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The first few months of 2016 have seen record temperatures in most of the Northern States, with hardly any snow and relatively mild temperatures. This signals several things; winter fishing has been excellent with fish feeding consistently, less cabin fever and the usual onslaught on the forums and most importantly to me, an early start on my spring fishing. With no ice and snow melt the usual challenges of flood water will not be in play and with carp feeding all through the winter we will surely see weights up, although this might signal an earlier spawning season. Simply put, this could be a great spring for carp fishing. Looking back over the last few months we had some great entries for the First Fishing Follie (FFF) which was run exceptionally well by Frank Rink, who has taken over admirably from Jerome Moisand in the last few years. We also had a memorable ATC Tournament with a close run event being won by repeat Champions Christian Torres and Ceasar Espinoza; a fantastic achievement with such a strong and diverse field of competitors. We now look forward to some of our upcoming Regional Events; including the Mid-West Regional, the 5 Bridge’s Tournament, the Wooden Shoe Classic and a number of other events.

We also look forward to the Spring Big 4 event, which will no doubt see some big totals. At CAG we have many local, regional and national competitions and events running through the year, as well as an active online forum, access to this online NACA and exclusive access to a yearly printed NACA as well as a new regular Newsletter. This is all included for a small fee of $25. Why not join us and help grow the community which will ultimately help us protect the fish we all love, the carp. If you aren’t already a member what are you waiting for? Sign up here: Join CAG Now to this Edition of NACA; we have several feature articles including an Interview with the Two Time ATC Champions, an updated visit with Mark Watson from the CarpCast, an article from Marcin Szydlowski and Henryk Burza on the Chicago River, as well as a review of the FFF and ATC and a look forward at upcoming competitions and events. All this along with other CAG news and stories, which I hope you will all enjoy. Dean Brookes Editor In Chief

Letter from CAG president

uing can be to first-hand how damaging arg en se ve ha u yo ely lat ws If you have watched the ne rp as a ‘sport fish’ g and the recognition of ca hin fis rp ca of ure fut the t a large group. I believe tha rld. hinge on unity in the carp wo

and their own the sport, their honey holes t ou ab ate ion ss pa ry ve Carp fishermen tend to be ity. We all need use divides in the commun ca o als n ca it t bu , ng thi od groups. This passion is a go is is truly the best ward as a united group. Th for ve mo to d an s ce fen to work together to mend the status of carp gative attitudes that affect ne the e ers rev d an ge an way to promote positive ch and our sport.

carp commuue with all the groups in the log dia ve cti du pro te mo pro It is my hope that we can conversations els via friendly fish-ins and lev t es low the at rt sta to s nity. I believe that this need tations of all the n is to have equal represen pla r Ou ts. en ev d are sh o which can then progress int plan in place for get feedback and to put a to t ou ing ch rea be l wil groups. To achieve this we future cooperation. ange!

Together we can make a ch

Bob Giordano

North American Carp Angler


Conte n ts

CAG CLUB REVIEWS: FFF 2016 ___________________________________________ 7

FEATURED ARTICLES The Chicago River __________________________________ 23 ATC Champions ___________________________________ 29

AROUND T H E GLOBE The Carp Cast Update ______________________________ 39

CAG CLUB EVENTS: ATC 2016 __ _________ ______________________________ 49 Spring Big 4 _________ ______________________________ 62

CAG Members Gallery ______________________________ 68

Origins of the Hair Rig _______________________________73 Carp Rigs made EASY_______________________________ 79

The NACA magazine not only puts you in touch with dedicated carp anglers across North America but has readers worldwide.


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CAG celebrated its 20th birthday; “The Carp Club that stood the test of time”

The North American continent was inundated with tornadoes, floods, and frigid weather (even in the south) during the few days preceding January 1st’s FFF 2016. I was counting on an event resulting in the occasional small fish by a small handful of participants. Boy, was I wrong and gladly so! Not only were carp caught throughout the en-


tire 24 hour FFF 2016 time-frame with the first at


p.m. (Joe Davino), but the crafty “queens of the



12:10 a.m. (Shawn Rafter) and the last at 11:58 rivers” were also captured in quantity and quality.



North American Carp Angler


The FFF has been running for several years and was the original brainchild of Jerome Moisand. Over the years it has had a great following and once Jerome decided to pass the project on we were extremely lucky that Frank Rink stepped up to take the mantle. This year’s FFF was very successful, considering we had some extremely cold weather in the North of the country and many impressive catches were made. Well done to everyone who participated.

No fewer than seven anglers were named to the FFF 2016 Hall of Fame for catching a carp between midnight and 6:00 a.m. on January 1, 2016! Shawn Rafter netted a record carp (3510) to better his 34+ of ten FFF’s ago!

Joe Davino with a cracking common

In addition to Shawn’s 35-10, his FFF 2016 partner Mike Keegan landed a 30-0!

Shawn Rafter with a 35lb 10oz monster North American Carp Angler


One hundred five (105) carp were landed, pictured, and recorded for FFF 2016 totaling 1,088 pounds, 15 ounces! That triples FFF 2015 results! The 105 carp entries averaged 10 pounds, 6 ounces.

Mike Keegan with another big common weighing 30lb’s A real ‘snow’ carp

Kim one

Guiri of



carp she caught Huge thanks to the 60 anglers who entered FFF 2016. Personal circumstances, weather, and unforeseen obstacles did not allow all of you to get on the bank on January 1, but your intentions are and were appreciated! The lady carpers fared very well as Kim Guirl placed 1, 2, or 3 in three separate South Zone Divisions and Keri Doire landed a double digit mirror to place in the Scubadoc-North Division.

North American Carp Angler


FFF First Carp Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and Lucky 13 Award winners

Shawn Rafter - 1st carp of 2016 - 12:10 a.m.

