Carp on the swing?!

I am at the inlaws for the weekend so proceeded up to the Okanogan River today in hopes of running into a Chinook. I had the river to myself and saw a few salmon rolling but didn't hook into one. bawling: However, I did have a really unsusal experience.

While fishing the third hole of the day, I hooked into a large carp. Not unusal you say? Well the carp hit my fly about 3 seconds into my swing in moving current! :eek: My understanding is carp are only bottom feeders so what the heck was a carp doing pouncing on my bugger mid swing? Now I don't want to offend the sensitivities of all the carp lovers on this board but I was so disappointed when I discovered it was a carp. A big, heavy fish in moving water equaled a Chinook or early steelhead in my mind. Seeing ol Bugle Lips on the end of my line didn't quite elicit a positive response.

Btw, I am thinking of changing my screen name to the Garbage Man. My total catch for the day was 3 Pike Minnows and 1 Carp. I think I need a beer! :beer1:
I was on a lake with a very heavy mayfly hatch this last weekend and witnessed a few carp sipping the adults from the surface. It was wierd.


Active Member
I was stripping a large white bunny leach after some bass one day not too long ago. Behind the bass were a group of carp crusing by and one peeled off formation. I would say he came well over 25" to take the bunny without a second thought. He made a 110 degree direction change and just came right up behind the fly and sucked it down. He went so far out of his way I had time to give a play by play as he zeroed in on it....."holy s**t leather lips is gonna hit the leach.... another one almost did it too right after that one but he bailed at the last minute.

Never underestimated the carp :ray1:

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
I have had one carp come about 3 feet to eat a fly infront of another fish, but it is not common. I know wrench has had this happen more than me, or atleast from a fish coming from farther away. That is because he is a much better, cooler, and stylish fisherman than I. Listen to the man. Carp are usally bottom feeders because it is what they are adapted to be best at, but if it is more economical to feed in another place in the water colum, like on the surface if there are adults present, or midway in the water colum is there is behavoiral drift from chrinomids or mayflies, carp will do it. Usually common carp are not anywhere close to as agressive as trout, but carp as a family have a few preditory species. Check out the Masheer of Asia, serious bad-ass of the fish world.



Workin in a sweet mullet
I had a carp chase down a very large striper streamer the other day. He chased it for about 20 feet and took a couple of swipes at it but never hooked up. I too was surprised that a carp would be that aggressive.
I have found carp to be more aggressive in two situations. One is when there are many fish moving together, and one is when the water is highly oxygenated. As a kid, I remember fishing some gravel pits, and catching them on crappie jigs. Of course, we also targetted them sometimes with corn, but in those gravel pits, sometimes they'd pick up a small jig when they were all crusing together, the one peeling off that others have described.

Another situation is when the water is highly oxygenated. Since carp can live in shallow, warm water filled with decaying vegetation, I presume that they can do okay on minimal oxygen levels. Therefore, when in highly oxygenated waters, I propose that it makes them sort of drunk, or maybe high is a better word, and they get hepped up and do crazy things. I used to catch them often while fishing for walleye below spillways, and they'd take pretty big offerings moving fairly quickly. This was many different species of carp, too.

Since targetting them primarily with the fly, I had one day in eastern washington, where a fish wanted my big goldens stonefly bad enough, that even when I presented it wrong, he would turn and chase it, I got 4 or 5 follows and or takes from that fish, but never managed to hook up!
Thanks for all the input guys. Guess we all have run into a hyped up carp from time to time. I had a good time playing tug of war so no major complaints other then I wanted a king salmon REALLY bad.

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
Regarding carp, the craziest thing i have ever seen happen to me yesterday while smallmouth fishing. We were on a flat that help both smallies and carp, but i fished for an hour and only got one carp, besides that, there were no other hookups in our group of three. So, I waded over to some stucture that might hold bass. I though i saw some carp sunning themselves near the structure, but after a few secounds it was clear it was a pack of hungry 1-3lb smallies busting bait on the surface. I yelled for my buddies and we all hooked up smallmouth on our carp flies. I got six to hand, and then they just shut down, so i started casting farther, trying to find the pack. Nothing until i was out to about 80 feet, and during the shooting portion of that cast i became tangled, so I let the line slack. One i hand unlooped the knot, i pulled tight and started stripping. WHAM, zzzzzzzzz. Oh ya baby, big smallie. Then the jump/more of a roll really. Hmmm....thats pretty golden, and pretty damn big, wonder if its a darker chinook. ZZZZZZZZZ, drag tightening, fish stops. After a while more, i worked it close and could tell that it was a friggin carp, 12lbs maybe, hooked in the mouth. I have never caught a carp blind fishing and probably never will again. It was weird, I know how little most carp will move to take a fly, maybe 6 inches or they will start chasing the fly if it is very close and then take, and even then, the take is never hard.


Latest posts