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Dynamite Does Dallas BUFFALO TIME!!
Contents 8 | Editorial - Trevor Tanner 18 | Forkbeat - Tony Cartlidge 30 | Fly Swap 2014 - Dan Frasier & Trevor Tanner 42 | Records are for Breaking - Miguel Ruiz 56 | Modern Cat Fishing - Luke Nichols
71 | Bond...... - Steve & Kurt Bond
91 | The Pull of Fork - Joshua Snow 104 | Early Season Feeder - Peter Milkovics 112 | Behind Every Fly.... - Treavor 118 | A Three Year Quest - Team Haldorado 128 | Fork is Back - Austin Anderson Cover: John “Montana” Bartlett fly carper extraordinaire
TONY Cartlidge - Feature Editor Tony Cartlidge is a writer, editor, journalist, blogger and marketing specialist who started fishing as a kid in the city parks of Liverpool, England. He caught his first carp at age 12 and has been hooked since. Having lived in the US for almost two decades, Tony moved to Texas in 2008 and now targets smallmouth buffalo just as much as carp
DAN Frasier - Editor Raised in South Dakota, Dan was introduced to fly fishing on a family trip to Breckenridge Co. Coming home to South Dakota, he knew he wanted to fly fish but the only obvious species was carp. Dan taught himself to fly fish on those carp over the course of a decade. In the process he began to blog about his exploits and became friends with some of the most influential fly fishermen for carp in the game. Dan found the CarpPro.net forum and quickly became integrated as part of the team. When CarpPro began looking for an editor specifically geared for the Fly Fishing niche, Dan was brought in to fill that role.
DAVID Smith - Layout & Design After founding USCARPPROmagazine David soon realized that fly fishermen were targeting carp. He made every effort to connect with this branch of the sport through regular articles, even making the long trek to MI from his home in California to meet David McCool and wade the freezing cold flats of an early spring Traverse City. A bait angler for over 30 years he understands the rise of the sport and the passion carp anglers develop for their quarry.
A HOME TACTICS & TACKLE MEDIA
EASY ACCESS STYLE
BUY! Picture courtesy of Austin Anderson
The Death of the Creepy Crawly Carp Fly Guest Editorial from
In the summer of 1979 Steve Dahl blew up a box of disco records in front of 50,000 Chicago White Sox Fans and declared that disco was dead. Chaos and riots ensued. Disco will never truly die as long as guilty pleasure survives but many cultural experts identify this single event as the beginning of the end of disco's pre-eminence. It is an interesting story but what, you ask, does it have to do with carp? Well, I think that someday we will look back and identify this year’s FlyCarpin/CarpPro carp fly swap as the moment that presaged the doom for the dominance of the creepy crawly carp fly (CCCF). For much of the last decade, which I think of as fly-fishing-for-carp’s
teenage years, a Google search for carp flies would return an exhaustive list of what I think of as creepy crawly carp flies (CCCF) and little else. You know, rubber legged, long bodied vaguely crayfishy looking monstrosities inspired by flies designed for bass, redfish or bonefish. There was a good reason the revolution gravitated towards these flies in the early teenage years. First of all, CCCF’s are fun to tie and even more fun to fish. They are like the Quentin Tarantino of the fly world. They are totally obnoxious, comically over the top and still inexplicably the coolest thing around. They also work really well at times, and although I would
Editorial ☁︎︎ CARPPRO ☀︎ 2014
argue that you almost always get less takes with CCCF flies, the takes you do get are often more aggressive and easier to detect. hat makes them particularly effective for beginner and intermediate carpers and the honest truth is that most of us still fit into that category. It also means
think it is. In just the last three years of fly swaps I can see a huge step forward in the overall variety and quality of the fly swap submissions. While the CCCF is still, and will always be, on the menu, for the first time ever it seems like more creative energy is going into the countless other
that, much like disco, they will never truly die and who would really want them to?
categories of carp flies that already exist or aren’t even thought of yet. When you get to the fly swap article in this edition of CarpPro I hope you will agree.
Fly fishing for carp is, however, approaching early adulthood. More and more of us are becoming much more experienced. Our fly selection should be growing up as well and based on this year’s swap submissions I am happy to say I
Long live CarpPro, long live the CCCF, long live disco… and long live the revolution!
Editorial ☁︎︎ CARPPRO ☀︎ 2014
Dan Frasier says.... Teddy Roosevelt once said, “…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Thank god that quote has NOTHING to do with the carp flyfishing tournaments that are popping up all over the country. If it did, they’d suck. Instead, weekend long parties on the water are being organized around the country with some good-natured but serious fishing occurring during the day. Participation rates in existing tournaments continue to climb and new contests are being announced all the time. Some wonderful prizes have been awarded across the US as industry sponsors have been quick to support these fun, and usually charity driven, events. This year, CarpPro wanted to play. We’ve teamed up with Isthmus Flyfishing to organize an Urban Carp on the Fly tournament in Minneapolis. Prizes range from one of a kind custom fly rod to prints by local artists. All proceeds will go directly to the local Trout Unlimited chapter. For details and early registration discounts, go to : https://squareup.com/market/isthmusfly-fishing-co
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In its short lifetime, the Lake Fork Carp and Buffalo tourney has become the heartbeat of American carp fishing. The slow, solid thud announces new life after a long hard winter in the rest of the country, Europe, and beyond. After months of flatlining, Fork resuscitates the carp fishing year and ushers in the promise of spring although, it must be said, not necessarily spring itself. Before spring fled Fork, we had seen some incredible fishing yet again. Mario Damian, fishing with perennial partner Miguel Ruiz, recaptured the lake record for smallmouth buffalo he set in 2012. Anglers caught from all over the lake, hauling in unfavored swims while hot pegs froze solid and produced nothing. In the end the tournament was another spectacular success with a nail biting finish. The nail biting was not all because of the fishing.
An Introduction from Tony Cartlidge to a series of articles on this years Lake Fork Carp & Buffalo Challenge
EG VA EL NL TE R Y
Spring in East Texas is a nebulous idea. A schizophrenic manifestation of all four seasons is not unusual during an East Texas spring and we saw that this year as sunshine and shorts quickly gave way to gale-force winds and ruined shelters, sunken boats and an emergency island swim evacuation. Conditions got pulses racing, hearts beat a little faster, and Fork went from summer to winter in hours with barely a nod to spring. Temperatures plummeted, snow and sleet blanketed the roads, and anglers with a long drive home fled without witnessing the prize-giving or stayed an extra night, stranded by treacherous conditions and closed bridges. We even had a "thundersleet" event where thunder, lightening, and snow happened all at the same time. Through it all, Fork was alive, somehow producing big fish for Team Haldorado who, after missing out on buffalo last year at the tourney, had come back in the hope of filming this incredible fish that, until just a few short years ago was relatively unknown and unloved. The sudden ice may have caused the Haldorado film crew some heartburn but they had a buffalo within minutes of slipping into the swim that had been producing for Austin Anderson and Shane Hine. The swim, on life support for the first 48 hours of the tourney, had switched on. Just a little too late to offer Shane and Austin a serious tilt at the Big Four buffalo but more than enough for Gabor, Peter and Istvan, who had returned to Texas for a third year to capture these elusive fish on film for Hungarian PV-TV. At the end of the week, the ice now gone and the sunshine back, Haldorado, with plenty of film of big carp and buffs safely stored away, handed back the swim to Austin and it produced still more trophy fish. Fish big enough to capture the imagination and quicken pulses, even if, like Austin, you put in 20 weekends a year at the lake. It is Austin that has taken up the mantle of Richard Somerville who was instrumental in starting this tournament in the first place. Richard left us tragically too soon last year but he will live long on our thoughts and memories, in the legacy he left us with Lake Fork. In its annual heartbeat.
With anglers staying for a week in hotel rooms, and buying food, bait and other provisions, we were told the Carp and Buffalo Challenge generates more money for the community than any other tournament.
