Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Carp

I tend to define big carp as anything over 15 lbs. Granted, this is an arbitrary number, but a 15 lb carp out here is roughly a third bigger than your average fish, so it feels right. Plus, a 15 lber is always notable. I hear a lot about "big carp" from gear guys I run into, or random people...I guess I spend a lot of time asking "seen any carp around here?" so I shouldn't be too surprised when these "huge" carp turn out to be normal 7-10 lb fish upon exploration. Most people simply haven't held a lot of 10+ lb fish...heck, most fisherman (myself included prior to my carp days) haven't held that many 10+ lb fish. Word of advice to any serious carp guys...carry a scale. I only weigh fish I think will hit the "big" limit, but a scale is easy to carry and impossible to refute. Carp get big, and it is nice to know just how big that fish is...and difficult to figure out without a proper scale of reference.

One thing to look at...the size of their tail. Big carp have big rudders.

Another sure fire way to spot a really big carp is their shoulders. You aren't going to pick up a big fish with one hand.

Don't forget about that big mouth either!

When it comes to carp, length is overrated! The really big girls are big all over.

 

11 comments:

Brookfield Angler said...

That is definitely a big carp!!! Nice catch!!

John Montana said...

those are 4 different fish i think...i just dug out some old pictures. This has been a horrid spring, i've only caught one "big" fish so far (17 lbs). we need sun!

meant to email you RE: fishing in the grass brookfield. in those fields, i just heron stalk around and dap on fish. pretty impossible to cast more than a couple of feet.

Gregg said...

Very nice fish! I agree with carp poundage estimates. I am probably quilty of that as anyone though I try to be careful. Plan on getting a digital scale to weigh a fish in my net, I'm tired of my guestimations that are most likely not valid.

Gregg

FishnDave said...

You are right on about the "big rudders"! There's a few small lakes I know of locally that have a few BIG carp. And that is often all you will see of these fish...just part of the tail stick above the water, slowly waving. One notable time I pulled off the road to watch the tip of a tail fin that I easily spotted while driving by at 55mph from 150 yards away. Big tails indeed!

Tim Gerke said...

You ask for sun and I will deliver. There's supposed to be quite a bit this weekend. And me with a warmwater itch to scratch. Should be a good weekend!

Ty said...

Hey John, What type of scale do you use? Any recommendations?

John Montana said...

I use a cheap Berkeley digital. It goes up to fifty lbs, is light and easy to use. I weight my fish in the net and the scale zeros. It works fine for what I need.

Trevor Tanner said...

The Berkley scale is a great deal and it is so cool that you actually NEED the 50lb version (comes in 30lb too I think?). 15lb sounds about right to me, that is where I start to find them hard to handle sometimes.

Wendy Berrell said...

Scientific method would prove in a heartbeat that folks over-estimate carp weights. With regularity.

A season or two with a scale, and your eye is calibrated.

One thing that still intrigues me: it's a lot more difficult for me to estimate carp at a distance than it is when they're at hand.... as you've been witness to: once a carp is in the net we're at plus/minus one lb. The scale is used for verification if fish is > 15 lbs.

FishnDave said...

I can't really disagree with anything you've said here. I DO wish you might post length measurements on your big fish as well. In the waters I fish, carp can vary considerably in their "thickness", and therefore weight, throughout the year. Length would seem to be a good indicator of size and age (wisdom? ha ha) of a fish, regardless of seasonal variations in fitness. I don't carry a scale with me, but I do carry a tape measure. I'd be interested in having the ability to estimate the weight of a large fish based on comparisons to lengths/weights others are measuring. Maybe there is too large a weight variation for large carp of a given length?

John Montana said...

I think you hit the nail on the head there Dave...carp absolutely weigh differently from body of water to body of water, and time of year. That is exactly why I carry a scale and use that instead of a tape measure. They have so many different body types that I just stick to weight for a measurement tool to keep from confusing the issue. A 30 inch fish could weight ten lbs, or more depending on time of year and where I catch it. The digital scale is a no brainer. Easy to use, easy to carry. Personally, I can't imaging carp fishing without a net so the scale is simple to use. I will try to take some measurements next time out.