Montreal fishing spots

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Friday, August 5, 2011

The "science" of carp fishing

Carp have me obsessed again, basically all I've been targeting for the past 5 weeks or so. I've gone out with some new friends I introduced to carp, all while trying to break down the best possible all around methods and equipment to use.

The water has been dropping steadily at my spot. This created a 2 pronged issue:
1) The lower water means that my mainline is more exposed to the razor sharp rocks that make up most of the bottom in the area I fish.
2) The water temp is warming up fast, and the thermocline getting deeper every day. This forces the carp to "hug" bottom when fighting.

I'm trying to be as methodical as I can,giving each rod equal amounts of time, cast to the same spots, usually 1 hour each, then I switch.

Started off by comparing a line with 50 lb Power Pro to One with 65 lb Power Pro. The 50 got more hits and more cut offs. With the low water, I getting the 50 lb test mainline or hair rig cut off about 2 of every 3 outings now. The 65 LB Power Pro gets less hits, but less cut offs as well.

I then decided to spool about 60 feet of 80 Fireline XDS onto one of the reels. Had lot's of trouble casting it, and the fish are very line shy. Haven't managed one carp on it, all I caught was an 8 lb channel cat that took my boilie.

After realizing that the carp are that finicky about the heavy line, I decided to throw another couple lines into the mix. I picked up a spool of 65 Suffix 832, which is advertised as being extremely abrasion resistant, something superbraided lines are not known to be.

I also picked up a spool or Seaguar AbrazX fluorocarbon, billed as the most abrasion resistance line they make. Wanting to keep castability, I opted for 25 lbs, the highest resistance sold for that given line with getting into leader material (too stiff).

I tied some extra long hair rigs for the Suffix 832 main line, which produced lots of missed runs. At least they're not line shy. When I shortened my rigs on the last outing, I hooked up pretty soon. Problem is that I had about 40 feet of the 65 lb Sufix 832 as a shock leader, the main line was 50 lb Power Pro. As I hooked up about 125 feet offshore, the carp ran and cut my mainline above the shock leader. The result: Fish are not line shy, still inconclusive as whether or not it's abrasion resistance is as good as they claim.

The Seaguar Fluorcarbon AbrazX worked well as far as stealth. I also tied fluorocarbon hair rigs with it. I did noticed them getting tangled on the cast more often than the softer braid I use, which fouled up a few of my presentations. Landed a few fish on it, also got some cut offs, not any better than the 50 lb Power Pro when it comes to resistance, despite having a diameter about double the size.

So, it's back to the drawing board for the wave of outings. Looks like I'll need to use a lot more Suffix 832 as a shock leader, possibly use it as my mainline. Also look like I'm better of using braid for my hair rigs as opposed to Fluorocarbon, even if I stick with a flourocarbon shock leader.

I'll post the results after some more testing....

OK. Here I am a couple weeks after originally writing this post, more testing with much better results. I spooled the Suffix 832 65 lbs as my mainline, and used it to tie my hair rigs as well. A guy I went with picked up some 80 lb Tuff line braid to use as a shock leader. The Tuff line is extremely soft and seems very resistant to abrasion. Due to it's thick diameter, I opted for a hair rig I tied using 50 lbs Power Pro.

The Tuff Line got the first hit of the day. After a decent fight the guy I was with lost the carp due to it spitting the hook. Went he brought in his line, it was significantly frayed in 3 spots, resulting from direct runs into the sharp rocks by the big carp. The first fray was about 10 feet up the line. I gave it a slight tug and it snapped. The second fray was about 6 feet higher up. Same story, it snapped after a slight tug. The 3rd one held up fine.

The Tuff Line went dead for the remainder of the day. The rest of the fish seemed to shy away from the heavier / larger diameter braid, we eventually switched to another rod with 50 lbs Power Pro. The 2 rods were getting an even amount of hits. The Suffix held up great against some big rocks, I after hooking and fighting about 10 carp on it, it hasn't got any significant damage. Better than that, I haven't had any more cut offs. So it looks like I'm sold on the Suffix 832 65 lb line as both my main line and hook link.

I've also noticed a huge difference in regards to the amount of fish spitting hooks depending on the brand used. I was quite happy with carp hooks from Monster tackle, until I tried Teflon coated ESP Raptor hooks. The Monster hooks don't compare in sharpness, and I haven't had a carp spit an ESP yet, in comparison to about 25% spitting the monster hooks.

I'm really glad to have been able to make the time to do all this research. The cut offs had me obsessed to the point where I would lie awake at night thinking about them. After the past few days and a some nice big ones, I'm sleeping a lot better.

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