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the Family to Carp Fishing
I thought what better way for my Dear Wife (DW) to develop an
appreciation for fishing for monster Carp than to have her catch
a few herself. To this end, I arranged for us to go camping for
the weekend along the shore of the St. Lawrence. I reserved a
camp site that provided direct access to the River, and with the
assistance of some local outfitters, had the waters in front of
the site chummed with soaked corn for several days prior to our
my DW’s expert trailer towing skills, we had little difficulty
positioning our 23RS Outback travel trailer so that the door and
awning were facing the water. Our excitement peeked when we
observed virtually continuous Carp activity on the water
immediately in front of our site. It was all I could do to
contain myself long enough to un-hook and set-up camp.
Within five minutes of casting out the first rod the bite alarm
sounded. My DW had just departed for a walk with the two tots to
check out the playground, which posed the first challenge, how
to scale down the steep rocky shoreline to net the fish.
Thankfully, my neighbour at the next site came over to offer
assistance, and I passed him the rod with instructions to flip
the reel’s baitrunner to the on position once I had the fish in
the net. I scaled down the incredibly nasty bank made up of
large jagged loose boulders with my net, and jJust as my DW
returned, I netted our first fish of the trip.
It wasn’t long before I had the line number one back in the
water and the second rod ready to go. No chance to cast out the
second line however, as the bite alarm went off again. I offered
it to my DW, but she wanted to watch for a while to get a better
understanding of what’s involved.
(Within minutes of releasing the second Carp we were into the
third fish of the afternoon. The fight was tough and made even
tougher by the large rocks in the shallows leading up to the
steep underwater drop-off about 50-feet out from the shore. I
was fishing about 75 feet out at a depth of about 30 feet. The
Carp were quick to dive for the deeper waters dragging my 80lb
green PowerPro braid through the shallow-water rocks. The braid
performed excellent and not once did we suffer break-off above
Carp number three was giving quite a show for itself so we
figured that it would be best if I played this one as well. The
brute finally came in and it definitely warranted a trip up the
bank to the scales. It tipped the scales at 25lbs.
though the bottom of the water we were fishing was extremely
rocky, successful Carp fishing was still possible by adopting
the following strategies. First, I didn’t stop line from peeling
off the reel the instant the Carp hit. I figured it was better
to fight the fish out in the deeper water than in close to shore
amongst the large boulders. Second, the 80lb PowerPro I was
using easily withstood the constant scraping over the rocks
without once breaking. Third, my choice of sinker rigging
technique allowed for the 3oz weights to be released should they
get hung up, which meant at worst I would lose a sinker rather
than the entire rig. Finally, the hook leaders were also braid,
but a much lighter lb test which meant the Carp themselves would
have a chance to break free should the line become entangled.
The Carp could also trip the sinker release catch from their end
in those cases where the line broke off above the sinker
allowing the fish to be spared the discomfort of being tethered
to a rock on the bottom.
We didn’t have to wait long before the 4th and 5th fish of the
evening were hooked up, and these both were brought in by my DW.
Again, our wonderful neighbours came over and took charge of our
two kids. This gave me the opportunity to coach my DW on the
finer points of taking in line – she was convinced we were
connected to a large rock. Once she understood the mechanics of
the reel’s drag system, she was quick to grasp the fact that
rocks don’t swim. A couple good fights lasting about 20 minutes
each and my DW had her first two Carp – I haven’t any photos of
her as she said there was no way I was going to post pics of her
in her camping apparel on my website.
8:30 p.m. we decided to put the rods away for the evening. We
had landed about a dozen fish and lost about another dozen due
to sinkers getting lodged in rocks, hooks being straightened,
leaders parting, etc. The bank leading down to the water also
made netting and releasing challenging.
The next morning I slipped out of bed and it wasn’t long before
the bite alarms were going off again. I had promised my DW that
I would put the rods away by noon so I could give my undivided
attention to the kids. It was our first camping outing of the
2008 year and with the new baby, I new time was limited before I
would have to exchange my fishing hat for my Daddy hat.
The rest of the morning went much like the previous afternoon
with almost continuous action. I had never before experienced
such non-stop Carp activity and my DW said she could now better
appreciate my excitement for the sport. She was even more
impressed by the way these gentle giants behaved themselves when
out of the water. Of course, they received the same careful
consideration in return, which gained me some serious brownie
points with my DW and eldest daughter – the later of whom is now
herself hooked on the idea of catching fish – smaller ones
though, she specifically told me that she only wants to catch
When we pulled out from the campground my DW had already scouted
out several other sites with far more forgiving embankments that
she thought would be suitable for next year (waterfront sites
are booked well in advance for the entire season).
I lost about $25 in hooks, sinkers and leaders, and suffered one
rod fracture – tough fishing for sure but on balance, well worth
the adventure to witness my DW playing monster Carp and my
family’s wonderment with these truly amazing fish. I believe
she’s now hooked, and we are both looking forward to next year.