Are Grass Carp Poaching Your Fish Feeder? Tie A Food Pellet On Your Fly Rod, Have Fun And Discourage Their Visits!
Are grass carp robbing bluegill of valuable high protein floating food? Here’s some unforgettable action that will bend your fly rod and provide fishing action you’ll talk about for years.
Grass carp, white amur, grow big and strong. It’s challenging to entice a bite. With correct presentation, they can be caught with a variety of baits and tackle. On spinning or casting gear, they often inhale a cricket, blade of grass, dough ball, or even a piece of dry dog food. But if you want some real sporty action, hook one of these 20-pound class fighters on a 6-wt. fly rod.
Old fish often can be found around the welfare food line, patiently waiting their daily handout from an automatic feeder. As grass carp age and reach 15- pounds or more, they are less efficient consuming vegetation. They become a nuisance at the feeder and make such a commotion, they discourage bluegill from feeding. If you have not witnessed this scene, big grass carp cruise the surface with their mouth open, literally vacuuming dozens of floating fish food pellets.
If you’re a serious angler, this is a memorable opportunity. Several flies fool grass carp, but none works better than one that truly matches the hatch. Since they are feeding on floating fish pellets, make a pellet fly? For those of you who tie flies, spun deer hair on a # 10 hook works great. If you are not a fly tier, ask a friend to save several corks from his favorite wine. Carve a piece of cork that roughly matches the size of a fish pellet. Sand it to perfect shape. Using a red-hot needle, burn a hole through the cork. Push the eye end of a light gauge #10 hook through the cork ball and glue it close to the eye. Make a half dozen flies while at it and you’re ready for unforgettable action.
Avid carp anglers prefer a limber 6-wt rod, rather than an 8- or 9 normally used to catch 10- to 20-pound fish. Don’t forget you’re using a small wire hook that a big amur will straighten in a heartbeat. A light drag and plenty of bend in the rod will help land one of these tackle busters. Carp are not leader shy, so use a 10 to 12-pound tippet.
Fishing technique at the feeder is simple. Toss only a handful of feed. Just enough to attract fish in front of the feeder. Don’t set the feeder off. That dispenses too much feed and limits an opportunity to concentrate fish. Wait until you see those unmistakable lips sucking pellets off the surface, then gently place the pellet fly in front of your target. Do not move the fly! When the fish has sucked in your offering and the line begins to move, gently raise the rod to set the hook, and hang-on!! Make sure your reel has plenty of backing?
Sometimes huge grass carp go airborne, but most of the time they fight like a redfish. Expect moderate to long runs, enough to get you into backing. Sometimes they battle up to 20 minutes before finally rolling on their side.
Maybe it is not the same as sight-fishing red or bone fish, but it is great fun. We’d appreciate you sharing photos and stories. Good luck!