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Carp, The Next Big Thing for U.S. Anglers?

A $100,000 tournament is one of many things adding to the growing interest in carp fishing in the U.S.

Whereas Europeans have long considered carp to be the King of Gamefish, to Americans the notion of purposely targeting carp with hook and line is flat-out weird. That might all be changing.

In September, more than 200 anglers are expected to compete in the Carp Angling World Championship on New York’s St. Lawrence River. Total cash prizes in this Ironman-style fishing event will top $100,000. 

 

A Fish for All

But big-money competition is only a small part of what’s behind the new hype surrounding trophy-carp fishing. Simply put, carp are common fish that grow uncommonly large, and that’s easy to get excited about. Further, it doesn’t even matter what style of fishing you prefer. You can rig some simple bait—sweet corn or a ball of white bread—on a No. 6 hook. Or you can opt for bigger tackle with specialized baits and terminal gear with odd names such as boilies or hair rigs.

A boilie, for example, is basically a scented cornmeal or flour-based mixture with eggs and a flavor additive. This pasty dough is then rolled into bait-size balls that are boiled for one to two minutes, which gives the boilie a firm outer core. It is then strung onto a hair-rig. Originally, hair-rigs utilized a length of human hair to attach the boilie to the hook. Modern rigs are tied with any thin hook-length material, but the principle is the same—the bait sits away from the hook, and therefore goes undetected by the sometimes mouth-sensitive fish.

Match the Hatch

Flyfishermen, too, are getting in on the action, and are even challenging the old notion that carp are not-so-beautiful fish that inhabit not-so-beautiful places. From stunningly scenic, popular Western rivers like the Madison and Bighorn to Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula to the sandy, coastal flats off the coast of Lower Michigan, carp are falling for flies.

River fishing requires a 7-weight rod and a fly box with a good assortment of nymphs, crayfish imitations and even dry flies that match the local hatch. 

Flats-style fishing in northern Lake Michigan calls for an 8-weight rod, black and brown Woolly Buggers, Clouser Crayfish, White Crazy Charlies and small Stonefly Nymphs. The presentation should be subtle. Cast in front of a cruising fish and entice strikes with  a series of small strips. Try to envision the fly merely scuttling along the bottom. And hold on—carp are tireless fighters, heavy as cinder blocks, and capable of reel-burning runs. Isn’t it time to get in on the action?

Comments (6)

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from Josh Giannino wrote 2 years 1 week ago

30 pound carp on a 5 ft ultralight... thats one good fight, especially cuz i was 8 yrs old when i caught it haha

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from holgreg wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I have always fished for carp but have never kept any because i never knew how to clean them.now that i know how, what is the best way to cook them and how do i get rid of there "Y" bones?

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from Dale Garner wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i like to use bread to catch these monsters works really well for me add some garlic to your bread and i catch cats on it aswell ive also caught catfish on rice crispy treats for some reason! i caught 50lb even grass carp on just bread and a treble hook no weights! they love this stuff

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from garyfisherman wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

They fight like crazy and you catch enough to make your arms hurt...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gretchensteele wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

After all these years of being a carp angler and carp slayer via bowfishing and listening to all the comments about trash fish, rough fish, and being an at the bottom of the great fishing hierarchy, I'm happy to see the carp coming into their own. We work hard bowfishing and fighting the invasive Asian carp, not only is it great fun, it's a conservation effort.
I along with the rest of TeamWON (Women's Outdoor News ) will be covering an event in August where the TeamWON ladies take on the flying Silver Carp that have infested the Kaskaskia River in IL.
The more people that discpver the carp - the better off we'll be! Just call me a "Dancing Arrow Diva"!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JAMES09 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

This is what I fish for...the bigger the better!!

I fish for carp & other big species cuz I like the fight they give...you don''t see much of that with pan fish...

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Dale Garner wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i like to use bread to catch these monsters works really well for me add some garlic to your bread and i catch cats on it aswell ive also caught catfish on rice crispy treats for some reason! i caught 50lb even grass carp on just bread and a treble hook no weights! they love this stuff

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JAMES09 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

This is what I fish for...the bigger the better!!

I fish for carp & other big species cuz I like the fight they give...you don''t see much of that with pan fish...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from holgreg wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I have always fished for carp but have never kept any because i never knew how to clean them.now that i know how, what is the best way to cook them and how do i get rid of there "Y" bones?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino wrote 2 years 1 week ago

30 pound carp on a 5 ft ultralight... thats one good fight, especially cuz i was 8 yrs old when i caught it haha

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gretchensteele wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

After all these years of being a carp angler and carp slayer via bowfishing and listening to all the comments about trash fish, rough fish, and being an at the bottom of the great fishing hierarchy, I'm happy to see the carp coming into their own. We work hard bowfishing and fighting the invasive Asian carp, not only is it great fun, it's a conservation effort.
I along with the rest of TeamWON (Women's Outdoor News ) will be covering an event in August where the TeamWON ladies take on the flying Silver Carp that have infested the Kaskaskia River in IL.
The more people that discpver the carp - the better off we'll be! Just call me a "Dancing Arrow Diva"!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from garyfisherman wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

They fight like crazy and you catch enough to make your arms hurt...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)