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steve_bok

Aussie Carp Fishing - the way forward.

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Guys

 

I'm interested to know your opinions on the way forward for Aussie Carp fishing. I'm thinking more along the lines of fishing for carp, rather than their 'effects' on the environment and eradication attempts, population control etc. but I appreciate the two issues are very closely linked.

 

Firstly I suppose I should give my thoughts on the matter and a bit of background on myself. I'm an aussie angler (not an ex-pat), who grew up like any other typical aussie (killing as may carp as I could get my hands on). I really got into it as a teenager in the mid to late 90's when there was a brief coarse fishing craze in Australia. I soon realised that no matter how many Carp I was removing nothing changed and the whole exercise was pointless. I spent quite a few years with conflicting thoughts and wondering why everyone thought they could go on doing the same old thing trying to eradicate them which clearly isn't working. I was enjoying my fishing and had developed a respect for my old foe the Carp. Soon after I discovered a certain forum in which carp were respected and fishing for them was taken seriously, my knowledge then skyrocketed with the assistance of certain members and here I am today, I'd like to think I'm a home grown modern Aussie Carper (work in progress).

 

First off before I criticise anyone for killing carp (I've probably killed more carp in my lifetime than most), it's important to note that's what people are educated to do. They think they are doing the right thing and to be fair perhaps they are (legally in some cases), they will follow it blindly, and with a passion. I still associate with fishers who kill carp, and I'll often attended competitions where carp are killed, although I prefer some good can come of their death. Eg money raised for good causes. So what I'm trying to say is, I'm no carping saint and people who kill carp aren't necessarily bad people.

 

These days I find myself wanting to chase big carp, and they aren't all that common and take a long time to grow to a decent size. So catching and killing doesn't go hand in hand with big carp fishing, so I find myself not fishing in certain instances with some of those I know would go there to kill them if given enough information to do so. I fish on my own a lot for carp these days, as it's not easy to find others around with the same thinking...

 

I would be afraid to share a lot of specific information on this site due to it being used to destroy the big carp I would like to catch, and if others are doing the same by keeping to themselves then nothing will ever move forward. Of course I will share information with new anglers to help them in the right direction, but if they want to go on a killing spree than i'm not going to lay it out on a platter for them...

 

My point is, how to go get people from one side or the other, when there are such irreconcilable differences, without them just working it out for themselves as I did. OR how do we make it easier for them to see the light... I have been on both sides of the fence and have sat on it a while too. I figure it has to be a gradual progression, but you are almost forced at times to choose a side.

 

Is it an impossible situation? I would have thought maybe the USA has had some similar struggles or still does? Your opinions?

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G'day Steve,

And welcome to the forum, mate.

Like you I'm an Aussie fisho born and bred, but having lived coastal all my life never caught the carp fever. I'd always fished the beaches and estuaries with a bit of blue water inbetween. Then circ's changed and I've spent the last 5yrs in the UK. Being a man who can't not fish I had to find something to stir the interest. Tried the ocean fare; mackerel the size of pillies and cod of miniture proportion didn't really inspire me much. Added to the so called beaches and sunny climes(sic) meant I needed something different. Enter carp angling. In particular Aussie carp angling and the 'ninja' fisho's of this great southern land.

The carp situation is unique in Oz. The vast population have been sold on the fisheries authorities propaganda and it'll be a hard task for anyone to sway them back. If we are to preserve some of the great fishing we have for us carpers, I think it has to be a softly softly approach. And info does have to be shared very carefully. Especially when it comes to big carp. In my eyes any big fish(salt or fresh) is worthy of respect and I've always put 'em back(I was brought up on Rex and Steve, not Phippsy and Co).

Yet on the other hand, our native species are so unique that it would be a crime to endanger there existence. I don't think carp are to blame but they do have to be managed properly to sustain the amazing natural fishery that Australia has.

You read an Aussie fishing mag and they will spell out where to catch fish in any given impoundment down to the metre. We cannot afford to do that with regards to carp because the typical Aussie fisho would reek carnage. It's just the way the game is played downunder, mate. We gotta keep it low key, but it makes the rewards that more satisfying!

 

Cheers,

Ben

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Ben

 

I agree with what you say. I don't agree with a lot of what Carp are blamed for...For example... Yes they do stir up silt when feeding, but how did that silt get in the river? Because people cleared along the riversides and the rivers washed away the banks and silted up. Most healthy rivers I know of in a pristine environment have a sand or gravel bottom and are clear, carp and all. I see the major problem is that Carp are that successful they out compete the other native fish in the modified waterways we have created. Sure we need to make sure these fish aren't pushed out totally by carp, but unless we put the rivers back how they were (or close enough to it) these fish will never recover or thrive, carp or no carp.

