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EDITOR’S ADDRESS Dean Brookes It’s been a while since our last edition, but hopefully the wait will be worth it. This edition will have a number of CAG Events, including reviews and information about upcoming events. We also have several articles from a selection of contributor’s which I hope you will find informative and interesting. Unfortunately, this will be my last Edition as Editor In Chief as I am finding it harder and harder to devote the time necessary to this wonderful project.

This is a combination of work commitments and added family time and it really was a tough decision to make as I have thoroughly enjoyed working on NACA. I hope over the last couple of years you have all enjoyed the editions I have put together. My hope is that whoever takes over the reigns has a strong base to build upon. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Sal Castanedo who continues to do a fantastic job putting the lay-out together for our online format. Thanks Sal. Moving forward, if anyone has an interest in the Editor In Chief role or would simply like to help out, then please email; naca@carpanglersgroup.com Dean Brookes


Letter from CAG president

Iain Sorrell (Vice President)

s in hosBob Giordano who remain nt ide es Pr r ou for CA NA of the I’m standing in on this issue ether with required further surgery tog ich wh ld ho k too n tio ec inf vere pital after knee surgery. A se the worst is th) Bob said he is hopeful 17 ep (S ay tod of As . on dicati IV anti-biotics and pain me his partner o. On a brighter note Bob & tw or ek we a in ain ag g’ runnin over and hopes to be ‘up & wish them daughter named Aria. We l tifu au be a , by ba w ne ir l of the Alyssa welcomed the arriva overy. st wishes for a speedy rec all well and send Bob our be

waunee, on this years CCC held in Ke s ort rep d fin l wil u yo e zin maga On to CAG business. In the depends always the success of CAG As . tes nu mi ng eti me ry al plena WI and details of the annu ly support nks go to those who selfless tha my d an rs tee lun vo its y of on the dedication and energ r stepping pe many of you will conside ho I d an en op s ion sit po several our mission. We still have g for CAG ow more about volunteerin kn to nt wa d an ns tio es qu any up to help CAG. If you have to contact me. then please do not hesitate

parts of the drought conditions in many d an s ure rat pe tem h hig ord This summer has seen rec ods. I’m sure tropical storms and flash flo , es an rric hu by red tte ba en country while others have be hing will be spect of some excellent fis pro the d an s ure rat pe tem r Fall like many of you the coole very welcome. ht lines’ for the I wish all our members ‘tig

on.

remainder of the 2016 seas

Iain Sorrell

Vice President

North American Carp Angler

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Conte n ts

CAG CLUB EVENTS: CAG Spring Big 4 Review_____________________________ 7 Connecticut Spring Fish-in___________________________ 75

FEATURED ARTICLES Goin South by Jerome Moisand ______________________ 15

An Interview with Jakub Vagner ________________________ 86

St Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament_______ 55 Successful Bait Application by Dean Brookes___________ 100

Asian Carp by Iain Sorrell_____________________________114

AROUND T H E USA The sniper interview ______________________________ 39

CAG CLUB REVIEWS: CCC Review _________ ______________________________ 67


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BIG 16

FOUR

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CAG Spring Big 4 Results

This year’s Spring Big 4 was a fun and exciting contest for those that took part with several of the places being separated by ounces. The Spring Big 4 ran for 6 weeks from May 1st through June 15th and the categories were:

Big 4 Champion - (1st Place to 10th place)

Big Common

Big Mirror

Here were the final placings, with pictures and prizes listed:

1st - Jerome Moisand 120lbs 12oz - $150 voucher for Big Carp Tackle - Free Entry into 2016 Spring Big 4 contest - CAG Hoody

North American Carp Angler

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2nd - Dave Pickering 106lbs 4oz - $100 voucher for PB Products Tackle - Trilogy Fishing Towel

3rd - Christian Torres 106lbs 2oz - $75 voucher for Carpkit


4th - Frank Rink 92lbs 10oz - $50 voucher for Trilogy Baits

5th - Craig Welch 85lbs 8oz - $35 voucher for Carpkit

North American Carp Angler

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6th - John Finney 76lbs 9oz - $30 voucher for BCT

7th - Iain Morris 73lbs 12oz - $25 voucher for Carpkit

BIG 16

FOUR

20


8th - Todd Richer 73lbs 10oz - $20 voucher for Trilogy Baits

9th - Barry Howard 62lbs 5oz - $15 voucher for BCT

10th - Robert Straight 44lb 8oz - $10 voucher for BCT

BIG Common Barry Howard 32lb 4oz

- $75 voucher for Big Carp Tackle

North American Carp Angler

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BIG Mirror Pawel Soloman 37lbs - $75 voucher for PB Products


North American Carp Angler

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Going South By Jérôme Moisand Last fall, I improvised a road trip from Boston to Illinois (for the CCC), and back through Canada. This turned out to be very successful, with the remarkable achievement of catching fish in 4 states in a row, in 4 days, driving and exploring included. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, check! Quite the discovery story, and my first big road trip ever! As I was on my way back through Ontario and Quebec, I kept thinking, hey, I really like doing this, but it was terribly rushed, so I’d love to do another road & fishing trip like that while spending 2 or 3 days per location. And the plan of going South hatched.

My anchor point was to go spend some time in Georgia with our CAG Champions of the Queen 2015, namely Horace LaFavor and Max and stop once or twice in every state in-between. Namely Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, back to Pennsylvania, and then home. It turned out that I also spent a few hours fishing in Maryland. This kept me busy from April 18th to May 18th, driving almost exactly 4,000 miles, and logging quite a few fishing hours. Here are some high-

Southern (CAG) hospitality I deliberately chose to mix up some time all by myself (discovery-like, staying under the radar) and spending the rest of the time with local CAG members. Unsurprisingly, when I reached out, said CAG members went absolutely out of their way to host me with full-blown Southern hospitality. Tom Brooks gave me full access to his brother’s comfy house in NC, Horace LaFavor hosted me in his delightful new home in GA, and Rob Schoborg hosted me in his spacious home in TN.

lights of my trip. North American Carp Angler

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I slept in huge beds, I was fed and invited to restaurants, they shared their personal life, intro-

Here is a video that Horace recorded about this creative set-up.

duced me to their families, carved out lots of time to help me discover their best fishing spots, I received various gifts, etc. Tom, Horace, Rob, if you read those words, thank you so much, I am very grateful for what you’ve done. A few more words about Horace. He now lives in a beautiful house, which is great in itself, but also comes with the mother of all decks. There is a mechanized system to raise and lower a canoe (the famous Carp Shark!), there is a roof over the deck (very useful, as it poured rain while we fished a couple of hours in the evening of my arrival), there are all sorts of amenities too numerous to describe, and then there is the CHUM PIPE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OifgdE0KqrI Click to watch the video on Youtube!

We had a great time fishing this deck, and the day after, I was very honored to have the opportunity to fish the world-famous Wallace dam, where things started slow, and finished very hectic for both of us, it was hard to leave! Yes, Horace, you are worthy.


This is the aspect of CAG that is the most magical to me, you can go anywhere in North America, you will almost always find somebody eager to share, eager to fish with you, eager to help you make the best out of your time. While I am at it, let me also acknowledge John Torchick (aka cannonball, TN), Rob Straight (aka Possum, WV), Tim Gill and Jim Hatter (GA) and Evan Cartabiano (SC), who either fished with me or helped me in one shape or form. Plus numerous local folks I met on the bank. The rest of the time, I almost exclusively relied on Airbnb to find a room, an apartment or even a full home. This is usually much better than the typical motel room, significantly cheaper, you often meet nice and intriguing people, you can wash your laundry if needs be as well as quickly cook some maize to replenish your buckets and be able to chum generously. One of my hosts was kind enough to write a check to the local police department (yeah, I got caught in a speed trap, and I didn’t have a checkbook with me!) while I repaid her in cash. Another was a ‘save the Earth’ kind of person, a very generous young lady who went out of her way to help save orangutans in Borneo, and she swapped e-mails

Best house I fell in love at first sight with a house in South Carolina. This was one of my shots in the dark; Lake Murray looked great on the map, a state record (58lb carp) was caught there, I knew big grassies roamed around, big flatheads too and even stripers, let’s try. For once, I didn’t go with one of the cheapest Airbnb hosts around, I splurged a bit renting a room with what looked like a stunning view on the lake. I arrived, was greeted by a friendly neighbor (my host was traveling, and lined up a welcoming committee with fishing skills, very thoughtful), we entered the house, very spacious, very nicely decorated, we moved to the kitchen and my jaw fell on the floor. First off, a bottle of wine with crackers and cheese was waiting for me with a gracious word from the host (it helps to be French sometimes!). The kitchen was terrific, but the best part was the view on the lake, a dock extending from the yard in a small cove that screamed “fish, fish, fish”, and the main body of the lake opening on the side. Oh My! I went down to my room, with direct access to the small yard, with a picnic table ideally placed under the porch for me to make my rigs and method mix, just a few yards from the dock, and saw a sign in French wishing me good luck! So cool!

with me while she was traveling in Costa-Rica! North American Carp Angler

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I spent two days and a half hunkered down in this wonderful house, I absolutely loved it. Fishing proved a bit challenging, I didn’t suc-

There was a lighting system in the yard, Christmas-like, this was just paradise, sipping my wine in the evening while waiting for a bite.

ceed to attract common or grass carp, so I set-

Oh, and I even cooked maize in the kitchen while

tled for catfish (learning to fish with bluegills as

watching my rods from the window, unbelievable!

bait, thanks to the friendly neighbor, and some

I will be back, thank you Mary for being the best

big hook paylaking rigs Tom gave me in NC).

host ever, even if you were not there.


Big fish and amazing scenery

I tried to line up Horace, John or Rob to go with me, they couldn’t, but Horace had this brilliant

I had planned all my stops ahead of time as I needed to be organized with my numerous Airbnb reservations and planned time with local CAG members. While I was on my way though, I read some hints from the Michigan wonder boys about their adventure at Dale Hollow, and figured out that it wouldn’t be such a big detour. So I quickly reshuffled part of my itinerary to carve out two days and a half out there (many thanks to John Torchick and Rob Schoborg whose flexibility enabled the change).

idea of asking his friend Jim Hatter to accompany me. And since I had a full house rented for a low price near the lake, plus Jim had some past experience at Dale Hollow, I was more than happy to share. Jim is a wonderful individual, with quite an amazing life, he’s 70+ and yet very fit and eager to fish long hours, and chat just about anything. I fished half a day with John Torchick, my first stop in TN, catching a few buffalos in the Hiwassee River, and finding a way to mess up my only carp run. North American Carp Angler

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Then I drove a few more hours towards Dale Hol-

My strategy worked, and I landed six carp during

low, where I synced up with Jim. The plan was to

the day, alternating pristine commons and beauti-

start by fishing a well-known campground, where

ful mirrors, all sizable fish. And to my complete

a couple of 40s were caught very recently.

surprise, I also caught a grass carp, a nice 25lb.

We chummed heavily the first evening when we arrived, started to fish in the fog early morning,

I very rarely fish venues with grass carp (I did

while the scenery slowly unveiled, what an incred-

catch a few small ones at Claytor Lake in VA at

ibly scenic venue, with the rocks, the woods, the

the beginning of my trip), and this was actually my

clear water, stunningly beautiful.

new Personal Best, and truly made my day.

I quickly got continuous twitches on my rods. I didn’t know what it was, catfish, suckers, whatever, but I kept throwing bait in hope that the commotion would finally attract carp.


Jim wasn’t so lucky though, and didn’t get a bite

We quickly drove to the closest one, liked it, we

all day, that was unfortunate. At the end of a long

proceeded with heavy pre-baiting, and we finally

day of fishing, we were just starting to throw chum

went to bed. The day after, we had quite some

in the water when two folks from Indiana showed

trepidations; the spot looked good, but nothing

up, and gently explained that they reserved the

moved for a while, no sign of fish. I suggested to

campground, so we should expect to find the

Jim to position one rod close to shore close to an

swim quite busy the morning after.

overhanging tree. And we saw a carp jump right

Ok, fair enough. What to do, then? Luckily, Jim’s

there a bit later. I urged Jim to cast a second rod

social skills proved seminal, he had talked to a

there as well, and he proceeded to catch several

local during the day, who gave him directions to a

fish, including his new Personal Best mirror, at 26-

few less-known spots.