Mike Keegan - 2nd carp

Rob Schoborg - 3rd carp

Kim Guirl - 4th carp

Kevin Miller - 5th carp

Willem van Schalkwyk - 6th carp Frank Rink - 7th carp Met Lika - 8th carp Brandon Dee - 9th carp Darren Calver - 10th carp Dave Pickering - 11th carp Todd Richer - 12th carp Evan Cartabiano - 13th carp - 10:20 a.m.

North American Carp Angler


FFF 2016 Monster Award Winners North Zone

South Zone

1st - Shawn Rafter (35-10)

1st - Evan Cartabiano (23-7)

2nd - Mike Keegan (30-0)

2nd - Willem van Schalkwyk (14-6)

3rd - Darren Calver (21-8)

3rd - Kim Guirl (13-3)

North American Carp Angler


FFF 2016 Emperor Award Winners North Zone

South Zone

1st - Shawn Rafter (153-8)

1st - Rob Schoborg (144-12)

2nd - Mike Keegan (146-8

2nd - Kim Guirl (94-4)

3rd - Brandon Dee (115-4)

3rd - Evan Cartabiano (60-10)

FFF 2016 Baby Award Winners

North Zone

South Zone

1st - Brandon Dee (3-10)

1st - Kim Guirl (2-3)

2nd - Jacob Ayotte (5-3)

2nd - Rob Schoborg (3-6)

3rd - Dave Pickering (5-6)

3rd - Willem van Schalkwyk (8-12)

North American Carp Angler


FFF 2016 Scubadoc Award Winners

North Zone 1st - Brandon Dee (16-6)

2nd - Jacob Ayotte (10-7)

3rd - Keri Doire (10-2)

North American Carp Angler


FFF 2016 Sunrise Photo Award Winners

1st - Ian Morris

2nd - Danny Burke

Thanks to the Board of Directors for CAG’s sponsorship of FFF 2016 and for allowing me to conduct another First Fishing Folly. With then-president Andy Sprinkle’s approval of my proposal, I started coordinating FFF in 2014 when it was on the verge of being discontinued. I sincerely hope the number of entered anglers and overall FFF outcomes (both empirical and qualitative) warrant its continuation.

North American Carp Angler


The Chicago River Marcin Szydlowski & Paulo Nestor

North American Carp Angler


The City of Chicago

is well known for its breathtaking downtown sky-

line, huge city metropolis and the beautiful Lake Michigan. It is also well known for the Chicago River; the river which played a big role in city’s early developments. Its’ body of water transports barges, tourist’s boats, taxis and yachts into the heart of the city and every year to celebrate St. Patrick day, the city “paints” the river green. Currently this water system consists of over 52 miles of constructed waterways, a main channel, North Branch and South Branch, but this hasn’t always been the case.

the North Branch and together as the main stem of the river flowed east into Lake Michigan. This area was full of wild life and a great supply of fresh water and was a prime spot for the newly born City of Chicago. During the nineteenth century the Chicago River played a crucial role in city developments, being an accessible waterway to transport wood, building materials and food. Most of the industry settled alongside its banks and at the time specialized in wholesale lumber and meat packaging. Access through the Illinois and Michigan canals to the Des Plaines River and the Mississippi River

Going back in time to the early Euro-American settler’s period the North Branch of the river was fed by three little streams. The current carried the water through forests, savannas and wetlands surrounding the area.

The South Branch of the Chicago River joined

system provided opportunities for trade and shipping throughout the Midwest. With growing city’s all around the Chicago River and the increasing industrialization, its sewer was dumping into the river, which later was carried into Lake Michigan.

Changes in the flow of the river over the years

Around the late eighteen hundreds there were vis-

Tremendous numbers of fallen trees, branches,

ible signs of pollution and an increased concern

and industrial waste flow into the river, many times

about public health. On the turn of the century

resulting in a lost fish due to snags. You need to

major projects took place in this young city; first,

know the spot you are fishing very well, in order to

engineers changed the flow of the river, revers-

land your fish safely.

ing the current towards Des Plaines River and not

Most of the river banks are unfortunately inac-

Lake Michigan; second, sewer flow, which now

cessible to carp anglers because of commercial

was diverted into the river versus Lake Michigan.

and industrial structures alongside the river with miles of fences or “No Fishing Allowed� signs. In

The South Branch was carrying the waste from

spite of those obstacles, carp anglers from the

the south suburbs and North Branch from north

Chicagoland area were able to find few locations

parts of the city, and here in the North Branch the

where fishing can be conducted. Each of these lo-

majority of our current carp fishing takes place.

cations is well known in the carp community, yet it

The Chicago River is a very difficult water to fish

with its changing water levels, especially when it rains or there is a snow melt. Changes in the water levels cause significantly strong currents, which at times, forbids fishing at all.

is protected from unwelcomed guests. There are spots which are known for years and areas which were just recently located. Those newly found areas, tend to be more angler populated then the old ones and although they have difficult access, they are very populated with carp.

Michas Gliksman with a cracking winter common

North American Carp Angler


Paulo Nestor with a typical ‘fat’ Chicago River carp

As I mentioned before, the Chicago River is a

Winter. Most other lakes and rivers freeze during

very difficult to fish even with the latest efforts

these month, but Chicago River due to its’ numer-

taken to clean up the river system. The City of

ous hot water discharges from waste manage-

Chicago has a very old sewer system and a lot

ment plants, never freezes and water temperature

of waste gets into the river without proper waste

fluctuate between 5-10°F. Nothing else to say, just

management, but still the river life blooms very

go fishing.

well. In the past few years, over ten thousand cat-

Preparation for each session always looks the

fish have been introduced into the water and new

same; a heavy pre-baiting campaign and then

hatcheries have been built. In the river we can

fishing. Due to the fact that a lot of angler live in

also find populations of large and small mouth

Chicago, the fishing spots are always very well

bass, northern pike, turtles, beavers, and a lot of

maintained. Pre-baiting is done using cooked

smaller species.

corn, pellets and boilies. Everything goes in, in big

Many carp anglers from around the city and its suburbs very often fish this river in the Fall and

amounts, because Chicago’s carp eat a lot and always ask for more.