Fork is a real challenge. If it's not dealing with the snags and the bass boats, its the elements and the occasional bowfisher taunting us. That, and you run the risk of being pegged next to a Jeff Skelton's gnome.
Obviously Josef and I were disappointed to be evacuated from our island peg with 2 hours left in the tourney. We'd just lost two carp and had fish crashing in our swim.
I don't believe weather was too much of a factor compared to last year. We all had to endure the same conditions.
CarpPro decided to have its HQ away from the marina this year, but everyone at Oak Ridge was as hospitable as ever.
Anglers that didn't leave Sunday afternoon got stranded by the ice storm. A convoy of cars crawled 10 miles from CarpPro HQ to Brookshires for food because an accident closed the bridge to Oak Ridge.
The CarpPro Store is open! www.carppro-store.com
Paylake Pretied Leaders with ACE hooks Loose Hooks Pick Ups
Bait Rod Hutchinson Flavors Dynamite Baits CarpPro Flavors
Fly Carping Carp Flies from the best in the game including some from the Fly Swap!!
Gear Hats T Shirts Hoodies Limited stock!!!
CARP FLY SWAP 2014
or the last three years McTage Tanner has hosted and managed a carp fly swap. Fly tiers from around the country send in their favorite carp flies, which are mixed and matched with other’s flies. The tiers then receive a package containing a variety of flies from around the country. This started off as a funky little backwater event; people nobody knew trading flies intended to catch fish nobody wanted. As high quality things tend to do, the event has blown up to massive proportions. Famous tiers from around the country clamor to be a part of this great event.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
The swap filled up in a matter of minutes this year. What started as a small, obscure fly swap like any other is now the premier fly swap in the country for any species. Orvis, Catch, Scientific Angler and CarpPro have all lined up to lend support this year and the list of tiers reads like a murders row of carp fly fishermen. For more information, pictures, description, and complete recipes check out: http://www.flycarpin.com/p/carp-flyswap-2014.html
Adduci's Rock Hopper//////////// Tier: Austin Adduci State: Illinois Website: http:// www.grabyourflycharters.com/
About: "This is best fished in the great lakes region hopped, bounced or dragged on the bottom. The longer tail fibers along with the rabbit hair head breathe underwater with very little movement"
Notes: This fly is 2.5" long. Austin guides on the Great Lakes for carp and his charter service is a member of Fly-Carpin's guide directory.
///////////Annear's Mr. Wiggles Tier: Luke Annear State: Madison, Wisconsin Website: http:// youngmanandthestream.blogspot.com/
About: "This fly, in two colors and three weights, takes up the largest portion of my carp box. Developed from a Carp Candy, a soft-hackle was substituted for the zonker wing (or beard) of the original. I eventually settled on a hook and other materials that I liked best. I fish a heavy version of this fly a lot on small rivers, on nearly a slow swing, and drag and drop it on anything with little to no current, twitching as needed."
Berrell's Deadpool ////////////// Tier: Wendy Berrell Location: MN About: The Peabody may be called the basic starting point for this fly. I think it was noted in a critique somewhere that the Peabody is much like a partridge and orange. So maybe it is not even a bookend in itself but one must start somewhere. From there, these attributes were pooled: (1) The soft hackle of the Carp Carrot and the Montana Carrot. (2) Deep burgundy of the carp-effective San Juan Worms. (3) Headstand of the LOD. (4) Twist tail of the FYI. (5) Foam tab of the Holschlag Hi-Tail Craw. (6) Worm + soft hackle of the Hybrid.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Tier: Luke Bever State: Colorado, Denver About: "Most carp flies are heavily weighted, which is good in most cases. However, I have run into situations where a big heavy fly spooks fish nearly every time. I wanted a small durable fly that was light and would land softly when fish are in shallow. This one seems to do the trick. I like to tie the marabou tail long for as much action as possible and a stiff hackle helps with a soft landing. This is my go-to pattern on the Denver South Platte when the water is low and clear."
////////////Beve's Carp Nymph /////////////////
//////////////////Crazy Charlie's Chase Harmon///// by
Tier: Chase Harmon Location: Nebraska About: "I live in the panhandle of Nebraska and primarily fish large mud flats for carp when I am not in Wyoming trout fishing. These particular mud flats have a lot of Fathead Minnows that the carp love to chase and suck up. The Crazy Charlie is a simple, yet effective fly to imitate these minnows. I like to use carp flies that fall slowly instead of plummeting straight to the bottom. I feel that it gives the carp a chance to take a look at the fly on the way down. In most cases, the fly never hits the bottom before getting sucked up by the carp. I fish this fly primarily when the carp are on the move.
Eric's UV2 Carp Leggs /////////// Tier: Eric Beebe State: Montana Notes: Since he owns a fly company, Eric practically swims in flies. He doesn't really need any flies back, but he still wanted to participate. In order to support the swap and celebrate carp flies he sat down and personally tied up a full batch of 40 UV2 Carp Leggs as bonus flies.
About: "This fly doesn't sink as fast as you might think. I like to do the drag and drop with it followed by small twitches until they see it then stop, wait and hold on!"
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Christmas' Hack Variant////////// Tier: Miles Christmas State: MI Instagram: @milesxmas About: "This variation of the Egan's Headstand Nymph is faster sinking than the original for the moving and deeper water I fish. Drag and drop it into the zone and twitch it if it's ignored. You know, the standard carp presentation. I caught 7 carp over 20lbs on this fly this year, but 4 of those times it was the same fish!"
Notes: Miles has been flyfishing for carp longer than some of our participants have been alive. If Miles fishes it, it gets eaten. Also, he has found the stupidest 20 pounder on the planet; catching it over and over.
////////Erdosy's Carp Crab Tier: Mark Erdosy Location: Delaware Website: http:// www.thisriveriswild.com http:// www.flyfishingnation.de http:// www.skinnywaterculture.com
Instagram: @thisriveriswildflyfishing About: "The carp crab was designed to imitate a crayfish in the defensive position. It's inspiration came from the Diablo Crab, which is a saltwater pattern that utilizes the "webby" portion of a schlappen hackle to give the fly a deadly action in the water. I use the pattern while flyfishing for carp in water that have a large population of crayfish. It is heavily weighted to get deep quickly even in flowing water. I typically use the drag and drop method when fishing this pattern, and like to put it within a few feet of the carp's field of vision.
About: "The Foxy Lady is the product or a horrific vehicle accident. Returning from a fishing trip a few years ago, I ran over a red fox with my Wrangler. So it was more horrific for the fox than it was for me. Anyway, I jumped out, put the fox out of his misery and then got to looking at his fur. I couldn't resist so I took the tail. The color and, especially, consistency intrigued me. I went through many different prototypes of flies, using the fox fur; attempting small crayfish patterns. The color was what I wanted, grays, rusts, and blacks, and the action in the water was perfect. I just couldn't get the profile I wanted. The fur would collapse on itself. Eventually I stumbled upon the answer. By tying in the hackle with the tips facing forward and then folding them back eventually when it came time to tie the head, I created a collar that stood almost as wide as the fly is long. That, along with the SUPER delicate presentation and slow sink rate allowed me to target the super skinny fish I frequently encounter. This is my go to fly all summer long when faced with crayfish eating carp."
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Tier: Dan Frasier Location: Sioux Falls, SD Website: www.carppro.net
/////////// Frasier's Foxy Lady
//////////////////////////// Tier: David Litten Originator: Doug Garvey State: Colorado
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
/// Garvey's Raggedy Ann by Dave Litten Website: www.anglersall.com/ About: "Doug came up with this pattern on a shop Sunday. I was hurting from the night before but helped add a few things."
Notes: Doug and David are both avid carpers who work at Angler's All in Littleton Colorado (One of my favorite local shops) - except that David just bailed for greener pastures. That leaves us one yeti look-alike carper shy of a full shop-guy carper set. That makes me sad. You can, however, still find David on Instagram at @davelitten.
