For this episode we decided to do a show on carp fishing… it’s not our first and it definitely won’t be our last. Although Ang and Pete wouldn’t call themselves experts, they do feel they are gaining valuable knowledge with every season that passes. The beauty of Carp fishing is it opens up a whole new world to them.
Pete takes the reins on this one as Ang was setting up to do another species… at another place.
Why carp, you ask? “Why not” says Pete “I love fishin’ ’em”!
“I remember talking to Ang a long time ago” says Pete “and he said he had seen some huge carp on the north side of the Duck Islands in eastern Lake Ontario when he was fishing a Bass tournament like… 20+ years ago. He said it was loaded with fish. Sounds like a good place to check out since it should be untouched and it’s definitely unique”.
It’s pre-spawn, so he figured that Carp behavior would probably be somewhat erratic. What he does know about them is that when they are in pre-spawn, they’re moving around in shallow water… and they’re congregating.
Pete approached Main Duck Island from the west and saw some fish, but they were scattered – not enough to stop and set up. He kept scanning the shoreline and suddenly came across an area of somewhat murky water. Here he saw the biggest concentration of fish. He set the boat and began chumming the water with boiled corn.
“I made some casts but nothing was happening” says Pete. “As I mentioned earlier, these are pre-spawn fish and they’re just not eating the way they normally do”.
With the fish not happening Pete went on a scouting mission to Wapoos Island, Timber Island and then finally found fish… a lot of fish.
I finally chose a fishing spot that had 2 ingredients… lots of fish; in a very fishable area. Looking for visible shallow fish is a no-brainer but getting them to come to “and” feed in a specific spot, that’s not so easy.
I chummed this area with boiled corn and then set up my hair rig with sweet corn, big scented kernels of corn and pineapple scented Boilies. My next step is to cast out and wait.
INTERESTING NOTE : By the way, it’s important to soak and boil your feed-corn before chumming an area. Dry corn, once water induced can swell up to 4 times its original size. If carp ingest a pound of dry corn… which a big fish can do very easily… that now wet corn could swell up to 4 pounds and tear the fish’s intestines.
Pre boiling your feed corn makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.
One last point about feeding with corn, check your local fishing regulations to be sure it’s legal to use in the body of water you’re on.
“After what seemed like an eternity” Pete says “I get a hit… then… I lose it… oh but wait there’s more… I lose another one – two in a row”!
The Carp World
T his brings up an interesting fact in the carp world. Early in the season a carp’s lips are soft and tender, but they become calloused and toughen up as the season progresses. This happens as the fish constantly feed on crustaceans, zebra mussels, snails and so on.
Getting good penetration on hooksets early on is almost a guarantee however… having the hook hold in the soft mouth tissue with a tight drag… that’s where things get dicey – probably explains why Pete lost those two. Simple solution; loosen up the drag!
After re-rigging, loosening my drag and using scented corn, I was able to boat a couple of decent common carp.
The wind started to pick up so Pete being worried about a quick “Lake O blow-up” went to the opposite side of the island.
“My new area of this point on False Duck is very different from where I was just fishing. Instead of having a big flat with a gradual slope, it plunged down a fast drop off into the dark depths. I knew the carp were here, so I figured what the heck, I’ll cast to what looks about 25 or 30 feet deep and hope for the best. This was a new experience for me; I’ve only ever fished for Carp in shallow water.”
Along with seeing all kinds of fish Pete caught 2 more fantastic Common Carp from Lake Ontario’s depths. He ended up a happy man.
The most interesting portion of the episode though is not the fishing but in fact it’s a great piece that Pete and camera operator Justin Vandergaast documented on the Seagull and Cormorant population of False Duck Island.
If you think gulls are gluttons you are right, but this time they do the angling world a favour… got you thinking right???
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s great Carp fishing I first took hwy 401 to hwy 41 at Napanee and headed south. Next I turned east on hwy 2 and then south on rd 7 at Storms Corners. I finally turned south-west on Loyalist Parkway, travelled through the town of Bath to a boat launch on the shores of Lake Ontario.
A word of warning, this boat launch can be unsafe with strong incoming winds.