Bow390

Finicky cold water Carp

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There is a river I go to that is loaded with Carp in the winter, I see them swimming up and down the bank but I can't get them to touch anything. It is a  very populated area with a lot of human foot traffic, so they are very nervous. Any tips to finally get them to eat something?

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Bread works, oatmeal, canned corn, garbanzos, etc etc etc. Add salt and sugar judiciously; in the cold water they will readily dissolve and provide a scent trail. Chum a bit, not too much in the cold months when they are less active. For best results, also chum when you aren't fishing, so they start to acknowledge your bait as a food source. Either rig as light as possible, even to the point that you're drifting, and strike at line twitches, use a balanced float, or a heavier weight and a self-hooking rig. Given their decreased winter metabolism, and the foot traffic, expect slow results, but persistence will pay off.

 

If you're catching and releasing, don't lift them by the gills or mouth at all, they lack a muscular/bony structure around the mouth, and can easily be fatally injured.

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Any time carp are schooled up heavy us a good time to use small jigs with a 2in to 3in twister tail grub.

 

Slowly drag it with occasional pops off the bottom.

 

Learning to catch them on a jig will sharpen your jigging skills immensely as they bite so softly that they would make a walleye's bite feel like a sledge hammer

ermghoti likes this

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20 hours ago, ermghoti said:

Bread works, oatmeal, canned corn, garbanzos, etc etc etc. Add salt and sugar judiciously; in the cold water they will readily dissolve and provide a scent trail. Chum a bit, not too much in the cold months when they are less active. For best results, also chum when you aren't fishing, so they start to acknowledge your bait as a food source. Either rig as light as possible, even to the point that you're drifting, and strike at line twitches, use a balanced float, or a heavier weight and a self-hooking rig. Given their decreased winter metabolism, and the foot traffic, expect slow results, but persistence will pay off.

 

If you're catching and releasing, don't lift them by the gills or mouth at all, they lack a muscular/bony structure around the mouth, and can easily be fatally injured.

"...For best results, also chum when you aren't fishing, so they start to acknowledge your bait as a food source.."

 

+2

 

Outstanding advice here.

ermghoti likes this

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3 hours ago, Beastly Backlash said:

Any time carp are schooled up heavy us a good time to use small jigs with a 2in to 3in twister tail grub.

 

Slowly drag it with occasional pops off the bottom.

 

Learning to catch them on a jig will sharpen your jigging skills immensely as they bite so softly that they would make a walleye's bite feel like a sledge hammer

Or a wet fly, if you want to play on maximum difficulty.

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On 11/7/2018 at 1:37 PM, ermghoti said:

Bread works, oatmeal, canned corn, garbanzos, etc etc etc. Add salt and sugar judiciously; in the cold water they will readily dissolve and provide a scent trail. Chum a bit, not too much in the cold months when they are less active. For best results, also chum when you aren't fishing, so they start to acknowledge your bait as a food source. Either rig as light as possible, even to the point that you're drifting, and strike at line twitches, use a balanced float, or a heavier weight and a self-hooking rig. Given their decreased winter metabolism, and the foot traffic, expect slow results, but persistence will pay off.

 

If you're catching and releasing, don't lift them by the gills or mouth at all, they lack a muscular/bony structure around the mouth, and can easily be fatally injured.

Thanks for the tips, yes I am catch and releasing so I will keep that in mind.

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3 hours ago, ermghoti said:

Or a wet fly, if you want to play on maximum difficulty.

Tried that, presentation has to be perfect and it is truly difficult. If you don't get the fly line to lay down like a feather, those fish spook quick.

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