Grass carp is a fish species that is quite abundant and widespread all over the world. The fish are native to Asia, and it is still there that you will find most of these specimens; they are often used as weed control in aquaculture, because of their great appetite for vegetation.
Different methods are employed for catching it, and bowfishing grass carp is possible, provided that this fishing technique is legal in the area. The following guide is dedicated to fishing methods that you can employ anywhere you go, and anytime you might be in the mood to catch some grass carp.
These fish are delicious if baked, fried, or steamed, so there are plenty of options for you when it comes to cooking. Check out the following advice on how to catch grass carp fish, and you will become much more proficient in bringing home as much of this species as you want.
Essential tips for catching grass carp
When you go fishing for this type of fish, there are quite a few things that you need to bear in mind. While the species is abundant and you will go back home with plenty of fish ready for cooking, this does not mean that you will always have it easy. The more you know about the proper techniques for catching this fish species, the better.
Rod length and action
One of the first things you need to learn to be a proficient grass carp catcher is to choose the right type of rod. For this species, a 7-foot rod is an ideal choice. A medium size model with heavy action is the most indicated, as grass carp are known to be able to put up quite a fight.
Do not make a mistake to downplay what these fish can do. When a carp bites, the pressure on the line will be real. That means that you should also match the rod with a 20-pound line. This way, you can be sure that you will manage to take the fish out of the water, without the risk to break the line.
It is equally important to know what sort of hooks to use for grass carp. This species can struggle a lot, once hooked, which means that there is a possibility of accidents. Treble hooks are a definite no-no, as a result, because they can cause serious bruises on the carp’s delicate mouth.
Your choice should be circle hooks. These hooks will not risk hurting the carp, and you will not have to struggle with the hook to take it out. For nice looking prey that you can snap a few pictures of, consider your choice of hooks before any fishing trip.
Choice of bait
Grass carp are famous for being able to munch through important amounts of vegetation, which is why they were introduced for weed control in aquaculture. Tested and tried methods employed by other anglers show that these fish can be quite in love with a type of bait you might not have thought about.
These fish appreciate cherry tomatoes more than anything else in the world. This simple information means one thing: that you will be able to catch a lot of grass carp if you use this type of bait. Take one small cherry tomato, cut it in half, and hook it. It is highly recommended to use smaller tomatoes, as much as possible, as the fish might just take a bite and then run, as soon as the hook is detected.
Choice of chum
Making the grass carp flock to the area where you want to cast your line is not exactly an easy task if you don’t know what to do. That brings up to one of the most important grass carp fishing tips you have to learn: your choice of chum.
Spreading a chum mixture over the water will make the grass carp come to where you want to fish. Make a blend of fresh grass and corn; throw it in the water a few hours before you start fishing. Let it soak in the water and spread its fragrance that will begin to draw in the grass carp. The fish will feed for a little while and become more confident, while you get ready to cast your line.
Grass carp may not be the brightest fish in the pool, but they are not that easy to catch, either. That is why there is a certain baiting technique you must learn. You will have to make sure that the water surface is not disturbed as you cast the line and let the hook sink.
Your bait should be sunk with the hook. You can also let it go a bit loose on the water surface. At least half of it should be inside the water, to attract the fish. This way, you can make sure that the fish will be drawn to the bait to have a bite.
While fishing, keep the line as tight as possible. Grass carp can be quite delicate while feeding on the bait, so you might not be able to tell whether the fish started to bite or not. A tight line will show immediately that the bait is being attacked. If you still see no signs, it is recommended to put the finger on the line to register even the most delicate vibrations.
Do this from time to time to check on the fish. Let the carp engage in feeding for a while, as you make sure to turn fast as soon as the rod tip is lifted. The hook will then go through the carp’s mouth, and you can pull it out of the water.
As mentioned before, you must bear in mind that grass carp are powerful fish, and they tend to struggle once caught. Here is a technique on how to fish for grass carp that will help you. Make sure to loosen up the drag, as soon as the fish bite.
Work the line in fast, to avoid letting the fish too much time to start fighting. Otherwise, you will have to chase and tire the fish, which will put extra exertion on your hands, as well.
