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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Carping in a Marina #13430346 02/07/20 12:28 PM
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Finley and his Dad were kind enough to come out to Ray Hubbard last year and show me how they use hair rigs and other Euro gear to catch carp and buffs off the back of my sailboat in the Marina. I've been refining the gear and rigs to fit my situation...20 + ft of water in the same"tight" location. There are also floating platforms within the marina that small groups could target carp, though I can't say I've ever seen others carp fishing. It's pretty effective, and fun, I'd like to share how vertical, deeper water carping is a bit different than Euro style bank fishing.

Rods - I bought a couple cheap 6 ft med. heavy fiberglass casting rods. You need some backbone because you can't allow large fish to run far or they will fowl you on nearby boats and
structure. Shorter rods work better. Rod holders are pretty important...the fish often hook themselves and that first run is very strong. I set my drag pretty firm.

Reels - I have a couple of Okuma Level Wind reels with star drags, which really help adjust the drag quickly. I think this is pretty important, but many bait casting reels have similar features.

Running line - I use 40 # braid. I'm not casting...just stripping out line as my rig drops straight down. Braid is thin and strong compared to mono.

Leader - I use about 24 inches of 20-25 # mono. If I get snagged, I want the mono to break...not the braid.

Weight - I use a 1 oz. flat lead sinker...commonly used for cat fish. I use packbait on this, and because I'm not casting, it doesn't need to have the same consistency as needed for method feeder.

Hooks - I use sz 6-8 heavy wire scud hooks I get from Allen - N203

Hair rigs - The same 25 # mono with a small braid hair. Braid is more supple so it's easier to bait. Mine are very basic...I can tie one up in a minute or two.

Stops and baiting needle - I cut little "bow ties" out of yellow craft foam. I also use a crochet needle to bait...cheap...Hobby Lobby. Print a 40 % off coupon...

Pre Bait and Bait - Boiled deer corn or sweet corn. It drops straight down. I set-up a rod in holder on each side of the boat, so that's where I chum...in small areas straight down. I know a lot of folks use range cubes, but I don't know how that's going to behave in 20 ft of water. It's on my list to try. I usually toss out 2 #s (dry) of deer corn at the end of each session if I'm fishing the next day, and a handful or two right when I get to the boat.

Packbait - The two main ingredients I use are quick oats and store brand Fruit Loops. I often use the juice left over from the boiled corn as well...maybe Jello, vanilla. I like the Fruit loops because they float out...I figure it helps attract foraging fish. I always mash some boiled corm into the packbait before I glob it around the sinker. Since I'm not casting, it can be pretty dry until the corn juice from squeezing in the kernels firms it up.

Rigs - Based on some recent posts, I'd say I use a Helicopter rig...weight on the bottom...hook link of 4 in. of stiff mono tied directly into the leader about 6 in. up from the weight. The stiff mono holds it out from the main leader. I can see it extended above as I lower it, so I don't stick the hook into the packbait as bank casters might. Lately, I'm using a nail knot which I can slide to change the depth. I might use a fixed knot once I find the best distance from the sinker based on how slack I'm fishing, which is based on wind and whether I'm picking up weeds.

Net - I bought a large Frabill net that works well from the boat. Pretty critical as I have to control the fish while netting.

I guess my overall point is, if you access to a marina, the same gear used for bass and catfish should work pretty well, and I do get some catfish and buffs. Hair rigs don't seem to get swallowed by the cats, and that's a real benefit. None of the stuff I use is carp specialized, and can be bought at any tackle/craft store. You do need heavy wire hooks you might have to order...like $4 for 25 from Allen. I sharpen them with a nail file frequently, especially if I'm getting hard bites but not hooking fish.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13430458 02/07/20 01:45 PM
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I agree, you don't need carp-specific gear to target them with euro methods. One thing I would say is the bait runner reels are a worthy investment; it lets you set rear drag to a light setting to accommodate that hit / initial run and a simple flip of the lever above it (or one turn of the reel's handle) will engage the front drag (your "fighting" drag). Without this you easily risk losing a rod if your drag is tight (it's happened to me!) or the fish breaking off. On the flipside, if it's too light, the initial run can cause you to birdsnest (spinning or baitcasting, doesn't matter - also have had this happen); even if your drag is set right, you'll still have to tighten it down manually once the fish is on - with the bait runners it's just way more convenient to be able to flip the lever or turn the handle to get the fighting drag you had preset. Also agree on the hooks being very important; they need to be very sharp and heavy. I've caught numerous double digit carp (including my PB of 20 lbs), buffs and even large channel cats on a tiny size 12 carp-specific hook without issue (Korda Krank series - I like them because you don't need one of those hook aligners).