8lb, a splendid fully scaled. North American Carp Angler

21


Mid-afternoon, the shade was disappearing fast,

Of course, Jim insisted that I fished the over-

fish weren’t biting anymore, so we decided to

hanging tree and I confess that I didn’t say no…

drive around, following the other tips from the lo-

I got a run relatively quickly, it felt heavy but I lost

cal guy. We even crossed the border to Kentucky,

the fish in a snag, aarg. Second take, same thing,

explored various possibilities, saw quite some

seemed big, but the line got stuck.

scenery of this wonderful lake. We came back to chat with the Indiana guys, who didn’t do too good

This time, I waded in the water, took my time,

overnight (they did much better the second night),

and succeeded to get it out, and this was the big-

so we elected to keep fishing the same spot.

gest fish of my entire trip, a magnificent 34lb fully-

I chummed it with maize and pellets, then we cel-

scaled (probably my biggest fully-scaled ever). I

ebrated Jim’s new PB at a local barbecue place,

got another fish, and that was it, we both had to

and finally got some sleep. Not much, as we were

leave this incredibly beautiful venue early after-

both wide awake at 6am, two quasi-teenagers

noon.

(ahem!) very eager to fish.


Frustrations

I was shaking my head in despair when I saw a shadow in the water near the inflow. I looked clos-

I had big hopes for the Susquehanna river. Common carp, grass carp, flatheads, buffalos, any of those are present and sizable in this really big river which provides half of the water going in the Chesapeake Bay. I spent 3 days near Scranton, and 3 days in Harrisburg on my way down South. I spent a lot of time exploring, and this proved unexpectedly difficult. In Scranton, to deal with the frequent river floods, giant levees were erected all over the place, hiding the river from the road. Plus the water was flowing fast in a fairly shallow environment. I succeeded to catch a small carp in a tributary, but this wasn’t satisfying. I finally resorted to use Google Earth to find other spots using satellite images. I found a great swim, a big point of rock creating a large eddie and finally some depth. I could only fish it for a few hours, to no success, but I saw a couple of fish jump and befriended a local guy who swore that big carp were around, so I decided to try again on my way back. Then I drove to Harrisburg, and the river is mighty large out there. The local “camel’s backs” bridges are quite amazing, it is easier to find access, but… similar issue, shallow water fast-flowing everywhere. After two more days of frustration, I was starting to run out of options, and to seriously hate this river. I looked at the map, located a small lake, and grudgingly went there to try to catch some-

er, and hey, I could see one, two, a dozen carp close to shore. This changed my mood quite fast. I quickly set up a rod to free-line two kernels of sweet corn, threw some freebies and proceeded to catch five of them in a couple of hours, making a big mess of mud every time I hooked one. Totally unexpected and actually quite fun. Another amusing story about Harrisburg, the only decent spot I found around the day before was a park in the middle of two boat ramps, and I fished there for a while. I was puzzled by the giant chimneys on an island in front of me, two of them active, two of them inactive. It took me a while to realize that I was fishing right in front of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, where they had a tiny bit of a leak in the late 70s and a partial meltdown, a story I vividly remember from my youth. This was six months before Chernobyl, and both accidents combined led to a straight stop to nuclear expansion plans worldwide. I started to picture myself catching a very dark radioactive catfish like this crazy Jeremy Wade dude did in a famous episode of River Monsters while fishing right by Chernobyl, but I’m no Jeremy Wade, and I blanked.

thing, anything. Huh? They call this a lake? It was much more of a marsh, in truth. Less than a foot of water, very muddy, reeds everywhere. North American Carp Angler

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North American Carp Angler

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On my way back from GA and TN, I spent two

Two rods set up in a classic way didn’t move for

days fishing a big fish venue in West Virginia

a while, so I decided to try to make the best out of

with Rob Straight (aka Possum). Rob was fuming

lemons, threw some freebies close to a fall tree,

when I arrived around noon, as some local biolo-

tightened my drag and fished a couple of feet from

gist decided to cut trees in every swim, suppos-

the tree, risky business.

edly to help crappie and bass anglers. Well, this

It worked though, and I was on my 3rd fish when

didn’t help carp anglers, to say the least. A single

Rob arrived early afternoon, with an average size

run occurred that afternoon, fishing close to the

over 20 pounds.

boat ramp, and this was my first carp from West Virginia, an immaculate 22 pounder.

I proceeded to catch a couple more, totally hors-

The splashes we could see and hear from far

ing them to get them out of the tree, and only lost

apart were incredible, obviously 20s and 30s

one, surprisingly enough. I was delighted to see

happily jumping around, very impressive. We

Rob getting a couple of runs himself, including the

chummed a good deal, and I was back there in

biggest of the day at 24-8lb. If you check the pic

the morning.

below, I was fishing the very end of the fallen tree.


If you have really sharp eyes, you can see a small opening on the other side. I didn’t want to fish close to the boat ramp the day after, as it was a Saturday, and it might be a circus with the bass boats. So I found access to the small opening, it looked good, and I chummed it. It was close to the spawning area, and we noticed multiple jumps out there. My hopes were high, I had one full day to go, I could already picture myself with a couple of 30s. I arrived early in the morning, set up, hm, funny, very few bass boats around. Around 10am, I figured out why. It started to pour, enough rain to wash away all the sins of bass and carp anglers combined (and Rob told me a few rather sinful stories from the depths of West Virginia, content definitely censored for this family-oriented magazine!). I had to give up and drive away to my next stop, frustrated to no end. Overall, I was lucky with the weather, but not that day.

Now back to the Susquehanna River. I couldn’t stop thinking about it during my entire trip. The big eddie spot looked so good in my memory, and the local guy I met so eager to show some other good spots. My expectations were high when I drove back there. I couldn’t reach my local buddy, but ok, I went straight to the big eddie spot, and started to fish there early afternoon. It proved quite difficult, as the eddie was really big and really powerful, so although I could cast in the still area, I had plenty of troubles with the current grabbing my line inbetween the shore and where I was trying to fish. Plus it was freezing, raining at times, and I even got hailed! Around 7pm, I was shaking from cold. I threw a good deal of bait, took a look on the other side (access to a boat ramp while driving over a levee, and I found a nice channel along an island with a pleasant swim to try), then went to sleep in a bit of a dodgy room in town, still quite hopeful. North American Carp Angler 27


In the morning, I threw some bait in the chan-

I explored a little bit, checked a dirty little pond

nel, went back to fish the eddie, and still couldn’t

(no, thank you), and found a terrific-looking open

reach my buddy (I never succeeded, although I

bay following a tip from the local guy. Actually,

stayed in touch during the rest of my trip).

somebody had told me about this spot when I came the first time, but I couldn’t find it then.

Around noon, I was chatting with another local,

I came back to fish the channel for a few hours,

when I saw a carp jump, which resonated with a

loved it, but no luck. So I prebaited the heck out

couple of jumps I saw the day before.

of it, and was quite convinced my last day would deliver.

I repositioned a rod right there, saw my line drift pretty quickly, and thought, screw it, it will stay where it will stay.

I woke up early, went straight to the channel, fish were happily jumping near the island, everything

As luck would have it, I got a run 20 minutes later,

looked beautiful. It didn’t take me long to catch a

and finally landed my first carp from the Susque-

20+ plus, then another, and even a 25 pounder.

hanna, 20 pounds even. I was quite relieved.

I strongly hesitated, but I really wanted to try the

Then I just couldn’t get anything else to bite.

bay, so I moved there early afternoon.


I set up in a nice spot, but again, a big eddie

A lot of runs

was making things difficult. I saw a fish jump, and realized that the end of the eddie was the way to go, plenty of space on the bank, slack water, I even found the head of a big muskie showing sharp teeth as well as the head of a large catfish. And I quickly proceeded to catch fish after fish, didn’t catch a 30, but I got darn close, this was a GLORIOUS finish, I couldn’t wait to write about it. An eagle was circling high in the sky. Then a big beaver passed by, and slapped hard on the water. The muskie head woke up, and started to chase me, while the eagle dove, aiming at a French bald head, my feet were stuck in the sand, what was happening to me?

Overall, I struggled to catch fish. Yes, I caught carp in every town where I stopped (except SC), but not that many of them, far from it. My first stay in West Virginia (in Charleston) started the same way, hours of exploring, I couldn’t find a decent spot, until I finally found a deck near a boat launch and some depth in the Kanawha river. I started to fish there without much hope, but actually landed a carp within 30 minutes. Cool. And after that, I caught one small buffalo after another, a dozen of them in a hot afternoon (plus another carp). Totally unexpected. But one day in Tennessee had no common

This could have been an interesting dream, right? Fact is everything happened exactly as I said, except for the fish biting, and the muskie and the eagle chasing me. Those two spots looked absolutely great. Multiple locals told me carp were routinely caught here, and big ones. But I fished a total of 12 hours that day, and didn’t get a bite, nothing, nada, rien de rien. Not exactly a glorious finish. I am not discouraged though, I’ll come back and beat this river in submission, I swear.

measure with any other day. I was invited by Rob Schoborg (who wrote great stories for the FFF, and his children won multiple awards) to fish Boone Lake. Rob brought to me to a noisy boat ramp, busy with boats and construction work nearby, I’ll be honest, this didn’t seem very exciting. I soon noticed numerous fish jumping though. We started to fish, 3 rods allowed in TN. Rob got two quick runs, then I landed my first carp from TN. Another run, the line got stuck on a snag with my 3rd rod, I left it there as rod#2 started to scream. To our complete surprise, I landed a 21lb fish, the biggest Rob has seen in this spot, just plain luck. And then runs kept going left and right. The few attempts I made to use two rods at the same time were rewarded by an awkward double run. So I stuck with a single rod 95% of the time, catching one fish after another. North American Carp Angler

29


I had to get all rods out of the water in order to eat my lunch (I was happy to get a

break!). We stopped around 5pm in order to go to a terrific local barbecue place (yum!),

I counted my pics afterwards, I had landed 33 carp in some 7 hours of fishing (my 2nd biggest day ever, and this is only because we stopped early). Rob got similar numbers, we lost a few, we probably got 80 runs betweens the two of us. Oh, and I caught a rare mirror too. We shall call this incredible day the “Boonanza�. ;-)

Multiple anglers were fishing nearby, not catching much, they were haggard, I think a few jaws got dislocated. A young guy came to ask questions, I gave him a run, then explained what I was doing. I saw on Facebook a few days later that he succeeded to do it on his own, which made my day.


Paylaking

The first thing which surprised me was the average size of the fish being landed, around 15

Like many other CAG members, I am a little bit in awe by the bait skills and tournament results of paylakers. I never fished a paylake, and I wanted to give it a try and get a sense about the local culture. Who else to ask than the almighty Tom Brooks? Tom went out of his way to host me and we spent two full days at the famous Midway Lakes, fishing a small paylake the first day and a larger one the second day.

pounds. Tom later explained that the larger venue hosts a couple of 40s! Somehow, I thought it was a bunch of 10 pounders too tired to jump, I was so wrong, those fish were bigger and quite actively rolling and jumping. The second thing that blew my mind was the number of flavors in the shop. Can you imagine an entire wall with hundreds of bottles of concentrate flavor, and each and every of them is different? North American Carp Angler

31


After making a rice pack together (well, Tom doing it, me watching and learning), we drove to the venue, and signed up. The entry fee was quite steep, Tom insisted to pay for me, one of multiple gifts I received from him. We started to fish the first day, and well, not catching much in truth. Early afternoon, Tom had to go run an errand, and as luck would have it, this was the time where I got a screaming take. This fish fought pretty hard, and was a very respectable 21-5lb carp. Now some paylakers win prizes at the end of the day. And guess what? I had the third biggest fish! So I won $114, beginner’s luck (well, and Tom’s bait and rig!).


I paid for breakfast and entry fees the day after

This was recorded on a dock at this lake, and I

(which more or less erased my gains!), and we

was eager to see that. After the unfortunate rain

proceeded to catch exactly nothing, except a cou-

break in WV, I was on my way earlier than ex-

ple of tiny catfish for me. The timing was unfor-

pected.

tunate, fish were spawning. I played around with

On an impulse, I stopped a couple of hours in

rigs and puffs (those things really float), and per-

Maryland, fished a canal, and to my surprise

sonally, I was enjoying the experience and didn’t

caught a very dark catfish (and I was not close

care too much. I’m sure this proved quite frus-

to a nuclear plant this time!). Then I proceeded to

trating for Tom though, I know the feeling, when

the PA border, left the highway, followed the signs

you have a guest, the pressure is heavy on your

to the lake and it took an eternity meandering in

shoulders to make things happen. But hey, I won

a roller coaster of a small road through the hills of

a prize the day before, caught a 20 pounder as

PA to get there.

my first NC fish, I was already very happy!

