Mar 11, 2001
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Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service


CARP FISHING TACTICS AND PLACES: Calling all carp anglers. I want to put together a couple of stories on the top carp fishing spots and fishing techniques for people, like me, who are novices at carp fishing. The stories will be for people who want to experience the thrill of catching some of the biggest and hardest-fighting freshwater gamefish we have in the region. So I'm reaching out to carp veterans for tips and top spots.

This was stimulated by my oldest son, Bo, this spring. We were constantly marveling at the size of the carp in Lake Perris while fishing for bass earlier this year. "I want to catch those. They're huge," he finally said. But carp don't take plastic worms and we didn't have any other gear with us. Quite frankly, I really didn't know what would be the most effective tactic or bait.

So I'm asking for your help. E-mail me your tips on how you catch carp, baits, rigging techniques, seasonal variations, and good places. Send the information to Jim Matthews at Include your name and hometown and contact information so I can call you or e-mail back with any follow-up questions.

A few years ago at Perris, I watched big schools of carp feeding in 18-inchs of water in the flooded willows. Standing still in camo, I didn't spook them even though they were only a few feet away. They reminded me of trout, rushing forward to eat water boatman and damsel fly larva. I made a makeshift bug out of a scented foam egg and small bait hook. With a weight below the bug, the lure floated up off the bottom and darted forward and down when I twitched it. I flipped it out into a small channel through the trees where the carp had been cruising and waited. When a fish approached, I twitched it. The lead fish sped up and tipped down and took the makeshift bug and I set the hook.

It took me five minutes to land the six- or seven-pound fish, and when I finally had it to hand, I marveled at how strong and powerful the fish was in my hands. "These are beautiful fish," I thought. Releasing the fish, I was on the same page with Bo. But the promises I made to myself back then about learning how to catch these gamefish, I let slip away. Not this time. There are too many big ones in my local park lakes.

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