Carp fishing guide

Montreal carp fishing guide

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Mid spring fishing during Quebec deconfinement - May 2020

As the province of Quebec slowly deconfined travel, a lot more spots fishable opened up. Weather for much of May was still cooler than normal, until a heat wave at the end of the month brought the water temps up to where they should be this time of the year.

With the nice weather and extended cerb payments from the government of Canada, there were a lot more people out fishing that I have seen before. Seems like many will take advantage of the free money giveaway to put in some more time outdoors...

Fishing wise, I ended up having some success, but not having access to a boat, and low water levels at some of my spots, I didn't do particularly well as far as numbers go. However, size made up for the lack of numbers when it came to most species I targeted, with a some nice surprises as well.

Pike season opened in the first week of May around Montreal, I took advantage to chase some from my float tube. Honestly ended up landing a lot more bass than pike, both largemouth and smallmouth. However, I did manage to find some small pockets of pike as well.




One of the outings yielded a couple of surprises. Towards the end of the day, I hooked into my biggest freshwater drum. After a nice fight, I had it alongside my float tube. As my son was on shore with the scale, I tried to tow it back in the water to avoid manipulating it out in the open air while I paddled back using my fins. Unfortunately, it shook the hook about 100 feet way from the shore, so I wasn't able to get the exact weight, but I estimated about 7-8 lbs, beating my previous best of 5.5 lbs. Luckily, I took some "in action" pics with it while it was fighting.



On my way back to the car, Ari and I crossed a shallow bay, where he spotted a large dead musky floating. Curious, I made my way over to find the biggest musky I have ever seen. I towed it back to Ari using a spinnerbait, and was brave enough to lift it for a pic. We measured the monster musky at 59 inches, close to a record fish for the St Lawrence river, where they rarely exceed 60 inches in length.


Carp fishing ended up being extremely slow of my usual spring spots, likely due to very low water levels for this time of year. However, when I did venture off to my trophy spots, both produced some nice carp for Eli and I.



Entering the month of June, summer is around the corner. Have a few local outings planned before heading up North for the bass opener at Mijocama. Luckily, the government has allowed them to open, and being that my cabin is all family, we should be in the clear as long as current rules remain in place.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Spring fishing during covid crisis - April 2020

Only fished 2 days in April this year, tying 2014 for an alltime fewest days fished in April since I started keeping a fishing log in 2008. Due mainly to the Corona - Covid 19 pandemic, with travel restrictions from the Quebec government that sort of unclear.

With 6 of my kids stuck at home, as well as me working from home, I deemed my outings to be essential enough for our mental and physical health, to get them out in the sun and off their tablets.

Both outings were for carp, one of the few species open in April that is worth targeting.

April 6 2020:
Weather: 12 degrees Celsius, Sun/cloud, 18 km/h West wind
Water temp: 2 degrees Celsius

First open water outing of the spring season, just days after ice out. Water still near freezing temps, I took Eli along, hoping to put him on to his first carp of the year. Zev came along to try to catch some panfish.

Days was sort of slow as expected. Zev caught a few smaller perch, and eventually we had our first carp run, which came on one of my Fireball popup boilies. Unfortunately, the fish ran into a rock pile near shore, and eli wedged the line into it. Carp got away.

A couple hours later, we got another run on a line baited with popup chili corn. Eli made no mistake this time around, and landed a decent carp in the upper teens.


April 29 2020:
Weather: 18 degrees Celsius, Sun/cloud, 25 km/h South East wind
Water temp: 7 degrees Celsius

With warmer water temps since out last outing, I took both Eli and Zev out for carp, hoping to get into a few fish with them. They were anxious to get out again, after having been stuck in the house for 3 weeks since they last fished. Zev decided to forego panfish, for a shot at landing a nice carp.

The outing turned out way slower than I hoped for. It took us nearly 4 hours to get a bite. I grabbed the line, pulled the big carp away from a rock shoal near shore, and assisted Zev in fighting the big carp all the way to the net. Luckily, it didn't put up much of a fight for it's size.