By then, I was tired, morale pretty low, I didn’t know exactly where to go (it’s a BIG lake), and had

I learned a lot about Tom’s life during my stay, and

a lot of doubts about what I was doing. I asked for

his success as a local business owner, working

the ‘carp feeding area’, not expecting anybody to

extremely hard from the early hours of the morn-

understand what I was saying, but got an immedi-

ing with his entire family, and I was impressed by

ate response and I was close.

their achievements. A life of manual work, totally alien to what I’ve experienced, a set of skills so

I parked, walked to the magical dock, and was

completely remote from mine, they started from

instantly mesmerized. Hundreds of large carp

nothing, and the results speak by themselves.

(upper teens, a bunch of 20s, and some 30s)

Overall, listening to various life stories proved to

roaming, regrouping and opening their mouths

be a much more important and enjoyable part of

wide open whenever you just extend your hand

my trip than I had anticipated.

over the water, this was a quasi-mystical experience for me.

Feeding frenzy

My method mix from the morning, plus some breadcrumbs were put to good use by myself and

I wasn’t quite sure where to stop between West

some kids passing by, and I kept taking picture

Virginia and my comeback to the Scranton area. I

after picture, recording video after video, even

ended up settling for a quick stop near Lake Rays-

trying to record something under water with my

town, just one night. Some of you may remember

waterproof camera (no good, those fish were too

some insane online video where the water was

big and too numerous, they even tried to eat my

literally boiling with carp opening big mouths?

camera!). North American Carp Angler

33


Just the noise made by those fish when struggling to get a small particle of what I was throwing was incredible. My wife assembled a short video, this should give a pretty good idea, although you have to see it to truly appreciate how mind-boggling the whole thing is. I didn’t fish there, this was not allowed, and I didn’t feel like it anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcwphiiPYoI Click to watch the video on Youtube!

Sightseeing

6 frustrating days in PA and go see some stalac-

I was away a full month, drove a lot of miles,

tites and stalagmites.

fished a ton of hours, and when exploring around, I was typically looking for fishing spots. I really didn’t take much time for anything else, in truth.

This was an hour-long visit, and was incredibly impressive. Pictures really do not do justice to those amazing caverns and the intricate sculp-

Still, I made two sightseeing stops which proved

tures created by rocks and water. The reflective

very entertaining. First stop was on my way to

pool is absolutely incredible, just a couple of inch-

Lake Claytor (VA), I saw signs for the Luray cav-

es of water making for a fantastic display. A must

erns, and I decided that I could take a break after

see if you are around.


North American Carp Angler

35


My second stop was in NC. When I arrived late afternoon, Tom Brooks showed me around, and I told him that I had stopped by a winery on my way and was disappointed to find it closed. He mentioned another one nearby, I had a couple of hours to kill, I went to see the “Fiddler’s Vineyard”. I met the charming daughter of said fiddler, a very creative individual who plays violin and makes all sorts of strange alcoholic concoctions. Jamie was obviously very impressed to meet a French guy, I did my best to hide the fact that I don’t know that much about wine (shame!), and she babbled for at least an hour while making me taste a lot of their creations. Just the names and colorful labels of the wines were worth the visit. Very different from a classic French vineyard for sure, but I loved the free-wheeling creativity. I was pretty tipsy when I came out of there, and may not driven quite a straight line back to my home.

Last words It only took a few states for me to decide to do it again next year, maybe with a slightly different trajectory, possibly going all the way to Florida, but also revisiting multiple spots I really want to try again. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience in many respects, the very diverse sceneries, meeting great people and listening to their stories, and of course the fishing. The timing of the spawn probably got a bit in the way of my fishing success (at least that’s my excuse), but I caught fish everywhere I went, and I had a pretty fantastic experience overall. I feel very fortunate to have been able to do something like that. Onto new adventures.

North American Carp Angler

37


The Sniper Interview BY Jérôme Moisand

North American Carp Angler

39


Q. You are known by the alias ‘The Sniper’, could you please share your real name and

Q. What were the best methods of the ‘good old days’?

where you’re from? A. I started fishing for carp with a long rod like 14 A. My name is Oliver Gandzadi, I am from Paris, France.

or 15 feet, we didn’t have the gear that we have now. I fished with potatoes and corn with a really long

Q. What is the story behind your alias, then?

leader (3 feet) with a one ounce lead, it’s pretty funny compared to what we’re doing now; pre-bait

A. My nickname “The Sniper” came from a con-

and fish on the spot, that’s how I started. In the

sultant from Dragonbait, a carp company in Eu-

Seine River, the old guys fishing for carp were us-

rope. I used to take him fishing on the Seine River,

ing the ancestor of a method feeder, that we use

and seeing my fishing set up by then, he felt this

to call in France “la pelote”, using dough that they

was acting like a sniper, I thought that was funny,

would make with different ingredients like we do,

so I kept that nickname.

but they would put some clay in it to make it really hard, so that river carp would stay on it, but would

Q. When did you start fishing for carp? And why?

have a really hard time to break it, and they would use as bait maggots or corn.

A. I started fishing for carp more than 30 years

They would put the leader into the dough, just

ago. I used to do pole-fishing in a little pond, close

leaving the hook bait out, and that would be the

to my grand-ma’s house. I was like 14 or some-

only thing carp could take really. Those old guys

thing, and carp were coming to my swim, taking

were the real deal for me, and I still make my

my maggots and bait, and breaking my line, and

dough pretty hard.

I was like “what is that fish”, and after I knew they were carp, I started fishing for them.


Q. You did a lot of ‘street fishing’ in Paris. Tell us about this experience.

was taking the bus or walking, and going fishing where I could, and it happened to be right there in Paris because this is where I was living. At

A. At the time, there was nothing like ‘street fish-

the time, carp were easy to catch in the city, I re-

ing’ to me, I was just going fishing on the Seine

member buying just a couple of cans of corn, and

River in my neighborhood because it was close,

going fishing like that in the Seine, one can to bait

nobody was going to take me fishing anywhere, I

and the other to use as hook bait. North American Carp Angler

41


I started to fish like that, then got a little sharper and caught some really big fish where nobody wanted to fish because of the surroundings and the dangers at night, but I didn’t really care, so I just fished in the city. It’s a really unique experience, it’s hard to describe the vibe of fishing in Paris at night and catching fish over 50 pounds, it is something crazy to experience at least once in your life. The scenery is incredible, there is no noise, the city gets all quiet, and all you can hear is your bite alarm screaming. Average size was around 10 kilos (22/23 pounds), and you could catch 30 or 40 or 50 pounders. In the middle of the city, there were way bigger than anywhere else. Even now I see some guys posting catching 60 pounders in Paris, huge fish.


Q. Ever tried to fish for big catfish (silures)? Or hooked some without intending to? A. What happened with those is that they use to bite on my bait, when I was using meaty boilies, like squid/octopus smelly boilies, pretty good size like 25 mm, or dog food as big as a 20mm boilie, and I used to put 3 or 4 of those on a hair rig, which was like 2 inches. One day, I caught one and I thought it was my biggest carp ever, and it turned out to be a 4 or 5 feet catfish, oh my gosh. There were a lot of them in the Seine. You would catch them fishing for carp, but after a while, I would try to target them. I used to fish for eels in the river with some little shrimp or worm, put eels on the hook with a bobber, with a 3oz lead, and let the bobber drift in the current, put the rod on a tripod with a bite alarm, and just leave it like that. They would take a 2 feet long eel or bream as bait, they were pretty fun and they fight really hard. I caught fish that were 6 feet long, not really monsters, but they were good enough for me! But I’d rather catch carp though. North American Carp Angler

43


Q. How do you get them out of the water?

I bought a map of the river to look at the depth, and I was looking for spots with 10 to 20 feet of

You don’t use your net, you put gloves, you put

water. I was looking at Google Maps, then my

your hands in their mouth, and grab it to drag

depth map, then going and starting to fish spots.

them on the bank. They have a lot of teeth, tiny teeth. The only way to hook them is on the side

I started to fish spot by spot, then to find them

of their mouth, otherwise you cannot hook them,

and catch them, and then I did the same at the

this is how hard their mouth is.

Columbia. And it was the opposite, I went to a spot and there was no water. It’s huge, I cast out,

Q. What brought you to the US? Where do you live now?

and it’s like 3 feet of water, no way, I thought it was deep, but I didn’t know… So same thing in the Columbia, just go with my map and try all of

A. I moved here about 8 years ago because my wife is from Portland (Oregon). We stayed 10

those spots with the way I was fishing at the time in France.

years in Paris, life was pretty difficult, if you’re not a millionaire over there, it’s kind of difficult. So we

I was fishing really heavy, with 80lb braided line,

moved back to Portland, and I started fishing the

and 60lb mono as a shock leader. I didn’t know

rivers here.

what I would find here, how big the fish were, how many of them, it was a big change, and over

Q. How different was it from your experience in France?

time, I really had to adjust anything like the gear, the technique, and especially the scouting to find those fish. It was a lot of work for me, I put a lot of

A. It was a big change for me, from the Seine River in Paris to Portland Oregon, I was like “whoah, where is the city”, I felt that I was on vacation, there was no big city. Nice rivers though, the Willamette and the Columbia. I started to go around, to look for carp here, asking people in tackle stores about carp, but nobody was fishing for them and I had no information, nothing. I just had two huge rivers in front of me and I started to scout them. I started by the Willamette, cast out and found like 60 feet of water, oh my god, it was too much water.

time on the bank, and started to catch them.


Q. Do you prefer river fishing or pond fishing? Why?

Q. Tell us more about the characteristics of local rivers and you’re pioneering.

A. I got to laugh about that. River fishing is my

A. The Willamette has a lot of fish, the problem is

thing, I fish big rivers, I have a hard time fishing

that there are too many fish, so the size of the fish

little ponds, where there is no current, it kind of

isn’t good. I caught some 20s in the Willamette,

depresses me!

but there are really too many fish, and it’s only

Or it would have to be a really big lake, but ponds aren’t my thing, even if there is big fish. In Ore-

good for the beginning of the season, including the winter.

gon, ponds have big fish, over 30 pounds, but I’m

Around Christmas, we can catch like 15 fish dur-

not interested to catch those fish, I’d rather catch

ing the day which can be fun, you’re still carp fish-

them in the Columbia or the Willamette, but more

ing in December. But my main interest is the Co-

the Columbia than anything else.

lumbia River. North American Carp Angler

45


It is huge, more than 1200 miles; it goes through Oregon and Washington and up to British Columbia. This river is tidal near Portland (so is the Willamette), and that makes the fishing more difficult. You cannot come and pre-bait and think that you’re going to catch fish, it doesn’t work. The fish will come on your spots when the tide is right for them, they just follow the current. This makes the fishing on the lower Columbia more challenging, which I like, you don’t get bored. There are a lot of fish too in the Columbia, and there are some big fish. I know there are fish over 30lb, I caught my first 35 pounder last year on the Washington side of the Columbia.


Besides that, there is also going up east, where the Columbia is non-tidal when you pass the dam.

Q. I have to ask… Boilies or corn (or some other bait)?

It’s really carp heaven, with a lot of fish, and big fish, something I’m going to do more this year, fish

A. I am more of a boilie person. I would pre-bait

the Columbia River up there, fish the Snake River

with corn, put it in my mix if I fish method, but I’m

as well, which has also a lot of big fish. There are

used to fishing big baits. Those river carp will take

a lot of things to do here, which I like, I’m like a

big bait, I fish boilies, a snowman rig, with a lit-

pioneer, nobody fishes for carp in those waters,

tle pop-up. I am sponsored by a company, which

it’s a big challenge and I like it.

sends me boilies and they work pretty good.

I could talk about the Columbia forever, and I saw quite a few places, but I know I’ve seen nothing

Q. What’s your favorite story fishing for carp in the Columbia?

yet compared to the size of the river, especially on the Washington side, which has more access and where you don’t need a license to fish for carp.

A. Hm, that’s difficult, I love the discovery, going to a new spot, I can tell you many stories. Last year, I went to a place going west, closer to the

I can fish anywhere with one rod on the Wash-

mouth of the river, I was driving around, I had an

ington side, and now in the Tri-Cities area where

idea where I wanted to go, I couldn’t find access,

I like to fish, they recently opened it for two rods, I

I kept driving, and I found a huge beach, 4 or 5

cannot wait to go there and explore.

miles long.

