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View Poll Results: What is your opinion on carp?
legitimate sport fish 21 58.33%
not a primary target, but worth the fight 10 27.78%
something to be tolerated 2 5.56%
a plague on quality trout waters 3 8.33%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-25-2009, 03:24 PM
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Default Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

Okay, so I am posting this in the RM section rather than the General Discussion because I really want to know what people in my region feel about this topic, not that others shouldn't respond.

Yesterday I was fishing my home waters on the South Platte in some pretty tough conditions in really off colored water - only about 12-18 inches of visability. I drifted a copper dropper on 6X through a back eddy and hooked into something big. After a 15 minute fight that took me up and down the stream, wading into the middle, unhooking my line from a large, fallen tree, the fish going between my legs once, I finally saw the fish as it came up. It was about 20 inches and my first reaction was to let out a whoop of excitement. I thought it was a huge brown. Then I got a better look when I went to net it...CARP! My heart sank.

I don't know what to feel about these creatures. I see pictures online now all the time with guides putting their clients onto these huge mud suckers, especially in winter months. I see entire sections of web sites devoted to carp fishing. A guy in a local sporting goods store tried to get me all excited about fishing for them one day telling me that at one time bonefish were considered to be worthless as sport fish. But as a kid, we used to kill every sucker we hooked at the request of the DOW.They were taking over most of the lakes we fished. They were considered a scurge on the earth, God's last plague on fishing sinners. I am almost positive the ones in our rivers are a different species, and they do grow really big, but I still hold ill feelings toward them. I don't want to be an elitist, but they just aren't trout, plain and simple.

What does everybody else think? Is the carp a legitimate game fish? Do you put them in the same category as a white fish and still consider them an interesting catch? Is it just something we just have to tolerate? Should they be thrown up on the bank to suffer a slow death - just kidding, kinda. What is your opinion?
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjcordray View Post
Okay, so I am posting this in the RM section rather than the General Discussion because I really want to know what people in my region feel about this topic, not that others shouldn't respond.

Yesterday I was fishing my home waters on the South Platte in some pretty tough conditions in really off colored water - only about 12-18 inches of visability. I drifted a copper dropper on 6X through a back eddy and hooked into something big. After a 15 minute fight that took me up and down the stream, wading into the middle, unhooking my line from a large, fallen tree, the fish going between my legs once, I finally saw the fish as it came up. It was about 20 inches and my first reaction was to let out a whoop of excitement. I thought it was a huge brown. Then I got a better look when I went to net it...CARP! My heart sank.

I don't know what to feel about these creatures. I see pictures online now all the time with guides putting their clients onto these huge mud suckers, especially in winter months. I see entire sections of web sites devoted to carp fishing. A guy in a local sporting goods store tried to get me all excited about fishing for them one day telling me that at one time bonefish were considered to be worthless as sport fish. But as a kid, we used to kill every sucker we hooked at the request of the DOW.They were taking over most of the lakes we fished. They were considered a scurge on the earth, God's last plague on fishing sinners. I am almost positive the ones in our rivers are a different species, and they do grow really big, but I still hold ill feelings toward them. I don't want to be an elitist, but they just aren't trout, plain and simple.

What does everybody else think? Is the carp a legitimate game fish? Do you put them in the same category as a white fish and still consider them an interesting catch? Is it just something we just have to tolerate? Should they be thrown up on the bank to suffer a slow death - just kidding, kinda. What is your opinion?

Being a saltwater fisherman in the North East I can not relate to your area but I can tell you that Carp can be a very challenging fish to catch. They can be very picky at times and there are fisherman out there that devote years to catching Carp.
I remember being a young boy on a boat with my father and uncles catching Striped Bass after Striped Bass, they were considered dumb fish that would eat anything.
Then one day the Striped Bass dissapeared, the fishery was almost gone. With the efforts of the DEC the Striped Bass came back and is probably one of the most prized gamefish in the North East.

I guess you don't know what you have until its gone...

Watch this slide show if you can handle a senseless waste of mother earth's precious reasources
Haul-Seining
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

Let me ask you this, was it fun? Hell yeah it was, I know your heart sank when you seen it was a carp and not a trout, my heart has done the same when trout fishing or bass fishing and hooked what felt like a killer fish only to find it was carp, but one day I thought,,,,,,well its fun. I make trips every year searching for these carp as well as gar with a fly rod, YES I said gar lol.
Although they are not good to eat(to most people) they are a blast on a flyrod, can be very hard to catch( I think harder then trout at times) and mos tevery one does the C&R thing anyway right? So if you are going to C&R and you hook a fish that runs you up and down the river, takes you into the backing and fights his heart out for 5-15 minutes, why not enjoy them?
Your friend is right, people spend thousands of dollars to go chase bone fish, they arent good to eat, they do it becuase they are spooky and hrad to stalk, have you ever tried to carp fish when they are mudding? VERY spooky and your cast has to be dead on.
They are a non-native species, so are browns and other popular species. They arent quite as hard on the eco-systems as people once thought(in some cases they can be,but so can other things) and there is no way you are going to ever get rid of them, so why not enjoy them?
If nothing else they make great garden fertalizer LOL
Bear
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

ya know, i have been trying to think of a fish i would NOT like to catch. and i cant think of one. every fish has something awesome about. bass jump like crazy. bluegills swim in very strong, tight circles. catfish can be as big as logs! salmon go on those giant runs against current. and carp can put up quite the fight. i enjoy catching anthing. some might be accidental catches, but you cant say it wasnt a blast. its all for the fun of it anyway.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

I hear what all of you are saying, I really do. I can tell you where my negative feelings come from - my childhood. Like I said, there were a half dozen years in the seventies where the DOW begged us to kill every sucker we caught and that was about three out of every four fish. Now, understand, these were stocker lakes and we were bait fishing and these were not the kind of carp I have caught on a fly rod though I am sure there is some relation. Even a lot of the guys I fish with right now get downright angry at the thought of a carp in their rivers mostly because of their past relationship with suckers.