Lipton's Whistle Pig //////////// About: "This pattern contains many of the key elements found in a successful carp pattern: Soft hackle, rubber legs, bead chain, coarse/buggy dubbing, UV hotspot, and most importantly, it rides hook point up. While the mini legs can be a pain to tie they will pay dividends: providing plenty of movement.This fly is very compact and robust, presenting a hearty meal to carp and thus providing a high benefit-cost value to feeding fish. In the case of finicky, selective fish, undress the fly and tie it naked, without the soft hackle collar and dubbed head."
Tier: JP Lipton State: Minnesota Website: http://www.roughfisher.com/ Instagram:
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Garza's Sculpin /////////////// Tier: Mario Garza State: MI About: "My fly tying started with patterns for the local waters I fish. As I dove into carp fishing, the Schultz Outfitters crew were a huge influence on me. However, most patterns I tie tend to be heavily influenced by the flies of JP Lipton. As JP has shown on his site, sculpins are a hot pattern. This pattern is based on a common wooly bugger variant I’ve seen in shops for trout, with the addition of rubber legs and a rabbit head, as used on Schultz's S3 sculpin pattern. I tied them in both burnt orange and natural rabbit. Natural colors have been the ticket on the Huron River here in Michigan lately."
Records are for Breaking Miguel Ruiz & Mario Damian
With our Big Four Buff win in 2012 and the horrible weather of 2013, we were once again faced with Lake Fork Carp and Buffalo Challenge of 2014. This year the weather wasn’t so convincing as a matter of fact it was looking like a repeat of 2013 but we weren’t going to let that get in our way. Just like every year we took the 24-hour-plus drive from California and the whole ride there we discussed our plans and tactics. We a made it a habit to arrive a few days early not only to be at our destination but to also monitor the weather and to walk the pegs. Mario and I like to do our homework and walk the pegs as much as possible; this is a must when it comes to fishing a tournament. We like to scope our pegs and get marker readings to see what potential structure we might be facing, as well as looking to see any sign of life such as fish rolling or crashing. A big clue we discovered in 2012 was the amount of fresh water mussels that Lake Fork held, and that was one of the things we looked for while walking the pegs. Some pegs had loads of mussels on the ground which, to us, felt like a good indicator that fish might be feeding in the area. These
are all critical factors for success when fishing a 70 hour tournament. The peg draw this year was a little different as you weren’t allowed to choose from pegs that remained. This year you randomly drew two pegs and had to choose one from the two you drew. We drew our pegs and we now were faced with the biggest decision of the tournament. As most of you know you never draw the peg you want or had in mind. We drew two pegs and chose Peg 10 from the two…and what a choice we made! Our peg wasn’t the most ideal peg. As a matter of fact, many anglers had
What A Choice We Made! Peg 10 at the bottom of their list because it has lots of structure with very little open water but, as always, we adapt and overcome. Luckily Mario and I had taken good notes and we'd noticed that Peg 10 had lots of freshwater mussels on the
bank. In reality this was an ideal peg but I will be the first to admit the structure is known to hold fish but it is also know to keep your fish and get you hung up. Even though we were faced with loads of structure all we could hope for is that the fish would move out of the structure and start feeding on our bait in the mussel beds. The next big decision was what bait to present these fish to get them on the bank. We both decided to fish two rods with a single piece of fake maize as this was the closest we could get to mimicking the inside of a mussel. We pre-baited our swim like most of us do and waited for the run. Our pre-bait was well flavored with Rod Hutchinson Fruit Frenzy, Rod Hutchinson Solutein, and a hint of Rod Hutchinson Amino Blend. We have had great success with Rod Hutchinson lately, especially Fruit Frenzy, so we decided to make this our go-to bait flavoring for this tourney. If the Fruit Frenzy didn’t produce well we had several other Rod Hutchinson flavors to choose from that we know can also produce. Not only was our pre-bait flavored with Rod Hutchinson Fruit
Frenzy but our hook bait was also soaked in it. And if that wasn’t enough, we gave each bait an extra spray before we cast out. This insured that the flavor was in the water and the fish would hopefully follow the scent trail and eventually find our hook bait. The first 12 hours in our swim didn’t look convincing but we stuck to our game plan. Patience is very much needed in carp and buffalo fishing. Every couple of hours we would throw in a couple more spods to ensure we had a nice carpet of bait laid out. Those who have fished Lake Fork before know that the wind direction and strength can change drastically and instantaneously! One minute there’s hurricane force winds and the next minute the lake looks like glass. For most part of the first day the wind was coming from behind us but come the early hours of the night the wind direction switched and it was hitting us in the face. The first thing we thought of was the 2012 Carp and Buff challenge; the same scenario happened in the first tourney and as soon as the wind direction changed we knew it would only be a matter of time before the fish pushed up
against our bank and started feeding. Hours after the wind direction changed, we had our first run. The fish were here and it was on! The next several hours consisted of us catching and baiting, catching and baiting, and the rest is history. We
The Fish Darted For The Snags slept maybe 5 hours of what remained of 70 hours so a lot of this part is blurry. I’m sure we looked like zombies casting out our rods and pre-baiting. What I do remember is catching loads of fish and finally getting ourselves on the leader board. We caught several common carp but no buffalo. A few hours passed and Mario gets on our
first buff, I believe it weighed in at around 40 lbs. The fish were in our swim and we were not going to let them leave. As tired as we were, we just kept telling ourselves "just a few
Just A few More Hours more hours, just a few more hours!" when in reality it was more like two more days. We went back and forth. Mario would be on a fish then I'd get on a fish. Then Mario. Then me. Then Mario gets on a BIG FISH and this part I remember very clearly! The fish darted for the snags and Mario carefully guided it out but then again into another set of snags. When the fish finally decided the fight was over I grabbed the net and brought it to the bank carefully. Mario broke the lake record for a second time with a 67.8 Lb buff. Even though we had probably the Big Fish of the tourney, we had to keep fishing hard. We caught
several more fish and in between every capture we topped the swim up with more Fruit Frenzy flavored bait and kept them interested. The fish stayed in our swim for the remainder of the tournament and there was nothing stopping us. We caught fish after fish and had sleepless nights but at the end it was all worth it! Our biggest buff was a high 60, and we had two mid-40s and a mid-30. Our biggest common carp was a 20 and we also had three teens. We placed 1st in Big Carp + Big Buff, 2nd Big Four Buff, 3rd Big Four Carp, 1st Big Buff and we once again broke the smallmouth buffalo lake record!
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Wild Carp Classic - The Legend Continues May 20 - May 23, Baldwinsville, New York. www.wildcarpclassic.com
Tamas Vegvari will host the Wild Carp Classic in Baldwinsville, New York, this year, guaranteeing the continuation of what has become a legendary event in the carp fishing calendar. Following on from Jason Bernhardt, whose Wild carp Companies has withdrawn from the tournament business, Tamas understands he has big shoes to fill but he's not afraid to make changes to the event in order to guarantee that it will be around for many years to come. He is also grateful to Jason for his help in making this year's event happen. The tournament takes place on the incredible Seneca River, a prolific carp fishery that has regularly produced 3,000 pounds of fish in a single peg over 75 hours of
competitive angling. While this may be good for one or two pegs, this means that, in a total weight tournament, some pegs will be runaway winners and others will struggle. This leads to the first major change in the tournament format. This year's competition will be a big 10 format. "This way, anyone can win right up to the last minute," said Tamas. "Not every swim holds thousands of pounds of fish but every swim can hold ten big ones." Another change is that fish under 15 pounds will not be weighed. This reduces the work load on marshals and eliminates unnecessary stress on smaller fish. All fish 15 pounds and up will be
Promotion âœ”ď¸Ž CARPPRO $ 2014
...anyone can win right up to the last minute!
weighed officially by tournament marshals. There are more rule changes listed on the tournament website, including new regulations that mean runners can fish, although each team is still limited to 4 rods. "I've fished every spring tournament in the past 7 years on the Seneca River and Iâ€™ve seen different ways of how it was organized," adds Tamas. "The changes this year will make the tournament much more interesting and keep it very competitive."