Q. I have to ask… Mono or braided line?

There was nothing in the water telling me that carp were there, but ok, I set up, I baited a little

A. I started with mono 30 years ago, there was

bit (I never bait too much because I don’t know

no choice at that time. Then I switched to braided

where the fish are going to come, or the level of

line some 15 years ago, I was fishing the Seine

activity, so I just put 4 or 5 balls of method, and a

River, and fished braided line for a long time.

little corn around that to start with). So I did that,

Then I came back to mono, although I still have

I sat down, and the spot was looking good. One

some rods with braided line.

hour, two hours, three hours, not even a bump, come on. I decided to go back to Portland, I want-

This year, I think I’m going to fish just mono, I like

ed to go catch some fish, I was tired.

the stretch, I have less hook pulls, I don’t have to use a shock leader. This year, I’ll fish 25lb mono

I went back to my car to make up more mix, and

on the big rod, and 17lb mono on the little rod. I

then I went back to pack up, and I found my rod

can do both, it’s not really a problem.

bent in half, screaming. I picked up the rod, started fighting that fish, and bing, it broke my line. North American Carp Angler

47 47


Well, I might stay here then… I redid my rigs

Q. A few years ago, you started to post pic-

and… (the interview was interrupted, Olivier was

tures with long silvery fish, which do NOT

fishing and he had a run!).

look like a carp at all. Explain yourself.

This beach was a new spot for me, nothing hap-

A. Yes, this is what happens when you move to

pened, and suddenly it turned on, and I ended up

Oregon. I used to fish for catfish in the Seine, but

with 14 runs during the day, and landed 12 fish

there are no big catfish here. I saw people catch-

from 14lb to mid-twenties. That was pretty amaz-

ing sturgeons in front of me, I was “whoah, what

ing to me, but I have a lot of stories, I just had that

is that fish”. What did they use?

one in mind.

I saw squids, herrings, ok. I fished with a basic rig, trying to catch a sturgeon and caught a little


one, and this was pretty fun. I started to fish for

Yes, it is a good fish, good fighter, it is a strong

them once in a while, then I got more into it, es-

fish and we can catch them up to 6 feet long or

pecially for the winter, when it starts to be slow for

even more. I do most of my fishing from the bank,

carp.

which is pretty challenging, and it’s kind of my

I got geared up, and I started to try to make rigs

new fish, I like it.

for them, and really learn about the behavior of

When it comes to end of September, I start fol-

the fish. It is a migratory fish, they are not always

lowing them around, and I start catching them.

in the Willamette, they are sometimes in the Co-

They make for really nice pictures, they are really

lumbia, sometimes in the ocean.

long.

I had to find out when, and where to catch them

They will jump out of the water, when you set the

at that time. So I got sharper, and I started to

hook, you can see a 5 or 6 feet fish clear out of the

catch sturgeon on a regular basis, catching a lot

water, this is something for a fisherman.

of them, even too many sturgeons. North American Carp Angler

49


Q. At what time of the year is sturgeon fishing the most effective?

For sturgeons, there is no retention allowed, basically. They will often open 2 days during the summer when you can keep them, no more. And

A. You can catch them year round. You don’t find

that’s enough, as people may catch up to 1500

them in every spot. In the summer, you will catch

keepers in two days, so it takes out a lot of fish out

them like crazy in the Columbia in June, July, and

of the water, I wish they would not even open it.

August. In the Willamette, it will be more September, they will start getting there from the Columbia, because it is a little warmer.

A keeper is a 39 inches to 56 inches long. Under 39 inches, we call it shaker. An oversize fish is over 56 inches, and those are the monsters of

All fall and winter, you will catch them in the Wil-

the river.

lamette. I would say that the best is around March because the water is high and murky, this is when the sturgeon activity is crazy, we had days landing

Q. Go on, brag a bit, tell us about a few monsters you landed.

like 40 fish. Also during work breaks, I used to go on a boat with one of my friends, and land like 30 fish in 3 or 4 hours.

A. Well, I caught quite a few over 6 feet, you’ve got to think about those fish as 150 pounds or more, caught from the bank. I think that’s pretty

I think spring is the best fishing time in the Wil-

good! This year, I think I caught around 700 to

lamette. I like to fish sturgeons in the Willamette

800 sturgeons, from September to April, a bunch

a little more than the Columbia, because we have

of fish over 5 feet. You came to see me, and wit-

easier access to deep spots, fishing 70 to 80 feet

nessed that sturgeon fishing in Oregon can be

deep from the bank.

pretty wild.

Q. How is carp and sturgeon fishing regulated near Portland?

Q. What would occur if you happen to hook one of the ‘oversized’ giants?

A. It used to be just one rod. This year, they

A. Well, either you land them, or they peel your

opened it for two rods in the Willamette, and the

reel and they finish all your line. It never happened

Columbia River slough, which is connected to the

to me, but it did happen to other people using 300

Willamette. For sturgeons, it’s only one rod.

or 400 yards of line. When they catch the current, you cannot stop them. Maybe you can follow

On the Washington side, you don’t need a li-

them, depending on the bank where you are, but

cense when you fish for carp, but it’s only one rod,

you cannot stop them. I know places in the Co-

so you can go everywhere fishing one rod on the

lumbia where even a six footer, you wouldn’t land

Columbia, or lakes, or whatever body of water.

it, they would just peel your reel.


Q. Do you have a few fishing buddies as pas-

And yes, maybe I was involved a little bit.

sionate as you are? Q. I know for a fact that you were involved! A. Yes, I got a few people I fish with. I don’t fish

Are you becoming a fishing guide of sorts?

with a lot of people, I fish most of the time by myself. For sturgeon, I got my friend Dean Spella, and we fish from his boat.

A. I’ve been thinking about it, especially for sturgeons. I would like to guide carpers, people fish-

Also, I have my friend Ron Nathlich, I fish for

ing from the bank. Here people don’t fish from the

carp and for sturgeon with him. Another really

bank, they fish from boats, but I am not a boat

good young angler is Jordan Wheeler, and I fish

fisherman.

for carp with him. And that’s about it. That’s it, I’m hard to follow, you know.

I would like to do a little something about guiding, having carpers from wherever coming here and fish for sturgeon with me.

Q. It appears that a few known carpers visited Portland, and came back with stars in their eyes. Were you involved by any chance?

They will have fun. So yeah, I’m working on it, expanding my knowledge of the river, especially

A. I don’t know, you have to ask them. Yes, some

for the summer on where to find them in the Co-

carpers came here, and I thought they were hap-

lumbia, so yes, this is something that I think about.

py with what they saw and what they did. North American Carp Angler

51


Q. How can one get in touch with you?

Q. What do you think is the future of carp and sturgeon fishing in your area?

A. You can get in touch with me on my Facebook page Olivier Gandzadi or on Instagram, or by email at gandzadi@yahoo.fr

A. Sturgeon have been here forever, it’s part of the culture here in Oregon. The Willamette and the Columbia rivers are the best place in the world for white sturgeon.


But carp fishing, it’s something else, it is brand

some serious carp fishing, it can be pretty amaz-

new here, nobody is fishing for them. I am try-

ing. So the future, I don’t know, I am just promot-

ing to put something together, to put the Columbia

ing the game here, and we’ll see where this will

River on the map for carp fishing.

take me, and where this will take carp fishing in

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the fu-

Oregon and Washington.

ture, I will just keep fishing and promote the game here. I know the people from here don’t understand it. Something funny, I went fishing on the

Good luck, then. And thank you for sharing your truly unique experience.

Washington side one time, and this guy was like “hey, what are you fishing for”, I said “I am fishing

PS. Jerome Moisand fished with Olivier in March

for carp”, and the guy said “no, man, stop bullshit-

2006, and caught the biggest fish of his life, an

ting me, what are you fishing for?” I had to show

amazingly beautiful 5 feet long sturgeon. Olivier

him pictures and the guy still wouldn’t believe me.

caught another one, much thicker, we decided not

So that’s how bad it is with some people.

to lift it, to avoid hurting our backs. Check the pictures! And yes, Jerome came back

The Columbia has a mad potential, and this is a river where I think people should come and try

home with stars in his eyes, and will do it again for sure.

North American Carp Angler

53


St Lawrence International Junior Tournament 2016 The St. Lawrence River between the United States and Canada is one of North America’s best carp fisheries and each summer, home to numerous adult tournaments and North America’s biggest carp tournament for kids.

North American Carp Angler

55


The St. Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament has brought nearly 1,500 boys and girls, ages 11 to 18, to the banks of the river since it started in 2003.

and his brother Chris had fished the St. Lawrence

Youngsters from Great Britain, Europe, Russia,

Since that time, the county Chamber has

Japan and Canada have participated in the annual event alongside local youth who grew up with the St. Lawrence in their backyard. The tournament was the brainchild of a young visitor from England: Tom Felton, the British actor known as the sinister Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films. A devoted carp fisherman, Felton

River in 2002 and broached the idea of a local carp tournament for youngsters to the local St. Lawrence County (New York) Chamber of Commerce. Tom Felton was Grand Marshal of the tournament in its inaugural year.

hosted the event. In 2015, the international Carp Anglers Group (CAG) officially took the reins of the event with the Chamber remaining involved as co-host. Part of CAG’s mission is to promote catch-and-release carp fishing to young anglers, which the tournament certainly does with its emphasis on camaraderie, fun, and appreciation of the river and its plentiful carp.


This year’s tournament saw 99 boys and girls reel in a total of 2,611 pounds of fish — a new record for the two days of competition. An 11-yearold first-time participant, Tanner Smith of Waddington, NY, claimed the Grand Champion Trophy and grand prize of $2,300 when his top four fish had a combined weight of 80 pounds, four ounces.

North American Carp Angler

57


There have been other milestones over the years. The biggest fish caught to date was a

The tournament even has produced one marriage!

44-pound, 8-ounce common carp caught, kissed,

The tournament is traditionally held on the third

and released by Millie Mason of Hyde Park, NY in

weekend of August along a 30-mile stretch of the

2004. In 2011, Tyler Mitchell of Hogansburg, NY

river on the United States side, from Massena to

pulled in a 40-pound, 8-ounce beauty.

Ogdensburg. Registration covers all activities, including the popular Mort Backus & Sons Fishing

Cash prizes are usually several thousand dollars

School led by local adult carp anglers.

for the grand championship, although one year the haul for young angler Connor Loomis of Waddington, NY was $15,000. He won the grand championship plus a special

Find out more about the Junior Carp Tournament, and carp fishing on the St. Lawrence – visit CAG at

www.CarpAnglersGroup.com the

cash prize when his four biggest fish tipped the

St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at:

scales at more than 100 pounds. In 2012, the

www.NorthCountryGuide; or www.FISHCAP.net

tournament saw its first female grand champion,

to learn about all the incredible fishing possibili-

Bryaunna Murray of Massena.

ties in St. Lawrence County, NY, USA.


North American Carp Angler

59


Results from 2016 Here is the report of the St. Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament 2016 from the everso-efficient Jo Ann Roberts. # of Participants

# of Fish Caught

99

177

(20)

Girls, age 11 – 14 Division

(27)

Boys, age 11 – 14 Division

(20)

Girls, age 15 – 18 Division

(27)

Boys, age 15 – 18 Division

(5)

Adults

175 Carp 1 Bullhead 1 Small Mouth Bass (all returned live to the river)

# of Pounds Caught

2,593 lb. 3 oz.

Miscellaneous Awards Smallest Fish, Girl

Abigail Lyon -- 6 lb. 8 oz.

Smallest Fish, Boy

PJ Payne – 7 lb. 8 oz.

First Fish, Girl

Kayly-Jaye Belmore Friday, August 12th, 8:36 a.m. 11 lb. 14 oz.

First Fish, Boy

Nathan Brothers Friday, August 12th , 7:52 a.m. 14 lb. 9 oz.


Last Fish, Girl

Abigail Lyon Saturday, August 13th, 4:47 p.m. 6 lb. 8 oz.

Last Fish, Boy

Mathew Greene Saturday, August 13th, 4:56 p.m. 17 lb. 4 oz.

