Headed our alone to attempt icing my first carp. The area I went to is supposed to be a good wintering spot for carp and other bottom feeders. An aquaintance was there a few days earlier with an Marcum underwater camera, and confirmed that their were tons of small carp around, as well as some channel cats.
I also took the opportunity to test my new 6 inch Fin Bore manual ice auger. Drilling holes was a piece of cake compared to my 8 inch Swede bore. However, due to the small diamter, I decided to go with oversized holes for carp, as even a small carp would be tough to pull through a 6 inch hole. I ended up drilling 4 holes next to each other, then getting rid of the connecting ice in between the holes. Made a few of these giant holes, so I easily drilled over 20 holes with it into 9 - 10 inches of solid ice. Didn't even end up with sore muscles. Anyone want to buy a used 8 inch Swede Bore?
I set up 2 carp lines. The first one was similar to my warm water setup, basically a sliding sinker on superbraid mainline with a superbraid hair rig. I improvised on the next line, figuring I would try to go stealth with flourocarbon and no connecting swivels. I first tied a hair rig onto about 20 feet of flourocarbon, then connecting it directly to my mainline with a uni knot. Used a couple small split shots to get it down, but still had to deal with the memory on the flourocarbon.
I use canned corn as bait, chumming lightly, tried some home made boilies as well. Set up my baitrunner, and clipped strike indicator bells on the rods. While waiting for the carp to bite, I set up a third rod with a Rapala jigging Rap, using a steel leader due to the high volume of small pike in the spot.
Fishing was very slow. Got spot checked by the game wardens, apparently they were out everywhere with the warm weather, as we're supposed to be getting a cold front and storm system moving in tonight.
Moved from spot to spot every hour or two. Nothing much doing most of the day. Finally, around 3 PM, I got my first hit on the flourocarbon hair rig. Not much of a hit and then nothing. I set the hook only to pull it out of the fish's mouth, not sure if it was a carp or possibly a channel catfish.
Went back to jigging the Rapala ice fishing lure. As nothing much was hitting, I removed the leader to improve it's action. Sure enough, I end up with a fish on, but it cut my line on the way up, so I'm quite sure it was a small pike.
That was it for the day. No fish landed, couple misses. Another guy fishing the spot came over to chat for much of the day, as his pike lines weren't too busy either. I think he ended up landing 4 on 10 lines. A few others showed up late in the day, and landed a small channel catfish on a live minnow.
I will probably hold off targeting carp through the ice until the bigger ones move in later in the winter. However, I may decide to try some open water winter carping again... Stay tuned.