Thursday, August 8, 2013

SUP Carp



My brother Matt was married on a Friday evening in the Poconos to his ultimate catch, Stacy. The wedding party spent the weekend at a lake house nearby and word on the street was that there were hordes of carp inhabiting the waterway. Needless to say, but along with my wedding attire I packed a truck load of fishing equipment and my Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra SUP Yak to do some skinny water carping on Saturday and Sunday. At the lake house was a Native two-person kayak and a very large canoe for our use as well. While the wedding party was enjoying the weekend festivities, Adam and I fished the lake for its carp. 

Fly fishing via a stand up paddle board or kayak is quickly becoming a very popular activity, and for good reason. Traditional boats and kayaks just can't compete, especially when it comes to fly fishing for carp. The best places to fly fish for carp are in clear, shallow water anywhere from a few inches deep to a few feet deep. This is where we most often ply our trade. Paddleboards offer the opportunity to stealthily sneak up on fish in some very shallow water. SUPs float (fully loaded) in a few inches of water which allows anglers to get very close. On this particular pond, the shoreline was lined with weeds and lily pads, making it almost impossible for a fly angler to target carp all day long. The SUP was the only way to go. 

When fly fishing for carp off of a SUP it is important to pay attention to some key variables. The most important are the sun and wind. I like to position myself off of points near land, structure, or weeds with the sun and wind at my back. This provides a more clear field of vision for the angler while distorting the view of a passing carp. It will also cut down on errant casts. Your position should also be near some carp thoroughfare. Hopefully, fish are mudding in the general vicinity or on a slow prowl from one area of another. In these types of situations, you are stationary and the fish will eventually come to you. Perfect for targeting carp off of a SUP. 

While atop a kayak or SUP, you need to be very cautious of transmitting noise or vibrations. The hulls of kayaks and SUPs will easily transmit vibrations throughout the water column. Carp more than any other gamefish rely on their senses to detect predators and prey. An errant movement of feet, a bad placement of an oar/paddle, or a clanking of an anchor will put down every carp in the vicinity. Also, use extreme caution while going from a standing to sitting position, or vice versa. 

Our worst problem of the weekend was structure. Lily pads encompassed a large area of where the best shallow water carping was. There was also a lot of wood and debris to contend with. Over the course of the weekend we only brought 5 carp to hand while we lost an uncountable number to structure. Both of us lost some large carp and even a lot of small ones. Once hooked, the fish immediately made a bee line to the pads where they zig zagged like a downhill skier going through a slalom course. We were left to unwrap our carp presents hoping that some gold would still be on the end of the line. More often than not, we were either broken off or entangled in the aquatic vegetation.

Nonetheless, we made the best of the situation and had a great time. 


Positioned and waiting...



Attracting attention...


Lily-pad fields...


Slowly working them out of the pads...


Coming up empty handed...








A reoccurring theme...




Cross S1 796 and 690 are carp butter sticks...





Fumble...

3 comments:

Trevor Tanner said...

Those look like total winners on some of my local waters. Would you reccomend them over a standard fishing yak?

Mark said...

Highly recommend a Diablo Trevor, especially for skinny water carping!

JosiƱo said...

Beautifulplaces for special fishes.
Congratulations and best regards.