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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:59 AM
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Default I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Fishing for the usual 'gills, crappies, and bass at the local lake yesterday evening at dusk when a very big fish jumped not far from shore. Not 100% sure what it was (it was getting dark), but I cast the foam bug I had tied on the 3wt I was using to the "rise" out of habit then thought about it and quickly decided it wasn't a good move.
The scene from the movie "Jaws" flashed through my mind - "You're going to need a bigger boat".
I think it was a flathead catfish by what coloration and body shape I saw and figured it would be a minimum of 30# and possibly quite a bit more. Never saw one break the surface like that before, but I'm guessing it might have taken one of the smaller fish that were feeding on the surface. As soon as I cast the fly I decided it probably wasn't the time to test the drag on the new Sage reel.

My question is - will a flathead break the surface when feeding?

BTW - caught a few 'gills and one small bass before seeing the brute, so I was able to call the trip a success and quit for the day with some dignity at that point. A couple days ago I was fishing a different location and a 10#+ carp cruised by. I cast a nymph ahead of it but luckily it wasn't interested. I'm going to hook something bigger than I want with the 3wt if I keep at it.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

I know that carp are breeding now, and they breach like that to show their "affection"
One place I fish, you're likely to see sturgeon do it as well..... now they're big
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Not sure about flatheads, but where I fish, channel cats regularly take bugs off the surface. I caught a nice one last summer drifting a dry damsel through a pool where I was hearing these loud but gentle sucking sounds accompanied by a boil.

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They weren't breaking the surface though, what you saw sounds more like carp spawning activity. If I remember correctly, that's also when you've got about the least likelihood of catching a carp. One track mind and all...
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Not sure about a flathead breaking the surface, but it's obvious that you're seeing fish like carp and others that will at least put you firmly in 6 or 7 weight territory. Should you hook one of these with your 3 weight, I'd save your fly line (and likely your rod) by grabbing the fly line with your hands and breaking off the fish without putting pressure on your rod.

If you're fishing these areas regularly, an inexpensive 6 or 7 weight isn't a bad idea to pull out just before sunset. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun if this is a frequent occurrence where you fish!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Yes sir its carp. The same thing is going on here. We have a mixed bag from coi to grass carp in the canals and Summit lake.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

I keep a 6wt behind the seat in my truck, but the small fish are a lot of fun on the 3wt. I may switch to the 6wt for late evening trips.
I could take the 8wt, but then I'd be sure to hook nothing bigger than a 5" crappie.

My first thought was carp, but it landed with it's belly facing me and it's head looked to be wide & blunt, so I decided it was probably a flathead. There are some big flatheads in the lake (50#+ put in several years ago before the DNR frowned so strongly on re-locating them), but I've never seen one "sound", so I'm questioning my identification. Either way, it would be memorable to hook one that size on a fly rod! I doubt if I could land it, but it would be a "fish tale" worthy of repeating to friends and family for years to come.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabi View Post
I keep a 6wt behind the seat in my truck, but the small fish are a lot of fun on the 3wt. I may switch to the 6wt for late evening trips.
I could take the 8wt, but then I'd be sure to hook nothing bigger than a 5" crappie.

My first thought was carp, but it landed with it's belly facing me and it's head looked to be wide & blunt, so I decided it was probably a flathead. There are some big flatheads in the lake (50#+ put in several years ago before the DNR frowned so strongly on re-locating them), but I've never seen one "sound", so I'm questioning my identification. Either way, it would be memorable to hook one that size on a fly rod! I doubt if I could land it, but it would be a "fish tale" worthy of repeating to friends and family for years to come.
I've caught 15-25 lb Carp on a 5WT. Just make sure you have enough backing. They run like hell but they don't kick and scream like Bass or panfish do. I've had Carp spool me 3 times on the 5WT before landing them. Get that 3WT back in the water and hold on for the ride
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Now that's what I like hearing Swirl.

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Old 05-16-2011, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Tied a few Skip Morris "predator" flies in tan & yellow on #12 hooks today and went back to the lake this evening. Fished the flies as a dry on a floating line and the 'gills hammered them. Used the 6wt because it was windy and my prediction proved to be true. Several 'gills in the 5-6" range and one small crappie.
Cold and windy here this evening, and my hands got so cold the fish felt like handwarmers.
Had fun though!

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Old 05-23-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: I'm going to need a bigger rod.......

Sounds like you had fun! I have a few ponds close to my house that I have been experimenting in. One of them has a ton of bass and quite a few carp as well. Hooked one the other day that had to be 2-3 pounds but couldn't get it in. Thought it was a bass but kinda thinking it was a carp now.
Definatly heading back with a 5wt for sure. Had a blast that day. Saw several 18+in carp rooting around on the shore. Just couldn't get a fly close enough without spooking them.
Question for everyone. There were fish flying out of the water that day. Nice warm weather. Lake is shallow and usually off color. (Reason why the bass and carp like it, it is shallow and warm) I thought they were bass but thinking they were carp. Not sure the smaller carp ever come out of the water like that though. Even though I couldn't see any bugs on the surface they were feeding on something. I figured it was emergers just under the surface. Only fish I caught were on emergers just under the water. Not sure how they could even see them though the water was nasty. Ideas on what to do next time I hit that pond?
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