Weighing in a respectable 26.5 lbs, the big carp smashed Zev's previous record by more than double!
By far the biggest fish he's caught to date (with some help from Dad). The carp fell for a Fireball popup boilie.

That's it for April 2020. With pike season opening around Montreal in a couple days, hope to get out to chase them, hopefully from my float tube. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Late winter - early spring ice fishing - March 2020

March 2020 has turned out to be one of my best ice fishing months ever. Surprise after surprise on nearly every outing, and lots of nice big ones caught, with some new species on ice as well.

Date: March 3 2020.
Weather: 8 degrees Celsius, sunny skies, 5 km/h North wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Took my friend Shaoul out in hopes of landing his first fish on ice. Headed back to a spot where I had caught some pike and big perch earlier this winter. Got to the lake, and decided to dissect a new area. We set our pike lines shallow, and jigged deeper in hopes of finding some schools of big perch. Unfortunately, no pike in sight, not much perch either for most of the day. Big surprise was landing 2 of 4 lake trout, very unexpected at 10-12 feet of depth near shore. All within 1 hour too.

We eventually found a few perch, ended up landing a dozen or so late in the day, with a few keepers.



Date: March 11 2020.
Weather: -3 degrees Celsius, sunny skies, 15 km/h North wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed back to the same spot to attempt to find schools of big perch again. Left the flag lines at home so I could be more mobile and cover more water. Again, perch were not easy to find, but I did manage to find some keepers every now and then.


Fortunately, perch weren't the only species after my jigging lures.

I caught a keeper sized pike on a tiny 1.5 inch kastmaster spoon.


Followed by my first ever chain pickerel, that hit a W5 jigging Rap.


As if that wasn't enough, I hooked into my biggest ever lake trout, that gave me a crazy fight on light perch tackle. At 30 inches and weighing over 8 lbs, Still can't believe I somehow landed it through a six inch hole!



Date: March 16 2020.
Weather: -5 degrees Celsius, sunny skies, 5 km/h wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed back to another spot for a shot at landing my first white perch on ice, after failing to do so back in February of 2019. White perch are actually a member of the bass family, related to white bass and striped bass, not perch. Regardless, they are quite rare in Quebec, existing in only a few waterways.

Got to my spot to find a couple ring necked pheasant wandering on the ice. First time I've ever seen that.



Using a jigging rod with a Rapala w3, and another rod deadsticking a double jig and worm rig, I ended up catching a few white perch, as well as some yellow perch.


Biggest of the white perch at 12 inches, over 1.5 lbs. Glad I got that species added to my ice list.



Date: March 19 2020.
Weather: 8 degrees Celsius, sun/cloud, 15-20 km/h South wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed to a new spot for the first time, searching for more white perch. Fishing was very tough, took me 5 hours to finally find a few good ones. While quantity was not there, the quality definitely was, with the 2 biggest at 13 and 14.5 inches.


Biggest one weighed in over 2 lbs! 


Taste test side by side with some yellow perch, we all preferred yellows. However, bass sized panfish make me think I need a bigger frying pan, and those white perch quickly becoming one of my favorite on ice, due to size and fighting power.


Date: March 22 2020.
Weather: -3 degrees Celsius, sunny skies, 10 km/h wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed back to the same spot with Ari, hoping to find some pike, while jigging for white perch. Despite setting our tip ups early, no pike in sight for six hours, and no white perch either. We did manage a bunch of perch and pumpkinseed sunfish, they were very aggressive at times.


Big surprise for me was hitting a few mid size largemouth bass, I didn't even know they existed in the lake we were fishing.



By mid afternoon, I decided to pull in the pike lines, so we could target more water with out jigging rods and flashers.

The move paid off, I started off catching this lunker of a bass, weighing nearly 4 lbs.



Finally, with less than and hour of daylight, Ari and I both managed to get a white perch each. Mine being significantly bigger at 14 inches / 2 lbs.


