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  1. #1

    Default Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    And I mean really low-vis, like 2-3 feet on a good day. This is year-round too, not just rainy season runoff. My local lake is more like a city park duck pond than the high and clear Sierra lakes that I'm used to.

    But, this lake, as toxic and over-fished as it may be, is only 10 minutes from my house so it would be awfully nice to learn it's secrets. It's got so many invasive carp that it actually makes the news, and the government put out a per-pound bounty on them a couple years ago. Then they tried electro-fishing them and even that didn't make much of a dent in the population.

    So, how should I go about pulling carp out of a shallow, dirty lake with very little fish-able shore area and water that isn't safe to get in? I know to watch for bubbles and tailing, and use dark flies in dark water but is there more I can do? I can't legally chum but lots of people do feed the ducks bread and tortillas and I'm sure the carp eat a lot of that in addition to rooting around on the bottom.

    It's Pinto Lake in Watsonville, CA if anyone was wondering.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Findlay, Ohio

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    Cheetos flies. A member of another board made dry flies that look like cheetos to fish in a river that has a lot of people feeding the ducks and carp. That river also has pretty poor visibility. He said it worked

  3. Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    You can catch them with low visibility, but it is a bit harder than clear water.

    First you have to locate carp. Do you ever see them? I know the visibility is bad, but sometimes they will come up to the surface or cruise right below it. If you see a carp, your chances of catching it go way up.

    If chumming bread doesn't hurt your conscience, go for it. Throw some bread in for the ducks, wait till you see some carp, and throw a bread fly at them. Bread flies can be tied pretty much anyway, but a piece of foam does the trick.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Bothell, WA

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    Try nymphs or egg patterns under an indicator. Gregg Martin in Idaho has really done a lot of this and has success.
    The take is the premier moment.

    Mr. P.'s Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Myrtle Grove, NC

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    I'd take low-vis over crystal clear. Talk about spooky; carp in clear water!

    Darker patterns that provide contrast in the murky water. Blacks, reds, purple, burgundy, dark olive... something crayfishy.

    I've also had luck under an indicator in shallow water to detect the eat, but the plop of the bobber can spook them.

    Instagram page @tblom77

  6. #6

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    Can you put a small john boat on the water? If so, that will give you access to the whole pond. I've caught carp on small panfish poppers in open muddy water. Black woolly buggers are good for them too. What fish won't eat a black woolly bugger?

  7. Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    When you said low vis, I was thinking more like 2-3 inches than 2-3 feet.

    Can you find them feeding in the shallows? I rarely ever cast to carp. I sneak up on them and find them in the shallows.

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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Lancaster, PA

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    Most of the carp that I catch are when I can't actually see the fish (I may sometimes see a vague shadow or the tip of a tail). The water is usually off color and deep enough that I just can't see them if they are feeding on the bottom. I know they are there by observing the line of bubbles. I generally will try to target a fish that is fairly close to the bank and I will spend a good deal of time observing the direction and rate of movement of the bubbles before even considering my first cast (and I use the term cast very lightly because it is generally more of a lob than a cast). Then I try to present my carp fly about 12-18" in front of the direction of the bubbles and intently watch my leader that is laying in the surface film after my fly has touched down. It is almost like a sixth sense to detect the moment of the pick up but I do find it quite challenging and a lot of fun. I have never used a indicator for carp fishing and very rarely get into the water (except to land one that I have hooked). It is always fun to be able to see the carp actually take your offering but learning how to consistently hook up with them in off color water will get you into a lot more fish. Carpin' season is almost here!

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    I went out yesterday evening and didn't get squat. I didn't see any tails or bubbles or really any indication of fish at all. I tried a black woolly bugger actually, and nothing, not even the bass wanted it. It had a black body, baby blue hackle and tail, and a gold head. I know at least one of those colors had to be visible.

    I wasn't there for very long, I went after work and we got booted at sundown so I only fished for an hour or so. I didn't stay in any one place too long, hoping to cover as much water as possible in my limited time.

    I tried several dries of various colors, a couple different streamers, a nymph, but what I didn't have was any kind of worm or crayfish or other bottom-dweller pattern. After I got home I tied up a couple san juan worms and a black cray. I'll do some more in other colors tonight. See where those get me.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Carp in Low-Vis Water?

    Very rarely will you get a carp blind casting. In fact, that is probably the lowest percentage game out there. You're better off just walking around the lake looking for them and not casting.

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