Early Season Carp Advice

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TaleSpinner
TaleSpinner's picture
Early Season Carp Advice
<p>So I am new to the concept of carp fishing. &nbsp;I hooked a monster last year and after a 10 minute fight, just as I was landing it, it straighted my hook, at which point it hooked me on carp-fishing and I am looking to add this species to the lifelist this year.</p> <p>I live in central MN, how soon can one reasonably expect to catch carp and other rough fish in the rivers in the Twin Cities area? Would I change my tactics this time of year. &nbsp;</p> <p>The one I hook I did so on crawler on a circle hook with a no-roll sinker and swivel rig.</p> <p>Thanks,</p> <p>Andy</p>
andy
andy's picture
Spring Carpin'

In my experience carp become catchable not long after the ice comes off in lakes and sloughs. They also start running up streams and stack up below dams on small rivers.   In downtown Minneapolis I used to catch a ton of nice carp in March from the Miss.  Crawlers or corn for bait, depending on the current - in slower water corn can be a great bait and it keeps the pesky walleyes and bass away.

philaroman
philaroman's picture
the number/variety of carp

the number/variety of carp-specific rigs/hooks is kinda' mind-boggling, but one thing is pretty universal: all the hooks are AT LEAST 2X-STRONG

don't know of any brand that makes 2X/3X circles that are small enough for carp & circles wouldn't be my top choice, unless frequent gut-hooking were an issue

carp-specific hooks are excellent, but I don't buy 'em 'cause I'm CHEAP -- up to $1 per hook is for trophy-chasers...  for every-day carp well under 30#, any premium Japanese 2X short-shank works fine for me -- whatever's half-price...  that way I can replace 'em more often, which is more important IMHO

as far as early-season advice, aside from near-by food -- LOOK FOR THE WARMEST WATER on a given body:

  • shallow warms before deep
  • slack/still warms before moving
  • turbid warms before clear (if clear, dark bottom absorbs sunlight better)
  • west bank gets the sunlight first
  • wind can be a big factor, esp. in lakes -- if it blows in the same direction for a couple days, it'll push the warmer water on top to one side

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

TaleSpinner
TaleSpinner's picture
Thanks guys.

Thanks guys.

Life list goals for 2021: Silver Redhorse, Greater Redhorse, River Redhorse, Bowfin, Moon Eye, Channel Cat (I have caught many channels years ago, but have no pictures)

SomewhereDownstream
SomewhereDownstream's picture
Ponds

I am not exactly an expert on carp fishing (or much anything else, to be honest), but the best advice I can give you is FISH PONDS. A lot of people think that carp don't like small water, but they're full of it. Carp can become incredibly abundant in little ponds, and for obvious reasons, they're never hard to find. Carp also tend to be less picky in ponds because they don't get fished for, and they're also often more active earlier because ponds warm up faster than lakes, rivers, and streams. Nobody ever seems to know where the good carp pond are, ( surprise, surprise) but you probably live within fifteen minutes of one. Usually, almost any bait will work in a really good pond.

SomewhereDownstream

TaleSpinner
TaleSpinner's picture
But our ponds freeze solid in

But our ponds freeze solid in the winter.

Life list goals for 2021: Silver Redhorse, Greater Redhorse, River Redhorse, Bowfin, Moon Eye, Channel Cat (I have caught many channels years ago, but have no pictures)

philaroman
philaroman's picture
look for a big shallow cove

look for a big shallow cove adjacent to deep water on a lake/res. w/ a known carp population (OR, discover UNknown populations yes );

large, shallow, slack-water flats in riverine environments are the next best bet;

stained water / dark bottom would be a plus;

morning sun in your eyes & wind in your face -- another plus...

that's where you're likely to find earliest young vegetation & most active grazers

 

if you can chum legally, DO SO!!!  if not, research your local legalese definition of chumming & "PACK BAIT"

generally, chumming is defined as attempting to attract fish to an area & hold them there by placing bait anywhere other than your hook -- a small amount of pack-bait around your hook-bait shouldn't qualify as a violation

[BONUS: you can make your baited hook same/slightly> weight as your lead & your rig won't helicopter during the cast]

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Eric Kol
Eric Kol's picture
Carp get ready for spawning

Carp get ready for spawning when the water temps start to get into the 60s. Shallow muddy bays warm the fastest and a south facing shallow bay will bring in the first flurry of. Rap activity on any lake. In rivers look for them to start to move into shallow back waters as temps rise. This is a good time of year to start to target them with flys if you can sight fish them. As other people mentioned, corn and crawlers are great. Some people feel that cold water carp are more drawn to high protein baits, but Corn is hard to beat. 

Carpy Diem!

Gerry
Gerry's picture
Try warm water discharges!

I live in Chicago and we can catch carp all winter (when local lakes are frozen over) if we go to a WWD - a power plant discharge with hot water.  The carp are concentrated there and very catchable.  I don't know the Minnesota WWD sites but with a little googling you can figure it out.  You are in general looking for power plants or water treatment facilities where you can get access close enough to the discharge to get at the fish.  On rivers it can be good fishing as much as a mile downstream on the hot (discharge) side.

Good luck!

Gerry

Just one more cast!