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Carp

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  • Carp

    In all my years of fishing with the long rod, I have yet to target carp. This year the hood pond had grass carp introduced and each time I go out, I can see them cruising around, and I think its time for me to toss some flies at them. I have begun to read online articles, however I would like to get some thoughts from our members here. They have grown tremendously in their few months in the pond, and it seems like I could be missing out on a great and challenging experience. The bass and bream probably won't mind if I shift some of my attention to this new species. I also realize this topic has been discussed on many previous posts, but now I'm actually going to pay attention. Thanks in advance!!
    Tight lines!!

    Doc

  • #2
    I've caught a couple of nice grass carp and learned a thing or two in the process. I got some instruction from an English carp specialist and then searched the scientific literature on Google Scholar.

    Grass carp are entirely herbivorous. They are repelled by any hint of amino acids commonly found in animal protein. Being minnows, they probably produce alarm substance when they are caught. They also seem to have an incredibly good olfactory sense. When a visible grass carp sensed food on the water (piece of hamburger roll) they would come from more than 60 feet away straight for it. And if I had caught a fish on a fly, I had to retire that fly because it actually repelled other fish.

    From the carp angler: get them looking up by baiting them with hamburger rolls. Keep cherry tomatoes handy to squeeze on your fly (to mask animal scent and as an attractant).

    Use a fly that doesn't have feathers or fur on it, or squeeze tomato juice onto it. Raffia and other plant material might make a good material for grass carp flies. Retire each fly after hooking a fish on it, unless you can find some way of removing/masking alarm substance from the fly. Vinegar? Other solvent?

    I caught fish on a chubby Chernobyl drenched in tomato juice. The tomato juice made the difference. Without it, fish would examine the fly and refuse it. With the tomato juice they would take the fly without hesitation, zooming in on it from 60+ feet away. Once a fly had caught a fish, others would approach the fly and then dart away quickly in alarm. I suspect alarm substance.

    Trout and bass use mostly vision but grass carp seem to rely on their olfactory senses. Would a fly tied with twigs and dried leaves work? Raffia is essentially dried leaves.

    Would love to hear other experiences.

    John

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jgraham140 View Post
      I've caught a couple of nice grass carp and learned a thing or two in the process. I got some instruction from an English carp specialist and then searched the scientific literature on Google Scholar.

      Grass carp are entirely herbivorous. They are repelled by any hint of amino acids commonly found in animal protein. Being minnows, they probably produce alarm substance when they are caught. They also seem to have an incredibly good olfactory sense. When a visible grass carp sensed food on the water (piece of hamburger roll) they would come from more than 60 feet away straight for it. And if I had caught a fish on a fly, I had to retire that fly because it actually repelled other fish.

      From the carp angler: get them looking up by baiting them with hamburger rolls. Keep cherry tomatoes handy to squeeze on your fly (to mask animal scent and as an attractant).

      Use a fly that doesn't have feathers or fur on it, or squeeze tomato juice onto it. Raffia and other plant material might make a good material for grass carp flies. Retire each fly after hooking a fish on it, unless you can find some way of removing/masking alarm substance from the fly. Vinegar? Other solvent?

      I caught fish on a chubby Chernobyl drenched in tomato juice. The tomato juice made the difference. Without it, fish would examine the fly and refuse it. With the tomato juice they would take the fly without hesitation, zooming in on it from 60+ feet away. Once a fly had caught a fish, others would approach the fly and then dart away quickly in alarm. I suspect alarm substance.

      Trout and bass use mostly vision but grass carp seem to rely on their olfactory senses. Would a fly tied with twigs and dried leaves work? Raffia is essentially dried leaves.

      Would love to hear other experiences.

      John
      This is very interesting! I have been trying for grass carp for a while now and the only one I've caught was on a freshly tied berry(egg)(synthetic material) pattern. I have cast well ahead of grass carp and as they get closer to the fly make an abrupt exit. I've thought they were seeing my line somehow but maybe it was scent of the fly instead I will definitely remember this the next time I target the grassies!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by groundpounder View Post
        This is very interesting! I have been trying for grass carp for a while now and the only one I've caught was on a freshly tied berry(egg)(synthetic material) pattern. I have cast well ahead of grass carp and as they get closer to the fly make an abrupt exit. I've thought they were seeing my line somehow but maybe it was scent of the fly instead I will definitely remember this the next time I target the grassies!
        I was just looking up the most recent research on alarm substance (Schreckstoff) and it appears that one of the main ingredients may be hypoxanthine 3N-oxide, which is most soluble in organic solvents. It is only sparingly soluble in water. Ethanol or isopropyl alcohol might be suitable solvents. Thus, you could soak your fly in beer after catching a grass carp on it. DMSO might work too to remove human scent or body oils.