Fishing the Chicago River is very typical for US

Those additional flavors and boosters create

fishing, by using method feeders. Unlike Europe,

wonderful clouds of different attractors for fish to

the US doesn’t have vast amounts of nuisance

easily find.

“white fish” which clean up the bottom and even if

As far as the actual bait, anglers use almost eve-

something else has appeared in the swim, the ap-

rything that’s available and each one of them has

proaching carp will scare it away. For this body of

his/her own preferences.

water, anglers mainly use various combinations of

The Chicago River carp once in the swim don’t

oats, panko, grits and everything “glued” together

really discriminate and any combination of bottom

by trusty cream corn.

boilies, pop-ups or artificial bait will be welcomed.

Different flavors and boosters are also used

The most amazing thing is, that in this chemically

based on the season, water temperatures and

and industrially waste clattered water, the carp

weather conditions.

look just amazing with huge bellies, wonderful colors and impeccable scales. Andrzej Klocek with a fine specimen

North American Carp Angler 27

Carp sessions on Chicago River almost always

Is it possible that bigger fish swim in the river?

result in many wonderful specimens on the mat.

For sure, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a 40+

This wonderful body of water has many, many

pounder will show itself this year on the mat. The

wonderful carp but the majority of them are under

Chicago River season is in a full swing and we


are sure that this year, this mesmerizing river will

The biggest carp currently pulled from Chica-

continue to amaze us with it’s gorgeous carp.

go River, in chronological order, belong to Paul Pezalla (38lbs 2oz), Andrzej Klocek (38lbs 7oz) and Marcin Szydlowski (39lbs 3oz).

Current Chicago River record holder Marcin Szydlowski


Christian Torres & Cesar Espinoza

The defending champions caught plenty of fish at the 2016 ATC

North American Carp Angler


Congratulations on your repeat win, a great

ber wise and others that will produce quality wise.

achievement considering the competition.

Then there are other swims that will produce but

Coming into the contest this year what were

the effort you put in and the amount of fish you

your goals?

catch is way off.

Christian: Thank you. The competition this year

This year surprisingly there were swims that usu-

was one of the greatest I seen since I started fish-

ally don’t produce which fished very well. Also

ing the ATC. Winning this one meant more to me

some of the Swims that are great ones didn’t pro-

than last year’s win.

duce that well like we thought they would’ve. But

Ceasar: Our goals were to be consistent in

in the end weather, baits, rigs, and tactics will all

catching fish both days of the tournament. We

greatly affect outcomes of a swim no matter how

had smaller

good or bad it is!!!

goals and as we reached those we

continued onto the next ones. Were you happy with your Day 1 peg draw? How important is the peg draw in this competition?

Honestly we had no idea what could have been produced out of this swim. The outcome was

Personally we think it’s somewhat important but there are plenty of pegs that will produce, num-

questionable but we have produced from bridge swims in the past so we took a chance here.

Cesar with a nice Town Lake common

Was it in your top 3 choices? It was not on our list at all as far as choices as we had plenty of others at the top of our list.

Christian with a double figure Town Lake common carp

North American Carp Angler


A bridge dwelling Town Lake carp


Approaching the first day, once you drew your peg what were your tactics?

No we did not it was more a case of finding the fish and pulling them out from where we located them. The outcome was different in certain spots.

Get lines out on time. Locate the fish and fig-

After Day 1 you were on top of the leaderboard.

ure out what baits they are feeding on. After that,

Did you feel any pressure going into the 2nd days


peg draw?

them in swim.

Did you stick to one game plan or did you try different things?

We felt a lot of pressure going into day 2. We were 20th to draw Day 1 and 5th to draw Day 2, which gave us a lot more pegs to choose be-

We adapted as the day went on. We kept ap-

tween. The First 5 pegs were good swims, even

plying tactics that have worked in the past and it

our day one swim was pulled by some great an-

paid off.

glers from the Polonia carp team, who we met a

What were your successful methods on Day 1?

couple days before and they were loaded with talent. So right away the pressure was felt to highest degree, and that did not include other teams that

To keep adapting to the situations that were

also had good peg draws.

handed to us as the day went on. Making sure rigs and bait were the best, in our eyes.

You pulled out a bridge swim for day 2, were you happy with the swim?

You caught a lot of smaller fish, did you use a lot of bait to draw them in?

We were happy with it but it was not one of our first choices. The guys did well on Day 1, so we knew

the fish had to be out there. North American Carp Angler


Another day and another bridge swim

What was your approach to Day 2?

Did you change anything?

Same as Day 1, locate fish get rods out on time

We just changed our goals, which were to pro-

and figure out what they were feeding on.

duce the same if not more than the anglers who fished the swim on Day 1.

Did you follow the results of other anglers? Pressure was on since the morning but now it We couldn’t follow the leader board as plenty of

was time to get our minds straight as we were

teams were not posting results. But we were just

answering questions to passers-by all day and

worried about getting as many fish on the bank as

demonstrating proper carp care techniques and

possible. With a phone call or text wishing other

carp fishing tactics.

anglers that we know luck.

