Carp on the fly- Bruiser or Dead Weight? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp on the fly- Bruiser or Dead Weight?

06-17-2005, 07:45 AM
I've caught a few carp on the fly, and with one exception they've fought remarkably like dead weight. In the past I'd attributed their sluggishness to hot, poorly oxygenated water, but last weekend I caught a ~15lber on an 8 weight in under a foot of (cool, well oxygenated) water and it never really fought. There was one brief run of about 30 feet, but even that was pretty halfhearted. Chasing the fish across the flat and having my friend direct me from on the poling platform were a blast, so even with the anticlimatic fight it was a blast, but I'm wondering if I should be fishing a 5 weight instead of an 8...

I've read some glowing reports of the carp's fighting prowess, but personal experience has made a skeptic of me.

I know there are a few others out there who do quite a bit of carp fishing. What say you- Is the carp's fight overrated, or have I just had the bad luck to hook into a bunch of slackers?

Dble Haul
06-17-2005, 09:15 AM
It sounds like you're hooking some substandard fighters. Most of the carp I've ever hooked have given a remarkable account of themselves for their size.

06-17-2005, 09:28 AM
Hmm... That's what I've read, but I've found that sometimes those tales tend to grow with the telling, so I wanted to get a firsthand account. Thanks.

I'll keep at it and hope I find a lively one next time I'm out.

The guy I was fishing with just offered up a possible explanation for the sluggishness of Saturday's fish: Spawned out. I know it's the right time of year, so I guess that is reasonable.

Dble Haul
06-17-2005, 09:56 AM
Matt, that sounds perfectly reasonable. I'd go with that and plan on a better fight next time. :wink:

06-18-2005, 06:06 AM
i would have to agree about the spawn. the few i have hooked in open water made several 100 yd+ runs. they are pretty slow compared to a steelhead but they pull an amazing amout of line. they are usually tough to wear out as well. fish in the 10+ lb range took over 5 minutes to land and 20+ lb could take 20 easily and this is with 12lb tippet. these fish impressed me with their toughness to hook and the ensuing fight and i'm no carp nut. understand this is in an open lake flat.

06-18-2005, 02:14 PM
Hey man......whats up ?

"I've read some glowing reports of the carp's fighting prowess, but personal experience has made a skeptic of me."

Ditto...........but, the same could be said about winter Steelhead, spawn cool water Smallies, Trout in warmer water or stockies, Pike to a degree, etc.

I think most of this "carp thing" the last few years spawned from areas with less than ideal freshwater fishing. Most of the anglers in my well rounded, good freshwater fishing area still look at Carp as bottom feeding slugs about one step up from Suckers. Probably because as in your area they can also fish for Steelhead,Trout,Muskie,Pike,Walleye,Smallmouth & Largemouth, even Crappie come before the Carp here.

BTW.........hit'in the Pike & Smallies on top down here.

I try to like Carp fishing now and then.......but, it does not last.

06-28-2005, 09:34 PM
I've caught bruisers and slackers and all types in between. They seem pretty sluggish very early in the season when the water is still cold. There are also times when the battle becomes a stalemate -- it's not really "dead weight", but neither you nor the fish can take any line. Still, they have pretty good endurance and can really test your tackle. I think they are about on par with largemouth bass except that bass are more acrobatic. Carp will free-jump all the time but seldom jump when hooked :confused: .

I like to fish for carp because they are great for sight fishing and because they pull waaaay harder than anything else I can catch around here. I'm not saying that carp fight harder "size for size", I'm saying that the average carp is much larger than the average size for any other species in my area.


06-29-2005, 01:27 PM
I'd say you ran into a bunch of sluggards -- the ones I've hooked into haven't be slouches. My first carp on a fly was an accidental hookup when fishing streamers for smallies. he took the fly on the drop, made one run in front of me then one straight out -- bye, bye. And that was on an 8 wt.