 

Now if you look at somewhere like Lake Burley Griffin, it's a completely artificial water, all the major indigienous fish in it's major tributary were killed by pollution due to mining many years ago. The only fish that thrive are carp and redfin, everything else has to be constantly stocked and are being stocked at ever decreasing levels, they are so few they are not easily caught without a bit of luck or good local knowledge. It is well known as a carp fishing lake, people insist on constantly killing the carp, any catch is totally sustainable given the population in the lake. Nothing changes other than people remove the big fish, and they're replaced by the next generation of carp, still the same amount of carp. If everyone let them go nothing will change other than perhaps the population in numbers might slowly decrease as the average size slowly increased.

 

You could have a fantastic carp lake with a few natives that will never thrive, or, keep trashing the carp and have a few natives that will never thrive. These are the realistic options.

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hello all long time reader of these forums and first time poster.

 

let me start by saying i wasnt born in australia but i did come out to our great land at a very young age ( 7 ) luckily for me.

 

i unlike steve never fished for carp.. properly anyway untill a few years ago and before then had always fished from jetty or boat for salt water species having lived in NSW and now SA i have been pretty lucky in catching some great fish over the years from the sea.

 

i cant really pinpoint what got me so much into fishing and for that matter completely enjoying chasing our beloved carp !

 

but i have well and truely got the bug and i cant see it going away anytime in the not to distant future,

 

being a carp fisherman in australia and probably as bad,if not worse than other states south australia.. is the complete disgust and distain the general public hold towards the carp it is like a deepdown hatred in most case's sad to say but it is TRUE :oops:

 

everywhere i go and fish and unfortunatly our venues here are quite numbered at least for legal access anyway !

 

someone has to stick there 2cents ( pence ) in about how destructive the carp is how they kill other fish how they make the water the colour it is.. and heaven forbid if someone actually sees you land a fish ! out comes the torches and pitch forks....

 

my mates at work and most are good mates think im a right weirdo for my hobbie and just cant see the great sport and adventure these fish hold everytime you go to the bank

 

so to answer steves question at least from my side of the pond is..

 

it is going to take a long long long time to sway the average aussie fisho to respecting anysize carp

 

no offence ment to anyone with this post if they feel things are different then please post away love to hear others points of view as to locations of carp waters i would be very hesitant of giving away any info at this stage!

cheers

and for those of us who love and repect the carp and their great fighting qualitys here in OZ

tight lines and goodluck on finding them aussie monsters

 

 

Edit= on re-reading i havn't given any awnser to steves question on ways forward in aussie carp fishing.. as i have no awnser for now at least.. we are few and in the trenches.. hopefully 1 day we can hold our catches and release's high ! (( making sure not to drop them of course :lol: ))

 

john

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Its a good question Steve and one I have pondered at length, the way I see it we represent an alternative view and yes we are clearly in a minority, whenever the subject is broached with me or I choose to take it up with another person then I find if you can communicate your thoughts and opinions in a composed and positive manner then that person goes away at the very least thinking & reflecting upon a different view, one that is positive rather than one that has the negative connotations of killing a living creature on the strength of opinion.

 

Of course there are those who's minds you will never change, some people do not like change and that is quite a natural trait, so you have to write a few off but generally if they have a certain level of intelligence and logical thought patterns - unclouded by hysteria - then you'd be surprised by how many people leave you on friendly terms if you play the calm and reasonable game, I've actually parted on good terms in about 60% of my discussions with people.

 

So fundamentally its about facts, education, the positives of Carp angling and the negatives of taking life, one of the things that always amazes me is that we have this fantastic Carp angling resource here in Australia that is under utilized and totally sustainable, provides year round sport with uncaught Carp, a lot of people don't know it but it really is their best chance to land a big fish, they just can't see it yet, I think this is where CAG have done such an excellent job in the USA they get the message out to people.

 

cheers,

 

Chris

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Here here Chris! I have had the chance to fish with some of the Cag members and all i can say that they have done wonders for the past time in the states. From a handful of expats it has now grown to about 8000 members plus other off shot societies as well. Carp fishing is big business now, tackle, guided trips, etc. Australians just don't realise how much money they could make having carp tourists coming to their shores... hell parts of spain would be totally stuffed if they didn't have these tourists coming in!

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There are many positives when considering the future of carp fishing in Australia. However, we still must remain level headed when it comes to the position of carp in the freshwater ecological balance sheet. I think the fact that no-one has ever promoted carp as a viable sportfish for tourism is because of the disregard they are held in by the vast majority. Before we get all excited about Europeans and Americans flocking to our shores to chase carp, is it what we really want? Do we want the banks strewn with bivvies and 'names' coming here giving away all our hard earned spots/techniques just to get another country on their 'resume'? Don't forget also that in most states we'd be bringing them over to 'break' the law. I think most dedicated fisho's, if they got wind of it would go absolutely bonkers and do everything they could to ruin any business trying to do so. Most inland fisho's have probably never left the country, don't know anything about carp-fishing and only see their rivers and creeks stuffed full of these 'foreign' fish.

