Monday, March 28, 2011

Carp & Bass.

Twenty minutes after school is out, I find myself on a muddy pull off gearing up as school buses whiz on past. The weekend is getting started and I am taking full advantage of the remaining sunshine and warmer temperatures before a deep freeze. Added to my circumstances are the fact that March has left me skunked on numerous occasions thanks to the golden ghost. With my goal of 2011 and a carp every month of the year in jeopardy, I am hoping to get one in before the weekend, and the end of the month.

Fresh Beaver Work.

Teeth Marks. 

Anyone Care to ID This Guy?

It doesn't take long to see the carp. With an elevated position above the water and a high sun in the sky, I can see their silhouettes cruising in the shallows and lighter billows of sediment wafting off the bottom. The only problem is access. I can't reach the majority of the fish. I take to the high ground with an elevated position sling shooting casts between thorn bushes and overhanging branches. After a few miscues, I finally get a decent presentation that doesn't spook two feeding carp. The descending sucker spawn is slowly falling before a cloud of muck when suddenly the head of the golden ghost breaks through with intent. From my lofty perch and perfectly illuminated, I am treated to four pounds of golden ghost inhaling my offering head on. The size ten caddis hook pierces rubbery lips and cyprinus carpio is perplexed by his predicament. It is easy to tell that this is his first time hooked. He puts up little resistance before coming to hand.

Defeated by a Bank Feeder.

The Old Reliable Sucker Spawn FTW.

Even a Four Pounder Fights Hard...

Giddy Up.

Small March Slab.

Released Back Into The Murk.

With my carp out of the way and a descending sun on the horizon, I turned my attention to a new quarry. During my hunting, I saw several bass breaking the surface chasing bait. I cut off my 4x and tied on a new streamer to the end of some 2. After awhile, I began to give up hope. Attempting to lure a large bass on an artificial in cold air and water temperatures is no easy task, but I persisted. Finally, in a familiar place, I felt the explosion at the end of three quick strips before my 5 wt. doubled in half. The largemouth bull dogged his way for several tense moments before revealing his full girth at my feet. My frozen hands lipped the first bass of 2011. He was a bruiser that was in great shape from the winter, measuring out at just over twenty inches.


First Bass of 2011.

Fell For A Fish Skull Prototype.

Big Enough To Fit a 7/8 Reel in His Mouth.


Dustin's Fly Box said...

that is a cool looking fly! You should do a material list

Todd said...

Nice fish! im itching to get out... that bird looks like a green heron. i find they like to hide in underbrush and are often overlooked but they are a gorgeous bird.

testflycarpin said...

OK, now I KNOW you are from PA. Only somebody from PA uses sucker spawn for everything and anything! Looks like you are home free on your challenge.

Eccles said...

Nice looking streamer. Notwithstanding that it could be a green heron as Todd says, I think it more likely to be an American Bittern. They have a habit of standing very still and pointing their beaks to the sky to better blend in with the reeds when startled.

Mark said...

thanks guys, the bird was doing exactly as some of you described, pretending to be a part of the brush.

McTage- I'll only have one day to fish for carp in July, and November and December will sure be brutal. I guess I am the stereotypical PA guy...haha.

Dustin- I am still tinkering with the pattern, I'll put up a tutorial when I am satisfied with the end result

testflycarpin said...

Ouch...December is particularly tough....thought you had those covered already.

northernfly said...

Great report and excellent photos.

As to the bird - I was going to suggest an American Bitern but I am no expert. They sound a bit like a bullfrog (deep throated call). I have heard them frequently but don't often see them.

Unknown said...


The bird is a Bitern.