Most Fish

Tanner Uppstrom, Madrid, NY 9 carp

Sportsmanship Award

Noah Blair, 18 years of age, from Waddington (received a plaque) **Noah’s teammate, Tanner Uppstrom, had a fish on his line, and it took 57 minutes, in the pouring rain, to pull in that ‘fighting carp’! As to not disturb Tanner’s efforts, Noah left his pole and line alone, which meant he couldn’t re-bait or recast during that one hour timeframe. It showed true teamwork and sportsmanship** Biggest Carp, Boys 11 – 14

Tanner Smith, 25 lb. 12 oz. (won a $ 50 gift certificate from Wild Carp Companies)

Biggest Carp, Girls 11 – 14

Kayla Dinneen, 18 lb. 12 oz. (won a $ 50 gift certificate from Wild Carp Companies)

Biggest Carp, Girls 15 – 18

Jessica Payne, 25 lb. even (won a $ 50 gift certificate f rom Wild Carp Companies)

Biggest Carp, Boys 15 – 18 & Overall

Nick Vielhauer, 25 lb. 15 oz. (won a $ 50 gift certificate from Wild Carp Companies & $20 gift certificate from Big Carp Tackle) North American Carp Angler

61 61


Good Effort

lottery drawing from all participants who did not catch a carp during the tournament. Each received a $ 20 gift certificate from Big Carp Tackle. 1)

Hailyn Coller

2)

Kaylee MacMartin

3)

Kathryn Fobare

Raffle Winners Hand-painted stool by artist, Melanie Kimbler-Lagov:

Amy Heagle

Chainsaw Carved Carp by Terry McKendree:

Lindsey Levison

Team Competition Based on the total weight of each teammate’s heaviest (4) carp. All teammates receive a gold, silver or bronze medal.

3rd Place – total of 138 lb. 9 oz.

Jay’s Dream Sponsored by Potsdam Specialty Paper Teammates: Kaylee Green, Paige Levison, Julia Basford, Tanner Smith)

2nd Place – total of 215 lb. 6 oz.

Reel Spinners Teammates: Hanna Hawkins, Joseph Greene, Matthew Delosh, Austin Delosh

1st Place – total of 269 lb. 12 oz.

NNY Outdoors Sponsored by NNY Outdoor Magazine Teammates: Jessica Payne, PJ Payne, David Plumadore, Kaitlyn Reynolds


Following awards are based on weight of heaviest (4) carp caught:

Adult Competition 3rd Place

n/a (only two adults caught carp)

2nd Place

Stelain Bogdan, Endicott, NY Total of 43 lb. 8 oz. Receiving Silver medal.

1st Place

Travis Stephenson, Potsdam, NY Total of 55 lb. 2 oz. Receiving Gold medal.

Girls, 11 – 14 age Division 3rd Place

Katie Bateman, Waddington, NY, Total of 31 lb. 9 oz. Winning $ 200 and Trophy.

2nd Place

Carly Zack, Lancaster, NY, Total of 52 lb. 14 oz. Winning $ 400 and Trophy.

1st Place

Julia Basford, Potsdam, NY, Total of 58 lb. 5 oz. Winning $ 800 and Trophy.

North American Carp Angler

63


Girls, 15 – 18 age Division 3rd Place

Kaitlyn Reynolds, Lisbon, NY, Total of 59 lb. 5 oz. Winning $ 200 and Trophy.

2nd Place

Breanna Bouchey, Lisbon, NY, Total of 64 lb. 10 oz. Winning $ 400 and Trophy.

1st Place

Hanna Hawkins, Chase Mills, NY, Total of 71 lb. 8 oz. Winning $ 800 and Trophy.

Boys, 15 – 18 age Division 3rd Place

Tanner Uppstrom, Madrid, NY, Total of 68 lb. 7 oz. Winning $ 200 and Trophy.

2nd Place

Matthew Delosh, Madrid, NY, Total of 78 lb. 6 oz. Winning $ 400 and Trophy.

1st Place

David Plumadore, Lisbon, NY, Total of 80 lb. 2 oz. Winning $ 800 and Trophy.


Boys, 11 – 14 age Division 3rd Place

Jacob Dufore, North Bangor, NY, Total of 73 lb. 14 oz. Winning $ 200 and Trophy.

2nd Place

PJ Payne, Lisbon, NY, Total of 74 lb. 6 oz. Winning $ 400 and Trophy.

1st Place & Tournament Grand Champion

11 year old, first time participant Tanner Smith, Waddington, NY, Total of 80 lb. 4 oz. Winning 1st Place Division Trophy, Grand Champion Trophy and $ 2,300!

For More Pictures Of The Competition Please Click On The Following Videos: St Lawrence Junior Album 1 https://www.magisto.com/embed/M09BZlwIATVhBgdgCzE?l=vem&o=w&c=b

St Lawrence Junior Album 2 https://www.magisto.com/embed/KVMSI0RUGjMtDx1pYw?l=vem&o=w&c=b

North American Carp Angler

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Each year, the national carp anglers association, Carp Anglers Group, hosts its annual CAG Carp Classic (CCC) fishing tournament and annual meeting at a North American venue. Thank you to the Carp Anglers Group (CAG) for providing the opportunity to participate in yet another enjoyable CCC, this time in picturesque Kewaunee, Wisconsin on August 6, 2016. Thirty-five anglers participated. By Frank Rink

North American Carp Angler

67


It’s always great to see members of the CAG Board of Directors attend the event, so kudos and thanks to Jerome Moisand, Iain Sorrell, Barry Howard, and Tony Stout for your attendance. Thank you, also, for the concise and open annual plenary meeting. Huge thanks to tournament organizers Lee Young, Patty Young, Tony Stout, Christine Stout, Jerome Moisand, and crew for the information, communication, and efforts with a well-run event.


Big thanks to our generous CAG sponsors for your continual support of CAG activities and donations to the CCC prize list: Big Carp Tackle (David M., Zach T.), K-1 Baits (Mihai A.,Bogdan B., Paul D., Ioan “Jacob” J.), Saxon Tackle (Iain S.)., World Classic Baits (Ernest K, Magda L.), Trilogy baits (Rob P.), Carp Kit International (Simon S.), Wacker Baits (Munenori K.), and anyone else I may have missed during the announcement of sponsors (sometimes it’s hard for me to understand everything Jerome is saying). Thanks, also, to the Port o’ Call restaurant for the use of their facility and to the City of Kewaunee for its hospitality! Thanks to Jerome Moisand, Bob Giordano and others for quickly putting together the CCC coins and tee-shirts and to Barry Howard and Bob Allen for hauling all that stuff to the CCC! Hearty congratulations to two most deserving anglers, Tony Stout (2016 North American Carp Champion/Big 4 winner at 45+) and Fred Rhodes (2016 Carp King/Big Fish at 17+). It’s always a pleasure fishing with both of you! North American Carp Angler

69


Congrats to winners Bogdan Bucur (section), Sydney Wade (jr. big fish at 15+), and Fred Rhodes (section) (all very deserving anglers).


North American Carp Angler

71


Thanks to the 35+ participating anglers for your

I had the good fortune to draw a very lucky peg

loyalty to CAG and for your attendance. It’s al-

this year and win a few prizes for first fish (7:29

ways great fishing with you.

a.m.), high total weight (78-9), and second place

I don’t think the Kewaunee venue came close to showing its true potential at this year’s CCC, as I

in the Big 4 event resulting in a section win (4212).

believe the bigger fish were back to Lake Michigan and the river fish were in some kind of transi-

Thanks to peg-mates Dave Hubbard and Chad

tion due to water temperature issues. However,

Bettisch for your generosity. Thanks, also, to CAG

fish were still caught.

for putting together some nice trophies and prizes.


This marks the third time I’ve had a Big 4 second-place finish at a CAG CCC, having been topped by North American Carp Champs Larry Seeman at Chicago in 2012, Phil Davenport at Indianapolis in 2014, and Tony Stout at Kewaunee in 2016. In addition, we all tied for second with a blank session as Bogdan Bucur caught the only fish, a 37+ CCC record catch, at Galesburg in 2015. I’m not complaining about the bridesmaid finishes, though, as I’m happy to concede to and congratulate all four of those outstanding North American Carp Champions.

Thanks, again, for a fun weekend. I hope CAG continues this enjoyable tradition! —Frank Rink

North American Carp Angler

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CAG – CONNECTICUT REPORT Fish-In 21-22 May 2016

By Iain Sorrell

North American Carp Angler

75


I attended my first CAG fish-in, organized by Ni-

And so it was with no more expectations than

gel Griffin, on Candlewood Lake, Danbury CT way

just these ideals that as CT State Chair I planned

back in 1996. I’m not sure how many fish were

our 2016 Spring fish-in.

caught that day, just a few I think, but like so many fish-ins it was truly memorable for the people I met

As always the decision on ‘where’ to stage an

(Pat Kerwin, Steve Clow & Quid Blankely) and the

event is first on my mind. Some great fishing

fun we all had - including catching carp through

venues simply don’t lend themselves to a fish-in.

a drain cover! These days you can spend many

Ease of access, parking, bathrooms etc are all

hours on-line watching videos or reading articles

important considerations but perhaps the most

but there is nothing like time spend bankside with

important is finding a venue that also allows the

friends old & new.

anglers to socialize as well as fish.

The opportunity to share stories, check out and

Harbor Park stretches over 400 yds along the

get feedback on people’s favorite rods, reels and

west bank of the Connecticut River in Middle-

other bits of tackle, swap bait recipes, learn to

town. It meets all these criteria and has even

tie new rigs or gain valuable knowledge from lo-

seen its fair share of nice carp being caught over

cal experts cannot be beat. As for the catching…

the past couple of years. The only downside is a

well it can often take a back seat. It often seems

7-9 ft drop to the water from the promenade wall.

the carp are less than happy to weave their way

This requires carefully planning to land and safe-

through so many lines in the water in search of

ly release any fish. It has led to some ingenious

a lucky anglers bait. The occasional capture is

contraptions with weigh slings, drop nets and ex-

mostly seen as a bonus to everyone hanging out

tended net handles.

and having a good time.


I fished Harbor Park for the first time several

So in preparation for the Fish-In I approached

years ago while trying out some pack bait recipes

the Parks Department with a request to allow us

and caught several fish including a couple over

to fish overnight subject to meeting their liability

twenty pounds in a brief daytime session. Since

requirements. Luckily CAG & its membership can

then I’ve even managed to catch a couple of carp

provide insurance cover for specific events and

to ‘order’ at the invitation of CT Fisheries folk for

the request was graciously approved. In prepara-

events involving the CT DEEP Commissioner and

tion I spread 5 gallons of specially prepared maize

local dignitaries including Middletown Mayor Dan

along the 200 yds of water front on Wednesday

Drew.

afternoon and another 5 gallons on the Friday

Dan has become quite enthusiastic about the opportunities for carp fishing along the Middle-

plus a couple hundred boilies of various makes and flavors.

town river & park shoreline and warmly welcomed

While baiting up I happened upon an angler car-

the CT River Tournament in October 2015. Mike

rying a bunch of carp gear. This turned out to be

Hudak & Chris Gastringer caught fish to over 33lb

Edwin Stackhouse who soon became the latest

among an incredible haul that saw them only able

CAG member for Connecticut and eager to join in

to snatch the odd snooze in 100 hours of fishing.

the fish-in. North American Carp Angler

77


It can be hit or miss at times along this section

Rob (NH) & Cliff (MA) were the first to arrive and

but I was delighted to see a few carp rolling when

set off to the top most ‘up river’ swim. Steve and

I arrived early on the Saturday morning to greet

Catalin were next on the scene. Steve set up on

everyone who’d signed up.

the lower section next to me while Catalin headed

This is a tidal section of the river and often the

upstream.

fishing changes with the incoming or outgoing tide.

As more anglers arrived through the morning and set up we began to get the first reports of fish

Tides: 05/21/16 Low 08:35 High 13:59 Low 20:50 05/22/16 High 02:09 Low 09:31 High 14:41 Sunrise: 05:25 Sunset: 20:10 Full Moon 98%

being caught including a few twenties plus a couple of very welcome thirties for Catalin & Steve.


As the day progressed the word got out about

As the evening arrived I packed up from the low-

the ‘bite’ and we soon had a couple more CAG

er peg and wandered up to join in the fun with

members calling to ask if there were any spots

the ‘overnighters’. Trevor Berwick lost a big fish

remaining. Since a we had a couple of ‘no shows’

which amazingly was banked only hour later Ed-

we found some space and they too were soon

win Stackhouse! At 37:12 it was Edwin’s new PB

hauling.

common by almost 8lb and his first 30 plus.