It is why I posted this. I have hooked four in the past year and each one was one hell of a fight. I mean a twenty inch carp battles like a thirty inch trout. Like Bear said, though. When you expect your fight to be with a huge trout, a carp just doesn't seem to give you the same feeling afterward. Maybe I need to go hunting for them sometime. There are fifteen pounders in downtown Denver. Maybe I would feel differently if I made them my target once or twice.

I still haven't voted on my own poll yet. I am waiting for more input.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

i see what you mean. most carp are invasive, and many people back home in wisconsin go "bow fishing" for them. but we really cant blame the carp for being in the lakes and rivers. If they are invasive, something else brought them to that body of water. quick question for whoever...What exactly is a "game fish"? i never really paid much attention to the term lol

if i am fishing for bass, and i catch a bluegill, i admit i wouldnt be as thrilled about the catch. and if i was going for a nice brown trout and caught a carp, i would be bummed. but what about the people that go for carp? if they caught a trout, they might be a little bummed. i guess it all depends on what the fisherman is trying to catch.

i think that if a fly fisherman can key in on the eating habits of a certain species of fish, including carp, and present a fly that resembles something in the observed diet and fool the fish, he or she is successful.

everybody has had great input so far on this topic, keep it up!
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

Although I don't specifically fish for carp, I do enjoy fishing for gar, another non typical species on a fly rod. Carp are extremely spooky, common and fight close in like a boxer! I love it. Our European cousins know a thing or two about carp. They are highly prized over there.

Marc
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjcordray View Post
I hear what all of you are saying, I really do. I can tell you where my negative feelings come from - my childhood. Like I said, there were a half dozen years in the seventies where the DOW begged us to kill every sucker we caught and that was about three out of every four fish. Now, understand, these were stocker lakes and we were bait fishing and these were not the kind of carp I have caught on a fly rod though I am sure there is some relation. Even a lot of the guys I fish with right now get downright angry at the thought of a carp in their rivers mostly because of their past relationship with suckers.

It is why I posted this. I have hooked four in the past year and each one was one hell of a fight. I mean a twenty inch carp battles like a thirty inch trout. Like Bear said, though. When you expect your fight to be with a huge trout, a carp just doesn't seem to give you the same feeling afterward. Maybe I need to go hunting for them sometime. There are fifteen pounders in downtown Denver. Maybe I would feel differently if I made them my target once or twice.

I still haven't voted on my own poll yet. I am waiting for more input.
I know what ya mean about the childhood thing, I my self was taught as a kid to kill every gar we caught. I look back now and think what a shamfull wast.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

In Colorado, I think some of the negative feelings about Carp is that we are known world wide for our trout waters. People book expensive vacations to come catch trophy trout in pristine natural settings. When you think of Colorado fly fishing, you think of trout, not carp. Not to say that other states or regions are lesser fisheries because they hold a more diverse warm and cold water fish population, but in outsiders' minds, Colorado = trout. Most people don't book a week long vacation to Colorado to go bass fishing. Maybe pike or Tiger Muskie, but not carp. Is that home state pride getting in the way?

There are places in the state where you are encouraged to keep all the brookies you catch because they are taking over the wild greenback cutthroat waters. People get upset when they catch 10 brook trout because they are hunting for greenbacks. You're right Mooney - somebody put those brookies there and now we are afraid of losing something natural due to human tampering. I understand this thinking in special cases, but I love hooking a 10-inch brook trout. I think they are beautiful fish that go nuts on the end of a line. For that matter, rainbows and browns are non-native to our state, but they are the fish that grow to 25 inches that you see people holding up in photos. This might not be the same argument, but it all boils down to narrow expectations.

Bear and Marc, you are right on the money. A lot of this is just adjusting your attitude. The carp population in the higher elevations is not an epidemic by any stretch. I fish about 75 days a year and have only caught four, two of them in the same three mile stretch of river. There are small areas that now hold them and if you fish in one of these areas, you need to have the mindset that you might just hook a carp. If so, enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Carp trophy or worthless Sucker?

gjcordray: I hear what you are saying and I guess I have felt the same way. Up until the last year or so I never even thought of going out and fishing for carp, but there just seems to be more and more folks targeting that species that it has peaked my interest. The North Platte River Fly Shop has offered carp guided fishing trips for a number of years now. They recommend doing some carp fishing if you have a bonefish trip planned as it is a good tune up. By the way I voted sport fish.
Here is the link to the North Platte River Fly Shop carp information, thought you might find this interesting to read:
Carp Fly Fishing, Carp Unlimited, Carp On The Fly

Larry
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