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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Passover carp fishing with my kids

Kids off school for passover, took advantage of the nice forecast last Thursday to take them out some carp fishing.

While most people associate the Jewish holiday of Passover with eating matza balls and drinking wine, for the orthodox observant Jew, there is a lot more to it. Passover is a very restrictive holiday when it comes to anything made with flour. Aside from the prohibition of eating bread or any form of leavened wheat, the restriction trickles down owning or handling anything edible containing even minute quantities of flour than wasn't produced as matza.

What does all this have to do with carp fishing? Well, for starters, I produce my my own boilies as carp bait. With flour being one of the ingredients, I can't use them during the 8 days of passover. Nor can I use store bought boilies and a variety of other commercial baits, as many of them fall under the same restriction.

This left me with good old canned corn as my option for carp bait. While corn can be very good for carp bait, it has 2 major limitations:

1) Chumming range is severely reduced. While I can chum boilies out over 150 feet by catapult, or better yet, tie them directly to my line using PVA stringers and cast them up to about 400 feet out, canned corn only has a catapult range of about 50 feet, and would melt through PVA to quickly to be properly deployed. This limits chummed carp fishing using corn to close range only (without the use of spodding).

2) Quite often, nuisance species such as sunfish, perch and gobies tend to peck corn nibblets off before carp have the time to get to them. This further limits carp fishing range to areas that hold smaller concentrations of these species.

With the ice only having thawed a couple days before the outing, our chances at hooking a carp were slim to begin with. The only thing we had going for us was the forecast, which called for a balmy high of 17C with no wind. The area I fish this time of year, is a very shallow bay that heats up significantly quicker than the rest of the deep waters surrounding it, during and immediately after ice out. This effect tends to draw warmer water species, and especially carp, like a magnet.

With the high predicted to warm up starting around 10 AM, we got setup up shortly after that. Unfortunately, the forecast was completely off. Ground temp was around 7C, heavy cloud cover, and moderate wind. Kids were cold, they stayed in the car most of the morning, and not a fish in sight for the first 4 hour of the outing. Zev seemed to lose his patience and took it out on the guide.

Finally, clouds started clearing, and the sunshine arrived around 2 PM. Within minutes, the first run of the season resulted in Eli landing his first carp of 2019.

Far from being a monster, but still very welcome after 4 hours or so of nothing.

Within minutes, the second run, this time Chaya took the rod. She fought the fish up to shore, a feisty carp in the 12 lbs range, but it spit the hook a few feet away from the landing net.

Keeping things fair, Zev was up next. Took about 1/2 hour for the next run, and with a bit of help from Dad on the rod and Eli with the landing net, Zev had his first carp of the season on the mat.

No that the 2 boys had landed carp, Chaya was up for another shot. Sure enough, within a couple minutes, we had another screaming run, this time the fish was a bit bigger. She di a pretty good job fighting it, until it ran straight into a large patch of bullrushes along the steep bank we were on. As I tried to muscle it away for her, the carp spit the hook. Too bad, would have liked to get a look at that one...

Having lost 2 carp and with less than 1 hour left to our outing, she didn't despair. 20 minutes later, we were into our 5th carp of the afternoon, which she finally landed.

All landed carp were released in top shape.

Having landed one carp each and a couple more good battles, the outing turned out even better than I originally imagined, due to not being able to use my boilies. Seems like the combination of patience, experience, light chumming, sunshine, and a very good knowledge of that spot, all came together to make for another memorable holiday outing with the little ones.

Now that the carp are finally on the feed, I should be back to guiding for them in the next couple weeks.

For more information on your shot at landing good numbers of these hard fighting fish,

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