North American Carp Angler

79


As darkness fell a group of major thunderstorm

Suitably rested and medicated with analgesics &

cells threatened the area but fortunately passed

muscle relaxant I head back at first light for an

either side of Middletown while the brief showers

update on some more memorable captures during

did nothing to dampen enthusiasm.

the night. There had been plenty of action including a 31

The fishing had slowed in the afternoon with the

even for Andrew Nichols on one of Trevor’s rods.

outgoing tide but began to pick up once again lat-

Andrew is also owner of the Fishing Factory 3

er in the evening as it turned. Still suffering from

store in Middletown that carries an impressive

a back issue I headed home and left the hardcore

range of carp tackle.

guys to it.


I hadn’t planned to fish again (to avoid aggravating my back) but seeing a few rods bent I soon rushed back to my truck and grabbed some gear to get in on the action. The first searing run resulted in a 23 and shortly after returning that fish a battle royal ensued with a fish that was using the full force of the outgoing tide. After a bit of a struggle it came up in the modified sling and tipped the scales at just over thirty pounds.

North American Carp Angler

81


We also had a couple of folks who after seeing the fish we were catching made tracks to FF3 and came back armed with some carp gear to join in the fun. In the end there were a total of 74 carp landed between 12 anglers with an incredible 46 twenties and 8 thirties in about 30 hours of fishing. Now if only all fish-ins were that good!

Steve Clow: 14, 17, 24, 28.12, 31.09 lost two Catalin Serban 16.3oz 19.2 22.06 21.8 31.04 20.5 32.04 25.5 23.3 27.6 22.4 16.8 Rob Clark: 26.12, 24, 24, 22, 21 Cliff Sharp: 25.14, 21.9, 19.3, 18.6, 24.11, 18.13, 16 Trevor Berwick: 30.14, 29.12, 21, 19.4, 23, 27.9, 22.3, 25.12, 28, 26, 24, 18 Josh: 24.12, 9, 20, 23.02, 21, 19, 30.02, 30.04, 21, 19, 27.13, 27.03 Andrew Nichols: 31.00 Edwin Stackhouse: 21, 25.04, 22.11, 23.07, 22.12, 22.08, 37.12, 12, 14, 25.12, 25.5, 16.8 Iain Sorrell: 15, 17.08, 17.12 23.00, 30.04 Mike Hudak: 27, 20.15 Chris Gastringer, 20, 20, 20

- 20: 20 - 20-24: 30 - 25-29: 16 - 30-34 7 - 35+ 1

Total 74 fish


North American Carp Angler

83


North American Carp Angler

85


An Interview with:

Jakub Vagner By Radek Filip


We are bringing you an interview with one of the world’s most famous fisherman - Jakub Vágner. He was very open in answering my questions so you will learn things you did not know about him, for example how he manages combining his personal life and long fishing trips, whether he had lost something because of fishing, whether he regrets any mistakes he made during his fishing career, what are his fishing dreams and much more. Enjoy reading! Jakub, are you still as hungry for fishing expe-

There is plenty of everything. When I was young

ditions as you were 15 years ago or would you

and I wanted to buy my first good reel D.A.M.

prefer to slow down a bit as sometimes you are

Quick I had to work for 2 months.

going on the expedition just because you are contractually obligated to go?

Although I traveled the fishing world I still have the same feeling as I had when I was young. I can

I think that I have still the same drive. When I started fishing for catfish years ago, there were only a couple of catfish anglers and we did not

still feel the fire inside me. The harder part is that in the world I fish in the bays of the size of our biggest Lipno dam.

know anything about it. We all slept in sleeping bags on the floor. There was a zero comfort. We had Lipno rods and Roen reels because there was nothing better on the market. That is what I am thankful about because it created that drive inside me. We had to discover all that. We did not know how to tie the rig correctly and where to look for the catfish. At that time we all thought that the catfish was

I fish on the rivers which are hundreds of meters deep and I am used to pulling the fish of not tens but hundreds of kilos. For me it is now quite hard to find new chalenges.

a loner and when he gets old he gets grown over by moss. There were tons of legends about it. There were no books, no DVDs, no guides at that time. I was a part of the limited group of catfish anglers in the Czech Republic and Europe who broke through that time and I am very proud of it. If I started today I think wouldn´t appriciate it that

On the other hand when I started traveling around the world I found again my lost love and passion for catfish. So when I go catfish fishing on Czech river Berounka, and I catch 130 or 140 cm long catfish, it is still fun and fulfilling for me.

much because nowadays young boys can buy a book or DVD and they go to the shop where I don´t even know what most of the stuff is for. North American Carp Angler

87


Long

fishing

trips

are

hardly combinable with relationships. How does your girlfriend tolerate your frequent trips and lots of work afterwards (after returning home)? I have had 3 relationships and all of them failed because of me being gone all the time. Obviously being 9 or 10 months outside the country is a very hard test for the relationship. I have a new relationship right now and I am very happy, the happiest I have ever been. We had an agreement in the beginning that we will connect our lives and that my girlfriend will be travelling with me. She is interested in fishing. One thing is spending 9 months somewhere in Europe where you always have hotels, hot shower or trailer and the worst what can happen it that the shop or shower is 10 km away. Second thing is being in the middle of nowhere. That is a bit of a problem.


There are some places where women shouldn´t

I am one of the last ones who still doesn´t have a

be taken, mainly from the the security point of

child. I have to say perhaps 5 years ago I couldn´t

view. One has to think about what he wants. But

even imagine having one. If I had learned that I

fishing was historically always at the first place for

would become a father at that time, I would have

me.

panicked.

How about a family? Are you going to settle

I am not like that anymore and sometimes when

down? How many kids do you eventually want to

we are at some event I catch myself looking at

have?

some mom and dad holding their baby and I kind of like it. I can actually say that I wouldn´t mind

I´ve been asked this question a lot, especially from my cunning friends who all already have

having a baby, I would like to have one. If the first baby were a boy that would be awesome.

their families. Even my crew, I started working with when we were really young, have their own

Talking about number of kids I would like to have

kids. People in the team and my friends are still

two. I wouldn´t even mind three of them. But it

the same but they have more and more kids.

always depends primarily on the partner.

North American Carp Angler

89


Did you lose anything because of fishing? That is a very difficult question for me. I think that I just gained a lot because of the fishing. I definitely left a piece of my health there. Although I am 34 my body is worn out as if it was 60 years old. I also need to consider how did I move up at fishing. I do fishing for living and if you wanted me to point out one thing which I lost I would have to say; privacy. This is not connected to fishing but with the media where I appear very often. It is even worldwide nowadays. What I experience with people recognizing me here in the Czech Republic I experience at the same or lesser level with people all over the world.

Wanting to have a nice calm diner

Then I prepared 14 episodes, a series for kids about fish living in the nature. I have been basically fishing for whole year, not counting winter and spring season full of exhibitions which has been always crazy. The more fishing I do outside of the Czech Republic the more I like fishing here. Spending 9 month in parts where I have been last year was really enough because it wasn´t some Canary Island but “dung“. A man doesn´t want to spend his vacation at a place like this. One thing is that there are beautiful big fish there but when you spend a month in this bad living condition; everything seems a bit different. I hear people say, ‘You are so lucky, you must have been so relaxed enjoying Congo!’ I am really

with my girlfriend is very hard and

exhausted after returning and I spend at least one

in case I really want to go out I need

Everything just has its downsides as well. When

to chose carefully where to go. Our readers know a lot about your foreign expeditions. We are unaware whether you are fishing and how are you fishing at home in the Czech Republic. Is there any time to fish there? In reality I had been outside the Czech Republic for 9 month last year because I was shooting a big series for Discovery Channel and for Czech Television. Then I returned and started shooting 3 big series for Czech Television about 3 different freshwater fish that live in Europe.

week visiting doctors in hospitals. sitting at the Czech pond, dam or lake a man doesn´t have to think about threats from the nature or people. You can just concentrate on not falling down the slope into the water and that is really nice. The truth is that I am more and more interested in Czech waters. It is a huge challenge for me but nowadays when fishing I focus only on big pikes and catfish. I am not seeking species but individual fish which I saw myself or heard about from my friends. That is fun for me, concentrating on one particular fish.


Are you currently planing on going on some interesting foreign expeditions?

Even the fish, which aquarists have here and are fascinated by, live in Amazon in incredible quantities and amounts.

I love and go often to the Amazon. I am leaving

For example ancistrus, which here we almost

for the Amazon today. I have spent over 3 years of

celebrate if they grow up to 10 cm, have some-

my life there. People think that I travel there all the

thing like 0.5 m in the Amazon. Everything is big-

time. It is actually so but we must remember that

ger and more colourful there. I can often see a

the Amazon is larger than the whole of Europe.

fish I dont know and haven´t seen on a picture

A distance of 1000 km is nothing there. I am fas-

yet. A fish like that doesn´t have to be 3 or 2 me-

cinated by the Amazon because it is Mother Na-

ters. It can be only 5 or 10 cm and one is delighted

ture. I have never seen such things, which I saw

to see something what he has never seen before.

there, anywhere else in the world. What amount of live creatures and the amount of fish! There are so many unknown and unnamed fish there.

There are more destinations I travel or I am interested in like the Congo and Papua New Guinea.

I am fascinated by some areas with the water so

People are still affraid of travelling there. That is

clear that you just put on your googles, snorkel

why there is still a chance to see a miracle of na-

and fins and you feel like diving in an aquarium.

ture. North American Carp Angler

91


Your company Jakub VĂĄgner Electronics has

So I said yes, I approve it, but I really want to

launched a design attractive bite alarm and re-

make a European product, which we wouldn´t

ceiver Alfa on which development you concieved.

have to be ashamed of, and which is going to be

What was your role there?

competitive on the worlds market. My task was simple; it needs to be unbreakable beep, 100%

My people have contacted me once to enter the field of fishing electronics. I took that idea, be-

waterproof and it needed to meet all parameters I was expecting.

cause I think that the time when fishermen wanted real quality is coming back.

Although I am not a carp angler, I use bite alarms

We do not ignore Chinese products completely

and I have the same problems with them as other

but we don’t want to go fishing with some Chinese

people, using them regularly, do. That was my

beep and after one week discover that the beep is

role which was really small compared to people

not beeping only shining or it is shining and is not

who were developing the bite alarm.

beeping anymore.


The feedback from the Czech Republic and from

There will be a big supporting program on Satur-

abroad is very positive. As an example I can men-

day and Sunday. There will be a concert of NoN-

tion that the battery in Alfa lasts 2 months non-

ame band on Katlov on Saturday. I think this will

stop and is integrated. Thanks to that the alarm

be a big temptation for people because the band

is really waterproof and has a metal frame which

are great musicians and great people.

makes it unbreakable. If you ran it over by a tank it would get destroyed of course!

Even the exhibition For Fishing open air will be significantly larger this year. The competition will

You are holding a famous racing World Carp

end on Saturday but all the stars will remain till

Classic and World Carp Classic Junior along with

Sunday, supporting the program will continue and

Ross Honey this year in the Czech Republic.

visitors who will arrive on Sunday can fish with

Could you reveal to our readers some background

them on Katlov after the competition ends.

information that you haven´t told to anyone? Both Czech and foreign stars will show how to tie The World Carp Classic Junior, apart from the

the rigs correctly and visitors will have a chance

qualifying rounds will be held from 23rd to 29th of

to know more about their fishing career, life and

May 2016. The most interesting part for the visi-

catching.

tors will be last Saturday and Sunday. The World Carp Classic adults will be held from It will be actually the second year which I would

9th to 17th of September 2016 at the Dyje 5, No-

rather call the first one because last year was the

vomlýnská. It is obviously a huge responsibility.

zero year. Anyway the attandance was over 7000

Tremendous preparation precedes the event and

people. We were learning at that time. Actually

it took about a year to push through the champi-

we had put together, in only 4 months, the largest

onship to the Czech Republic. Visitors have a lot

fishing competition in our country. I have to give

to look forward to. In the past the WCC took place

a compliment to all my colleagues because they

on the lakes where if one drew the wrong place he

worked so hard. The progression went on.

could go straight back home.

This year we are planning this event more like a family fishing festival. There will be fishing school

Regarding the Dyje 5, I can not say that it is the

with stars like Josef Konopásek, Milan Tychler,

same everywhere, but the conditions are at least

Karl Nikl and Katka Marková who are our very ex-

very similar. It is simply like a bath and it is much

perienced fishermen and representatives.

fairer than any lake where it took place in the past.

