Author: Erick Maybury

Carp fishing has been one of the more paramount parts of my life since the age of 13. At the current age of 34 I would have figured the routine, fascination, and allure to this interest of mine would have diminished long ago. If it wasn’t for the fact that the sport has treated me so well it would have. Whether it’s the spirited individuals I fish with to the sometimes quirky trends and ideas the sport emits I can say with certainty I am pleased to have been a part of it from early on.
Seldom fishing short sessions I find my home on long sessions preferably fishing new and difficult waters allowing me to see all that can eventuate in my time spent fishing, I understand and appreciate the reliable and more familiar swims and locations; yet the flame is not there with the banal. Fortunately I have a small but likeminded group of carp fishermen to surround myself with these days. You can be the reclusive hermit who’s only known by word, or an extraverted social media personality but without a support system this sport can leave you high and dry.
Currently I am backed by Solar Tackle and Big Carp Tackle, while I have never believed carp fishing is a sport that entails you to have to fish with others, or have a company to back your pursuits; however I am grateful of the comradery Both Big Carp Tackle and Solar Tackle have provided me with over the last year or so.

Solar P1 Pod (Video)

With It being nearly a year since I received My Solar P1 pod, and Global Conversion Kit I figured why wait on on showing the versatility of this pod! Not unlike the original Worldwide pod the new P1 has had some increased refining, and engineering as well as some aesthetic upgrades. If you have not used a Solar pod before you’ll appreciate it’s strength and versatility immediately. If you have owned the Worldwide pod You’ll enjoy the ease of the new buzzer bars as well as the rock solid setting the new 5 point Titanium knobs deliver. The P1 as well as the Worldwide are such solid and reliable fixtures in the carp world by now that a review is not entirely necessary!

Note: Product prices vary greatly on this range so I have deliberately not included them.

 

 

Easy PVA Solid Bags (Video)

This is a basic run through  on how to make simple Rectangular PVA Solid Bags that do not require a stringing needle. I have to emphasize the usage of rectangular bags for this application square bags will not not work quite the same. For detailed images of this technique please see the attached photos!

Here the hook is inserted into the side of the PVA  Solid to avoid piercing any larger pellets, or oats.

A simple loop is made in the hooklink, and fastened around the knot on the top of the bag. There should never be knot formed in the hooklink for this presentation.  In this instance the hooklink is PB Products Jelly Wire.

Finally here is the finished rig! As I mentioned in the video it is VERY simple to make up 25+ bags using this method in less than an hour. As opposed to tying PVA funnel web your time will be drastically cut due to only having to form one knot.

Solar Titanium Indicators

While the principal behind visualbite indication is fairly simple. If you get a run the indicator moves upwards, upon a dropback the indicator will drop or sag.  So why have things gotten so complicated, and furthermore what else does a bite indicator need to accomplish?  When I began Carp Fishing I fished exclusively by quiver tip or float fishing, which is undoubtedly the best way to register a bite. In fact I’d say you can learn much more about what is happening in your swim by quiver tipping, and float fishing that is unless you are confronted with high winds, weed, bankside obstructions, current, and of course any body of water that has boats to cause a wake.

Over the years I’ve unintentionally developed a collection of indicators, and side by side there’s very little difference in effectiveness between them. It seems that the only development behind indicators has been adding weights for more tension, material composition, or the ability to ‘light-up’ during a take. Fortunately the Titanium Indicators have completely eliminated the use for weights while still being able to increase line tension.  That’s right NO WEIGHTS. A simple twist of the base on the indicator will tension the hanger to either be completely free and function like a bobbin ‘Hanger’ or you can tighten it enough so that no wind, wake, or distance can disturb the line tension. This will also be a relief to those who prefer to fish hangers and dislike adding swinger arms during sessions.

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While I have experienced ‘Quiver’ swingers before and I always felt that not being able to adjust the tension of the arm always limited their applications. Quality is another area where Solar has it over many other brands. Not to name  names, but fragile plastic parts, chipping plastic bobbins, plastic hockey sticks, or tags that will break in a couple years are not what you will find with the Titaniums, as expected from Solar the main components are all Stainless Steel, and now titanium Another huge plus is the carrying case for the indicators. Those who are fans of the Solar Worldwide Pod packaging and luggage will really appreciate the tidiness of Titanium Indicators.

No Method No Problem, A Guide To Fishing Singles

It was somewhat difficult to determine what the term would be used for fishing without Method or Packbait. Technically  to fish a single is considered to fish with a solo bait without the addition of freebies, so if the title is a little misleading you’ll have to excuse my wording.