The tournament costs $1,500 per team with a possible payout of $41,000. Teams may pay in installments with the last payment due May 20, the day the tournament starts. While Tamas won't take a penny from this tournament, this means that the cost of insurance, land, facilities, prize money, trophies, and all the other expenses that must be met to host a successful tournament must come from monies raised. While we've been fortunate in the past to have tournaments generously underwritten by Wild Carp
Promotion ✔︎ CARPPRO $ 2014
Companies, it is not a sustainable model. What we are seeing this year is the true cost of running tournaments in the US and all expenses must be met from monies raised. There is still time for sponsors to sign up to promote the tourney, help with expenses and offer additional prizes to ensure its success.
Tamas is also looking for donations (carp fishing tackle or bait) for a raffle. All proceeds will be shared among Onondaga Parks and Recreation, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY For full rules and event details, please check www.wildcarpclassic.com, or contact Tamas through the tournament's Facebook page.
Modern Cat fishing
with Luke Nichols
Luke Nichols grew up w a t c h i n g h i s f a t h e r, grandfathers, and older brothers catching salmon, trout and char in his native Alaska. He left for law school and settled in Virginia, near Washington D.C., where he got his angling kicks catching the massive catfish of the James River and the MidAtlantic region. After watching an 80s British carp video, and then making a couple of trips to the UK, he began to target both carp and cats using the latest Euro-style tackle. Luke has a thriving Facebook page with more than 10,000 fans, a Cats and Carp blog, and an active YouTube channel where
he posts interesting articles and short informational videos for people new to Euro-style fishing. Luke has recently signed up as a CarpPro prostaffer and joins David Graham as our crossover, ,multi-species experts. When he is not fishing, Luke practices law. He is a criminal defense attorney and partner at the law firm of Nichols & Green pllc. Most mornings Luke can be found reeling in a few cats and carp from Occoquan reservoir before work. His happiest fishing trips are those that involve his young son and beautiful wife, Rebecca.
The Occoquan reservoir in Northern Virginia is my ShangriLa. I go there in the mornings before work to feed my fishing addiction with ninety minute sessions. I back the car up to the shore just before dawn and in four minutes my three rods are fishing the margins. I put two kernels of boiled
deer corn on a hair rig and drop my hook on a pile of freebies at the edge of a reed bed. It does not take long before my bite alarms begin to squeal. The Occoquan reservoir is overflowing with gorgeous common carp and even a few mirrors, but almost half of the fish I land are catfish. Four to twelve pound
CARPPRO â˜… 2014
channel catfish are common, but the occasional blue catfish or flathead grace my net as well. This includes a fifty three pound flathead catfish which I caught with a choddy rig using a pop-up boilie on a #6 hook. Euro-style carp fishing has everything to offer cat fisherman. When I go cat fishing, I use the
same 12â€™ rods, the same bite-andrun reels, the same rod pods and bank sticks, the same nets, the same luggage and the same rigs. Ninety percent of the techniques and gear I use to land big carp have put scores of catfish in my net. We call it carp fishing gear, but it really is just fishing gear. A bite
alarm screams just as loud for a catfish as it does a carp. A twelve foot rod will throw a carp rig just as far as it casts a catfish rig. And bivvies keep the rain out no matter
fisherman succeed in high pressure venues against extremely hooksmart fish. The edge you get from that gear when carp fishing translates beautifully to modern cat
what you are fishing for.
Cat fishermen have the same needs as carp fisherman. We bank fish, we use bait, we fish with multiple rods, we chum and we love night fishing. The same gear that satisfies these needs for carp fisherman will also do the trick for cat fisherman.
Cat fishing and cat fisherman are much more common in the US. There are very few places where I can fish for catfish by myself. The catfish around public fishing holes with bank access are always pressured. Any trophy sized catfish has seen its fair share of hooks.
Euro style carp gear and tactics were designed to help bank
European carp fishing techniques give me a major edge when going
after pressured catfish. Carp rods allow me to fish 50 yards or more beyond my competition. I can put my hook in locations that were
CARPPRO ★ 2014
traditionally safe zones for pressured catfish. Locating structure and bottom features is extremely important when cat fishing. While other bank
European carp fishing techniques give me a major edge
fishermen are blindly casting, I can use marker floats to pin-point structure. Hair rigs are fabulous at fooling pressured catfish. Hair rigs allow me to fish with baits that catfish have never seen before. They allow me to fish much smaller hook sizes. And hair rigs allow the catfish to cautiously mouth the bait without feeling the hook point. If you want to draw catfish into a location and hold them in that spot, then chumming is an essential tool. Spods, spombs, PVA, sling shots, throwing sticks, bait boats and method feeders all allow a cat fisherman to chum accurately in locations where no one else can.
CARPPRO â˜… 2014
Modern carp fishing gear and techniques were created to give European anglers an edge in high pressure bankside venues with ultra-spooky fish. If a fisherman wants to catch a big â€˜ole catfish that has witnessed two decades of cheap tricks, then you need to present them with something they have never seen before. Modern carp fishing techniques is merely a synonym for modern cat fishing techniques.
Facebook page Cats and Carp YouTube channel
/////// /////// /////// /////// /////// Clifton's Carp Bug 2.0
Tier: Ty Clifton Location: CO About: "I wanted a fly with lots of movement but small. I want my flies to be like high class strippers... Lots of movement. That's what gets our (DSP) fish you know. "
Notes: This is a variation on the fly Ty sent for the 2013 swap. This time he is looking for even more movement. This fly is only about a half and inch long and is really discreet. These kind of small, super simple, super lightly dressed carp flies are ideal on the Denver South Platte where the carp have been inundated with beefcake crayfish patterns.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Cohen’s Farmer’s Daughter ///// Tier: Pat Cohen State: New York Website: www.rusuperfly.com
About: "The inspiration for this fly came to me one spring afternoon after spooking half a dozen carp one afternoon. While sitting on the bank trying to collect myself, I remembered the golden rule of carpin': Know Your Forage. I started digging it through the mud. Inside the muck were two small limegreen damsel fly nymphs. The next day I returned with my new damsel pattern and had some fantastic success. I like to fish this fly very slowly; leading the fish and then inching the fly along the bottom. I have found it work’s great on shallow, tailing carp or spooky carp because it doesn't make much of an impact when it hits the water."
About : "This fly can be fished as a swimming nymph, or allowed to sink and bounce along the bottom. It has lots of natural movement, so it can be fished slowly to unsure or skittish carp. It rides hook point up to minimize snags. The Farmer's Daughter is sure to not disappoint."
Notes: Pat is one of the most artistic fly designers in the country. He recently released Cohen's Carp Dub in partnership with Hareline Dubbing. Pat is also on the CarpPro pro-staff and you can buy his custom flies athttp://rusuperfly.com/ store/.
Gallant's Carp Crawler //////// Tier: Chance Gallant State: Flat Rock, MI
Tier: Ty Goodwin State: Georgia
// // // // // // // // // // // Goodwin's // Stillwater Simple //
Website: http://www.carpaficionado.com/ About: "“Simplify, simplify.” -Thoreau "Thoreau’s mantra is the background music for most things I do these days, including tying flies. At the vise for the Stillwater Simple for example, I thought about venerable old soft-hackles like the Partridge and Orange, elegant and uncomplicated. I thought about subtraction rather than addition. I thought about a fly boiled down to its barest form. Some thread. A wrap or two of hackle. Nothing more. The one bit of razzle-dazzle I did allow myself was the Prism dubbing thorax because I think a little flash matters. Just a little.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Gregg's Bitter Bugger ////////// Tier: Gregg Martin State: Idaho About: "After tying a carp colored version of Matthew's Bonefish Bitter and thinking it lacked inherent movement for carp; I slowly developed the Bitter Bugger. The unique head, I believe, explains the vicious takes I get with this fly. I fish it primarily in a cold early season pond with a mostly silt/small cobble bottom on a full sink line where I slowly inch fly over the bottom. Like the iconic backstabber, it may be tied in many color combinations."
