The grass carp is one of the top choices for those who love a good challenge. What's more, if you manage to catch a big one you can take a photo to impress your family and friends!
So, fishing for big grass carp? Here's what you need to know ...
The grass carp fish, aka the Asian minnow, are of the carp variety. They are long, slender and their scales are usually silvery white. Moreover, grass carps can get quite big if left to themselves. Some can grow up to 1 meter (and more) and weigh as much as a 40 kilos (and more)!
You'll be able to fish for grass carps on shore lines, near river banks in ponds and lakes.
What you should know before deciding to catch one is to be prepared. Grass carps have a reputation of being terrific fighters that will never let up from beginning to end. They aren't that easy to catch, either.
You'll need a good mix of fishing equipment, bait and a strategy to land a prize fish at best time for fishing.
Grass carps are naturally reclusive and very, very cautious. One wrong, hasty step can send them fleeing for the nearest cover. As such, you'll need the right approach and know when to throw the line.
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Move very slowly
Moving quickly will get you nowhere if you want to get the biggest grass carp in the pond. You'll need style, finesse, and steady hands and feet!
If you have poor eyesight or if the weather conditions don't make these fish readily visible, you can try to spook them up with a big stick on hand. Stir up the water's surface and make a few splashes to get them up and running. Once you have a fix on their location, discard the stick and start moving slowly towards the spot.
Some more no-no's include not casting a shadow, agitating the water or breaking any twigs or branches. Remember, the slower you are, the higher your chances of not being seen as a threat.
Be very patient
You're at an optimal grass carp fishing spot, and there's a huge one right in your sights. Do you simply throw the line and yank at it when you see the carp's mouth break the surface?
Here's where you'll need to be patient. One of the things you should know about grass carps is that they are quite famous on how they attack your bait. More often than not, they'll try to sniff it out and give your bait a few fake lunges, then take a cautious nibble.
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Prepare your bait and hook this way - set the bait and have a hook remover at the ready if in case you need to retrieve it from a grass carp's mouth. Bide your time and have plenty of bait on hand (more on this later). As long as you give them the first few nibbles you''ll have a higher chance of success.
How to set up your fishing equipment
Now, how will you position your grass carp fishing tackle?
Wielding a mid heavy rod that spans at least 7 feet with matching reel and a 20 lbs test fishing line should do the trick. As mentioned earlier, a grass carp can put up a furious fight as it doesn't wear out as quickly as other fishing game ...
Tie a bait holder hook at the line's end. A circle hook should engage the carp's wide mouth as they pull on the eye when they take the bait.
Don't use treble hooks as they could injure carps and prevent you from putting them back in the pond or the lake.
Bait your hook with the food you have on hand. Small chunks of bait work best in this case. The hook should be covered by the bait or else the carp will detect that something is amiss and spit out the food immediately.
Find the most suitable area and start spreading cans of corn or fresh-cut grass so the carp comes to you. Wait for the chum to settle and the carp to arrive before casting your line. Approach the water's edge as slow as you can and be careful to not disturb the surface. You'll have the option to have the bait float, suspended or settling in at the bottom.
Keep the line taut and place a finger to feel the vibrations when the carp finally takes the bait. Then, set the hook by raising the rod straight up, which in turn sets the circle hook, catching the grass carp. Quickly loosen the drag as the grass carp tries its best to escape. Work the line so you can get the carp out of the water as soon as possible.
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The best grass carp bait to use
Bread. Grass carps love to feed on the surface, and because of this peculiarity bread is an economical choice.
Bread is cheap and widely available. You can opt for bagel for a longer sink time. Throw out a few bread and let the carps approach before throwing out your hook.
Fruit. Believe it or not, grass carps love certain kinds of fruit, though this delicacy isn't often available to them! These fishes have been found to nibble readily at strawberry, plum and pineapple bait (real or artificial). You can get whatever's on hand, and chances are the carp will take them!
Corn. One of the easiest ways to get big grass carps to come to you is to cast cans of corn. This should be done near the shoreline about 10 to 20 feet. Pick out a good area where there's little to no obstacles, i.e., brushes that might snag when you lock into combat with your caught fish.
Artificial Bait. You can also use artificial bait in order to attract the biggest grass carp in the area. Color can play a huge role in catching the carp's eye. Some of the color bait that worked include gold, yellow and black. Don't be afraid to experiment with other colors as well.
Some other usable bait include cherry tomatoes (the small ones), freshly cut grass, grasshoppers, lima beans, tomato worms, catfish food, watermelon, acorns and even dog food!
With a bit of luck, patience and methodical movements you'll be landing your big grass carp in no time. Just follow my tips and techniques to increase your chances of getting that huge catch!