In the early 2000’s I was fishing very little (or at all.) This was due to pursuing my education and with that came the lack of money to pay for this sometimes costly interest. When arriving back on the carp fishing scene granted it was only a couple years later immediate differences in methods of fishing were very apparent. Oddly enough the main difference in technique and method was just that. Fishing the ‘Method.’ I’ll bypass details of this technique because I figure most reading this article are familiar to fishing packbaits and method mixes at this point, and if not I encourage you to scroll through the Big Carp News archives where you will find plenty of material on this style of fishing.

Suddenly my 2.5TC rods were not able to handle this new  fishing, my preferred style of rigs were also not compatible with lobbing 6oz of breakfast food at range either. Fishing Pack/Method stuck with me for quite a long time, I began carp fishing either using the Float, or Quivertip with a cage feeder so the overall technique made sense to me. I was not alone in this technique, and it’s fairly safe to say that 100% of the other anglers I was doing sessions with had adopted this technique as well, I cannot recall a session where the banks were free of oats, grits, breadcrumb and miscellaneous additives during those couple of years. The sensationalism behind this technique made it seem as though carp could not be caught in US without Method on one occasion fishing with two others during a strong wind at our faces, and witnessing fish crashing 120-150 yards at range we had decided to still fish within 60 yards allowing us to fish with method. In the end I did get two rods out at the distance of the few crashing fish we witnessed and managed the only fish of the session.

In time I slowly reverted back to my old ways and was bringing less and less breakfast food down to the banks, I opted for stick mixes instead of the trusty pack that had consumed much of my fishing for years, and the results and freedoms of this switch has opened my eyes since, I feel its necessary to list the benefits as I see them.

Pinpoint Accuracy– One area I skipped over above is that rods and Big-Pit reels have come a long way and have made distance casting extremely easy, It’s hard to fathom that 100 yards was once a ‘Pro’s-Only’ distance. While many  are deadly accurate with a method ball I think most would agree casting a bare lead allows for greater ease and accuracy of casting, and if your placement upon casting isn’t perfect it’s a breeze to bring it in and bang it out and get it right the 2nd time

Rig Freedom-With dozens of styles of leads on the market you are fairly limited to those which work best with a method or pack. Of course you can ball up method on a clip, or fish it on a helicopter rig, but even then there are still limitations. The idea that I can fish ANY style of rig without modifying it to fish method gives me the confidence to know I’m fishing the rig correctly.

PVA-When fishing method I use it as a method of baiting, as opposed to lying a carpet of  freebies down and fishing method on top of it for attraction.  PVA, especially PVA web material is extremely effective at delivering stimulants, flavors, and other attractants  including oils which do not seem to fare so well in method  and packs. Most of the stick mixes I am currently using would not bind whatsoever due to the amount of liquids I add to them. It’s far more effective to rely on PVA web in conjunction with a stick mix in order to attract the fish rather than trying to feed them.

What Hookbait?-With 3-10 ounces of additional feed surrounding your hookbait it is hard to say whether the fish singled out the particular hookbait you were using VS the glob of goodies that were surrounding it? Fishing a lone hookbait gives you the certainty that the fish singled out and preferred your hookbait rather than incidentally inhaling it among the massive pile you have presented.

Commotion-It’s debatable whether or not spods, and method balls scare fish, I think in many instances these splashing noises can be associated with the delivery of food, I know that many match anglers rely on the sound of the groundbait rather than its contents. Some waters and instances do not do well with too much disturbance. This is when casting a bare lead beyond the baited area and reeling it into position really comes into play

Review: Solar Mega Big Shots for big baiting.

Currently there is no shortage of flavors, additives, dips, glugs, sprays, and enhancers available to the American Carp angler. The selection is overwhelming, you have the option of sticking with old familiar favorites such as strawberry and upping the complexity to Scopex to Ambergris and Vetiver for all I know.

With full shopping baskets and smiling faces pleased with this never ending cornucopia of flavoring there is one thing all Carp anglers contend with in the US at some point and that is QUANTITY. It’s highly unlikely I am the only person who has used their favorite flavors in such moderation that it felt as though it was a bottle of champagne being cracked open only for special occasions. Fortunately the Solar Mega Big Shots have put an end to this conservative usage of flavoring.

