Carp Fishing in Spring

Posted April 14, 2015 by AJ Hauser | Tags: , , , , , ,

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As many of you know, one of my passions is Multi-Species Fishing – which essentially means upping your odds at landing some fish every time your out by using things like rod holders to make sure you have the best possible chance to get bit. I mean, if you’re not in a tournament it’s all about fun – right? Even if you hate carp (as several people do) you have to admit – they’re strong fish and a whole lot of fun to catch.

So Friday, I’m heading out to do a bit of pit fishing and I realized I didn’t have my secondary rig set up yet. This pit has a bunch of spooky – and let me emphasize spooky – carp that are huge and cruise the shallows. They also break the surface out on the middle – but the pond / lake is about 5 acres so the middle isn’t something we have access to.

So how can we target these fish?

Well, I think the first thing we need to do is figure out what works well in spring for carp: worms (a traditional favorite that works in streams and lakes equally well) dough bait (which is easy to carry and work with) or dip bait (something I haven’t tried yet but have available in my fridge next to some catfish bait and a few adult beverages).

I think I’m going to start with crawlers, because I know for sure that they work – I’ll take some dough as well just in case I don’t get anything on the worms (or if the panfish keep stealing from me). The other stuff (dip bait) will stay in the fridge this trip – although I am interested in trying it because it’s like a corn / syrup mix. Sounds promising.

Couple things to point out – for starters we’re going to use a LARGE rod holder with a wide stake in it. The reason is that the shoreline is pretty much sand and gravel, and it wouldn’t be much for a fish to pull this wee little holder out into the middle of the pond… with my rod. I’m also going to use a custom rod that I made last year.


This is a 7′ Lamiglas blank that I built (heavy, fast action) with a Pflueger Summit 40 reel set up with Trilene Big Game line… which I actually hate. There is SO much memory in this line but it’s cheap. Realistically I’d rather use it as backing on this spool then put some braid on the reel, but that’s not an option right now.


Das Pflueger, all cleaned up and oiled.


Here are a couple of shots of the custom rod. One nice thing about building your own rods is that you know EXACTLY what you’re fishing with – from the guides down to the cork, the reel seat and everything in between. It provides some peace of mind.


It also allows you to make sure that your guides are perfectly straight and the wraps / epoxy are all good to go.


So if you haven’t picked up on this yet – this rod is a freaking beast 🙂

As far as the rig goes, we’re just going to tie on a small treble, put a small egg sinker above a bead and swivel (to prevent line twist) just like a Carolina Rig. Let me emphasize that the treble is small because I doubt the carp are going to be looking for a big meal this time of year. This treble can hold one dough ball or 1 crawler impaled a few times.


The leader from the swivel is 14lb Vanish Fluorocarbon. All connections are uni-knots.

So now it’s just a question of where to throw the bait? I’ll take the GoPro out with me to see if we can get some video that morning. I’m going to look for the warmest water and start there:

You have to remember that water maintains its temperature very well. That being said the warmest water will be smallest volume of water that is being exposed to the largest warming force.

We’ll start with the northern bank(s) and see how we do between 5 – 10 feet deep. A lot of times we see these guys cruising around 2-3 feet, so maybe we’ll even try that. I’ll chuck it out in the middle a few times if nothing happens – maybe I can find a hump or something they’re hanging out by. That would be a complete guessing game though. Like I said these are spooky fish, and they’re not stupid – so wherever I’m working I’ll cast quite a ways away from my rod holder – then I’ll bass fish while I wait.

We’ll see how it goes – tight lines my friends!

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AJ Hauser is an outdoor enthusiast located in Illinois. He guides for fun in his free time and is always looking for new friends to go on trips with. He is also a partner at The Hauser Design Group - a web development and branding firm, and he would love to hear from you.

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