Gregg is one of the most creative and technically proficient tiers I know and his attention to detail is amazing. His creations never cease to impress. If you'd like to see one of these flies in person you can buy them at the CarpPro Store.
///////////////////////////// / Tier: Travis Hammond State: Kennewick, Washington Website: http:// trashfishfunhogg.blogspot.com/
//////// Hope's Carp Damsel Variant About: "This fly is just one of the countless variations of my “Carp Damsel” that I carry at all times. This version incorporates different materials but the lack of a material is its main feature, no rubber legs. These are great for cruising fish within the column but what about that tailing fish kicking up a ruckus out there in eight feet of water? This scenario calls for a slightly modified version of the same fly. By removing the rubber legs and adding a solid vinyl abdomen the fly sinks about an inch per second faster than my original. Success is 100% dependent on the fish first seeing the fly as it slowly sinks within the column. The eat will usually occur before the fly reaches the bottom.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
///// Hammond's Carp Ganja About: "This fly is an experimental part of a strategy to try and catch stubborn mid-summer sunners. Basically, the fly is styled after a rubber legged Hare’s Ear but tied with marabou. The glass bead and foam wing-case make it sink slowly so you can get it in front of suspended or sunning carp for a long time. Give it a small twitching action right under the fish’s nose to induce engulfment." "I am a dedicated carpaholic going on seven years now with no end in sight. To me, you just can't beat boat fishing and wading for carp on the beautiful gravel flats of the Mid-Columbia River, which I am lucky to have as my local water.”
Tier: Adam Hope State: Pennsylvania
/// Martinez' CSG Convertible /// Tier: Steve Martinez Location: MI Website: http://thirdcoastfly.com/ http:// www.indigoguideservice.com/
About: "This fly is a convertible fly, taking some tips from bass fishermen. A stinger hook is looped off of the main hook and held with a piece of silicone rubber. The extra tail has a great action and adds some bulk to the profile. If you want a more delicate profile the trailing hook can be slipped over the hook and removed. When the tail is removed the fly resembles a sculpin/goby profile. With the tail attached, the profile has a more crawfish look."
/////// McTage's Chubby Chaser, Leech
Tier: McTage Tanner Location:
About: "I have been working on this fly for several months now specifically for this years fly swap. After about 40 prototypes, hours of bathtub testing and 20 or so carp hooked, it is really pretty simple. So far I have had really excellent luck with it to hard tailing carp over a silty bottom that are creating their own heavy dust cloud that makes it hard for them to find your fly. I have actually had outstanding success in that scenario, which is pretty common on many of the front range reservoirs which are basically silt pits."
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Meetz' Carp Bug ////// Tier: Levi Meetz State: Wisconsin About: "This fly is experimental at the moment. I am 15 years old from WI, and I recently got into fly tying last winter and carp specifically last fall so I haven't had a chance to go out and really try one yet."
Bond...... Commander Steve Bond & Sons MISSION: Lake Fork - Get in, Fish, Win, Get out WEAPONS: Dynamite Bait, Rod Hutchinson Flavors, ACE Tackle, Sonik Rods INTEL: Kurt Bond M: â€˜Er in doors!
ARRIVE: Air drop into Austin Texas the day before the event, transit by road to Lake Fork. RECON: Swims picked. Fish at range, looking for structure. Top Five pick secured at draw! TACTICS:
Steve - Boilie (Dynamite Pineapple Crunch) over Particles. ACE Blowback Rig
Kurt - Method with Boilie/Particle hook baits sprayed with Hutchy MegaSpice (info supplied by CarpPro ally). ACE Clawrig
All good Bond adventures need gadgets from Q GADGETS: ACE Kickers, ACE Hooklink, ACE swivels, ACE i3 Alarms, ACE Throwing stick, ACE RAZOR hooks and laser range finder!
RESULT: BIG FOUR CARP WINNERS!! Fish arrived on the last evening and morning of the event...TARGET SECURED EXTRACTION: Immediate airlift from Austin, TX back to Blighty to Prepare for the World Carp Masters 2015 WWW.WORLDCARPMASTERS.COM
Muraski's Heebie Jeebies //////// Tier: Bennet Muraski State: Kansas City, Missouri About: "I designed this fly for spooky Tier: Mike Medina State: Colorado, Denver About: "Many people think that you shouldn't waste your time with suspended carp. The Huevos De La Muerte (Eggs of Death) changes that. Now, don't be afraid to throw them to feeding carp as well, but when you fish it weightless and let the fly sink slowly in front of negative cruising, sunning or suspended carp they really work. The take can be subtle and difficult to detect. One method is to watch the leader where it penetrates the water and when it twitches set the hook!"
Medina's Hevos De La Muerte /// ///
carp found on the shallow flats of a local Kansas lake. A slightly buoyant wing and Sili-Legs on the underside of the fly were designed to ensure that even without weight, the fly would ride hook point up throughout the light stripping and delicate presentations of the flats. I have had great success with this pattern fishing it on a lightly presented on a short drag-and-drop presentation. Although it was designed for stillwaters, I find myself using it on the river for spooky fish more and more often."
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Mr. P's Black Betty ///////////// Tier: Jim Pankiewicz - Mr. P. Location: Bothell, Washington
About: "I fish this fly and the carp carrot in rivers and in lakes. Early in the season size 6-8 hooks work best, in the mid-season size 8, and at the end of the season size 10 tends to work better. I tie Black Betty with three different sizes of dumbbell eyes. The speed of the current and the water level determine how heavy of a fly I fish with. If I have caught several fish, or if for any reason the hackle starts to disappear, the fly noticeably loses effectiveness.
//////////////John Montana's Hybrid Tier: John Montana Location: Portland Oregon About: "Now, when people ask me "What flies should I fish for carp?" The easy answer would be the Hybrid. I catch 80% of my carp on that fly, and it is a concrete answer that I can give complete with a picture, list of tying materials, and even a link to where you can buy some. But it is the wrong answer. The right answer is to say Rule #1: Know your forage.” There is something appealing about this fly for both carp and carp fly fishers alike. Since it hit the internet a couple of years ago their is no doubt that John Montana's Hybrid is the hottest carp fly out there.
Tier: Kevin Morlock
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Morlock's Quick Craw //
Location: Beaver Island, MI Website: http:// thirdcoastfly.com/ http:// www.indigoguideservice.com/
About: "Last swap I tied up a big batch of my jumbo Bunny Craws and sent them off. While I knew the fly would be too big for many of the carp destinations where they would end up, I wanted others to see the size and style of flies we're using here. This year I wanted to send something that most of the other people could use and maybe even catch a carp with. My choice was the Quick Craw, a fly that fits the standards of a classic carp pattern."
Tier: Danny Scarborough State: Texas
About: "I've gone through several simpler versions of this fly while trying to develop something new and, of course, effective for the carp I fish. Most of the water near me is a little murky so on the lakes I'm basically looking for tailers in a foot or less of water. This fly is also great for eaters in up to three feet of water on our clear hill country rivers. I tie it in several versions, but this particular color is for when the damsel nymphs are more active and crawling out of the water.”
////////////////// Rinehart's Frankenbeetle
Tier: Josh Rinehart State: Fort Davis, Texas About : "To my knowledge, there isn't anything else like this fly out there; which may not be a good thing. It was developed to fish over freshly flooded grass without getting snagged. I fish it by false casting to dry it out, leading the target and making the cast. When the target is approaching the fly, I twitch it and it slowly falls into the zone. I want to thank my wife Michelle for indulging my carping. We are due in late august to welcome a second generation carper to the family."