We felt the need to give out information as a lot of people seem misinformed but also show the

Did you know who was trailing you and by

willingness to learn about our great sport fish.

how much? We only knew from what we had seen on the leader board. There was a point in time that we did not check for a few hours and the next thing we knew we were trailing. One of the carp that helped clinch the ATC for the 2nd year in a row

North American Carp Angler


Once the fishing finished did you know you had won? From what we seen on leader board it was close and since many teams were not updating, winning was up in the air at that point. What are your plans for next year? Give it our all again and participate in more CAG Tournaments around the USA. A three-peat? We WILL try to be the first team to have a three peat but many variables will be in effect as fishing is fishing! Congratulations again on the win. Any last words or thanks to anyone? Christian: I would like to thank a number of people that have helped me become a better overall angler and have helped me hone my skills and have given me continuous motivation. In no particular order Steven Bates, Michael Bates, Wayne Boon, Willem Van Schalkwyk , Neil Stern, Adam Kartzke. Finally, my wife, Lorena Ramirez for continued support of my hobby. Ceasar: I would like to thank my brother Cristian Torres for getting me into fishing at an early age and

then converting me into a carp angler. Wayne

Boon, for becoming a great friend in my life and taking me to a few local spots in California and taking my motivation for carp fishing to where it is today; teaching me years of knowledge in such a minimal amount of time. We would also like to thank all of the ATC sponsors and CAG sponsors over the years. David Moore and Big Carp tackle for continuously sponsoring CAG events and great service on all the products we continue to get from them. Thanks to the ATC organizers for all the effort they continue to put towards the ATC and for making the tournament better for all anglers.

North American Carp Angler


The CARP CAST interview

With Mark Watson & Jamie Clossick

North American Carp Angler


NACA: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at North American Carp Angler once again. It was a little over a year ago when yourself (Mark) and Jamie started the Carp Cast and we have seen the show grow from a twice monthly podcast, to the current weekly format and also the addition of the Carp Cast Extra. Have you been surprised by the growth and interest in the show? We have and we haven’t. There are a lot of carp anglers nowadays with iPhones and other smart devices which they carry with themselves while fishing. Both Jamie and myself haven’t listened to the radio for a long time in favor of podcasts. There was a gap in the market for a carp fishing podcast so we decided to go for it. Being the only player in which ever field you are in is something

At the time of writing this the total downloads stand at almost 168000, our most popular is Episode 1 with Kevin Nash with little over 10000 downloads. The average is between 5000 and 8000. These come from the host we use (Libsyn) and Soundcloud but the real totals will be more due to file sharing and MP3 download sites we’ve found, on which The Carp Cast can’t be counted. Either way we’re happy with the way things are going. The beauty of being an online product is there is not a lot of places we can’t reach. The UK has the vast majority of our downloads, with the USA being second. Third is Sweden, which I find surprising but so is 4 downloads from Kazakhstan! You seem to have great support from the carping community with lots of interesting guests. Have you found it easy to secure guests? Are you surprised by the support? Any well known carpers that you would love to get onto the show? We have been very fortunate with the support we’ve received from people and are grateful. We have both been involved with the carp fishing trade for a long time so are known and know a

you can’t buy so we are enjoying riding that wave.

lot of people to just ring but others such as Adam

Can you give us an idea of some of your

guests who we haven’t had any previous contact

numbers? Current total # of downloads, average downloads per podcast, different countries that you reach, most popular episode(s).

Penning and Simon Scott have been amazing with. We have a long ‘wish list’ of guests who we are contacting to keep the show going and they are people from all corners of the carp scene.

I personally listen to podcasts every day and

Jamie has been a DJ and producer for a long

embraced the format several years ago when

time so already had almost everything needed but

it first became available. Shows such as ‘The

I started from scratch. It’s been a steep learning

Joe Rogan Podcast’, ‘Adam Carolla’, ‘The

curve. Microphones, Headphones, a Mac and

Ricky Gervais Show’ along with others. How

other bits and bobs have been bought but the

long in the making was it before you started

main investment is time.

the podcast? Have you found it to be an easy process? What equipment do you need?

You have a decent following in the USA, did you know there was a carp community over

I’m a big fan of Joe Rogan myself and others


such as Stone Cold Steve Austen, Mark Maron, Generation Why and others.

We were aware of an American carp scene after

We spoke about it and made plans for a few

a few articles in our magazines but not how big

weeks then I drove over to Jamie’s place in Black-

it actually is and how widespread carp are over

pool and we recorded Episode 1.


Even with the time commitments of The Carp Cast, Mark still finds time for his own fishing

North American Carp Angler


You had an American themed show (Episode 13). Any plans to speak to the USA guys again or even make a trip over here to fish? I’m sure we will speak to American carpers again, probably around a large event or news story. I don’t have any immediate plans to fish over there but would love to one day.

Were there any things that surprised you about carping in America? I was surprised to find out how widespread carp are over there. The potential you have for finding un-spoilt waters with uncaught carp is huge. Something we have very little of left in the UK.

A cracking ‘Big Pit’ mirror

This English water may seem large, but is relatively small in terms of the sizes of American waters With the success of the Carp Cast we have

We’ll certainly look at adding a podcast at

seen a few other shows pop-up trying to do

NACA, thanks for the suggestion. As much as

something similar. How do you and Jamie plan

I love hearing the guests on the show I also

to keep ahead of the curve and stand-out?

like to hear about yourself and Jamie’s fishing as this adds to the shows personal feel-

By continuing to be ourselves and hunting out new and interesting guests. We are the first and

ing. Can you give us some details of your own fishing this past season?

have a big head start on anyone and welcome any competition.

