Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Month of the Carp?

Landing a carp, which hit a Rebel Bluegill. Photo by Joe Sills.
In a lifetime of fishing all over the country, I've caught four carp on artificial lures. Three of those have been in the past few weeks. As noted in a previous blog, I caught grass carp on back-to-back days from two different lakes in Alabama earlier this month. Both were hooked in the mouth, and one hit a Rebel Bluegill crankbait, while the other attacked a Pop-R.

The Rebel Bluegill did the job again last week at Lake Powell. While fishing way up the San Juan River arm of the lake and catching mostly smallish smallmouths, I about had the rod snatched out of my hand from a strike, and at first I thought I'd hooked a seriously big largemouth or smallmouth. After a few minutes, though, I got the fish close enough to see it in the clear water and realized that yet another carp had grabbed a lure. Eventually I got the powerful fish close enough to get a hand beneath it's belly and land it.

From looking at the large unusual and unevenly distributed scales on the side of the fish and comparing photos to photos online, I'm almost positive it was a mirror carp. It definitely wasn't a grass carp, like the two from Alabama, so I got to add it to my 2015 species list. Now I just need a common carp to complete a "slam" of the most common carp species for this year.

This trip's smallmouths were also the first of this year for me. With April winding down, the count for '15 is at 16.

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