This event will also welcome foreign stars like

In the last year, 60-70% of the teams did not even

Franck Warwick, Tim Paisley and Andy Cham-

touch a fish. I dare to say that this time it will be

bers; real World Carp icons and people can physi-

other way round.

caly touch them and talk to them. North American Carp Angler

93


I will not say that everyone will catch 15-20 kg

Let´s see how many people will arrive.

fish but the amount of the fish there is vastly dif-

I hope that people will appreciate it and they will

ferent than on other lakes.Anyway we cannot ex-

come to support the competition. They will have

pect 40 kg carps to be caught.

a unique opportunity to meet the world´s top carp anglers.

The lake is certainly fair enough especially because we managed to get exception for boats us-

How do you imagine the perfect vacation?

ing and non stop fishing. Let´s see how foreign visitors will handle overpopulated zebra mussels (dreissena polymorpha) in the lake. It is very com-

Well, that’s totally unnecessary question :) The ideal vacation is spent with fishing.

mon to fish there with very strong monofilament lines otherwise the swinger beeps and the mon-

You’ve had a lot of impressive catches in your

tage will get sewed-off. It will certainly not be an

careers and you are a huge idol for young fisher-

easy competition. It takes place in September in

men and fisherwomen. Lots of them started fish-

the top carp fishing season.

ing thanks to you. Are there any things which you

There will be a huge supporting program which will be many times larger than in Katlov.

would do during your fishing career differently and today you regret them?


I began to publish my fishing experiences through fishing magazines and television very early. I had

They were virgin years for me. I have been fishing alone in some places in Italy, Spain and France.

written my first fishing article when I was about 15

I set up my own places. Popular places nowa-

years old and I had been appearing in television

days I have seen as virgin back then, the amount

in fishing programs since 18.

of fish to catch was really different. Fishing was a lot easier. Suddenly I got myself

When I look at some programs, which I shot,

into a stage where as a guide catching 230 cm

nowadays I have to laugh. Sometimes I would like

catfish was nothing exeptional. This is the mo-

to hide my head under the pillow because some-

ment, where when you get there, you know it’s

times I behaved like a young fool who just swal-

wrong.

lowed all the wisdom of the world. In some cases on the contrary I surprised myself how I had all thoughts in order in my head even though I was only 18 years old. But in most cases it is the first case. It is not just about seeing myself but the way how the program was recorded and the quality of the sound. It is my professional point of view. Everything is in progress and non one was born professional. I think that 20 years from now, when I will see my current work, I will experience the same feeling, maybe different. Everyone makes mistakes

I said to myself that I have to change it if I want my love for catfish to remain. I started searching for a timeless project which I could work on. At that moment I said to myself that I would like to map all the largest freshwater fish of the world.

and it is good to learn from your own mistakes.

There have been a lot of people doing the same

Everyone is undergoing some kind of a personal

thing on sea water, where if you have money, you

progress.

can catch big fish because of experienced guides. Fresh waters were unknown areas. Some of the

If you had to choose one particular chatch you

biggest freshwater fish were known, some part-

appreciate the most, from all of your catches,

ly and some were absolutely unnown. We knew

which one would it be?

nothing about how to catch them, where to catch, what to use to catch them, which season is the

Firstly I probably should say how I ended up

best for fishing or what water temprature is ideal. I

catching big fish. I have been catching catfish for

created a list of 24 species of the largest freshwa-

a long time and I got to the stage where I chased

ter fish. Each may have a weight over 100 kg and

them for 300 days of the year. As a guide I caught

2 m length. I followed their footsteps. I had caught

over 1000 fish with my clients.

20 of those fish until this day. North American Carp Angler

95


The 4 remaining fish are almost unreal to catch because one of them is Chinese paddlefish which was last spotted in low size in 2006. On the other hand I know about 3 other fish species about these dimensions which do not have a latin name yet. We still have a lot to discover in fresh water. Regarding the fish number one, for me it always will be catfish because I grew up on it. The fish I never get tired from is arapaima because it is as strong as catfish and jumps like a trout and is fast as the asp. This is like reaching Everest. My K2 fish I spent a year in Congo to catch and I caught over 50 kg is the tiger fish. That is the most appreciated fish for me because I almost died a few times catching it.


What would you do if you didn´t do fishing?

arapaima or catching 50-55 kg tiger fish. I dont feel it that way anymore. When I succeed, I suc-

If I had not put an end from the Prague Conservatory, I would do music for a living. Maybe sports. Do you have any fishing dreams left or have you made all of them come true?

ceed. I caught all I wanted and I wish everyone went through such an experience. I was created by people and my mission now is to return it back to them and to fishing audience as well. By doing what I do and how I do it I would

I had already caught all fish I longed for. One is

like to bring the fishing joy back.

only pushing his limits catching 300, 310 or 320

North American Carp Angler

97


At the moment the young fishers are the alpha and omega for me. They are the future. You can not easily teach old Cossacks. It is different with children. I have some experiences from fishing fairs where I was giving my first autographs when I was 17 or 18. It was one or two autographs per hour. 6-7 years old boys and girls were comming for the autographs. It is the same kids today. But today they are grown ups and I can see that the mentality had changed. Perfectly natural is to catch and release. Unhooking mats are an necessary tool for them. If they do not have a camera they never go home to show the fish. They already have the right fishermans habits. And that is the tiny work which you can not achieve overnight and thank goodness the number of people devoted to work with youth is growing. It is so good and I respect those people enormously.


SUCCESSFUL BAIT APPLICATION By Dean Brookes

Before I delve into the topic of bait application and how I approach the subject let me start off by telling you I’m primarily a boilie angler. I do fish other baits when I feel it will improve my success, but for the most part I target carp with boilies. This is not the cheapest way to fish but for my own goals I believe it saves me a lot of time and effort that other methods may entail. If you only use particles, method or a mixture of different baits you can still follow some of the practices I will outline as there are common themes no matter what bait you use.

Enough bait to last me a few sessions!!


Why do I use boilies? Firstly, I am very confident that most carp, whether uncaught virgin carp or not will pick up a boilie with little or no pre-baiting. To maximize the chance of this I generally use a mixture of boilies with a few different flavors and colors. I will also use additives, oils or glugs when I feel it will help. Once carp recognize boilies as a food source this is where they really come into their own. It is relatively easy to bait with them (catapult, throwing stick or spomb) and if you apply them successfully you will often get carp actively searching for them longer and thus feeding and staying in your area for a much longer time. With that said, use whatever bait fits your needs.

Having watched carp in many different situations

They are all a tool and part of the jigsaw of carp

I’m fairly sure the bigger fish travel in much small-

fishing. As I’ve mentioned in many, many articles;

er groups, especially in the area I was fishing. If I

LOCATION is top of the list as if you get this part

was to put a good amount of bait into the swim it

wrong it really doesn’t matter what bait you use.

would be possible the fish could come through the area and feed, without eating all of the bait and

Let’s look at a couple of situations, each taking place on an actual fishing session and how I applied bait to maximize my success.

FISH FOR A BITE AT A TIME

without encountering my hook bait. It was also early spring and water temperatures were still fairly cold and I wanted to make sure that my baiting situation was enough to stop any carp coming through the area, but not too much that they would feed and move off before eating all of the bait.

This is a fairly standard approach for me whether fishing for low numbers of bigger carp, fishing

In this situation where I am not heavily baiting I

new venues and areas, or when attempting to tar-

will fish each rod in a separate area to maximize

get bigger carp amongst large numbers of smaller

my chances of carp encountering my baits. Over

fish.

each rod I used a throwing stick to deposit 30-50

Carp in general are eating machines; they can

boilies; in this case 20mm fruit flavored baits.

easily go through a couple of kilo’s of bait in short order. Rather than piling in big quantities of bait I

Even with the throwing stick I can get a fairly

will look at the situation and start fairly conserva-

tight baiting situation, however when boilie fishing

tively.

I like to spread the bait out so that the carp have to move around and search for it, which usually

As an example, this year at the start of the spring

means much stronger pick-ups as in many cas-

I fished a few sessions where I was attempting to

es the carp move off without knowing they are

target 30lb+ carp.

hooked, until it’s too late!! North American Carp Angler

101


If I do catch a fish with this approach I will then reposition the rod and repeat the process. Generally, I will also use visual and highly flavored hook baits and also a PVA stick or solid bag to aid with presentation. I will also ‘top up’ each spot with 5-10 boilies every 3-5 hours if no action is forthcoming and in many cases this will result in a capture shortly after, as the fish move in to investigate the noise of the bait hitting the water. Let’s look at my spring results using these methods. Over the course of 4 or 5 separate nights I landed about a dozen fish, with five of these being over 30lb’s. Results speak better than words.

A nice mid thirty that fell for boilies


Spring kicked off with some lovely fish, like this chunky common

BUILD THE SWIM Let’s assume you have landed a carp with your initial baiting approach. What now? I can think of many occasions where I have witnessed (and also been guilty myself) of messing up a swim by getting the bait application wrong. If your approach is to initially bait heavily then you may catch several carp before you need to bait again; usually this approach works best if you fish longer sessions and in many cases you are putting all of your eggs into one basket!

As I have already mentioned I prefer to bait for one fish at a time, however once I have landed a fish or two, I may decide to adjust my baiting strategy. For instance, if I am only fishing a short session I may rebait with only a small amount as I want to maximize my chances of another pick-up. However, if I do have some time I will attempt to build my swim. With boilies I will typically rebait with 50-100 baits after every fish. One thing I like to do with boilies is to bait a wider area to encourage the carp to move around and search for the bait. Once you have fish in your swim you can really keep them in the area by scattering the bait; typically I will either bait in a line or go for a tennis court size area. North American Carp Angler

103


Playing a fish after baiting a line across the River’s main channel


Let me give you an example of how effective bait-

As soon as this fish was in the net, I unhooked it

ing led me to over 45 fish on a two night session.

and left it, safely secured in the margins. I then

Fishing the prolific Seneca River my goal was to

immediately introduced another 50 baits into the

first, attract carp into my swim and then second,

area, put on a fresh hook bait and recast the rod.

get them feeding competitively. This is a process I always take as it gives me the Competitive feeding is always my goal as it

opportunity to maximize the feeding times when

makes carp so much easier to fool as they drop

the fish are in the area and on your bait. If you

their guards and the greed factor really works in

take 10-15 minutes or longer to sort out the fish

your advantage. On this session I arrived at my

with weighing and pictures, that is 10-15 minutes

chosen swim just after dark and knowing that I

you do not have all your rods fishing.

had two nights at my disposal I baited with 1kg of home-made soluble boilies and 1kg of readymade boilies.

I often catch fish on the same rod within 5 minutes of recasting so it’s definitely worth repeating this process. Also, if you know the fish are in fairly

I like this mixture as the soluble boilies start leak-

large groups you need to keep them in the area

ing attraction straight away and put food signals

and introducing a decent amount of boilies defi-

out into the water column whereas the ready-

nitely helps with this.

made boilies leak attraction at a slower rate and are more resistant to the nuisance species (in this case channel catfish and bullheads).

I repeated this process several times during the night and was rewarded with a steady flow of carp. The nice thing about this first night was the aver-

It is also important to note, where I put this 2kg

age size of the carp, as the majority of them were

of boilies. Instead of baiting a tight area I picked

between 25 and 30lb’s. By daylight I had landed

2 areas within the swim and baited both, as well

about a dozen fish and got through about 5kg of

as putting baits across the areas to almost form

boilies.

a line of boilies. The Seneca River is basically a channel and I was baiting from one drop-off to the other. If over the course of the session one of the areas becomes more productive, you can then position more rods onto the hot spot. Back to the session; it took approximately 3 hours to get my first fish, but the wait was worth it with a cracking warrior of a common, just under 30lb’s. North American Carp Angler

105


Carp like this one are eating machines and will easily eat a kilo or more of bait at one sitting! Morning, meant a quick breakfast and fresh coffee and then preparation for the action I hoped would follow. Several fresh rigs were tied, along with a bunch of PVA sticks.

bought quite a lot of bait with me (approx. 6-8kgs of home-made baits and 10kg of ready-mades). While this may seem like a lot of bait, it really is eye opening the amount of bait an individual 20lb+ carp can eat in one sitting!

Usually the day time action in this area is slower, but over the course of the next several hours I

The daytime was topped by a very solid 33lb

landed another 10 fish or so, all the time keep-

common and as night time crept in I knew sleep

ing the bait going into the swim. It’s important to

would be at a minimum.

note that as I have fished this area before I had


The best fish of the session was this solid 33lb+ Seneca Common carp

Once darkness fell, the fish activity really increased. Over the first 24 hours I had used about 8-10kg of boilies and caught just over 20 fish. Over the next 8 hours I landed another 25 carp before I finally wound in ALL of my rods at 3am in order to get a few hours of sleep before my 5 hour drive home!