But yes, the other stuff isn't super necessary. MH rod, a simple sliding sinker rig like you'd use for catfish (egg sinker holds pack bait fine), and a hair rig. If you're going to invest in something it should be a quality reel with a good drag system, preferably a bait runner (Daiwa Regal BRI is like $50 and IMO an incredible reel for the money), and your hooks.

Last edited by MiggyFishing; 02/07/20 01:53 PM.

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Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13430517 02/07/20 02:18 PM
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Awesome stuff Bob! Love the amount of detail. Vertical fishing is no doubt very different from bank fishing and using different techniques could definitely increase your catch rate thumb


Catch and release. The dream - to catch one of every species of Freshwater fish in our great state! If only I can resist Carp...
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Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13430519 02/07/20 02:21 PM
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Have you tried fishing without any weight? You should be able to get fish up to the surface much faster that way!


Catch and release. The dream - to catch one of every species of Freshwater fish in our great state! If only I can resist Carp...
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Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13430557 02/07/20 02:36 PM
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Back when I had access to marina fishing, I used as little weight as I could get away with. Either a small split shot, or no weight at all. A lot depended on weather (wind). I did a lot of fishing at Joe Pool at their fishing barge on the west side of the lake. A bread ball on a size 6 hook with no weight worked well for carp and buffs.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: MiggyFishing] #13431097 02/07/20 07:37 PM
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That Diawa reel sounds very nice. When a do fish smaller lakes for carp, I use fly gear...different altogether, but I've made the investment over the years. My rod holders sometimes go "thump straight down", but I haven't lost a rod.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13431106 02/07/20 07:38 PM
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Do plan plan on going weightless...still with a hair rig, and probably with a fiberglass fly rod. It might get pretty hairy in the marina, but all I risk is my leader, hook, etc.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13431601 02/08/20 04:38 AM
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Solid post! thumb


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Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13432073 02/08/20 07:43 PM
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Update: Got a couple of nice carp but it slowed a bit, so I changed to a 1/4 barrel sinker from my usual 1 oz. I also changed to Finley's favorite carp candy. They stayed on the bite ...very light...but they didn't hook themselves, so I had to get creative. I tried hauling the line straight-up slowly and was surprised to see the rod tip just keep bending...a hard set on the handle while still in the rod holder netted me this...hooked in the top lip. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13432135 02/08/20 09:42 PM
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Buffalo are the light biters when fishing straight down. Good job on this one. If the rod tip is twitching, set the hook. You may miss several, but it will increase your odds when the bite is light.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13432221 02/08/20 11:44 PM
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I tried taking the rod out of the holder, but just too much jostling around. So I just slam the rod handle up. Not sure it was designed for that, but it seems to work.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13432271 02/09/20 12:32 AM
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If the bites are light, I assume that they are buffalo bites. I would not use the hair rig for straight up and down buffalo bites. Just bait the hook itself. I also do no use a rod holder for just the reason you mentioned. I carefully prop the rod as level as I can and commence to watching the tip. Doing this will also catch carp for you. They may bite light, or slam it.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13433564 02/10/20 11:06 AM
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Based on results from recent days, and suggestions from others above (thanks!), I am going to adopt a different set-up for each rod...one for carp, and one for buffs. The carp rig uses a heavy terminal sinker (well, 1 oz.), and the general tactic is "let them eat"...hook themselves. I think the added weight is needed for that. The buff set-up is 1/4 oz (I'll use a hard terminal loop and a crimp on/off split shot to change back and forth), and the bites will be dealt with more aggressively. Hair rigs on both because I'll use candy on the buff rig and I need the hair to bait that, though I may put corn directly on the hook as well. I'll start compiling a record on which rig caught what to see if the trend holds. Thanks again for all the inputs. A YouTube vid on how I make my vertical rigs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewQzquioj3E

Last edited by kaboboom; 02/10/20 01:47 PM.
Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13433905 02/10/20 04:01 PM
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Nice thread.

Re: Carping in a Marina [Re: kaboboom] #13437396 02/12/20 09:05 PM
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Haul and slam works again...

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