Hey Guys. I want to introduce you to a method for catching carp that, for some one getting into carp angling, I think is superior in many respects to the classic European method with the 12ft rod, baitrunner reel with bite alarm. This technique has evolved over the last 50 to 70 years to it's present form. The rods and reels are commonly available across North America and the baits are made with inexpensive store bought items. The line and terminal tackle are all readily available here as well.
I use Berkly UglyStik rods either the 6ft or the 8 1/2 ft in MH action. The six footer I have is a one piece. I land carp over 30 lbs on these rods every year. They are fitted out with Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6000 reels loaded with either 12 or 17 lb Berkly Trilene XT mono. Any comparable rods and reels will do. If you are starting out in carping this is the way to go because you can also fish for channel cats, pike, musky ( not the real big girls though) and even cast off piers for chinooks with the same outfit.
The typical European outfit uses a Baitrunner reel which is considered an essential . The baitrunner reels were engineered to duplicate the features of a baitcaster reel ( which predate baitrunners by decades) in that baitcasters can be set on freespool. This feature is used on a baitcaster to cast with and also allows the fish to run with the bait and not pull your outfit into the drink. The baitcaster reels have a clicker or line-out alarm which sounds off when then fish takes off with your bait. With baitrunner reels you have to buy an electronic alarm which can cost anywhere from 30 to over 200 dollars. These alarms can also be frought with problems due to water getting in them and the clicker on a baitcaster does not need a battery which we all know can run down at the most inconvenient times.
The terminal tackle consists of; a #2/0 or #1/0 straight eye baitholder hook. Mustad and Eagle Claw hooks will do just fine. Owner also makes a deadly sharp hook in this style and it is my favourite, a large barrel swivel , a plastic or rubber bead and egg sinkers.
The bait is in two parts. The hook bait and the pack bait.
For a hook bait a puffed corn is used. Please note not Corn Pops. These are readily available at the Bulk Barn or a local " healthy food " type store. They cost $2.99 for a big bag, which should last all season.
You simply impale a piece with the hook. The puffs can have stuff added to them to increase their effectivness but this is not neccessary to start with.
The pack bait is packed around the baited hook. Two of the simplest and effective pack baits are ground fresh bread ( bread pack ) and oat pack which is made with large flake steamed rolled oats ( not quick or instant oats ) .
Bread pack is made with plain white bread which can be bought for 1 to 2 bucks a loaf. You put the fresh bread in a food processor and chop it up fine. Then place the crumbs in a zip lock bag. Squeeze most of the air out of the bag. Don't compact the bread into a solid mass though. One or two loaves will do for the day. If you don't have a food processor you can just tear the bread into little chunks. This will work but makes packing it around the hook evenly a little more difficult. Keep the zip lock bag closed to prevent the bread from drying out. That's it, simplicity at its best. Your total bait cost for the day would be between a buck and a half to four and and half bucks.
This is the method for getting your bread pack around your baited hook. Use your hand to scoop up a bunch of pack bait . Hold your hand flat and using you other hand make a dent through the middle of the pile.
Place the baited hook into the dent.
Close your hand and squeeze repeatedly to pack the bait around the hook. Shift the pack around in you hand and squeeze repeatedly again. Repeat this until you have a nice evenly packed egg or ovoid shaped lump of bait. You are now ready to fish carp
This is the set up I use off of piers here in the Hamilton area. When I am sitting in the chair the reel is not in freespool , the carp cannot pull my rod in with this set up. If I leave the chair I click on the freespool button and engage the clicker. You do not need anything as complex as this but I like to be comfortable and have the rod at close hand. A couple of bank sticks will do for a start
With a little bit of skill and knowledge as an angler you will not just catch some carp with this method you will , as that say down south "haul". Have some A5 35 ready at home for your sore arms and back.
Oat pack has three ingredients , large flake steamed rolled oats, creamed corn and salt.
I buy my oats at the Bulk Barn , I put 5 scoops in a bag , this is about 2 1/2 lbs. You can also use Quaker Oats. To this you add one can of creamed corn and one heaping tablespoon of Kosher or pickling salt. Mix the three ingredients together and your oat pack will be ready to fish in less than 30 minutes. Keep this bait in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Unlike the bread pack this can not be prepared the night before but should be made on the bank.
Once again, not quick or instant oats. If you use these you will end up with a solid ball that will not break down or will fly apart when casting.
Good luck and tightlines for the upcomong season.
This style of carp angling comes from N and S Carolina and is called Paylake fishing. I am able to pass this on to you do to the generousity of a mister Tom Brooks from Kings Mountain N. Carolina.
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Carp fishing paylake style for beginners
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