A Beginner's Guide to Carp Fishing

A few weeks ago I received a letter about how to get started carp fishing from David Garber, of West Manchester, Ohio.

He wrote: "There's a little creek about 2 miles from my place and I see several big carp swimming in the shadows. I'd love to know how to catch them."

My Answer: Common carp are omnivorous and will eat water plants, but they seem to have a preference for insects, crayfish, and worms. They also like corn--a lot. Perhaps the simplest way to catch carp is to use a bottom-bouncer rig. Tie on a fairly heavy egg sinker about 8 inches above a No. 8 snelled hook. Pack the hook with as many corn kernels as will fit, cast, and let it sit. It sometimes pays to chum the hole that you're intending to fish a day or so ahead of when you plan to fish.

Bank wading with your bow and a fish arrow is another exciting way to take carp. Specialized bowfishing tackle is abundant these days, but it's simple to retrofit your deer gear for use on fish as well. Shots will typically be at 10 feet or less, so even your old mothballed recurve will work.Look for fish in flooded grass.