 

What I'm trying to say is that there needs to be more groundwork done(by us carp anglers) in regards to carp management first before we have any grand ideas of carp tourism. We need to provide evidence that this fantastic fishery can be managed effectively. That we, as a group, are willing to be involved. And I am saddened but realistic when I say that it does mean that not every carp will be put back. The fishery is only sustainable if the hard choices are made. It's not fiction that some inland waterways are rammed with carp and nothing else. That harms, not helps our plight. I, for one, am willing to do this. Are you? Can you see the bigger picture? I want carp fishing to become a part of the Aussie fishing vernacular, hell, I'll be representing my country at the WCC in a few weeks. However as in all things there must be balance in approach, ideals, goals... etc. It ain't gonna be easy but then who doesn't love a challenge!

 

Cheers,

Ben

 

p.s. I do not intend to offend with my views, I am the devils advocate here.

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I think that the best method always is that which is actually armed with information.

I have a sneaking suspicion that people who push the "Carp silt up the water" need to have a look in the waters that don't have carp.

They're still full of silt.

 

Regardless, you can define what will happen with Carp fishing in Australia by looking at the same thing that happens with every other sport that's popular in other parts of the world.

 

It will be popular here with a small group of enthusiasts. And that's all.

Every single argument for carp fishing applies to most other non core activities like model airplane flying, fencing, archery, badminton, pig hunting with spears and wombat wrestling.

 

Fishing for carp as a specialist will always be a subset of fishing in general.

 

What I find REALLY annoying about it in Australia is that I know that the gear exists quite cheaply in other parts of the world.

Just not here!

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Australia is middle of the road I've found, fairly decent availability of gear and pricing is reasonable. The UK is alright but you pay a premium for 'carp' gear which really isn't but has been carpified for the unknowing English angler. I find high end line is hard to get at a competitive price and there is very little choice. As if x-line is the best fluoro!

Have to agree with you admacdo on the enthusiast statement. But I do like to be a little more optimistic! :wink: I never thought there'd be a bream angling tournament series?! So carping could have its place. i'd like to think so anyway!

Cheers,

Ben

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I think over here in Australia trying to change peoples minds about carp is going to be a hard a long up hill struggle.

 

For a start there is not that much freshwater fishing as in the u.k and Europe and especially a round the area i live it is saltwater, beach, estuary fishing or nothing.

 

I speak to some people a bout carping dependant on how the general conversation goes most people say they are a pest and to knock. Some just do not no the rules or laws regarding this species and others.

 

I have only found one angler in favour of carp fishing and he has put me onto some potential good waters.

 

I for one did not really fish for carp in the u.k for the last 10 years due to the change in the carp scsene and how many people fish waters nowadays and unfortunaly with that comes the idiots.

 

I do love fishing and the carp fishing over here and really against fishing for small brim which are hammered here and fishing with everyone else there is no choice for me it is carping everytime.

I have found my carp fever over here again, the only down side is you have to watch who is a round when the the fish fall back in and trying to find bigger carp 15lbs + is hard very hard i would say, but i will keep going on that one.

 

I agree and look at it both as a fisherman and a enviromentalist, to many of any one species in any given habitat or enevironment will long term have a detrimental effect on other species.

 

I can see as both a English fishereman come specialist, there is just to many carp in some waters to produce bigger carp and in those numbers they must have an affect on other species.

 

I am all for promoting carp fishing and hopefully finding these mythical waters, which english anglers would visit. They would certainaly need fish over 40lbs or 50lbs nowadays to get people to fly all the way and put the time in as fish of this calibre are in Europe and Africa for example.

 

I think the biggest challenge is carp are illegal to put back in many states and people grow up with the mentality that carp are all bad. A bit like pike and zander get blamed for back in the u.k.

 

Or did i must add as pike are not as badly treated nowadays.

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I think it depends on what part of the Country you live in as views & passions will change. I have always fished salt, since i was 4 and have brought home my fair share of table & sport fish. It's only been the last few years that my views have changed toward catch & release, and i know it's the same for alot of others.

I think that goes to show views can change as long as the arguments and facts suport the story being told, although i know it's a very long road.

I've only fished Carp for 14 months but have come to respect the fish as a great opponent. I am very spoiled in my area as we have a huge population of large brutes that are managed very strictly and provide great sport as all are currently released, and it was a long road to get to this point.

However, it's proof that views can be changed and things are looking forward toward a management style of fisheries that tries to balance between the enviroment & the fish.

We now have a happy mix of Carp & Bass, all seem happy to me.

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Its good to hear that prof, I love my Carp angling but also like to catch a Murray Cod or a Silver Perch, the future is probably a mixed fisheries approach, I've also caught a Bass before and found that a thrilling encounter although the tackle used was a little shall we say 'unconventional' in Bass terms. :lol:

 

atb,

 

Chris

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