Should be a fun lake to try float tubing once the ice is gone and bass season open later in spring.

Date: March 24 2020.
Weather: 5 degrees Celsius, sunny skies, 5 km/h wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Last minute half day solo outing, decided to try my luck one last time for pike, closer to Montreal. Got my tip ups set around 11 AM. and started jigging for perch, white waiting for pike. Perch fishing was very slow, but around 1 PM, one of my flag went up. 

I set into what I imagined to be a large pike, the fight was intense. I was happy to have directly hand tied all my rigs and leaders instead of relying on store bought snap leaders. When I finally got the fish near my ice hole, I found myself hoping I could get it up the 8 inch hole. Things worked out, and I landed my first ever ice musky!


Measuring 46 inches and weighing 18 lbs, it is my biggest fish landed on ice in over 20 years of ice fishing!


What an epic way to end what has likely been my best season on ice, EVER!

Here are some fund facts / numbers recapping my ice fishing season:

38 Total ice outings since mid November 2019.
5000+/- km driven.
Roughly 1000 holes hand drilled.
4 new PB's on ice, including 3 first time species on ice, and 1 new species.
Biggest fish landed on ice for me to cap off the season.
Hands down my best ice season ever!

Hoping this Covid19 thing blows over quickly, and that everyone remains healthy enough to hit open water soon.





Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ice fishing Quebec, pike, perch, trout - February 2020

Due to both weather conditions and an 8 day - mid February trip to Dallas to fish open water in warmer weather, I ice fished less than usual in February. Continuing with my new blog theme, here is what February ice fishing in various regions of Quebec looked like in 2020.

Date: February 2nd 2020
Weather: -3 degrees Celsius, mix of cloud and snow, 15 km/h North wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed out to ice fish for trophy pike with Ari. The lake we chose to fish does not have a big pike population, but there are some very big trophy sized pike in that lake. We took along Ari's 10 inch Jiffy ice auger, not wanting to take any chances with smaller holes. Once you finally get that pike of a lifetime, last thing you need are difficulties with an ice hole that isn't big enough to land it. That being said, the low pike population in that lake typically results in 1 or maybe 2 pike per day on ice if you are lucky enough.

We set our frozen mackerels baited on quick strike rigs, as usual. We then kept 2 lines to jig for perch using my Humminbird and his Marcum flasher, while waiting for the pike to bite. As usual, I brought along a manual auger for me to enjoy, and get a good workout while I fish. I chose my 6 inch Fin bore for this outing, my hands down favorite, and perfect for perch.

Although we caught some perch in that lake before, we were pleasantly surprised the numbers of perch on our spot. We ended up jigging well over 100 perch, with 28 keepers. We released over 90 perch under 8 inches, and a few bigger perch that had visible worm/grub infestations. The perch we kept were clean / parasite free, and ended up making a delicious dinner for the rest of the family.

Unfortunately, no trophy pike came to play, not even any tripped flags. However, the surprisingly good perch ice fishing left us feeling better.



Date: February 5th 2020
Weather: -7 degrees Celsius, sunny, 12 km/h West wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

Headed out for another shot at ice fishing trophy pike in another region of Quebec with my friend Warren. This particular lake yields some real trophy sized pike every season, though most that fish there tend to target perch or smelt on ice. The lake also contains some brown trout, and a healthy population of lake trout, which happened to be closed tp fishing during the winter.  As such, the manual auger I brought along for this outing, was my 8 inch Nils Master. Figured I'd give the newly sharpened cutting head a workout, as well as myself. No sense in risking losing a decent brown or lake trout to an ice hole that is inadequate.

Our plan was similar to the previous outing, I set the pike lines, while Warren jigged in hopes of locating schools of big perch. We fished and placed the pike lines at new spot that I had never been to on this particular lake, so we weren't sure what to expect. Again, the HT polar tip ups were baited with frozen mackerel.

