Carpfishing in Canada

Floater Fishing

O.K.then enough of the theory, how about a practical situation? What follows is a situation where I succesfully caught fish & had extreme fun stalking CARP.
  The first situation that comes to mind was surface or 'floater' fishing, (I was living in The U.K. at this time) without doubt this is the most electrifying way to catch a carp. Tackle needed is usually minimal, Stalking rod 7-10 ft depending upon conditions, 10-15 lb line (floating).An assortment of hooks, controllers, etc. A pair of poloroids, a catapult, & some bait. Dont forget your landing net & some unhooking forceps.
  I had been fishing at another lake in the early morning, not done anything spectacular as I remember, the day wore on boiling hot, bright & sunny, usually hopeless conditions for daytime feeding. But not far away I knew of a pool where the fish would be all over the surface in these conditions. The pool was a deep pit unworked for years now, the water never became too hot for the carp  to feed. These carp actually enjoyed these conditions, as I walked around the pool under the tree's I could see the dark shapes gliding around slowly. Now & then a huge bronze back would 'expand 'out of the water as if to sample the even warmer air above the water's surface. A little further along the bank I spotted through the 'bins' some faster moving fish travelling along the bankline ,they would travel from the shallows along the shoreline under the trees to a certain point & then would return along the same route. There were several fish & they seemed to be patrolling the margin , just as single fish, but every 5-10 mins another would happen along.. I thought I would have more chance with these fish which were not likely to become scared with a chain reaction effect, since they were not travelling in a shoal'. In the group of fish there were perhaps 10 of them. In the travelling 'Margin' fish I reckoned about 4-5 were patrolling up & down. Carefully I positioned myself to the side of a tree-trunk for cover. The branches were hanging out over the water & as the fish glided through beneath the trees, I had the freebies fired against the branches just as though the cat food had fallen out of the trees. I had found out this trick the previous summer ,the fish would suck in the baits that were within a couple of inches of the branches which trailed into the water, but not touch the others. I had actually cast my line OVER a small branch to keep the line from the surface of the water. The fish meanwhile was inching along the trailing branches sucking in (very gently) the free baits. I watched intently my hookbait, one second it was there ,a gentle 'slurp' & next it had disappeared ! I waited 2 seconds ,then struck solidly. There was not much room to play the fish as my position was cramped by the encrouching trees. A little further along the bank was a large sunken tree. This was an obvious place of sanctuary & the carp knew all about how to get there. I had already made up my mind that it was not going to, I had 12 lbs line straight thru' & my Mk 4 carp rod was creaking down to the corks. I did not give an inch ,& as the line tightened was biting my lip,but I did not give line. just at about the same time I thought my rod or line would snap , the fish was turned. It powered around for a short while but there were no more snags for the fish to find & the water was 20 ft deep right in the margin. I scrambled for the net & within 5 mins the fish was in. The leather went 15 lbs.(above). The fish was caught only 15 ft from the bank, & right close to the daytime holding area.
  Although I did not need any casting weight in this instance, most times you will need some, especially if using dry cat food. Below is a pic of a simple home made controller to add weight to the line. In Canada controllers are not  freely available.

Home made Controller

In my experiance, to be successful at floater fishing ( as long as the fish are taking the free offerings) you need to do two things. The first is to make the line invisible to the fish, the most obvious way to do this is to get it off the surface of the water. This is one reason why the 'beachcaster' method was developed. Or, as in the example above you could hang the line from the trees if available.
I would mention that in many Canadian & U.S. waters, the fish might  NOT be afraid of line, since they have to associate capture with the floating line which they can see on the surface, since many will be uncaught, they will probably have nothing to associate danger with.
   Another way, if the water is shallow enough, would be to bring the line up from the bottom, just like an extended pop-up rig. This is a non preferred method ,as I am sure a lot of times the line touches the fishes lips giving early warning and you will miss a lot of carp because of this.
   The second requirement is that the hookbait looks perfectly identical to the freebies. Which often means with a small bait you will have to use a light hook too, or at least counterbalance the hook with a small piece of foam. Or use a bigger bait (floating breadcrust was an all time killer bait in England), which will not be affected by the weight of the  hook.

Beachcaster rig

Mounting the hookbait

Back to Stalking carp !


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