Last year I rejoined Hykeham (a 180 acre gravel pit) which i’ve fished on and off since 2000. I

Do you think there will be carp podcasts starting in other countries?

went back to just mess about on there but soon got my fire back and was lucky enough to bag a few. There are about 900 carp in the lake but wa-

I hope so. I love listening to podcasts but not my

tercraft still plays a huge part on there. At any one

own voice! I’d love a good one or two to appear to

time there can be 150+ acres of water without a

keep me entertained. How about doing a NACA

carp in and loads of carp in small areas. The fish

podcast ?

aren’t huge but it’s very satisfying to catch from there. North American Carp Angler


Can you give us details of one or two of your

Not because another angler was in there but a

better sessions? Jamie seems to be getting

bunch of students were having a BBQ, getting

into his fishing again with 30’s from Cromwell

drunk and skinny dipping. I knew of another area

and a recent 50 from Kevin Nash’s lake; The

of weed at the opposite side of the lake which was

Copse. Any details?

my second choice and I could also see ‘The Gate’ swim. I got the binoculars out and unfortunate-

The sailing club at Hykeham had dyed the lake

ly all the skinny dippers were male so I settled

to control the weed, as the Canadian pondweed

down to watch the water instead. Nothing hap-

was so bad big sailing meetings were being af-

pened that night so late morning I moved round to

fected. The water is now a turquoise color and I

‘The Gate’ swim and after disposing of a couple

knew early on that in a lake with very little weed I

of pairs of soggy pants which had been left, I got

wanted to find and fish in what weed did grow. A

things sorted. The depth rose form 14 foot up to

large area was growing about 90 metres out from

8 foot where the weed started and that is where

a swim called ‘The Gate’ and the carp loved it. It

I fished using my usual multi rigs, pop-ups and a

was such a large weed bed that it reached the

generous helping of boilies.

surface and was creating a flat spot in the wind.

The night passed without a sniff but at about

I’d caught from it the previous week to this ses-

7:30 the right hand rod pulled tight and a hard

sion and wanted to get back in there but couldn’t.

fighting 22lb mirror was landed. At that point I

was just happy to avoid a blank so cast the rod

As i was slipping the 31 back, yet another rod

back out and put the kettle on. I’d not even fin-

was off and a 4th fish was landed. I finished up

ished my brew when I was away again. This time

with 6 carp in a mad couple of hours and the

a 22lb common was the offender and just before

session can be seen on The Carp Cast Youtube

I netted it another rod signaled a take. That one


was a mental 31lb mirror which took just short of 25 minutes to land. I was playing about with my GoPro and recorded the whole thing. A lot of the time we know we’ve had a good scrap with a fish but time gets distorted. On this occasion I knew exactly how long it had been and it was one of the hardest fighting fish I’ve ever caught.

Click here to watch!

You can also visit The Carp Cast at:

The Carp Cast is perfect for on the bank listening North American Carp Angler


Jamie has got his fishing head on and has had

These are going to be a combination of a fish in,

an amazing start to the year with several 20s, a

social with BBQ and tuition from us both if anyone

couple of 30s from a secret lake and the 51 from

requires it. These are something I’m really look-

Kevin Nashes’ Copse Lake. When he’s in the

ing forward to. Also available through the website

zone no carp is safe!

is Carp Cast Xtra which is a monthly subscription

Finally, any news of future plans for the show? I know you mentioned Carp Cast Fishins and socials? We have lots of plans for the show and surrounding events. We recently did our first Carp Cast live onstage at the Northern Angling Show with Frank Warwick which seems to have gone down well. We have merchandise now available from and the socials are happening this year.

Jamie with a very large mirror

podcast. It has a different format to the weekly free one and we’ve done it for two reasons. Firstly the demand is there for it and secondly to try and make the podcast pay for itself. Thank you for your time, Mark. Thanks and keep up the good work over there. May the carp gods giveth!!


NorthAmerican AmericanCarp CarpAngler Angler North



AUSTIN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (ATC) Coming into this years’ Austin Team Championships the field of competitors filled up quickly with several strong pairings. Hoping to repeat their 2015 ATC success, Christian Torres and Cesar Espinoza were in attendance as well several past champions and top three contestants.

The ATC kicked off as usual with a social event on Thursday night with plenty of food, beer and friendly banter being thrown around. What all of the anglers were hoping for was a favorable peg draw the next morning and for the Town Lake carp to be in a hungry mood.

The first day started early and with the peg draw complete the anglers all rolled off to their swims in anticipation of a successful day. The anglers were spread over a large area of Town Lake as the following map shows.

North American Carp Angler


The local ACA group do a great job mapping and preparing swims With cool temperatures on the first day the action was a little slow to kick off but the defending champions were quick to get on the leader board with a cracking upper twenty common.

Christian Torres with a 29lb+ common

Other swims were also producing, but not necessarily the targeted species! Several large grass carp and buffalo’s were landed and although the anglers weren’t complaining, these fish would not be added to their totals.

Faizel Ismail with a cracking 40lb small mouth buffalo Over the two days of fishing there were many carp caught and several 30lb+ specimens, along with small mouth buffalo and grass carp exceeding 50lb. Town Lake truly did deliver some excellent results this year. Here’s a number of the highlights and what better way to show you the quality of the lake, tournament and anglers than in picture form. North American Carp Angler


Willem Van Schalkwyk with a 31lb common

Josef Raguro with an awesome 28lb fully scaled mirror

Chad Edwards with a stunning 30lb common

North American Carp Angler


Rick and Adam with a double of small mouth buffalo’s

North American Carp Angler


Marcin Szydlowski with a nicely proportioned Town Lake 31lb common

Jake Downing was really happy with this 31lb common

A proud father and son moment with Chris Van Schalkwyk holding a 31lb common

When all was said and done the competition


came down to a fairly close run event. Leading


strong run from August and Derek Wells man-


from the front on Day One were the defending champions Cesar and Christian who despite a aged to hold on repeat as ATC Champions. Well done to everyone who took part, the local guys (Austin Carp Anglers) who put in a lot of work behind the scenes and Kevin Olivier for the fantastic images he provided.


Looking forward to seeing if Christian and Cesar can pull off the ‘Three-Peat’.

