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The first big catch of April 2008
By Jeff Vaughan
What I love most about being a carp guide is all the detective
work to find out where the fish are and try to second guess
where they are going to and when they will feed . Colin and I
are out driving and walking every morning and every evening and
during the afternoon out on the boat checking water temperatures
and depth readings etc, and of course putting baits into areas
we fancy. The down side about being a guide, is when we find an
area we fancy we generally fish it ourselves for a few hours, if
it is performing we move customers into the swim. This makes for
a frustrating time as we rarely get to fish the best spots at
the best times. April and first week May are the only times we
do not have customers out so we try to make the most of it.
This spring has been a strange one. The ice was late leaving and
the water very cold. But we have had periods of very hot
weather. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that
the fish will move into the shallow water in the afternoons to
sunbathe, and sure enough, in the mornings the bays were empty,
by 11 am the fish were moving in and by 3 pm we were catching
fish. However shallow water carp fishing is no good for our
business. Long Sault is about numbers and being “special” Like
clockwork we were catching, but at the rate of one an hour,
which is not going to pull punters across the ocean. The problem
being, catch one and you spook the rest. We had some good fish,
my first 30 coming around April 23th (too lazy to go to the van
and get my book to be exact) this is really early for the better
fish to move in.
So time for a Canadian Carp Club board meeting in Grumpies bar
to sort it out. How do we set the trap and hammer the little
The main river areas were still showing low to mid 40 degree
temperatures, the bays mid 40`s by midday and upper 50`s by 3
o’clock. The deeper water was moving up to mid 40`s at most,
except of course the very deep water that we cannot easily fish.
There are dozens of bays here but 3 in particular stood out. A
little deeper than the really shallow bays (5 feet deep) but
because of their position they were getting most of the sun. We
settled on one, found two areas in it we fancied and started to
bait up. The first couple of sessions we caught fish but did not
bag up. All the fish were plus 20`s though so we were
The forecast was for 4 straight days of sun and unseasonably
warm weather, so we decided to leave the swims alone and feed
them every day. We do not fish weekends because the shop is busy
so we have to be around and also there are too many people about
watching us. So Monday 28th April was set as the big day.
Then for me disaster struck. In the winter I still have a
“proper” job and a company I work for asked me to do a big favor
and fly home for a negotiation meeting on the Monday. So
Saturday night I was on a plane back to the UK.
Now you would think the Colin being a good mate as well as me
supposedly being the Boss would hold off and wait for my return.
Restricting himself to keeping the swim topped up with bait.
Yeah right.!! He was on it like a rash 9 pm Monday morning. It
pains me to report he had 37 fish. 25 over 20. 3 over 30 with a
back up 3 over 29. The bastard….
Hey Ho it has now gone cold and they have moved out again, but
the sun is due back soon and I will be waiting. This has been a
great start to the season. The mornings are crap, but by the
afternoons the fish are already feeding well. Please God it is
going to be a great season…..Jeff