Other important information for grass carp fishing
Before, we talked about different techniques and essential equipment you should have when you go on a fishing trip that involves catching this particular fish species. However, these are not the only things you have to know. If you want to be proficient at catching grass carp, there are a few other recommendations that will come in handy.
How to find the right location
Grass carp were introduced in aquaculture as a means for limiting the growth of weed, as they consider the natural vegetation occurring in lakes and ponds their staple food. The good news is that the chances are to find this species of fish almost anywhere.
The not so great news is that all these lakes and ponds where grass carp are abundant are most often in the private properties of farmers and other landowners. A good idea would be to address the problem in advance and ask for permission to fish for grass carp on their property. As this species is so widespread, some people will let you fish in their waters.
Bear in mind that you are up against a fighter
Grass carp might be vegetarian, but they are fighters by definition. They weigh enough to put up a struggle, and that means that you have to be properly armed for this fight. A strong tackle is the only thing that will help you. Consider getting a heavy action rod, as indicated before, and a strong line, to go with it.
A medium size spinning wheel with an open face should be part of the tackle you are going to use to catch grass carp. All in all, your tackle should be of the right size and strength to make sure that your prey will not get away from you.
Avoid noise at all costs
All anglers know very well that fish should not be disturbed, as a general rule. But grass carp, in particular, can be easy to scare away if you are not stealthy while approaching the body of water and casting your line.
These fish can easily get annoyed with noise and other types of disturbance, and they will quickly disappear into the underwater brush, making it impossible for you to catch any of them. When that happens, it can take a lot of time for them to resurface again.
Baiting the area
Grass carp will not just come when you want them to come. That means that you need to take some measures to ensure that you will not be casting your line without chances of success. A good method to do that is by baiting the area you will use for fishing.
Some anglers say that baiting an area can take only a few hours to begin attracting grass carp, while others say that you can count on this to work only if you leave it for at least a few days. You can bait the area with canned corn, a treat that this fish species seems to enjoy a lot.
Picking the right bait
It was already mentioned before that the bait these fish like best must be close to what they like to eat in the wild. They are quite enthusiastic about treats they do not usually feed on, like cherry tomatoes, but you may not always have such bait at your disposal. By taking into consideration the herbivore diet these fish like, you can choose from a broad variety of bait options.
Some fishermen swear by combining corn and dough, and that seems to work like a charm especially after properly baiting the area with canned corn. But you will not be wrong if you decide to choose other tasty treats, like watermelon pieces, lime beans, green beans and even grass. While it is true that this carp species is not crazy about animal-based treats, worms could work just as well.
Following all the steps to the letter
Another matter of great importance is to make sure that you follow all the steps to catch grass carp without forgetting everything. Let’s repeat together to see how anglers should go about catching this type of tasty fish.
The first step, and the most essential is to go near the water by moving very slowly and without making any noise. You should have the line with the bait in the hook already prepared. Bear in mind to use the proper equipment, because, otherwise, this strong fish may just end up escaping, instead of getting caught by a skilled angler.
A good idea would be to attach a small weight to the line so that the bait is kept inside the water. The fish must be able to sense the bait, and, if it is not properly sunken under the water surface, that might not happen. However, don’t have the bait too tight on your rig; the grass carp will pull at it, and the moment they feel any restriction, they will just drop it and run away.
Since you don’t want such a thing to happen, it is advisable to let the bait line to go a little slack. That will allow the carp a bit of freedom when they bite, and they will not suspect that something is not right.
Set the hook after you stretched the line as much you want it to be. Reel in the slack line, and then let the hook slowly into the water. Always remember what you are going up against here. Grass carp is a heavy fish with a lot of strength, which means that you have to be ready for a bit of a fight.
Of course, the most desirable course of action would be to avoid such struggles altogether. You can do that by acting on the recommendations mentioned earlier in this article. A loose drag will allow you to reel in the line and catch the fish because it realizes that something happens. Don’t let your guard down; this carp species is known for being able to escape even seasoned anglers.