The pike fishing was very slow. About 1.5 hours into the outing, a smaller pike tripped a flag. I gave Warren a shot at it, he hooked the pike. Unfortunately, he lost it near the hole, when the pike ran into the ice and caught the quick strike rig under the ice hole. No more pike for the rest of the day.

Perch were not easy to find either. I did manage 4 perch, as well as a couple smelt, which I kept and froze for pike bait. The nice surprise of the day occurred mid morning. I was trying to tempt some perch into biting with the help of my flasher, when suddenly, they all disappeared. Seconds later, a big mark came off the bottom, and clobbered the mini 1.5 inch Swedish Pimple spoon I was jigging.

Though unintentional and purely accidental, a respectable lake trout put up one of the best fights I've experienced on a jigging rod on ice. Lake trout have a higher tolerance for very cold water. They a faster, quicker and thrive in ice cold water, more so than any other species we have in this region.

A few minutes later, Warren grabbed the lake trout as I carefully maneuvered it's big head up the ice hole. Turned out to be the biggest lake trout I've caught on ice to date, at 28 inches / 7.25 lbs.


Nice mint condition fish, it was released unharmed and in top condition after a short weigh in and picture.

As a side note, I do plan on eventually going down to Vermont or New York state to attempt to legally target lake trout at some point. Some of the lakes there have lake trout weighing 20+ lbs. Though chances at landing a lake trout of that size on ice a very slim, I can safely say that I'll opt for 10 inch ice holes, after seeing how this smaller one just fit in my 8 inch ice hole.

February 13 to February 20, 2020:

Took a break from ice fishing, headed down to Dallas, Texas to fish for buffs (smallmouth buffalo).
Read more about my trip at:
http://freshwater-phil.blogspot.com/2020/02/fishing-for-buffs-buffalo-in-texas.html



Tuesday February 25th, 2020.
Weather: 5 degrees Celsius, sunny, 10 km/h wind
Water temp: 1-2 degrees Celsius

For my first ice fishing outing since getting back from my week of fishing in Dallas, I decided to try a new spot for landlocked salmon, and rainbow / brown trout on ice. I had been itching to try out a Panoptix sonar at this spot, as fish are far and few in between. Unfortunately, my friend was not able to pick it up before the outing, so we were stuck using standard flashers.

We got quite a late start, drilled first hole around 11 am. We jigged suspended near the surface over deep water, using a variety of lures, and dead sticked some live worms as well. Nothing doing, no fish in sight.

I moved shallower shortly after noon. Eventually found a hole that had an aggressive fish chasing my jigging rap up to the surface a few times. After a good 20 minutes, I switched lures to a tiny 1 inch kastmaster spoon tipped with both a mealworm and tiny birth of earthworm. The aggressive fish came up took the lure on my first drop.

I managed to get a quick glimpse of a big silver fish darting around under my ice hole, but unfortunately it spit the hook within 5-10 seconds. Based on the shape and color, most likely a rainbow trout. Looked to be 18-20 inches long under water, but when you factor in magnification, I'd guess 16 inches or so. Would have been nice to land it, but sometimes, the fish win. That was the only fish I hooked all day, didn't mark much else either except for a few smelt and possibly a small lake trout deeper down towards the end of the day.



That ends my month for February 2020. Only made it out onto the ice 3 times this month, but I didn't manage to put in 7 days of open water fishing in Texas, and landed some good buffs to make up for it.

As we get into March, I'm hoping to stock up on some eating sized pike and some big perch. A nice trophy wouldn't hurt either. Hoping safe ice holds up until the season ends on March 31st.










Friday, February 21, 2020

Fishing for buffs (buffalo) in Texas

As the twelve month mourning period for my dad zl came to an end a few weeks ago, I had been planning a fishing trip. My original plans to ice fish for big lake trout in either Vermont or New York state were scrapped, as I chose to head down to Dallas for a "do it yourself" trip to fish for buffalo and carp.

