Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Carp Fishing in North America

Once considered a non-game fish in North America, the common carp is gaining popularity as a freshwater sportfish.

To meet the demand for information, a wide range of carp-specific fishing magazines, clubs, television shows, and internet forums have taken hold throughout the U.S. and Canada as more anglers become active in carp fishing.

How big do common carp get in North America? State records for common carp provide clues about trophy-class carp weights and lengths. Across the USA, state records continue to be broken as the popularity of carp fishing grows.


In May, 2014, a bowfisherman set a new Vermont state record for carp with a 44-pound 6-ounce fish taken from Lake Champlain. The massive carp was taken while bowfishing in a backwater area of southern Lake Champlain. The previous state record carp, also taken by bowfishing, weighed 42-pounds 8-ounces.

The Massachusetts state record for carp was broken recently by Shane Felch of Shrewsbury, with a 46 pounds, 5 ounce mirror carp, taken from Lake Quinsigamond. According to local anglers, mirror carp are the most common variety caught from the Lake.

New Jersey

While bowfishing on the night of May 19, 2014, Adam Faatz of Hawthorne, NJ, broke the New Jersey state record for common carp with a 45 lb. 6 oz. specimen. The massive carp was 42" long and had a girth of 32".


On June 9, 2013, bowfisherman Patrick Johnson of Toledo, Ohio, took a new state record carp in the Sandusky County portion of Lake Erie's waters. The massive carp weighed 53.65 pounds, measured 45 inches in length and 32-1/4 inches in girth.


In 2012, bowfisherman Zack Seitz reeled in a 59-pound common carp measuring 46 inches long with a 32.5 inch girth, breaking the Wisconsin state alternate method record.

Despite increased participation in American carp fishing, a few state records have withstood the test of time.

For example:

The Pennsylvania state record for common carp stands at 52 pounds, caught in the Juniata River in    1962.

In addition to fish caught in the USA, monster-sized carp are caught around the world.

For example:

While vacationing in Thailand in 2013, a British tourist landed a 134-pound carp, believed to be the biggest ever caught. The massive fish weighed 134 pounds 7 ounces, which could set a new world record.

Bait fishing, fly fishing, and bowfishing are popular techniques for taking carp. In some locations, carp are caught by chumming an area close to shore and still-fishing in the middle of chummed area.

Friday, June 6, 2014

North Carolina Fish Attractor Study

A North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission study found that artificial reefs made from synthetic materials attract fish for longer periods of time than reefs made from Christmas trees.

The research project was entitled "Using the DIDSON to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Different Fish Attractors in Turbid Reservoirs."

"This study proved that artificial structures made from synthetic materials are a better option for us compared to attractors constructed from Christmas trees, which we would have to replace on a regular basis in order for them to attract the same amount of fish as the artificial structures," said Jessica Baumann, the fisheries biologist who oversaw the fish attractor study.

Baumann worked with other Wildlife Commission staff to evaluate the effectiveness of natural and artificial fish attractors to assess how well they congregated fish and how well they held up over a three-year period.

Fisheries biologists began the fish attractor study in June 2008, sinking three different types of artificial attractors and one natural attractor constructed from Christmas tree bundles into Lake Townsend in Greensboro and Lake Cammack in Burlington. They chose the two lakes because of their abundance of sport fish, similarity in size, and lack of underwater structures.

After evaluating each attractor site every fall, winter, spring and summer for three years, using a high definition imagery sonar unit called the DIDSON (Duel-Frequency Identification Sonar), biologists concluded that artificial fish attractors held similar numbers of fish and lasted longer than the Christmas tree bundles.

As a result of this study, the Wildlife Commission has begun using artificial structure constructed from synthetic materials to help congregate fish in many bodies of water. In 2013, staff deployed 19 synthetic fish reefs in Hyco and Mayo lakes near Roxboro.

They also deployed nine fish reefs in Lake Thom-a-lex, four fish reefs in Shearon Harris Reservoir, and two in the Tar River Reservoir. They plan to deploy similar fish reefs in Lake Raleigh, Lake Holt, Farmer Lake, Lake Michie and Lake Reidsville this summer.

source: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission