fishing but that’s not unusual when stalking any species. We are both fishing our bone fish rods and past that it feels completely different. Like Bruce says, “carp are their own deal”.

I don’t see losing my self to these glorious trash fish. (Bruce hates it when you call them trash fish.) There are too many other fish I love, but carp are cool, and I’m far from done with them.

Carp Lake photo by Louis Cahill

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline

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5 thoughts on “Carp Czar

  1. I am still waiting on you and Kent to get up here to fish some east coast carp! And you are right about the carp thing being addictive. I guide for trout, but on my days off if I can carp fish, its on.

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