Buffalo encompass both smallmouth and bigmouth buffalo, and are locally known as buffs or buffalo carp. The majority of buffs caught here using carp fishing tactics are smallmouth buffalo. Avid carpers from around the globe come to various regions of Texas to fish for buffs that can grow to nearly 100 lbs.

As I have family in Dallas, and had some airline points saved up, coming to Texas in February was a no brainer. My expenses being limited to a car rental, gas, and a fishing license, I took 8 days to give myself enough chance to hopefully land my first buff, one of the last 2 remaining species on my freshwater bucket list (the other being white sturgeon).

Before heading down to Dallas, I put out some feelers for local knowledge. With the help of the Texas fishing forum, I got in touch with a couple people. Finley was very helpful in giving me the lowdown on the few reservoirs and ponds I had planned to fish for buffalo, using carp fishing tactics.

Bob, who I've affectionately coined as "Buffalo Bob", was also kind enough to invite me to fish with him on Lake Ray Hubbard. As it was the prime spot on Finley's list for a good shot at a 20+ lbs buff, I took Bob up on the offer as well.

Bob had forewarned me that he was very new to buff and carp fishing, and that his spot was fished unconventionally to say the least. Bob's spot is actually on the back of his old sailboat, anchored up in a marina on Lake Ray Hubbard. The marina is private access only, and the old sailboat is more of a man cave now.




While Bob figured I may be apprehensive to fish for buffs and carp there, I was more than happy to fish vertically, as I have done so quite often back home, fishing of piers, jetties, steep banks, and docks.



Bob and I figured out a baiting plan for his slip at the marina, which consisted of a mix of boiled deer corn and range cubes.

I landed in Dallas, Thursday before noon. After stopping off at my in laws place in Dallas drop my luggage and rig up some rods, I headed out to meet Bob at his boat early in the afternoon. A short 25 minute drive later, I was in Rowlett, Texas, ready to fish Lake Ray Hubbard for the first time. Bob came of of the gated marina to meet me.



After short introductions, I headed off to check out his setup before bringing out my rods. Bob fishes vertically, straight down off the back of his retired sailboat, in about 25 feet of water. With all the rigging, short rods are in order, especially when trying to land big buffs and carp when fishing alone. Baited with a mix of corn, skittles, and sweet pack bait, Bob started getting nibbles right away. He explained that buff don't run like carp when hooked, something that I had not known. He'd just try to hook them when he figured the time was right, unless they somehow hooked themselves, which can happen once in a while.



After a good 15-20 minutes of Bob missing a good number of hits, I decided to head back to the car to rig up a rod with a more traditional carp setup. With my luck, I got back to the boat to find Bob battling a big buff, which I helped him land. I was a bit upset that I had left, as that could have been my catch, and would have knocked off the target species within the first hour of my outing.


I got set up, and ended up landing a couple small carp before calling it a day at sundown.



We agreed to meet up at sunrise the following morning.

Friday, February 14 2020.

Blistering cold front for Dallas, with temps just below the freezing point to start the day. Nice and sunny though, as a warm front was moving in later on. Sometimes, I wonder how palm trees can survive in that sort of cold weather...



Luckily, Bob's slip at the marina has power, so in addition to the layers I was wearing, I happily accepted to wrap my legs up in a heated blanket until the temperature warmed up.

Fishing was quite successful for carp, I managed to land 6 of 7 carp in addition to a small channel catfish. I kept switching bait between each carp in hopes of hooking my first buff, but no such luck. Was still happy to be carping in February, and fighting fish in open water. Headed home early in time for Shabbat. Though my original Sunday plans were to meet up with Finley and a large group of 25 people out on a public carp "fish in" on Grapevine lake, I decided to fish with Bob back at his slip early Sunday morning.



Sunday, February 16 2020.

Bob and I met up bright and early again. With forecast calling for afternoon temps of 23 C, I was pumped both to have another shot at catching some nice buffs, as well as being able to fish in T shirt weather.

The day started off with me catching a decent carp for Lake Ray Hubbard standards.