North American Carp Angler


Bogdan Bucur with a 50lb+ Grass Carp

North American Carp Angler


Final Results

1st – Christian Torres & Cesar Espinoza 477lb 12oz 2nd – August & Derek Wells 420lb 10oz

3rd – Chad & Chuck Edwards 226lb 6oz

Big Carp – Adam Kyrsiak 38lb 3oz North American Carp Angler


BIG 16



CAG Spring Big 4 Contest Defending Spring 2015 Champion – Josh Bergeron

The Big 4 contest is here again. With a bigger prize pool and bragging rights on offer, we look forward to seeing who will win this years’ categories. What is the Big 4? The CAG Big 4 is a bi-yearly contest that takes place in the spring and fall of each year. Contestant’s log the fish they catch on the online leaderboard in the following categories:

BIG 4 OVERALL – Biggest four fish caught; combined weight

When does the Big 4 take place? The Spring Big 4 competition runs for 6 weeks, starting May 1st and running until June 15th

How do I enter? Simply go to the CAG Store and pay the $10 entry fee. If you are not a member, join CAG and join in on the fun.

BIG MIRROR – Biggest mirror carp caught

BIG COMMON – Biggest common carp caught


What are the prizes? We currently have over $800 in prizes, with more coming in each day. This year we also have a ‘Pledges Page’ where members can pledge prizes to any of the prize


categories or winners.

– Biggest smallmouth buffalo or grass

*What are you waiting for? Get registered for the Big 4 today. All competition rules and Categories are as follows*

carp caught

North American Carp Angler


RULES Registration is open from April 15th until Midnight May 15th

All submissions must be made by June 15th (11.59pm) •

ods and be released safely •

Spring Big 4 Competition runs from May 1st through June 15th Must be a CAG Member to participate Cost: $10 Only Common Carp, Cyprinus Carpio, Count for Big 4 Total, Big Mirror & Big Common Small Mouth Buffalo & Grass carp count ONLY for the Buffalo & Grass Carp Category

Fish must be caught on rod using legal methLive leader board will be displayed on the home page from May 1st through June 15th

Corresponding stories in the forum are encouraged and will be linked to the leader board

Catches logged at any other event will count, but all event requirements above must still be fulfilled

FISH SUBMISSIONS Please make sure you are registered on the New CAG Leader-board.

Anglers can fish any combination of legal waters anywhere in North America

You only have to register ONCE, if you’ve already registered, lets say for the ATC, then all

Anglers must register and manage their own

you need to do is Log in and add the Big 4 event

catches and photos in our online leader board -In-

to your name.

structions will be emailed after registration Any number of fish can be added, but only top four count

Submissions must include 1 photo-

-a trophy photo of the fish with angler, the scale used and a printed Big Four Logo shown below

Instructions on how to use the leader-board can be downloaded here: Leaderboard Instructions.pdf Any questions, please write an e-mail to Willem @

The Logo The 2016 Big 4 Logo will be attached for download below as PNG and PDF on April 29th. You are required to submit 1 photo of each fish you catch along with it’s weight. This photo MUST show the angler holding the fish, a printed 2016 Spring Big 4 logo, and your scale. Remember, the star of these photos is you with your fish. Your photo may end up in a magazine! The logo and scale just need to be there somewhere to prove you have them. They can be anywhere in the photo as long as they are identifiable. The best way to manage this is to tape the logo to your scale:

North American Carp Angler


The Big 4 Logo is only 3.75 x 2.75.� This is the size of many state/provincial fishing and hunting licenses. You can Also put your logo in a standard license holder from any tackle shop, and pin it on your clothes, or even your unhooking mat.

Big 4 Fall 2015 Winner – Dean Brookes

BIG 4 PRIZES 1st - $150 voucher for Big Carp Tackle Free Entry into 2016 Spring Big 4 contest CAG Hoddy Pictures and details to be featured in Fall NACA 2nd - $100 voucher for PB Products Tackle Trilogy Fishing Towel 3rd - $75 voucher for Carpkit 4th - $50 voucher for Trilogy Baits 5th - $35 voucher 6th - $30 voucher 7th - $25 voucher

8th - $20 voucher 9th - $15 voucher 10th - $10 voucher BIG Common - $75 voucher for Big Carp Tackle BIG Mirror - $75 voucher for PB Products Big Buffalo or Grass Carp - $75 voucher for Carpkit



’S R E B M E M


North American Carp Angler


North American Carp Angler


A Short History of the Hair Rig By Iain Sorrell

Sadly I’m actually old enough to have been around in the predawn era of the hair rig. I still vividly remember Mike Wilson showing me a hair rig on Savay for the first time in 1979 and explaining how it would revolutionize catching carp. At the time baits were carefully side hooked to keep the hook point exposed to increase the chance of a carp getting hooked. A bolt rig in those days was in fact a running rig fished ‘shock’ style so the carp would generally hook itself but there were still a lot of tentative bites and twitches as well as dropped fish.

Side hooked baits were a popular method before the invention of the Hair Rig North American Carp Angler


History shows that attaching bait’s to a hook by a thread or ‘hair’ is nothing new and probably dates back hundreds or possibly even thousands of years. Early Norwegian hooks made from reindeer antlers had a hole drilled in the bend that allowed a fish to be tied on or below it to catch cod. In the 1920’s the Fishing Gazette (published in England) described how French angling legend Raoul Renault attached hard bait balls to a hook using a thread. In 1941 it was reported that Karl Schwarze from Freital Fishing Club, while fishing the Dresden dams in Germany tied undercooked peas to the bend of a hook. He reported that the exposed hook when fished on a tight line with a heavy lead resulted in the carp hooking itself. Later in 1965 in Toute La Peche prolific writer and angler Michel Douborgel described using a worm suspended on a short piece of line with a #20 hook attached below his

A Hair Rig developed for Sturgeon Fishing

hook and mainline to catch wary tench. The modern hair-rig was the culmination of a series of experiments in the late 1970’s conducted by Lenny Middleton with help from Kevin Maddocks. Rod Hutchinson had already figured out that if a carp was able to pick up the bait without feeling the hook it would not only reduce the chances of a carp spooking but also improve the hook set position. Rod’s solution, however, was to mount the bait about two inches ‘up’ the line which turned out to be a significant improvement in terms of fish Karle Schwarze’s method to attach peas

landed but resulted in several being hooked outside the mouth!

