Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding New Carp Spots In the Suburban Midwest

Finding New Carp Spots In the Suburban Midwest

Carp by far have had a bad rap in the US. Sure the big head and silvers need to go. But the common carp has been around for years and is not going anywhere. So since it is staying around you might as well swallow your carp suck state of mind and start fishing for the brutes. I am a multi-species fisherman and I can tell you that carp whether I like it or not fight harder than almost all of the other species. 

While I have been out bass fishing or crappie fishing I have seen carp, especially on those rainy days. I am sure that many of you have too. The majority of retention ponds in my area have some carp. Some lakes have more than others. The cool part about this is; is that most of these lakes the carp is completely un-pressured. So a little recon, prep, and planning and a lake you hardly fish can become a hard fighting carp battle arena!!

I wanted to prove this new carp spot theory so I went back to visit this corporate lake I had only caught a few bass in. This lake since I had never done well bass fishing was on my D list. However I did see carp there once.

The night before my first trip I walked the shoreline that had two pipes and chummed three cans of corn and about a quart bag of corn boilies. The second trip when I met some members I did about the same thing. 

I arrived armed with my Pivothead glasses, rods and net. We used float set-ups with Raven floats and some others as well as fished the bottom with a simple slip weight rig. I used supplies from Big Carp I used hair-rigs some I purchased and some I made myself. One of the float rods I used high viz yellow Raven float line so I could see it in the low light before sunrise. The baits we used were bread, corn, and boilies. The boilies that worked best were the corn, pineapple, and strawberry flavors.

In these two trips to a lake I had never fish for carp before we landed and lost several big carp!! It was 
a blast!! Below is a video of those two sessions and a video where I catch a fish one the fish josh lost 
about a half hour later.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

The saying goes "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Perhaps my most rewarding guide experience come when I teach somehow to just fish. This feeling of pure awesomeness is double when it is passed on to a child.

Many of my clients come to me and say "my kid wants to fish." These fisherman are either brand new themselves or just have never gone.

There is two ways these trips work either both the parent and child go on the adventure or just the parent comes and they "Teach a man to fish."

Tom called me and wanted to be able to take his kids out an teach them himself. So he and I when float fishing for bass and bluegills. OK ok I will be honest my plan was crappie but they where not in on my glorious plans.

We used basic tackle and started from the beginning, how to hold the reel and how to cast. Then we talked about the different life baits; what they are used for and how they should be presented. We then moved onto floats and their differences and uses. After that it was shotting and hooks. What size how deep etc.

We went to a pond in my old neighborhood where i grew up. We set our rods up and learned quickly the crappie where either not around or were just negative. The little yellow spotted traitors!!

Soon enough floats started disappearing and the bass and gills came in a hurry. We caught fish on worms, minnows, and waxies. The gills were just beautiful. They were big, fat, and pretty. 

There was a 3 foot spot next to some weeds where Tom must have caught 15 gills. It was like the fish version of a clown car. We even caught the same fish twice!

We traded stories and got to know one another. It was a really fun morning. When our time was up we took a pic, traded info, and said farewell.

A few weeks letter I received a very cool thank you email. Tom said how much fun he had and that he took his son to a local park and they both caught some bass and blue gills. He also attached some pics. I have to tell you that just makes me feel awesome. To see knowledge of something you are passionate about shared like that is the absolute best!

If you are looking for a new local adventure or you children are asking to go fishing please give me a call we will have a blast!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wear Polarized Glasses a Fishing Parody of Baz Luhrmann's Sunscreen

If you have ever watched any of my videos you will notice I have a tendency to change the lyrics of some of my favorite songs to be about fishing while I fish. So I made one on fishing Advice, it is a parody of Baz Luhrmann's Sunscreen. I have to say it is my favorite thus far.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kayak + Carp = Yarpin 3 Days of Great Yarpin

Kayak + Carp = Yarpin 3 Days of Great Yarpin

Usually in the spring I am bassing and bassing it hard. But with the longer winter, weird spring, and constant rains I have turned my sights to carp. I have been fishing them harder and longer then most seasons. I have introduced the art of hair rig fishing, new chumming techniques, and help from

After several sessions of shore fishing successfully for carp this season, DuPage Angler JC Crappies (Chunsum, co-owner of Aurora Lure Company) and I decide to try something we had never done before and that was kayaking for carp.

We picked an un-assuming muddy farm pond we have bass fished and that I had carp fished from shore once and got a few fish. Each night at dusk I would arrive at the lake and chum with corn and handfuls of boilies before fishing the next morning.