Notes: Josh has developed one of the most creative flies I've ever seen. This design may very well eliminate many presentation problems that anglers have by effectively turning every presentation into a suspended dap. Really amazing idea here.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Well’s Carp Fly ////////
// Reynolds' Upside // Down Swimming Nymph and Carp // Soft-Hackle // // // // // // //
Tier: Barry Reynolds State: CO Notes: Barry's submissions is an upside down version of the swimming nymph. I suspect that many people don't really realize that he often ties and fishes his swimming nymphs much more like a crayfish than a nymph. His bodies are a little more robust, his hackle is dressed a little thicker and he often (but not always) uses WAY more weight than people imagine. It looks like a big dubbed body but what you can't tell in pictures is that Barry is totally unafraid of fishing a thin veneer of dubbing over a thick lead body particularly when he is fishing heavy current.
Sobolic's /////// Gilly Bad Bitch Tier: Matus Sobolic State: California
About: "After lots of success on my Tier: Robert Upshall State: Orangeville, ON About: "I fish it the same as I fish other crawfish patterns; on a fluro leader, on the bottom, mostly slow small erratic strips. Mix in an occasional longer strip now and then. The placement of the dumbbell eyes in conjunction with small strips cause the fly to pivot and the claws will rock upwards in a defensive position. I've caught many tailing fish with this fly and plenty of fish blind casting into deeper pools.
Editor’s Note: This is the first I've seen that intentionally incorporates a rattle."
/////// Upshall's Rattle N' Tree Rat
local water fishing various spawn and egg flies, I noticed that the carp were starting to catch on to me. They would see my flies and even turn to approach them, only to spook at the last second. I set out to create a spawn type fly that not only looked more natural but was also still easy to track. The Gilly Bad Bitch has a moderate sink rate and works great on slower sections of water. Present it with a drag and drop or drift it slowly to cruising or suspended fish."
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Zach's English Breakfast //////// Tier: Zach Janssen State: Kansas City, MO
About: "Since winter began I have been experimenting with creating a semiarticulated Carp fly that still rode (somewhat) hook point up, and wasn’t too obtrusive to be used on local Kansas City fish. After many trials and errors, I came up with the English Breakfast. Being fairly reminiscent of a crayfish, Helgie, or something along those lines, I throw this to the aggressive pre and post spawn fish in our larger bodies of water. I am currently in the process of experimenting with a hard mono connection rather than a supple gel spun tippet in an attempt to alleviate some twisting."
Tier: Christopher Vargo State: St. Louis, Missouri Website: http://missouriflies.com/
/// /// Vargo's Weedless Roughdub Crayfish
About: "This fly goes back to my warm water awakening some 5 or 6 years ago when I started to pursue Carp in the Missouri River feeder streams. Visibility on these feeders is almost always extremely poor so I was left to search out my first carp completely blind; dragging the bottom in likely places and losing a ton of flies in the process. Some of my best luck came with crayfish flies and weedless crayfish kept me from losing half a dozen flies every time I went out, not to mention the ease with which these things come out of trees and bushes on faulty casts. This fly completely covered my Grass Carp and Common Carp fishing for at least an entire season and is still my go-to Common carp fly.”
FISHING, FRICTION-FREE. The worldâ€™s first triple-textured fly line, coming March 2014. scientificanglers.com/sharkwave
/////////// Wilson's Blood Leech Tier: Brent Wilson State: Idaho Website: http://uprisingflyfishing.blogspot.com/ About: "I present to you my simple blood leech. It may not be the most impressive fly to many fly tiers, but this fly has impressed a whole lot of 20 to 30lb carp. I've caught more carp in East Idaho on this pattern than any other and I've converted all of my buddies out here to this fly."
Notes: Brent Wilson is one of the preeminent carp flyfishermen and photographers in the US. The mirror carp that he catches with regularity are second to none. Many times I've found myself shopping for plane tickets shortly after seeing another one of Brent's mirror carp photos.
CARPPRO ♠︎ 2014
Zimmerman's Ditch Dragon /////// by Erin Block Tier: Erin Block Originator: Jay Zimmerman State: Colorado, Coal Creek Website: http://mysteriesinternal.blogspot.com/ Notes: Erin is an accomplished flyfisher and renowned author. Her blog and her work on Midcurrent have won her a place in the hearts of anglers across the country. Erin's book The View From Coal Creek: Reflections on Fly Rods, Canyons, and Bamboo is a wonderful piece of literature. As if that wasn't enough, Erin is also one of the authors of Pulp Fly: Volume 2. She also took pity on me (Dan) and recorded a reading of one of her writing about carp for one of the CarpPro podcasts.
Zimmerman's Backstabber //////// Tier: Jay Zimmerman State: Colorado, Coal Creek Website: http:// coloradoflyfishingreports.blogspot.com/
About: Jay's Backstabber is THE iconic carp fly. Carried by Umpqua and sold in shops around the country, this fly has accounted for untold numbers of fish in the net.
The Pull Of Fork by
nyone that has ever traveled to Lake Fork to fish the carp and buffalo challenge knows that you can never leave it. Not entirely. It gets in your head and stays there. I can drag my corporeal self back to the lush verdure of New York State, but Lake Fork is in my brain, itching away. My body is here, doing the things it does, work, gym, fish, sleep, but my brain is back in dry, flat, windy East Texas, trying to tease another fish from the depths. It calls me back every year, like a siren calling sailors onto the rocks. I'm listening, ready to go. I'd probably live on its banks. I still might. I could spend years feverishly trying to unlock the code to those massive, illusive Lake Fork fish. At 27,000 acres, Lake Fork is a mystery still, even to locals that fish it a lot. Some have managed to crack the enigma. Almost. The late Richard Somerville managed to capture, at the time, the biggest smallmouth buffalo to come out of Fork. Rumor had it, and whisper it softly, that he also had the largest carp. But Richard didn't care for lake records so they were slipped back into the depths and are now just memories. Ghosts.
Austin Anderson spent lots of time with Richard and he is making his run at demystifying Fork. Junior IGFA records, personal best after personal best, massive, lovely mirrors reflect the madness of an obsession we share with the fish of Fork. I would spend every free day
â€œI would spend every free day here, unafraid to blank if it meant a shot at a true giant. And yes, they existâ€?
here, unafraid to blank if it meant a shot at a true giant. And yes, they exist. I know they exist. Not just ghosts. I've seen signs. Fork's buffalo manifest themselves with two distinct appearances: The longer, more streamlined fish, the darker ones that Austin calls "The Originals", and the shorter hunchbacks, silvery Quasimodo fish. I've captured one of each, a year between them but I won't forget either. My first trip I managed a 43pound buff but no carp. I'd seen pictures of commons and thought them the most beautiful, wellproportioned carp I'd ever seen. I wanted one, a giant, so very badly but it would not happen until the following year. And yet, when I finally caught a common, amid the haste and hustle of competition, it slipped back beneath the surface of Fork without even a photograph. I hardly remember it at all. All I remember is that quasi that came shortly after, the big shouldered 55pound buff that won the big buff prize with minutes to spare. The challenge of Fork gets to me. Fishing among the sunken timber, the wreckage of dogwood and hickory and blackjack oaks, drowned limbs embracing monster fish and fending off hooks while I stare blindly at the water in front of
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Top Tip Josh’s team mate Ryan Daniel at the 2014 Lake Fork Carp and Buffalo challenge came up with this wonderfully neat Claw rig we thought we’d share. Start by removing a length of wire from some leadcore.....
me, aching to peer beneath. And all the while the wind howls above, only for the weather to change in an instant. You cannot be a fair-weather fisherman at Fork. She will chew you up and spit you out. You have to meet it. Challenge it. devote yourself it. The rewards are worth it.