Lenny Middleton is widely acknowledged as the creator of the ‘hair rig’ North American Carp Angler


There is also evidence that one or two other an-

Lenny’s idea was to tie the bait on a piece of fine

glers were thinking along these lines in response

mono or hair (supposedly from Kevin’s wife Bren-

to finding better ways to mount hard baits like ti-

da) so that it was suspended about 2” below the

ger nuts and even hemp seed.

bend of the hook.

It was only after some tests in an aquarium with

Unlike side hooked baits the aquarium carp

some sweetcorn that the ‘hair’ as we know it to-

sucked in a hair mounted bait just as eagerly as

day was created.

free samples and led to immediate success fishing hair rigged baits on its first field test at Darenth.

He’d observed carp confidently eating free kernels of corn but rejecting or even ignoring any impaled on a hook.

The hair-rig had arrived but its creation was only shared among a very select few. It was not until 1981 that it was first publicized and even then it took another couple of years before its use became more widespread.

Lenny’s drawings showing the original idea Anyone observing carp will know that they will

Only when the bait was taken back far enough

often suck up and blow out baits, testing them re-

for the hook to enter the carp’s mouth did it realize

peatedly, before finally deciding to ingest them.

something was wrong making it difficult to eject.

The early hairs were 2-3” in length and tied off

This was especially the case with hard baits that

the bend of the hook. The idea being that there

required crushing in the pharyngeal teeth.

was sufficient separation to ensure the carp did not feel the hook when ‘testing’ the bait.

A further bonus being that when the carp tried to eject the bait it actually helped the hook to catch

in its mouth or lip – something that has been exploited in further rig development over the years along with the evolution of blow back style rigs and line aligners. As Rod Hutchinson points out in the Carp Strikes Back “The correct presentation of a bait is of paramount importance. If bites are not being registered at the angler’s end of the tackle, how can the angler know if the bait he has worked so hard on is working or not?” In many respects the advent of the bolt rig followed by the ‘hair’ especially when fished with ‘hard’ baits such as boilies radically changed this situation. The success of these innovations when combined together resulted in incredibly aggressive runs, often irrespective of any imperfections in the presentation or set up. No longer did the angler have to stay poised over his rods for hours while intently watching the line or bobbin for the merest twitch or movement. Now, for many angler’s, it became a simple case of sitting back or dozing off until a carp ‘hooked’ itself and the line screamed off. In Rod’s mind anglers were still getting the same number of bait pick-ups as before the hair rig but instead of being missed or dropped many were now ‘sticking’ and subsequently producing more reliable hook ups. He also believed that over confidence in the ‘hair’ has probably led to many anglers over the years missing bites or dropping fish as a result of poorly tied & presented rigs. If an angler is routinely getting small bobbin lifts or line twitches or is losing fish then it is time they took a closer look at their set-up.

Perhaps more surprising was Rod’s assertion that (provided you first paid attention to location and bait make up) fishing side hooked ‘hard’ baits on lightly fished waters in conjunction with a bolt rig produced just as many runs! The simple fact being that fish on these waters had not yet become particularly rig shy. So while the hair rig has certainly revolutionized carp angling the simple yet still effective concept of fishing the bait on a hook on unpressurized waters has been all but forgotten! A fact that we North American anglers might like to think more about… North American Carp Angler


Carp Rigs Made EASY _ _ _ _ _

By Dean Brookes

In the modern carp world it would be easy to believe that to catch a carp you need complicated rigs and an assortment of components to put these rigs together. While there’s no doubt that at times, carp are hard to catch I think most American carpers confuse themselves searching for a wonder rig or bait when their time would be better spent on locating the fish. Simply put European carp fishing is far removed from most of the situations we encounter in this country. First off, most of the waters in England are under constant pressure. Carp are raised in an environment where they are fished for 24/7. In many cases they have been captured and released dozens of times and as such have different feeding behaviors and become adept at ‘dealing’ with rigs. As most of the modern magazines and video’s are from English and European anglers it becomes very easy to think that the same methods are required to catch carp over here.

An in-vogue Hinge Stiff Rig – A rig designed to fool big, wary carp

North American Carp Angler


Carp in the vast majority of American waters re-

Now I’m not suggesting you use lower grade

ceive little to no angling pressure. I would haz-

tackle or not take care constructing your rigs, just

ard to guess that 99% of them have never seen a

that you do not need to follow the latest trend in

hook or even an anglers’ bait.


There are obviously exceptions to this rule but

As most of our carp are wild, and thus fight very

even then the carp are lightly pressured at most.

hard I would suggest that we take more care in

In this case I would ask; do we need complicated

selecting strong and reliable components and


keep the rigs as simple as we can.

This winter common was nailed on side-hooked sweetcorn

A feeder set up ‘paternoster style’ with a 2 foot mono hook-link and side hooked particles Over the last few years I have caught lots of thir-

soft particles such as sweet corn, maples or chick

ty and forty pound carp with none of these falling

peas. With particle rigs I tend to stay fairly short to

to complicated rigs. Location, watercraft and bait

avoid bite offs (due to fish not moving much when

application were much higher priorities that rigs.

feeding) and a simple 6-8 inch hook-link and a

What follows are a few of the rigs and presenta-

size 6-8 hook tied directly with a grinner or blood

tions I have used that are both reliable and work.


My motto in terms of rigs is, ‘the simpler the better’.

