You’ve got the Thames River, Football, the Queen, and the Paparazzi… nothing to do with your beloved Fish’n Canada Show in general but a lot to do with this episode. It’s all about England, Canada and Carp!
Angelo and Pete have now made 2 trips to the other side of the pond to attend “The Big One” a fishing and tackle show that takes place near London England, and as the name would suggest it is massive.
They go to see firsthand what all the hype is about when it comes to Carp, arguably the most popular sport fish in all of Europe and hopefully get some ideas or interest to build up Canada’s and especially Ontario’s potentially great Carp fishing.
This trade show has thousands of square feet dedicated exclusively to the Carp angler. Baits, boilies, rods, stands, monster trophies, and of course fish’n babes, litter the show floor….like any other form of fishing, the mouse trap is constantly being reinvented… But there was one thing that really stood out above all else in both visits and that is the passion that British anglers have about their Carp, in fact they‘re crazed over them….so for this episode Fish’n Canada decided to bring a few of these fishing fin-atics to Canada… and that’s where this episode took a 180 degree turn from our usual style.
Normally the guys are chucking out baits in search of a trophy somewhere in Canada, on this show though, they are hosting a group of highly acclaimed British Carp journalists…that’s right they actually have Carp specialists in England, to try Carp fishing Ontario style, and hopefully they’ll find out just how fantastic Carp fishing is in the COLONIES.
Our group of Brits making the trip to Canada consists of Robin Maylin from Big Carp Magazine, Jerry Bridger – Carpworld Magazine, Roy Russell from Carp Talk Magazine & David Grove who is a tour operator from Gofishingworldwide. These four gentlemen are among the elite carp anglers in the UK.
Our destinations for this episode are the Niagara River, the Toronto Islands and Little Lake in the city of Peterborough with a bonus stay of Rice Lake for a bit of “fun fishing”. Our local Carp experts are Paul Castellano who you should know from previous Fish’n Canada episodes, Taro Murata of Fish City Tours and Len Perdic, one of Canada’s premier Carp anglers. All 3 of these guys “guaranteed” us… Carp in the net! Lastly but certainly not least, was Jim Grayston representing Go Fish Ontario, a great web portal directing inquisitive anglers in the direction of awesome Ontario fishing opportunities.
Leg #1 – The Niagara River is locally known as one of the hottest “all-round” fishing destinations in all of Canada. The species list is far too long to ramble on about and the location is perfect for everyone from a lone angler to an entire family.
As stated earlier our local expert for this leg of the carp extravaganza is Paul Castellano, when it comes to fishing the Niagara Paul wrote the book, he specialises in anything swimming in these waters and in today’s case, the Niagara is loaded with Carp. After a brisk morning walk down the endless stairway leading to the Whirlpool on the Niagara River, Paul quickly and efficiently set our British friends up in a manner as to fully cover a breakline along the shoreline which plummets quickly into the river. We know for a fact that the boys were in awe as to the scenery, the fishing and “especially” the vast amount of access to public water since there is almost no such thing over in the UK… that’s right, they have to pay for pretty much any quality fishing spot! Roy Russell said it best “wow. I don’t really care if I catch a fish, this place is incredible!”
After sitting and watching these Carp experts work their magic, it’s no wonder that these guys are the best in the business. Their gear is mind boggling to the novice on looker and everything in their entire kit has a purpose! Landing mats, stands, rod pods, buzz bars, bite alarms, throwing sticks, catapult sling shots, these guys even come with their own custom made chairs!
The Brits instantly started landing Carp, not big ones but very powerful fish because of their current ridden home waters of the Niagara River. As a total unexpected bonus for the Niagara leg of this trip was a Buffalo Head caught by Dave Grove; up until today our guys didn’t now they even existed in our waters…… makes one wonder how many of them have been misidentified as Carp, after all if Ang and Pete didn’t have all of these Carp experts on hand they wouldn’t have known the difference.
Having done quite well at Niagara, while heading on to our next destination we decided to hit Hamilton Harbour which was right on our way. Again this is a unique Carp destination in that it’s under fished and has a great population of big Carp. The boys set up at various locations while Angelo took turns taking each of them for a tour of the harbour in the Princecraft. This must have been a thrill for the Brits as their faces lit up as soon as the big Merc started to bark.
The fishing in Hamilton although slow, produced some very respectable Common Carp with Jerry Bridger taking top honors for biggest and most fish. Paul Castellano had him set up at an area known to local Carpers as Eastport. Essentially one can just park their car, jump the barrier and start fishing.
Following a nice afternoon of fishing in the Steel Capital of Canada, the group packed up their gear and headed on to their next destination.
Leg #2 – The next stop on the British Carp tour took the group to the “not so fishy looking” area of the Toronto Islands. This great destination is located smack dab in the middle of the City of Toronto making it a complete surprise as to the availability of fishing it has to offer. Of course a real upside of having a fishing hole so close to down town Toronto, one of the largest cities in North America, is all of the infrastructures, such as transportation like the ever popular Toronto Island Ferry. Going to and from the Carp swim is just a matter of loading your stuff on to one of the user friendly scheduled ferries……just like a walk in the park, actually it is a walk in the park. One of the Toronto Island’s strength is the amount of big Carp roaming this unique fishing destination…
Our guide for this portion of the trip was Taro Murata, a local fishing guide who specializes in “all that swims”. He’s not only good at what he does, but he’s got a great sense of humour. Taro did his homework is finding an area of the vast Toronto harbour that was loaded with Carp.
One of the strangest items you’ll see in carp fishing is their catapult or as we call it a sling shot. On the shores of Birds *&#@ Island as our British friends deemed this fishing area, the boys were looking like they were going to war… catapults vs Cormorants and Seagulls. Fortunately for our guys, the boys merely wanted to shoot out corn and feeder boilies to the hundreds of Carp roaming the sand flats.
Rob Maylin anchored team UK’s biggest Carp of the trip so far, a fatty that had to be 30+ pounds!
As an interesting note, although prepared bait and corn is the traditional way of catch these super intelligent fish, more and more reports are coming in from the fly fishing fraternity of Carp caught on the fly. Dave Grove borrowed one of Paul Castellano’s fly rigs and walked and waded the shores of this big city Carp Mecca and believe it or not, he did quite well. If you’re a fly angler, it could be worth looking into.
Leg #3 – Our final stop for the television portion of our Carp extravaganza was Little Lake in Peterborough. This again is known as an above average fishing destination for these hard fighters. In fact all of the Kawarthas are a Carp goldmine.
The beauty of Carp angling is all you really need is public access to the waters, good ground bait and the fish gods will do the rest. Pete met up with our travelling group at this spot as well as good friend Len Perdic, one of Canada’s premier Carp experts. Len fishes Little Lake every year and has always boasted as to the amazing Carp angling this little gem has to offer.
Len was right, Little lake produced as advertised along with the best Mirror Carp of the trip.
“When I arrived to this spot” said Pete “I knew the boys were in their happy place… Coleman chairs, thermos’s of Tea, coolers full of sandwiches and of course, rods on pods, a hundred pounds of corn… you see, this is a whole different type of fishing. It’s very relaxing until the strike indicator starts going ballistic… that changes the whole attitude”.
At the end of yet another great Carp fishing day, Pete and Len escorted the boys to their last destination of the trip Elmhirst Lodge on the Carp filled Rice Lake. This was a bonus stop for the Brits as the camera’s had more than enough from all the previous stops. Long story short, this ended up being one of the most productive stops of the tour as far as numbers of fish goes. By baiting the area directly in front of their cottages with feeder boilies, our UK experts caught fish after fish ending an amazing trip for them.