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A 30lb Common Caught on a Candy Floss Pop-Up

 

With 1 litre of flavoring you no longer have to be savvy with your baiting applications. Most carp fishermen I speak with fish a variety of waters requiring different amounts of bait going from a few balls of groundbait to half a dozen or more 5 gallon buckets filled to the brim with particle. Speaking of flavoring 5 gallon buckets of particle it seems as though one full cup of the Big Shot flavors will flavor this amount just fine, and if more is needed there is still plenty to spare.  If you’re feeling adventurous I highly recommend taking a look into the new Candy Floss, and Chili Club flavors. The Chili Club is a mild spicy/fishy smell where the Candy Floss is incredible and hard to put a finger on what it is composed of, but it’s certainly a potent creamy, and nutty flavor very unique and original, and sure to be a favorite in the US.

Big Shot

Erick Maybury Year in Review 2015

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint when a year begins and ends with my angling, and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure if it was a good year for me; however within a few moments it became apparent it was a remarkable year that would take a lot for me to surpass, many quixotic goals were set, and a few of them became reality. It’s really a luxury being able to sit back and write collectively over past sessions partly because you are able to overlook the blanks, discomfort, doubt, and large sums of money it took for the year to transpire into a positive.

Warning

 

 

Let me begin with my local pursuits. Mirror Madness had gotten to me and my ultimate goal was to get a 30+ mirror, but after seeing a good friend land a 40+ I knew the bar was set very high and my target fish of a 30 was still on the list although seemingly smaller.  During these sessions I was able to bank a very colorful 30lb common that appeared to have a bit of koi in it, but maybe it’s just safer to say it was a large colorful common. On this same session I was also fortunate enough to net Josef Raguro’s PB Common.  I consider myself lucky to be able to fish  with a great but small group of innovative anglers who throw around rig, bait, and tactical  approaches , and with this being said 2015 was the year of the Wafter, Critically Balanced Popup, and Snowman fished as a single seldom relying on method or sticks.

nice night

 

Low 30

 

 

The colder than normal Texas winter had me wishing for warmer months full of fire ants, alligators, melanoma bright sunshine, and sleepless nights due to all that I mentioned. As soon as spring came about I was in allergy hell producing enough snot and drainage that if it could be used as a bait or glug I would have been set. On one particularly miserable spring morning I banked this robust amazing mid 30 common. Typically I’d stick around a bit afterwards but due to the allergies I booked it home and slept a record breaking 16 hours.

 

Carp2015

large mirror

 

 

Instead of submitting to the elements of weather that make Texas such a great state (Sarcasm) I decided to travel north to Idaho during the summer, I did manage to scrape out a Texas mid 30lb mirror, but the pictures of large 100% mirror catches saw me leave the 100+ degree heat for 11 days in what has been my best session to date. We fished 3 different waters in this amazing state and had over 100 fish ranging from teens into the high 40’s!, I cannot recall the exact number of fish below 30 pounds; yet I know 5 thirties were caught as well as two forties. Somehow results like this take a while to become skin deep for me and really bask in what a great session this was. The night the large mirror was caught was no different than other nights and neither was the fight, a typical weed clogged line with a lot of weight attached. The fish did not give off any suggestions it was particularly large due to amassing itself in dense weed and if I would have known the weight I’m sure I would have eased it a bit more carefully. The girth of the fish was the first immediate giveaway that it was a great deal larger than the previous catches as well as when the weeds were removed from its tail to see its overall consistently fat length. Instead of yelling in elation or giving a high five I just weighed the fish and sacked it an hour or so until we had good light. Due to the lack of reception my catch reports were spotty to friends and family, and above all things I wanted to share the moment but that would have to wait until I got home from the 21 hour drive (In which I did without stopping for the night or sleeping.) Once again I slept for an amazing 16 hours or more.

PB BFNice BF 2015

BF Fat

Fat 2

Very nice

Pretty nice

 

 

 

I do not claim to be a clairvoyant so I do not have any predictions for 2016, I will say I do have some target fish in mind  and I will not mention what they are therefore if I fail at getting them nobody needs to know and I can save face. In 2016 I intend on accumulating a list of blanks, failed prospects, and mishaps so far I am at two blanks and one real haul.