The cool thing about Yarpin is I do not have as much tackle as if I when I am bass fishing. We carried a couple rods, floats (both Raven and others), rigs, pliers, and the very important net. Armed with a pile of offerings and our Pivothead glasses we went to work.

JC Crappies(Chunsum) is awesome to fish with. We met on and through my guide service and became fast friends. He is a fisherman, photographer, blogger, coach, pro-staffer, and a programmer. He is also a giant smartass.

Early when the fish would approach the surface into the chum line of floating bread we would only be fishing a foot down. When they backed off we went to 3 feet down. The lion’s share of fish came on a break that came from a large 2 foot deep flat into a 7 foot hole. The boilies played a larger role at this time. Although I had a half dozen flavors corn, pineapple, and strawberry worked best.

Chunsum did a great job of capturing video of this awesome carp fishing from a kayak (Yarpin). He composed this in 3 episodes please watch and enjoy. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shark fishing in Islamorada Florida Keys with Captain Steve Murray

Shark fishing in Islamorada Florida Keys with Captain Steve Murray at
Steve is a great guy and friend of mine.I miss fishing with him terribly. Steve and Eddie Gad owner of Sure Set Tackle taught me everything I know about salmon and steelhead. Years back Steve moved to Florida and has been rocking the guide scene down there ever since. Below are some of his experiences.

(written by Captain Steven Murray)
This next one is getting better on the edit.  It's two days worth of footage.  The audio isn't the greatest.
These guys come to the Keys and fish with me every year.  They are from Michigan.  This is a typical days fishing in Islamorada Florida with Captain Steve Murray.  A mixed bag of fishing for Mangrove Snapper, Speckled Sea Trout, Snook, Redfish and Shark.  We hooked up on the Stingray while shark fishing and we hooked up on the Goliath Grouper in a Snook spot.  It just goes to show you the diverse fishery we have.  When you are targeting one species there are a number of "other fish" you usually encounter.  

This next one is my best edit "so far".  The audio problem solved.  Two days of fishing.

These are two of my regular clients.  This is a typical afternoon/evening charter. (3pm-10pm) with Captain Steve Murray in Islamorada Florida.  This trip is very popular during tarpon season (April through June).  Tarpon are nocturnal I run evening charters for them.  These tarpon average 100-150 pounds this time of year.  We start out getting some "eating fish" for the guys to bring back for dinner (trout and snapper), then a little shark fishing and then transition into the evening tarpon fishing.  You notice while we are trout and snapper fishing we encounter several ladyfish and jack creval.

Vintage "Murray"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Post Rain Chum Keeps Big Carp Around with Some Great Results

It seems as if winter just has not wanted to leave the party and he has been finally cut off and a friend has driven him home to sleep it off. It has been a long spring, still in the forties first week of May. We got some decent rain steady of a couple of days and went to check the local pond’s pipes for fish. 

After a rain water coming in and out of pipes brings manna from heaven to different species of fish. This includes bass, crappie, bluegills, and carp.  After a hard fast rain some carp are programmed to check the pipes for food, so much so that they can visibly be seen. This was not the cases this time. There is a large grate that brings water from one lake to the other. I wondered if even I could not see carp, was there still a small few that swam in the area anyway checking for rain candy. I decided to chum with boilies and cans of corn on my way to and from work.

I am a busy dad like many with a job kids and responsibilities and during the week days getting out is tricky. My awesome wife let me get each day for a hour to two hours a session.  Over about 5 sessions I was only skunked twice and one of those days I had one on and lost it.

I discovered that the chum kept these fish in the area a few days longer then if no chum were present. They were not stacked in the area, but there was always some there. Most sessions I got 1-3 fish! 

Most small lakes and ponds in the Chicago suburbs have carp and they are hardly fished. Most of these carp just don’t get European BIG. A ten pound fish is very respectable for a common carp. Many of these ponds also have grass carp stocked to control weed growth. They are usually low in number and extremely hard to catch.

The awesome part about this chum-post rain carparama was I never caught on fish under 20 inches long. The longest common carp being 31x20! It was a great feeling to catch these on my own boilies. I tried lots of flavors like strawberry, blueberry, grape, spicy orange, corn, and pineapple.

Corn, Pineapple,  and bread balls received the lion’s share of hits. I was caught by surprise and hooked a 41 inch 30 pound grass carp!! (footage below) in these short sessions I ended up with 11 fish totally with misses or loses of at least another 5. Grass carp and I have a little history. Last year I landed one and a second swam right through my old net. If you watch the second video you can see the next chapter in this story.

I plan to try to repeat this post rain pipe chumming for carp on other lakes after our set of good storms!