START AT THE BEGINNING If the fish you are targeting have never been

SIDE HOOKING RIGS Decide on your lead set-up; paternoster or running in most cases. Tie the hook to the material (braid or mono).

caught or fished for before I would consider a sim-

Tie the other end to the swivel.

ple side hooked bait, especially if you are using

Mount 1 or more baits on the hook. North American Carp Angler


This presentation is perfect for close range fishing and also my go to method when fishing a feeder rod or with a float. I used this method for nearly a year on a local river with chick peas and caught 100’s of carp.

SIMPLE HAIR RIG This presentation can be used with any bait and an easy method to tie it is with the knotless knot; again, braid or mono can be used.

Take your chosen hook and thread the material through the front of the eye Tie a loop in the end of the material (a figure 8 knot is ideal) Set the length of the hair you want and trap the

One thing to think about is the length of the hair. This will decide on the presentation you want to achieve. The closer the bait to the back of the hook the easier it is for the carp to eject.

material between the hook and your fingers Whip down the hook several times (the number

I prefer a slightly longer hair which creates sepa-

depends on how far down the hook you want the

ration between the bait and the hook when the

hair to exit) and then thread the material through

fish sucks and blows.

the back of the hook. Pull to tighten


As a lot of my fishing involves fishing for large fish where I am not repeatedly recasting I like to

Step 2: Tie a loop in the braid. Attach baits to the hair. Tie a rig ring above the baits (leave a small 3-5mm gap between the baits and the rig ring).

use rigs that if they do move (due to nuisance fish, false pick-ups or current) will reset themselves. The last thing you want is to wind in after several hours to find that your rig has been tangled or not presented correctly! For this reason I will either use a blow back rig with a ring or with silicone. The difference is generally down to the situation. For instance, in flowing water I prefer a rig ring that will allow the bait to move and reset should the lead move at all. However, in still water I much prefer silicone as

Step 3: Loop the rig ring onto the shank of the hook. Thread braid through the back of the hook. Tie a knotless knot.

it allows me to see if the rig has been picked up as it does not reset. I use both of these rigs for bottom bait presentations primarily, but I will also use them for pop-ups if I am using a short braided hook-link.

BLOW BACK RING RIG Step 1: Gather components; hook-baits, baiting needle, rig ring, braid, lighter and hook (beaked, short shank with an in-turned eye). Attack baits onto the baiting needle (this helps determine the

Step 4: Take a long anti-tangle sleeve and cut a small section off (5mm or so). This section will be used for a line alligner.

length of the hair)

North American Carp Angler


Step 5: Attach the line aligner over the eye of the

Step 2: Tie a loop for the hair, attach the baits

hook. Tie a ‘figure 8’ loop in the end of the remain-

to the hair loop. Slide on a small section of sili-

ing braid and then attach the remaining section of

cone (2-3mm) onto the braid. Slide the point of

the anti-tangle sleeve.

the hook through the silicone, making sure you do not damage the braid

Step 3: Thread braid through the back of the

BLOW BACK SILICONE RIG Step 1: Gather components; hook-baits, braid, silicone, hook (Straight short shank, inturned eye) and anti-tangle sleeve

hook and tie a knotless knot. Using a small section of the anti-tangle sleeve, slide on a line aligner onto the eye of the hook.

Step 4: Tie a ‘figure 8’ loop in the end of the remaining braid and then attach the remaining sec-

Step 2: Thread a loop of braid through the front of the hook.

tion of the anti-tangle sleeve.

Step 3: Tie a ‘figure 8’ loop of approximately 2 inches.

MULTI-RIG Step 1: Gather components for the rig; coated braid, curved shank hook, pop-up, rig ring, baiting needle, dental floss, lighter and split shot. Step 4: Thread a rig ring onto the loop you have formed.

North American Carp Angler


Step 5: Take the end of the loop and take it over

Step 8: Tie a ‘figure 8’ loop in the end of the re-

the hook point, creating a ‘D’ on the back of the

maining braid and then attach the remaining sec-


tion of the anti-tangle sleeve.

Step 9: Take a piece of dental floss and attack Step 6: Take a split shot and attach just below the knot of the loop.

the pop-up onto it. Use either a bait stop or in this case a sight stop to secure the bait.

Step 10: Tie the bait onto the rig ring and blob Step 7: Make sure the split shot is secured tight-

the ends of the dental floss with the lighter to secure it in place.

ly so it does not slip. Mold extra putty around split shot if needed.

As you can see, none of these rigs are over complicated or take too much time or effort to tie. I rarely tie a lot of rigs in advance and much prefer to spend 5 minutes tying up fresh rigs and this allows me to tailor them to the specific fishing situation.

The three highlighted rigs, ready to go.

EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS As simple as my rigs appear to be there are a

I also make sure to test every knot and also in-

few extra considerations you must take care to

spect my rigs before each cast to make sure there

fine tune if you want them to work effectively.

are no imperfections. Attention to detail is paramount if you want to land big fish.

Firstly, the hook sizes and patterns should match the presentation you are trying to achieve.

I also make sure that my rigs go out without tangling. In most cases this will involve utilizing PVA

For instance, if I am using big hook-baits then I will be using big hooks (size 2-4). These hooks

products of some description. This really helps with both presentation and also peace of mind.

will also be ‘sharpened’ and I take a lot of care in this respect. North American Carp Angler


IN CONCLUSION As I mentioned at the start of this article, I concentrate heavily on fish location. Rigs are important but they are a smaller part of the carp jigsaw to me. That said, if you keep things simple and use strong, reliable and tested components A long PVA Stick with



you will land most of the carp you hook.

hook-link to



This cracking early spring mirror was nailed with a simple silicone blow back rig

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Profile for North American Carp Angler

2016 NACA Q1  

The first quarter 2016 edition of the North American Carp Angler, featuring interesting articles and CAG fish-in Results and tournaments

2016 NACA Q1  

The first quarter 2016 edition of the North American Carp Angler, featuring interesting articles and CAG fish-in Results and tournaments