 

 

 

 

Now Here’s My Plan

 

 

 

After  pictures of some enormous carp from a lake not too far from home peeked my interest I was soon  loading my truck  with all the essentials, X3 Predator Rods paired with Baitrunner Aero GT’s packed into a military barracks bag, purchased  from a local surplus store. My tartiest bit of tackle is a Solar Sod Pod  purchased from the late Jack Rowe with green Technipeche buzzer bars paired with a myriad of bite alarms on them with at least one  of them not working. More likely two were not in working order, but that was fine because it made me appear as though I had alarms which are way tartier than quiver tip rests in the front.  As for bait I had multiple 5 gallon buckets which I stole from my job at a deli years earlier loaded with maize and boilies; made from dog food base mix which I took from my parents dogs all flavored from the original Rod Hutchinson Scopex, which came in metal canister that almost too much resembled spray sunscreen. This was also going to be a long session so food wise I was well prepared with a baker’s dozen or so of hard boiled eggs wrapped in a grocery bag, a few bags of Combos Cheddar Cheese pizza bites, and for some reason multiple packs of Rolos and of course absolutely no water.OK mirror

Lots of old gear in this photo from 2002!

After 3.5 hours of blasting Motorhead, Bad Brains, New Order and other loud, energetic and drive inducing music I arrived at the meeting destination; Walsh Boat Landing on Lake Austin. This was 15 years ago.  While I had been carp fishing a couple years prior to this session this was real carp fishing and pure bliss.

I was met by David Moore, Brian Nordberg and Al St Cyr all of whom had the look of anticipation and frustration in their eyes as our game plans were ruined by a concoction of flowing Hershey’s chocolate milk mixed with Hydrilla water in front of us, rather than the calm clear waters I was told about by Brian. Many who are new to the sport of carp fishing or to those who simply do not care may not realize that carp exceeding 20lbs in Texas were pretty much unheard of in the late 1990’s and at the age of 18 I had reserved myself to the unfortunate fact that if I were to catch a 20lb+ fish it was going to have to be east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason Dixon Line. I envied the likes of anglers such as Nigel Griffin, Pat Kerwin, Scott Osmond and Quid Blankly whenever a copy paper 12 page issue of Carp Anglers Group arrived at my home. I was sure to see one of the above mentioned brandishing a 20-30lb fish until an issue arrived showing David Moore and Brian Nordberg with multiple high 20’s and fish to the mid 30’s from the now renowned Town Lake, Austin Texas. This rush is what had me packing a dozen hard boiled eggs into grocery bags and grabbing whatever I could eat from a gas station just to be there and possibly get my dream fish within the state of Texas.

Old Pb

A prior Common PB, and float caught common PB on the Mat from 2001.

Between that session and the current day I have had a few hiatus’s from the sport, mostly for self betterment (education, other hobbies) so I cannot really say I have always been as productive and dedicated as I was then, or as I am currently. In that span of time much has stayed the same such as you can still catch carp on Scopex flavored maize anywhere in this nation, but you are also able to get all the gear you desire without having to re-appropriate items intended for other types of fishing.  Now rather than stuffing Cabelas Predators into a military barrack bag I now place my Century’s into a designated holdall actually intended for rod; amazing. There’s also never been more animosity between anglers as there is now. Feuding anglers fighting for clout via Instagram and Facebook is the new norm. ‘Likes’ and praise by others whom nobody has ever met takes precedence over the zeal for capturing fish. Upon those first Town Lake/Ladybird Lake sessions just to meet another carp angler was cause for celebration.

90's new

A Smallmouth Buffalo From the late 90’s

Two weeks ago I received a similar invite as I once had on my parents’ home phone 15 years ago. This time it was Ryan Daniel, Zach Testa (who I also remember from those copy paper CAG days), David Moore and myself at a new lake which was not too far from home and once again with a tip off on some large fish. This time around the music was the same, my haircut a bit more conservative, the food somewhat better and certainly a few upgrades to tackle.  Our first night Ryan and I met David and Zach in the luxury carp van and shortly thereafter set up our bivvy to sleep, until a bow fishing boat in the distance pulled up on a nearby boat ramp. Ryan and I flew around the campground somewhere around 1am searching for the bow fishermen all knowing their kills would be morbid yet revealing of what this lake may produce. The disturbing results included a common carp we estimated to be in the mid 30lb range. It’s unfortunate to have to base potential on the site of enormous dead fish; however it gave me the confidence that this will be a water I’ll be having some nice fish from in the near future.

As a contributor to Big Carp News this is my introduction and while it might be a bit nostalgic I feel that there is some validation in all the reminiscing. As with most carp fishermen I am inundated with stories, but would rather keep things from here on out in the present unless asked otherwise.