Followed by a few more, including what may have been a ghost carp, which is basically a different color patterned carp. Regrettably, I didn't take a picture of it. Again, I kept tinkering with new baits between each carp I caught, hoping to get that elusive first buff.

Around noon, I baited my line with a popup coconut flavored boily. I hooked up not long after. During the fight, I saw a silvery flash under the surface, so I knew it wasn't a carp or channel cat. To my dismay, I wasn't a buff either, turned out to be a blue catfish. Sort of cool to get one on a boily, but having caught giant blue catfish up to nearly 60 lbs in the past, I wasn't that thrilled.



Having gone through my arsenal of a good dozen bait combinations, I decided to tinker further out of the norm. Snacking on trail mix for lunch, I decided to rig 2 peanuts and 2 pumpkin seeds, to what I'll call the Paparico1. Named after my dad's nut company which is now run by my younger brother, and the source of most of the nuts and seeds I consume, I thought it would be fitting.



After over an hour of no hit's on the Paparico2 combo, I decided to switch baits again. As I lifted my rod, I realized I had a fish on. After a nice fight, I landed my first ever buff!



The smallmouth buffalo weighed in at 24 lbs, though I initially thought it was much bigger. They have much bigger girths than common carp, but are relatively short for fish that think. Regardless, I was more than thrilled with the fish, and even had a case of the shakes for a good 30 seconds or so.

After celebratory shots of Don Julio, we got back to fishing. The carp bite died down, and I kept tinkering with my bait. Finally hooked and landed another buff on one of my popup sweet dream boilies.



Much darker than my first buff, but significantly smaller at 13 lbs. Turned out to be my smallest of the trip.

Between the successful buffalo fishing, and good times with Bob, I decided to scrap plans of trying other spots, choosing instead to fish Bob's slip whenever he could. Luckily for me, Bob is retired, and lives nearby. Being a die hard fisherman, and super nice guy, Bob agreed. As we had done the previous week, we pre baited the spot at the end of every outing, ensuring that we' have fish waiting for us the following day.

Monday, February 17 2020.

President's day in the USA, warmest weather forecast of the trip at 28 C. Thought we'd be scorching, but high winds blowing over water with a temperature of 10 C felt quite breezy, and I was fine in a sweatshirt most of the day.

Bob started the day with a nice 24 lb buff.



He hooked a carp shortly after, and while he was fighting it, his second rod got hit. I grabbed it, and hooked into this 18 lbs buff, that looked quite beat up.



I followed up by catching 3 small carp and another channel catfish, while Bob closed the day with another big 22.5 lbs buff.



Tuesday, February 18 2020.

Another cold front with some slight drizzle, Bob and I decided to fish from the inside of the boats cabin. With and electric heater plugged in, we managed to stay dry and toasty all day. I started the day with a big 26 lbs buff, my biggest of the trip up to that point. Baited on one of my spicy Fireball boilies, I did away with the notion that buffalo only like sweet baits, which is a common misconception down here.



I also decided to get measurements, the smallmouth buffalo was 32 inches long with a 30 inch girth. To put that into perspective, my biggest ever carp that weighed 38.5 lbs, measured 41" L x 26" W. Which make these big buffs look utterly obese.

After Bob and I got into a bunch of small carp and cats during a midday feeding frenzy, the bite died down again. Late in the outing, another run on my Fireball boilie. The fish ran into a submerged tree, likely sunken by a crappie angler to attract fish at some point in time. Resisting the urge to horse the fish, I set my reel back into baitrunner mode, put down the rod, and proceeded to tie some more PVA stringers. After a few minutes, I picked up the rod, and was luckily the fish had made it's way out of the snag.

Another nice buff surfaced with my line, but my slip sinker was tangled in a branch about 15 feet up the line. I cringed at the idea of having to handline a fish that size on braided line, but luckily, I was able to snap off the branch, untangle the sinker, and still keep the buff on the line. This big buffalo  weighed 25 lbs, only 1 lb under the previous buff. Identical in length at 32 inches, but about 1.5 inches less girth.