Fork had other plans and she laughed hard in my face, My third pilgrimage was this year. Fork didn't give up a buff or carp to me during the tournament, but after the 72 hours of competition I'd already planned to stay longer, another three days, and spend every minute working on the enigma. But Fork had other plans and she laughed hard in my face, baring her teeth with an hellacious ice storm, a thunder sleet event that closed roads, and turned East Texas into an apocalyptic vision in spectral white.Â My plans were thwarted. Ruined. No, they were shredded and left in frigid tatters. But I'll be back. Next year. Maybe I'll move there, the pull is that strong. Maybe coldhearted Lake Fork will choose to reward my obsession.Â
CARPPRO30 AT SUNDOGEYEWEAR.COM
VALID UNTIL APRIL 30, 2014
Early Season Feeder
︎ CARPPRO ✪ 2014
Peter Milkovics of MTM Tackle
Peter Milkovics is a world champion Coarse and Match angler. In 2011, he founded MTM Tackle with Zoltan Marton, Director of the United States Freshwater Fishing Federation Feeder Fishing program.
In the middle of last April, with the cold of winter giving way to the mildness of spring, I started planning my first fishing trip of the year. For most fishermen, the long anticipation of that first springtime trip is both exciting and difficult to endure. My mental checklist for the trip was as follows: “It has to be a great first of
2013, it has to be carp, and it has to be a lot of them." Catching only carp requires targeting the fish specifically, which can be quite challenging with all the other species about. Bait selection and strategy are crucial. Perfect! Just what the doctor ordered after a long hibernation. I arrived at the lake and quickly got to work. The foundation to my strategy was a minimal base mix with a lot more particles--the hope being that this approach would keep smaller fish off of my baited area and out from my net. This method has proven effective on numerous
sessions and is now widely used in the competition circuit. A simple solution for baiting with particles is using a spod rocket. Spods are widely used in carp fishing for the purpose of accurate baiting at long range. Using minimal ground bait mix for the feeder and spodding the particles seemed to be the best approach.
For this outing I chose a Manta Proton Carp 13â€™ rod. This rod is perfectly suited to the job at hand because it enables me to spod and fish as I want to at long range. The rod's performance and compatibility are greatly appreciated during spodding and it has no problem playing bigger fish. I filled the spool on the reel with Nevis Sensor Fluoro line. I choose this line because of its color and durability: the high-vis bright yellow color lets me quickly locate the fish while fighting it. After the main line I added 30â€™ of braided line for casting leader and topped it off with a Carp Academy Spod Rocket. This baiting rocket locks up during casting and flight so we donâ€™t lose half of our bait in the process. Experienced
carp fishermen appreciate this feature as they know losing bait in mid-flight reduces the effectiveness of tight baiting. It is simply unacceptable. My feeder of choice was the Manta MH Logic Feeder 390. I kept the setup as simple as possible with an anti-tangle feeder, a rubber bead, and a swivel. I left the hook link quite long at 12-13” with a size 12 hook—and that finishes off the setup.
The Bait The base mix was one bag of Dynamite Baits Method Mix and
︎ CARPPRO ✪ 2014
one bag of Dynamite Baits X-Silver Feeder Mix. I chose these two to be able to control the texture of the paste, as both mixes break up fairly quick under water. I didn’t use any aromas… thinking back, that might be one thing I would have changed. On to particles. I made a base of colored corn; 2-3 cans in a variety of colors, with ½-bag each of different sizes of pellets. The colors and smell from the pellets act as strong attractants, bringing in fish from all around. In other situations the base mix alone might do the same and just as effectively, bringing in all sizes of fish. After preparing my gear and bait mix, it was time to bait my spot. Accuracy is extremely important,
and getting most of your bait concentrated in a fairly small area at long range can be a considerable challenge. I used an MTM Feeder Float, which I clipped onto the swivel on the feeder rod to act as a marker float. After casting, I simply released line until it submerged. I
marked my mainline and checked direction, which helps me cast to almost the exact same spot every time. After clipping on the spod setup, I baited. It is important to fill the spod completely for accuracy and in-flight stability.
Finally it was time to start fishing. I changed the marker float with the hook link, filled the feeder with base mix, placed a couple of maggots on the hook, and cast. Since I wasn't going to bait anymore with the rocket, I changed the spod setup into a boilie setup. This second rod would be just on the fringe of my baited area, acting as a bonus rod.
I baited it with a soluble boilie with a pop-up on top, making it lighter. In my experience, soluble boilies tend to work better on shorter sessions, so I hoped it would bring some bites on this day, too. The day started pretty slowly, and I attributed the slowness to not using
any aromas in the base mix. The bites were noticeably careful, and hooking any fish was a gamble. After a couple of missed opportunities, I changed my end tackle to a shorter hook link with a larger hook. Using a bigger hook shouldn't be a problem, as I chose the medium feeder tip for my rod, which can handle most small-tomedium hook sizes. Doubling the
︎ CARPPRO ✪ 2014
size of my hook bait (putting more bait on the hook) resulted in many more positive bites. There were no more difficulties hooking, and I began catching fish in quick succession. No doubt, now, I was in for a good day after all. In the meantime, I had almost forgotten
about the “bonus” rod when it was taken by another nice carp. It turned out to be an excellent first trip, which saw me go home with a full sack of carp. All this was a result of careful preparation and a special baiting technique that I hope fellow anglers will practice and make their own to realize fantastic results.
FINALLY YOU’VE MET YOUR MATCH! MTM Tackle is your match, feeder and Float-Fishing Headquarters At MTM Tackle you’ll find the highest quality fishing tackle for a variety of classic and cutting edge angling techniques. Whether it’s for float fishing, match fishing or feeder fishing. MTMTackle supplies all the specialized tackle you need to land carp or any other freshwater fish MTM Tackle “Vario Match” Float The 14 gram Vario Match is designed for versatility, making it a great piece of equipment for the ultimate float-angling experience. With it’s unique, elongated design, the Vario is suitable for all conditions and situations. Added weight makes accurate casting easy, even with little or no additional weight. The detachable copper lamellas at the bottom of the float give total control to the angler - if the setup or bait turns out to be a bit heavy, simply counter the weight by removing a couple of the lamellas. The peacock-colored, waterproof stem is compatible with a variety of weather conditions and antenna choices. Antennas are available in red and yellow, with new options available in the MTMA3 pack. Situational versatility and all season capabilities makes this float the perfect go to piece on any day!
MTMTackle, Seattle, WA http://www.mtmtackle.com
DONT MISS ANOTHER PROTIP IT’S FREE!!
Behind Every Fly Lies a Story Editor’s Note: One of the great things about McTage’s fly swap is how it brings people together from all over the country. Names you know will be mingled with names you don’t, and the stories behind those names vary as wildly as the flies they tie. A few months ago I met and became friends with a young man named Treavor through the fly swap. Treavor is a wonderful person and enthusiastic carp flyfishermen. He is also fifteen years old and has Asperger’s syndrome. Flyfishing and fly tying are two tools he uses to address the challenges that come with Asperger’s. I asked him to tell his story for us.
My name is Treavor and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Some of you may not have heard of Asperger’s, Syndrome, but it is a form of autism. With Asperger’s there are times when I am not able to focus on completing tasks, understanding social situations, and at times have difficulty regulating my emotions. Living with Asperger’s is difficult because there are times that I have not been able to understand what is making me upset and how to calm myself down. I have been through several services that have assisted me in understanding my diagnosis and how to
CARPPRO ◉ 2014
develop a list of coping skills. I know coping skills are a way of keeping my calm and keeping me out of trouble. But it is not easy. This is why I have tried and successfully found a coping skill that has allowed me to find my oasis in a busy world. That oasis is going fly fishing and tying flies.
I have been tying flies for about a year now and have started to try and teach others how to tie them. Tying flies calms me down because it allows for me to focus on a single task and block out whatever else is causing me strife. When I am tying flies I do not have to deal with the problem, but after I am done it is back to the real world. It seems like tying flies is a great skill but I am still working on trying to find a way to manage the problem once I am done. Tying flies is a way for me to gain a new perspective on how to handle the situation instead of getting myself into more trouble. I would recommend that everyone try to find their own oasis.
