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#12485483 - 10/31/17 08:37 AM Grass Carp
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
This is the second one brought to hand. Not an aggressive fish like a redfish. Challenge is getting the fly just where it needs to be and noticed without spooking the fish. I've tried a variety of patterns, but only had success on a Black Cat's Booby Straggle. Too many bottom obstructions for sinking flies to work.

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#12485744 - 10/31/17 10:53 AM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
Meadowlark Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 3024
Loc: East Texas
I've caught several on small nymphs while going after bluegills. They are a hand full on a 3wt rod....and under rated IMO.

When spooked, they can really make a ruckus.

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#12485892 - 10/31/17 12:05 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: Meadowlark]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
Originally Posted By: Meadowlark
I've caught several on small nymphs while going after bluegills. They are a hand full on a 3wt rod....and under rated IMO.

When spooked, they can really make a ruckus.


These Grass Carp come up right against the bank and feed on the acorns that drop in from the canopy above. It's an every morning event, at least when the lake is still. They are really focused on the acorns. I'm really starting to believe the acorns have fermented and the fish are getting a buzz from them. Any fly that sinks gets hung on the invisible submerged snags. This Cat's Booby Straggle has been the only fly that ever even gets a look.

I probably need a 3 weight. I have a 2 weight, but I don't think it has enough power to get the fly to where it needs to be. I've been using my 4/5 weight CGR. It's a real challenge to get the fly in the zone, but these fish have been duds on the 4/5 weight. Maybe they are drunk from the acorns. After trout setting them there's a brief burst and lunge and that's been it. This fish went 14# on my scale and never was even close to being on the reel. But seeing the take is pretty nice and they are great target practice.

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#12486362 - 10/31/17 05:33 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1463
Loc: Texas
David, have you tried a coffee bean fly?

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#12486394 - 10/31/17 05:52 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: Jim Ford]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
Originally Posted By: Jim Ford
David, have you tried a coffee bean fly?


No, it seems like bait fishing which is okay, but I just like trying flies.

I guess it would float, the bean? I think gluing an acorn would work too based on what these fish eat.

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#12486479 - 10/31/17 06:45 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1463
Loc: Texas
I have no idea if it floats. Scott Null, and Kayak Kid, over on TKF swear by it. I've never tried it; like you, I've always felt like it was 'cheating' and stuck with the fluffy stuff. But I have yet to get a carp to eat a fly.

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#12486501 - 10/31/17 07:03 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1463
Loc: Texas
Back in the 90s when I was bass fishing on Conroe a lot I used to see the grass carp cruising the banks in groups of two and three, nose to tail, in the fall. I always figured it was some sort of spawning ritual. I kept a 14/0 treble hook with the barbs ground off (and needle points ground on) rigged on a 7.5' heavy Castaway flipping stick with 50# braid on a Shimano Castaic. I snagged many a white amur from 15 to 35 pounds, and they always put up an epic fight. Of course, a foul-hooked fish always fights harder, but they would really test my tackle. I just wanted to kill them, as Conroe was extremely overstocked with the white amur, which had survived many years past what the biologists had assured us they would. I never took the time back them to pursue them as a game fish, but I am sure that my view of them as an invasive monster precluded any consideration I might have had for them as a desirable species to pursue with anything other than a grappling hook. I even shot a few -- and rejoiced jubilantly -- with my .40 Glock as I worked the sites where we had planted native vegetations that the grass carp were trying (with some outside help, of course) to decimate during the TPWD / USACOE revegetation efforts.

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#12486603 - 10/31/17 07:58 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
We have too many in the lake so they say. One of the neighbors bow hunts them and has taken at least 70. There is no vegetation in the water. I've seen the carp eat Spanish moss that falls in the water. The lake went from being over-vegetated to zero. I should have killed this one, but I had to get to work.

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#12486968 - 10/31/17 10:24 PM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
MassAction Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/22/16
Posts: 97
Since I've moved from Austin to Houston, grassers have been my main target in the bayous.

As the weather has gotten cooler I've noticed them moving more to feeding on the surface. Small, natural colored foam ant type patterns like a trimmed down Llano Bug have been working really well for me down here. I've been fishing for them in moving water and I'm very impressed with how perceptive they are, any drag or wake on the fly at all and they will either turn off at the last second or completely ignore the fly.

The ones I've caught haven't been nearly as large as that one, but earlier in the summer they would take me to my backing over several runs, so it may be the cooler temperatures that have them lethargic, or maybe I found a couple of angry specimens coupled with some fast water. On the other hand, if you find a common, you'd better be ready for an epic fight.

I'm not sure why carp generally get the bad rap, maybe because they're invasive or perhaps because they're flat out ugly, but I've really come to appreciate fly fishing for them. It's way more challenging than bass or sunfish fishing, your accuracy and presentation have to be spot on, and even then they may just not be in a mood to eat what you're throwing.

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#12487132 - 11/01/17 06:03 AM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
karstopo Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Brazoria County
I have a few floating beetles and ants flies I can try. The Grass Carp Iíve been casting for are still fun and definitely a big challenge even if I canít get them to pull a lot of line. Like you said, they are very perceptive and accuracy and presentation have to be right. I canít be at the last second dragging the fly into the zone or anything like what I might try with some other fish. Iíve had many aborted takes and near misses when something didnít seem right to them. Early morning when the light is low appears to work to my advantage as long as thereís enough light for me to see them and the fly. Seems like they have to be about 30 feet away or more. Anything closer and I end up spooking them.

I can see why folks get into them, especially if they get a big fight out of them. I guess Iím into them because I keep on coming back for more. Some fish just get into my head. Redfish are a permanent resident that have a few of the nicer rooms, Largemouth bass have more recently moved in for good into some prime space. Iím not sure just where to put carp yet.

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#12487411 - 11/01/17 09:18 AM Re: Grass Carp [Re: karstopo]
Meadowlark Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 3024
Loc: East Texas
Arguably, the negative rep of grass carp isn't the fish's fault but is due to humans overstocking them. A lot of fish sellers push stocking rates of 20 to 40 fish per acre....the more fish they sell, the more money they make. Lake Conroe was stocked at something like 40 per acre. Huge mistake.

At these rates, the GC will strip all vegetation from the water body...leaving angry bass anglers in their wake.

In ponds, the GC is an excellent management tool to control, not eliminate, pond vegetation. I stock them at 1-2 fish per acre and have excellent results. Together with Tilapia, they keep ponds looking like idyllic settings.

As mentioned they are low light seeking. You rarely see a picture of a GC caught in full sun. The pictures I have all show low light conditions, including a 20 pound brute which hit a Prince Nymph on a 3wt right at sunset.

An interesting thing I've observed about GC is that a fish that has been caught before will give up the fight quickly whereas one that has never been caught will often fight to the death.

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