Great way to cap off another fun day and finish what was left of the Don Julio.

Wednesday, February 19 2020.

Temperature dropped to about 6 degrees C, cloud cover intermittent drizzle. Still warm and toasty inside the heated cabin, sort of felt like I was out ice fishing from the comfort of a warm hut. I couldn't manage to get any bites, while bob landed 4 or 5 carp, and a small catfish. One of Bob's carp turned out to be a ghost carp, quite rate for that lake.




At this point, having tried most of my baits, I decided to try my new Paparico2 bait combo. Basically the Paparico1, but added a dry roasted almond.


The move paid off almost instantly, I had another nice buff one within 10 minutes. At 19 lbs and my only fish of the day, I was super thrilled with the outcome of tinkering with new bait, which ended up saving the day for me.


Thursday, February 20 2020.

Last day of my trip to Dallas, figured I'd put in 6 hours of fishing before packing up and heading home. High wind made for a very cold morning, but bite was immediate. First 2 carp I hooked ran straight into submerged trees, as I took a few extra seconds to get to the rods from the heated cabins. Both hit boilies. At this point, I added a peanut to the boilie, and sire enough, another nice 20 lbs buff picked it up.


Noticed a cool swirl pattern on it's other side just before releasing it.



Followed by a small carp.



At this point, I rigged up another Paparico mix, this time peanut and cashew. Well call it Paparico3.



19 lbs buff responded.



Rigged up 2 peanuts (Paparico4)  and another big buff, this one at 24 lbs.




Missed another hit just before packing up to leave shortly before 2 PM.

Ironically, I had finally figured out the buff bite on the last few hours of the trip. Basically, every time I used peanuts in my combo without boilies, all I caught were buffs. If I added boilies, the carp would get them as well.

In retrospect, had I stuck with only peanut after hooking up my first buff that way on Sunday, I may have been able to land a few more and avoid smaller carp. Of course, that's all speculation. Furthermore, I would not have had all the fun tinkering with the varieties of bait I brought along.

Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the outcome of my trip for a variety of reasons.

1) I was able to fish all day, every single day (except Saturday), thank largely to Bob's invite, and his heated cabin on board.

2) I was able to figure out and catch buffalo on my own, without hiring a guide, or even using someone else gear / tactics.

3) I was able to differentiate between the way carp and buffs feed, take baits, and fight. Not to mentioned landing them from a vertical platform, in a tight / confined area with a few submerged trees. Also think I figured out how to target them when they were mixed in with good numbers of hungry carp.

In a nutshell, one of the more satisfying fishing trips I've taken. I left feeling accomplished at having prevailed, knocking off one of the two remaining freshwater fish species from my bucket list. I smashed my initial goal of landing at least one buff in the 20 lbs range, as 7 of the 8 buffalo I caught were in the range, with 4 of them significantly larger. I can only imagine how good the fishing can be if someone were to replicate Bob's setup on a reservoir known to have giant 60+ lbs buffalo, Lake Fork would be a good example.

At this point, mandatory thanks are in order:

1) Thank God for giving me the opportunity, health, means, and knowledge to fulfill yet another amazing fishing adventure.

2) Thank you to my wonderful wife for holding down the fort back home, while I was off chasing these fat females.

3) Thank you to my kind in laws Martin and Tessa for having me over. The dinners were lovely, and Tessa spoiled me by getting up before sunrise every day to brew me a mug of her special coffee to get my day started.

4) Thank you Finley for all your tips on buff fishing around Dallas. Though we didn't get to meet up this time around, we'll have to shoot for next time I visit Dallas.

5) And last but certainly not least, thank you to my new friend, "Buffalo" Bob, for having invited me out to fish your unique, unconventional, yet very convenient setup. From the good laughs, to brainstorming strategies, to deep philosophical conversations, to epic moments of fishing bliss fueled by good drink, you have earned my gratitude and respect both as a fisherman, and all around great guy. Hope we can do it again someday.