North American Carp Angler

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It was interesting to note that the second night I had a large number of smaller male carp in front of me that were much more competitive in their feeding. Several times I had multiple hook-ups and even when I reduced and then stopped the rebaiting the fish activity stayed the same as the carp searched for every last bait. At the end of the session I had used about 15kg of bait but landed over 45 carp; losing only one fish to a snag, which interestingly I caught less than 12 hours later with the cut off hook-link in its mouth. A testament to how much it liked the boilies.

Signs of success; matt, sacks and retaining sling all drying out after a night of heavy use


A rare Seneca mirror carp, and a cracker at over 23lb’s Hopefully, you can see the difference between piling the bait in and building a swim. Although I

It also allows me to increase my chances of quicker pick-ups by enhancing my hook-baits.

used 15kg of boilies I did so over the course of 42 hours and steadily introduced this bait after each capture.

MAXIMIZE THE CHANCE OF PICK-UPS While I do use ready-made boilies I tend to use ones that are not overly flavored. I’d much prefer a boilie that has a good food value and a small flavor signal and carp are usually more inclined to eat big amounts of this type of bait.

There are two main ways I will enhance my hookbaits. One is the hook-baits themselves and the second is with a PVA bag or stick. With the hookbait I usually have several pots of glugged baits as well as options for pop-ups. These are usually very bright and over flavored. The main aim is to pump out a big food signal to the carp so they investigate your hook-bait. I also add a PVA solid bag or stick to both aid presentation and also help with anti-tangling when casting. North American Carp Angler 109


A combination of a glugged hookbait and a PVA stick is a deadly duo My PVA bag and stick mix varies depending on the time of year and how fast I want them to break down but ingredients will include; chopped or whole boilies, pellets, crumb, liquidized bread, grits, salt, oats, panko and a variety of PVA friendly oils or liquids. I will also add particles if I am fishing artificial hook-baits, such as corn and tiger nuts.


A TALE OF TWO SESSIONS Even though I have only highlighted two sessions I hope you can see the difference in the baiting approach and also how I applied the bait over the sessions.

I start every session with an open mind and try to adapt according to the fish behavior. Sometimes my approach will be tailored to the time I have available and other times past experience will be a big help. However, a valuable phrase I learnt early in my fishing life was, ‘you can’t take it out, once you have put it in’.

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This basically means that if you over commit at the start it will be very hard to change your approach if the fish do not cooperate. Whether you fish for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks I would highly recommend you take the European Matchman approach and start off with a small quantity of bait in the ‘right’ area. You can then bait ‘little and often’ and really build your swim. If the carp really are feeding then don’t be afraid to up the baiting regularity and quantity and hopefully you’ll have plenty of memorable sessions.

My favorite part of fishing; seeing them swim off


Asian

Carp

Is it all in the name?

The discovery of ‘Two dreaded Asian carp’ found in a Toronto water way recently sparked another wave of panic and media sensationalism.


The fish were correctly identified as Ctenopharyngodon idella, more commonly known as Grass Carp. However the article then made comparisons with Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Silver carp) that are ‘threatening’ the Great Lakes and have created sensational media images showing them ‘jumping’ several feet out of the water when disturbed by boats. It is important for we carp anglers to be better informed since ‘Asian’ carp has become an overused, generic term for a number of different and often unrelated species. Hopefully we can help educate others to differentiate Asian carp from the common carp that has largely become naturalized in North America

There are several known ‘Asian’ carp species in North America. These include Bighead, Black, Silver & Grass Carp that are relatively recent introductions. However the common carp should be excluded from this list since it hails from Eurasia and became established in the late 1800’s.

Bighead Carp

– Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

However, some fish escaped into the Mississippi River basin, where they are now firmly established. A national plan for the control of Asian carps, including bighead carp, was finalized in late 2007. In the United States, a limited market has developed for bighead carp, particularly in ethnic communities, and they are farmed in ponds for this purpose. The live or very freshly killed market is quite lucrative.

Bighead carp can reach overe 80lb in weight and are considered a highly destructive invasive species in the United States. Bighead carp and the closely related silver carp (H. molitrix) were imported to the United States to remove excess or undesirable plankton to help improve water quality in sewage treatment plants and aquaculture facilities.

As a result bighead carp are often transported live, and may create a higher risk factor for the eventual spread of the fish, either through release by the end purchaser, or through escape during transport.


Black Carp

- Mylopharyngodon piceus

The black carp can reach up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in length and 35 kg (77 lb) in weight. The nature of the black carp’s diet has led to its use in the United States in the control of snails in aquaculture. Snails are obligate alternate hosts of trematode pests that can cause substantial losses to aquaculture crops. Some state laws require the carp to be bred as triploids, to render them sterile, and thus minimize the potential for the fish to escape and create self-sustaining populations. However, the use of triploids does require the maintenance and use of fertile diploid brood stock at least at some location, for production of the triploids and some fertile fish have been found in the Mississippi River basin raising concerns that they may pose a serious threat to mollusks native to the United States, many of which are critically endangered.

The maximum length is 1.4 m (4.6 ft) and the maximum weight over 40 kg (88 lb). According to one study, they live an average of five to 9 years, with the oldest surviving 11 years. They eat up to three times their own body weight daily – as much as 100lb of plant material. They thrive in small lakes and backwaters that provide an abundant supply of freshwater vegetation.

This species was first imported to the United States in 1963 to aquaculture facilities in Auburn, Alabama, and Stuttgart, Arkansas. The Auburn stock came from Taiwan, and the Arkansas stock was imported from Malaysia. However the first release of this species into open waters took place at Stuttgart, Arkansas, when fish escaped the Fish Farming Experimental Station. As a result there were many reports by the early 70’s of grass carp captured in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Grass carp (sterile) are still widely used for control (both authorized and unauthorized stockings) of aquatic vegetation. However since a single fish can only digest about half of the 45Kg (yes that’s almost 100lbs !) of material it consumes daily the remainder is excreted and can contribute to algal blooms.

Silver Carp

- Hypophthalmichthys molitrix.

Grass Carp

- Ctenopharyngodon idella

The silver carp reaches an average length of 60– 100 cm (24–39 in) with a maximum length of 140 cm (55 in) and weight of 45 kg (99 lb). The grass carp or Amur grows very rapidly. Young fish stocked in the spring at 20 cm (7.9 in) will reach over 45 cm (18 in) by fall. The average length is about 60–100 cm (24–39 in).

It appears most often in the media headlines and is characterized by its high flying leaps when startled. It is considered a potential threat if it reaches the Great Lakes.


A native of eastern Asia including eastern Russia, China and Vietnam it was imported and stocked for phytoplankton control in eutrophic water bodies and also apparently as a food fish. It was first brought into the United States in 1973 when a private fish farmer imported silver carp into Arkansas. By the mid 1970s the silver carp was being raised at six state, federal, and private facilities, and by the late 1970s it had been stocked in several municipal sewage lagoons. By 1980 the species was discovered in natural waters, probably a result of escapes from fish hatcheries and other types of aquaculture facilities. The occurrence of silver carp in the Ouachita River of the Red River system in Louisiana was likely the result of an escape from an aquaculture facility upstream in Arkansas. The Florida introduction was probably a result of stock contamination, a silver carp having been inadvertently released with a stock of grass carp being used for aquatic plant control. In a similar case, the species was apparently introduced accidentally to an Arizona lake as part of an intentional, albeit illegal, stock of diploid grass carp. The impact of this species difficult to predict because of its place in the food web. In numbers, the silver carp has the potential to cause enormous damage to native species because it feeds on plankton required by larval fish and native mussels. It could also be a potential competitor with adults of some native fishes, for instance, gizzard shad & largemouth bufflo, that also rely on plankton for food.

Common carp – Cyprinus carpio

It is likely that the North American carp were mostly derived from a European ancestor that evolved in the Caspian sea before migrating naturally to eastern Asia and as far west as the Danube. However it has been shown that while German mirror carp originated from the European sub species C. carpio carpio the Russian scattered scaled mirror carp originate from the Asian sub species C. carpio haematopterus. The variation in scale patterns are a result of a combination of two pairs of genetic alleles S&s and N&n. It is important to note that stocks of mirror carp will not simply ‘revert’ over time to become commons as has sometimes been suggested. The outcomes can be seen in the diagram below:


Is it all in the name?

Carp

Asian

History: The first introductions to the USA probably took place in 1830 or 1831 before some where released into the Hudson River. There are also reports of carp being brought to Connecticut in 1840. However there is some uncertainty about these early arrivals as some evidence suggests they were common goldfish rather than carp. In the 1870’s the US Fish Commission began a 20 year program to stock and distribute common carp through out the USA as a potential food source for the growing population. Since that time carp, largely because of poor aquaculture, became increasingly less popular as table fare. Then as the industrial revolution devoured resources and polluted waterways many native species and critical habitats were impacted.

Impact of Introduction. The USGS and many state fisheries organizations blame common carp for loss of habitat, native fish and aquatic plant species. While evidence exists in some areas to support these claims it often overlooks the human impact on ecosystems which in many cases is even more significant. The damming of rivers and water abstraction leads to reduced water flow which in turn creates increased water temps and greater silting in many areas. Boat traffic erodes banks, muddies water and tears up aquatic vegetation far more than carp. Meanwhile agricultural run off increases nitrogen & phosphates that cause oxygen depleting algal blooms that also deprive plants of sunlight.


The recent attempts to eradicate carp from Lake Utah in vain attempts to protect or reintroduce native species only serves to highlight these ‘oversights’. The shallow depth of Lake Utah (less than 10’ on average) results in significant stirring up of sediment when the wind blows which is strangely one of the problems also blamed on the carp. This combined with significant irrigation needs, pollution incidents and excess agricultural nutrients certainly make lake Utah an interesting case study if nothing else! The reality is such water bodies will likely become a haven for carp simply because they can better tolerate these areas over native species.

Native Buffalo species

In Holland the Dutch fisheries organization have concluded that carp are now widely naturalized and have had a limited impact on native fish species. In temperate climates it appears that the survival of small carp (less than 7”) is limited due to low winter temperatures and is subject to heavy predation by species such as pike, perch etc resulting in a few large carp vs large populations of small carp. As many European anglers will attest good quality waters will support big fish of all species not just carp!

larvae and invertebrates depending on availability. Interestingly the optimum habitat for bigmouth buffalo requires highly vegetated and turbid waters. This sounds counter intuitive as muddy waters are often blamed for poor aquatic vegetation growth. There are currently five recognized species in the genus:

Buffalo are often referred to as carp but they are in fact a member of the sucker family. The large or big mouth buffalo can grow to over 6olb and is becoming an increasingly popular sport fish, especially among carp anglers. They are native to many parts of North America especially the Mississippi River drainage system. The bigmouth buffalo has numerous ecological needs. The juveniles and adults are plankton feeders that also eat daphnia, shrimp, algae, other insect

• • • • •

Ictiobus bubalus (Smallmouth buffalo) Ictiobus cyprinellus (Bigmouth buffalo) Ictiobus labiosus (Fleshylip buffalo) Ictiobus meridionalis (Usumacinta buffalo) Ictiobus niger (Black buffalo)


Koi, Goldfish and other exotics

Among the carp species commonly caught in North America are a variety of interesting and often brightly colored fish. The source of these fish may be escapees from fish farms, pets that have outgrown their owners, livebait releases and in some cases may even have ancestory going back to the original stockings in the 1800’s. In some areas koi, with their extraordinary range of colors and scale patterns, are routinely caught as are fantail carp with their extended fins, barbels and ‘nasal’ protrusions. Common goldfish can be recognized by their lack of barbles.

So what is in a name? When it comes to assessing the environmental impact of invasive species and the loss of native animals and fauna we clearly need to look at some but not all species of Asian ‘carp’. However at the top of the list there is none more destructive than Homo sapiens (yes that’s us!). As humans spread ever further in this World they gobble up every resource imaginable, especially water, while leaving behind a trail of waste material & pollutants. It is likely that many more native species will become extinct or marginalized leaving few survivors except perhaps only the most adaptable. Long live the carp & cockroaches!


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NACA 2016 Q2  

The North American Carp Angler Magazine 2016 Q2 in now online!