Been out three times so far.
June 7, 05
The first day was a bust. Direct sunlight is required to sight fish to carp. There was plenty of that while Sven, Leonard and myself readied our gear. The sun continued to shine as we walked out to the flats. But as soon as we got out there the clouds rolled in. What the fuck are ya gonna do?
June 9, 05
I finally got the Family Carpster out on the water yesterday. The Family Carpster is my new flats boat. She needs some modifications but those can wait, I'm still getting to know her. Top speed was impressive, I estimate Mach .225 with just me on board though I'm sure she'll slow down a touch when T-Hole slides his lard ass aboard.
I cruised around a bit before I anchored the FC near a little carp hole I know about. The sun was out but there were a few clouds threatening to cast their shadows onto the flats.
After a short walk up the reef I found a few carp mudding in waist deep water. That's when the first cloud blotted out the sun. The importance of direct sunlight cannot be overstated when it comes to sight fishing for carp. You have to have it.
From then on the clouds came and went keeping me in the shade about half the time I was out there. I've been out there when the lighting was worse but I didn't catch anything.
I did manage to hook a few at that location, during short sun breaks. They were stong fighters but I don't think they are in prime shape yet. By July the carp will be ready for battle.
When a giant cloud parked its pillowy ass over my flat I got back into the boat, cracked a beer and did some reconaissance.
I found another carp hole where tarpon sized carp had mudded up a cloud of silt big enough to obscure an underwater basketball court. Along the periphery of this cove more carpon poked and rooted amongst rocks and boulders.
The sun had come out once again and I was able to land four more goldies. A couple of them reminded me what my backing looked like as they torpedoed out of the cove with my fly line in tow.
After a time the sun had slipped behind the clouds again. I got back into the boat and explored more water.
I found bays and coves, rocky points, sandy beaches and a few smallmouth bass.
The biggest bass I almost caught might have been 17 inches or so but I'll never know because she snapped off when I tried to land her without a net. Amongst other things the Family Carpster needs a boat net.
The wind started to pick up so I motored back to the launch, loaded up and drove home.
June 15, 05
I picked up Bubba at 0710 hrs, right on time. Three minutes later I stopped in front of Sven's house. Sven threw his gear into the rig, took one last puff from his poop stick and then we were off.
Over the river, through the woods, across a desert and half way through a county sized swamp we drove. Carp Fisherman: We drive farther and catch bigger fish than anyone else in the biz.
The water was high when we first go there. High water is either good or bad depending on who you ask. Those who don't like high water say that the fish are more concentrated and easier to find in low water. The rest of us like high water because it might put fish up on the shallow flats and reedy edges. There are pros and cons to each scenario, the one thing that they both have in common is that one will change into the other before the end of the day.
Sven landed his first carp of the year soon after we got out the flats. From where I was standing it looked like Sven had a biggun' on so I waded over to help him land it.
Three days earlier I had bought a new Boga Grip. I picked up the smaller one with the 15 lb max because I thought that most of the carp we caught were under 10lbs and because it was more compact and lighter thatn the 30 lb model. 'Ol Sven talked me into taking it back and exchanging it for the 30lb model so that we could "weigh the big fuckers too!"
Back on the flats I landed and weighed Sven's big carp with my newly aquired 30lb boga grip. At fourteen pounds this carp justified the larger, 30 lb max, Boga Grip.
By mid afternoon Sven had landed four, myself three and Bubba zero. So far everyone was having a decent day except for Bubba. In the mid afternoon sun the flats were looking empty and Bubba's prospects were looking grim.
The water level had dropped condsiderably since we got there. The receding water left flats high and dry, bays and coves low and shallow. The carp had relocated to the muddy bottoms and Bubba was the first to figure it out.
"Fish on, come and take my picture!"
Dutifully I waded over to Bubba, helped him land his fish and took his picture. Bubba's carp weighed 13 lbs, which would have to do because it was the only fish he landed all day.
A high haze drifted in from the west, obscuring the lowering sun and signalling day's end. By the end of it three anglers landed well over one hundred pounds of wild carp, a good day by anyone's standards.