CARPPRO ◉ 2014
Along with tying flies I have been able to utilize fly fishing as a way for me to increase my abilities of connecting with others and dealing with stressful situations. Like fly tying, going fly fishing allows me to break away from the rest of world and to turn inwards. By looking inside I am able to deal with the situations and comprehend how to work through the issues. Fly fishing is relaxing because it is me with my fly rod, the water, and the fish.
Tying Flies Calms me Down It allows me to appreciate the world around me and look at what I have and not take it for granted. Fly fishing is not just a sport for me it is a way of life and it has allowed me to discover what I am good at. I have even been praised for my craft and have started to share my love with others. What I have learned from my disorder is that I need to find what I love and do it as long as I can. Fly fishing and fly tying have been my escape to a better world. They have allowed me to work on understanding myself and others. It has also allowed me the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I encourage everyone to find something that they love and use it when times get tough. This spring I would like to see the fly fishing world gain some new participants! Good luck!
pring! this s
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Johnson Ross.indd 1
A! Three! Year ! Quest! For! Buffalo!
Gábor Döme is the man behind Haldorádó, the largest bait and tackle company in central Europe. He is a feeder fishing expert, member of the hugely successful Hungarian feeder team, and a TV celebrity in his native Hungary. His angling movies are screened to millions via PV-TV and other stations in Europe. Along with Dr Istvan Pulai and moviemaker Péter Takács, they filmed the fishing on Ladybird Lake and Lake Austin in 2012. While the Ladybird Lake carp were not as responsive as usual, their feeder tactics took Lake Austin apart. While here, they were also hoping to catch one of the infamous Texas smallmouth buffalo.The buffs, however, weren't playing along…which only made them more determined.!
The following year, the team was back in Texas, this time to fish at the 2013 Lake Fork carp and buffalo tourney, hoping to capture a Fork buff or two. This time, the weather conspired against them and there were only two buffalo landed on the lake the whole week. Schedules didn't allow them to stay longer which meant that they had to wait another year to come back and try one more time. They planned to arrive as the tournament ended in order to take advantage of the hottest swims on the lakeâ€Ś only to find an ice storm had blown in with them, bringing temperatures of 22F.!
They! planned! to take advantage of the hottest swims !
Undeterred, Gábor, Istvan and Péter slotted into the swims recently vacated by Austin, Shane, Evan and Jered, which had been switched on late on the final day. Istvan hit the jackpot first, within 15 minutes of his first cast, landing a buffalo close to 50lbs. Gábor waited til the following day. Bait, bivvies, rods and reels, everything was frozen in place where it had been left the day before. Icicles hung down from rod rests. The spigot on a rod had frozen
They! fished on bundled in Arctic clothing!
the day before and was unable to be broken down to fit in the car. It was left in the swim overnight and the following day it was frozen solid… to the ground! Conditions were brutal with whitecaps, inches of snow and ice, and gusting sleet. But the team was determined to catch more buffalo and did not want to waste a single minute. So they fished on, bundled up in arctic clothing in defiance of the ice storm.!
It paid off. As the week got warmer, the fish got friskier, and Team Haldorádó landed 8 buffs in total
and a 30lb+ carp, plus several of Forks greedy big cats. After three trips to Texas, and some real determination and perseverance, Gábor, Istvan and Péter finally got to witness the massive buffs of Lake Fork and captured it all on film for screening later this year.
It’s! all on! Film!
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Forkis Back The Pulse is Quickening
Fork has been really tough over most of the past six months. After another ass kicker on the island in June, the lake basically shut off. My late summer and fall sessions turned into blanks, only punctuated by a single carp or buff here and there. I wasn’t sure what was going on to be fair; comparing my results from the previous years couldn’t shed a bit of light on the scenario. I kept plugging on through the winter, nicking a carp
every now and then but nothing compared to the numbers and sizes that had graced my nets during the past couple seasons. Tourney time quickly approached and I have to admit I felt pretty jaded with the lake after so many blanks and only a handful of sub-twenties to show for it. Nonetheless, I prepared as I do for any session. The tourney wasn’t easy but the fish finally
showed back up and records as well as expectations were broken once again. As they say in Texas, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Sure enough, anglers went from sweltering heat to ice and cold within 24 hours. Shane and I managed to nick a couple buffalo in quick succession right in the dying minutes of the tournament. Closing out the tourney finally put a cap on my slump. After the tournament, before enduring an icy six-hour drive home that usually takes less than two hours, I passed my swim on to the guys from Haldorádó who planned to stay for several days in search of their first buffalo. Fork turned on and the fish started coming in the unbelievable numbers that we had expected. The team stayed for a week, ending with a massive haul that included several carp and buffalo. The arrival of my Italian friend, Matteo, from Rod Hutchinson Baits meant that, hours after the departure of the Haldorado guys, we were Lake Fork bound once again to return to the swim that we'd tag teamed over the last two
Pro Tip Austin and the fellow Pros all use line markers to make sure they can accurately cast to the same spot time and time again. Austin prefers to tie a short length of brightly colored elastic to the main line after casting out. Others use insulating tape or marker pens. whatever you chose this tip will catch you fish!
weeks. I returned to see the bivvies still erect and silhouettes of fish crashing against a setting sun. We unloaded quietly and got the rods out in search of some of the Lake Fork leviathans in front of us. Within hours of setting up and re-
With another cold front coming in we headed to Austin for a few days.
baiting, the fish came in heavy, triggering an expected haul fest! The first fish was a carp, and it was a welcome sight after they'd seemingly disappeared during months past. Shane joined us the next day and as daylight came the buffalo showed up too and the swim burst into life. In the next five days we landed huge numbers of fish, with carp going to almost thirty and buffs just ounces shy of fifty. With another cold front coming in, we headed to Austin for a few days. That was another massive success, but also another story. Five days later I returned to Fork with unfinished business on a swim Iâ€™ve put quite a bit of time into in the past. I'd moved from another lake earlier in the day after finding
myself in a cove full of aggressively spawning buffalo completely ignoring rigs like they werenâ€™t even there. I packed up late and my sleepy midnight drive went by quickly as I raced passing thunderstorms to the lake. Upon arrival I set up as quietly as I could manage, scoping out the swim in front of me. A passing cold front had slung the wind to a strong northwesterly pushing straight into my face. I sat for a second, possessed by a feeling that something special was about to happen.
I baited up with a semi-heavy blanket of particles and range cubes and flicked the rods out. It
Reel in and Hunker down in 30mph winds was nearly three in the morning and I hit the sack, trying to get some rest before the storm hit. Iâ€™d surely have to reel my rods in with the force of the projected winds. It
happened two hours later after landing a common just over 25. I was forced to reel in and hunker down with the wind now peaking at over 30mph. I was awakened by a wake up call from Shane; he was telling me that
the buffs were still spawning at the other lake and that he was headed home. Then it hit me. It was light outside. I glanced at my phone during the call, and it read 10:04am. Shit. I overslept. A lot. I really needed to get my rods sorted out again and I got off the call with
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Shane, hoping that the fish were still in the swim. I stepped out of my bivvy and was greeted with the familiar VRRROOOSH of a buffalo crashing directly on my baited area. Here we go. After carefully checking the rigs I packed on fresh packbait and let them sail to the baited
Fork is Back area. I finished casting my third rod and didnâ€™t have time to walk back to my bivvy before I had a take. This, after a short battle, ended up being a 49lb buffalo. In the next six hours, I netted over 275lbs of buffalo, with a brace of fish that both fell short of fifty by a couple of ounces along with 30 commons to just under thirty. With numbers, sizes, and considering the amount of time, this was by far my best haul at Fork in my three years on the lake. Simply unbelievable. Lake Fork Is back!
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