        John

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jgraham140 View Post
          I was just looking up the most recent research on alarm substance (Schreckstoff) and it appears that one of the main ingredients may be hypoxanthine 3N-oxide, which is most soluble in organic solvents. It is only sparingly soluble in water. Ethanol or isopropyl alcohol might be suitable solvents. Thus, you could soak your fly in beer after catching a grass carp on it. DMSO might work too to remove human scent or body oils.

          John
          Man, this whole thread is interesting, but really I just wanted to say I LOVE DMSO!
          Put that S**t on everything (that aches!)
          Then smell like garlic

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          • #6
            This is very interesting. Thanks for the info! !!

            Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
            _yero on instagram

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            • #7
              Some of my initial research does suggest that Carp do enjoy feeding along the bank, under tress, especially as berries fall into the water..Still trying to figure out what fly would best represent a berry..Perhaps something close to an egg pattern, as GP recommends? Any other thoughts on fly selection?
              Tight lines!!

              Doc

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              • #8
                ...had a buddy with a 10 acre lake near Seale, AL...we used to fish there for carp right after the banks were mowed...there was a swath of grass on each side of a pier and dock that ran 40-50 ft out into the lake...the mower would sling grass into the lake and the carp would come in skimming and sucking clippings...we took 4-6 wt fly gear and tied a 10 ft 8 lb mono leader on with a #4 gold Aberdeen hook...put a couple of pieces of grass on and flip it off the dock...you couldn't cast it very far b/c the whip action of the cast would sling the grass off, so we cast it much as you would a cane pole rig...we landed many, many fish...

                ...fish the hatch...

                Blessings!

                Jimmy

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                • #9
                  ...something else...we used to soak cotton balls in anise (licorice) and pulverized egg yolks (boil some eggs and take the yolks out and mash 'em up)...mix with the anise oil and soak cotton until it absorbs some of the colloid...we used # 6 treble hooks and spinning gear with a big split shot...bottom feeders killed it...!

                  Blessings!

                  Jimmy

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                  • #10
                    Very interesting Jimmy..I'm gonna give one, or both of those suggestions a shot..
                    Tight lines!!

                    Doc

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                    • #11
                      All this makes sense. I have a friend who catches them regularly, and he rebaits after every hookup. I never understood why, and I wonder if he understands or if he just knows they will hit fresh bait better. My friend fishes for carp primarily with corn. He will chum the water with creamstyle and fish with whole kernel. Who knew?
                      BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

                      Exodus 29:18
                      Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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                      • #12
                        Pleasant Surprise

                        Thanks to all for your advice on gunning for Carp - please bear with me as I go through this story..This past weekend I was hoping to test out the drag on my Birthday present (Galvan Torque T-4) my son gave me recently...It balances perfectly with a 7'6 4wt. American matrix rod I built a couple years ago, so I was ready to tackle some decent size bass..Since it looks like I may be moving back to Middle GA in the near future, I have packed all my fly tying equipment/material etc., so I couldn't tie any of the recommendations that were provided in previous posts, so my quest for Carp would be put on hold for a while..I decided to tie on a bucktail, based on the classic Coachman style fly (size 8 streamer hook, red floss sandwiched by peacock herl, with some multi color bucktail for the wing, and a grizzly hackle palmered)...Well, as I slowly stripped the line on my third cast, I felt a very solid tug on the rod and I was anxious for the bass to go airborne..Well, when the fish didn't jump, I thought perhaps I had foul hooked the bass, but I also knew it was going to be a battle based on the way line was being pulled from the drag, and the bend of my rod..After a couple of runs I was able to steer the bass closer to the bank..Low and behold (yeah you guessed it), it wasn't a bass but rather one of the Carp that I have been watching for the past several months..The fight did take a few minutes (seemed longer), but in the end I was able to land a Carp that floated the scale @5lbs....No pic's (I rarely carry a phone when I fishing, particularly in my hood pond)..Thanks again for all the responses with your experienced advice and guidance on bringing a Carp to shore. Maybe I just got dumb lucky, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good..Also - what a great reel the Galvan is!!
                        Last edited by jonmo; 08-13-18, 07:14 PM.
                        Tight lines!!

                        Doc

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                        • #13
                          I bet that carp put a nice bend in that 4wt. Good way to put the drag on a new reel to the test too.
                          Aidan Knezo
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                          • #14
                            You are right on both accounts aknezo..Thanks for reading!
                            Tight lines!!

                            Doc

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