Grass carp are considered a pest by many North American anglers. However, these fish can weigh as much as 45.4 Kilogram and offer a good fight on medium tackle, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. In fact, some European countries prize the grass carp as a sports fish for its tenacity and size. The grass carp is vegetarian---so catching a big grass carp does not require lures or live bait.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Light carp rod (or spinning rod)
- 4- to 8-pound test line
- Small hooks
- Plastic box for chum
Prepare a chum mixture of bread flakes and canned corn before going fishing. Keep in a sealed plastic box.
Find the right fishing location. Grass carp feed on plant life, so are frequently found in shallower waters and near the edges of ponds, lakes and slow-moving waters. Look out for big fish basking on the surface. Ask local fishermen for advice on where to find big carp.
Choose a light rod and reel set-up. A light spinning rod is a good option. Grass carp are wary and less likely to hit bait on heavy line. Use 4- to 8-pound test line.
Set the drag on your reel to a light level, allowing the fish room to bolt with the bait if needed.
Bait up your hook with either a small piece of bread crust, or a piece of sweetcorn. Use a small, light hook--around size 1 or 2.
Creep up to the edge of the water. Big grass carp are nervous and scare easily. Try not to make any loud noises, and ideally don't cast a shadow on the water.
Look out for a large carp. Wear polarised shades so that you are not dazzled by the reflection of the water. Flick a cast just beyond the location of the target grass carp. Gently ease the bait back towards the carp.
Leave plenty of slack line. If the carp feels drag when taking the bait, it may reject the hook. Allow the carp to move off with the bait before tightening the line. There is no need to set the hook vigorously.
Allow the big grass carp to run. The fish may jump occasionally to try and throw the hook. Play the fish to tire it out; don't rush it in or you risk losing the fish. Bring the carp close to shore and into a landing net.
Remove the hook and take a photograph of your big grass carp. If you're returning the fish to the water, place it in the shallows and hold it firmly, moving water over its face for several minutes until it's strong enough to swim away.
Tips and warnings
- Despite its reputation as a "garbage fish," grass carp are edible and even considered a delicacy in some countries.
- Other baits for grass carp include berries and cherry tomatoes.
- When creeping up to any body of water be careful of your footing to avoid falling in.
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