After having targeted predators for most of the past 4-5 weeks, I was ready for some more relaxing still fishing for carp, one of my favorites species to fish for, that I've kind of neglected a bit so far this season. Avi and Eli came along, Levi opted to stay at home, seems like he isn't too thrilled by still fishing any more. Oh well, his loss.
As the outer temp is above 30 degrees Celsius these days, the water temp is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit or so by now. Funny how I calculate outer temperature in Celsius and water temperature in Fahrenheit, I guess it's all that exposure to American fishing products and media. Either way, water is basically warm enough to increase increase the size of my hookbaits. Being able to use 3 lines gave me the chance to test 16 mm boilies against my 20 mm boilies, new for this season. Having a variety of flavours/colors/scents only enhanced the testing, and as expected, the kids were willing participants, as I let them fight all the carp we catch.
Got the 3 rods set up around 10:00 AM. Took 1/2 hour for our first hit, the carp took a 20 MM Garlic Pepper boilie. Eli fought it most of the way before tiring. To his credit, fighting a wild carp at their most active period on a 12 foot rod isn't too easy for a small 8 year old. As it neared the shore, I took the rod and let him land the carp, first one of the outing. He insisted on weighing the fish, weighed in at 15 lbs, Avi held it for the picture.
Ai was up next. We reset the lines, again took about 1/2 hour for the line to go, this time the bait being a 16mm sweet vanilla boilie. Avi took the rod, his first chance at fighting a fish on my Beastmaster rod paired up with a big 90 series baitrunner reel. Fish stayed hugging bottom all the way in, Avi handled it very well on the sturdier rod. When he finally got it closer in, I realized it was a big channel catfish. Eli had a bit of trouble landing it as it thrashed and rolled around, so I gave him a hand. A hefty 13.5 lbs, Avi's second biggest ever.
Eli got to fight the next carp, which hit a 16mm chocolate cinnamon boilie. The carp headed stright for a big weed bed, no way Eli was able to horse it out with the 2.75 TC rod he was using. I had to get the fish out for him, and he preferred to be the net man again. Landed the small 8 lb carp with about 5 lbs of grass tangled on my line. When I unhooked it, I noticed the carp had a crooked jaw, kind of reminded me of Moby Dick and our ex prime minister Jean Chretien at the same time.
Avi got the next run, again on a 20mm Garlic pepper boilie. This one started peeling drag at high speed, so I knew it was a bigger one. As it was heading straight away from us without turning, I was sure it was tailed hooked. I adjusted Avi's grad accordingly, and he eventually turned the big carp. I got in the water and climbed onto a shoal where I was sure it would run, and surprised the carp by netting it just as it tried to crash the shoal. Lucky for us, as it was barely hooked. Avi was quite sure the carp was his biggest to date, and he turned out being right, as it weighed in at 24 lbs, edging out his previous record of 23 lbs set about 3 years ago. He had trouble holding it up for the picture, so I gave him a hand.
Eli got the nest carp, this one was back onto the smaller 16 mm Chocolate cinnamon boilie, and smaller in size as well. It ran straight for the same weedbed, and again, I had to drag it out for him, another small one in the 10 lbs range.
Avi got the next carp, this one coming on a 20mm licorice spice boilie I cast to the spot where the previous big one had hit, as I was out of garlic pepper boilies. Again, another heavier fish on the bigger boilie, and the drag system on my old Penn Liveliner reel started slipping during the fight. I thought I had fixed it, as I haven't had that issue in a couple seasons, looks like it's back again. Either way, Avi managed to land the fish. Although it was only 33-34 inches long, it had a huge belly for it's lenght, which I measured at a 24 inch girth. Carp weight in at 23 lbs. Avi was all smiles, check the "beer belly" on this beast:
Eli got the next fish, again on a 16 mm boilie, another smaller one at about 10-12 lbs.
After losing a couple to bad hookups, I lost a third to a line cut way above the 35 foot shock leader I was using. Sent that line back out with a 24mm boilie, hoping for a take, but nothing doing. Avi landed another carp in the 15 lbs range shortly before we were set to leave, so we called it a day.
Ended up with a total of 8 carp landed on 11 runs, and Avi's bonus catfish. All of the bigger fish hit the bigger 20mm boilies versus the smaller fish hitting on 16 mm boilies during our 6.5 hour outing.
Avi's been on a roll lately, breaking 3 of his personal best records over the past month or so, for channel catfish, Northern Pike, and now carp. He's now looking forward to try fishing for musky and sturgeon when he returns. Eli was happy with his 15 lbs big fish of the day, though he had hoped to break his current record of 16.5 lbs. That's it for their fishing for a while, as they are heading South to visit their grandparents who don't fish at all, for the next few weeks.
I must say, I'm jealous of my kids childhood fishing experiences, I don't think I caught anything over 5 lbs until I was in my mid twenties. Having a fishing freak as their dad sure does have it's benefits.