I am pleased to announce the Evan Cartabiano has been added to the select team of Big Carp News Contributors. Evan brings something very very rare in the carp world. He is a fisheries scientist, with a huge interest in carp. This is something I have not witnessed much of anywhere before and will hopefully help many anglers to understand carp in their quarry and to ultimately catch more carp. Welcome aboard Evan! (Craig- Editor)
Meet the contributor!
Hometown: Willington, CT
Location: Stillwater, OK
Occupation: Graduate Research Assistant (Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology) – Fisheries Scientist
Number of fish species caught: 150+ (and of course including Cyprinus carpio (common/mirror carp) and Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp)
Why carp fishing?
For some reason carp have always been interesting to me. I remember reading about carp fishing when I was 8, and really wanting to catch one, and that desire has stayed with me. Also the gear is awesome and I love making rigs. Carp fishing is about as rigy and tackle intensive as you can get.
Most obsessive thing you have done to catch a carp?
There are a few things I have done that might be candidates for this category. There are many examples of fishing in dark subfreezing conditions with 30+ mph winds blowing on shore. Or paddling (not rowing) a mile with a john boat full of gear and bait. Or trying to raise blood worms when I can’t catch carp on any normal bait.
Angler(s) you most respect?
Nick Helleur would have to be in the top 3. I read many of his articles in Advanced Carp Fishing, and his style of fishing has had a big influence on how I fish. Todd Davis would have to be another. He gladly helped me when I was starting carp fishing with euro style gear, and is a wonderfully methodic angler and a great teacher.
Favorite bit of kit?
I am a big fan of 30lb braid line. It casts further, allows you to really put pressure on the fish if need be and I like to know what is going on at my hook bait. A marker float is also something that I don’t like to be without. Without it you are fishing blind and I have not lost an untold amount of end tackle by finding out that the swim was full of trees, brush piles, and bicycles.
Worst tackle purchase ever?
Cheap catapult – it broke first time I tried it.
Cheap bite alarms – don’t always sound during a take which can have some interesting results, but I guess you get what you pay for. And yes I am still using them as there is not much money in being a grad student. Not naming names but got them from a place with the initials S.T..
Sweet corn has been my go to bait ever since I started, and I still use it when I am first fishing a venue. Blood worm boilies are my top flavor right now. I like to fish any hook bait over pellets if there are not too many catfish around. Pellets attract many species of fish, and this in turn can attract the carp, just use a larger hook bait if other species have become a problem.
Nickajack Lake in Tennessee.
What was your best ever session?
Fishing in Lake Lanier in GA. There was a lot of boat traffic and it was stirring up the bottom on a long point that had some deep water off to one side. The fish were up on the drop off and were really going at it. It was a nice mix of commons and mirrors, and they kept biting until I completely ran out of bait. The fish were not all that large, but the amount of action with mirrors was welcome on a lake where carp were somewhat hard to catch.
A 12lb common form the tail race below Carters Lake in GA. The water was really rushing and there was only a 2×2 spot that I would not get instantly snagged. This fish while not being all that large put up the best fight of any carp I have caught to date, running 30yds before I got it turned. To top it off it was the best looking carp I have ever seen, dark bronze woodcut, with very large fins and a sleek from. A wonderful fish.
Fish where the wind has stirred up the bottom and if this coincides with a front moving in in the next 24hrs even better. Don’t be afraid to use donkey choker size baits – they catch fish. I like to fish a double stack of 30mm baits over a large bed of pellets as I have found that I really do weed out the smaller fish (don’t try this if you are only doing a day session – it can take some time to get a take).
My favorite rig would have to be a running rig with a combi hook link. This only really works well if you have braid main line however. If I am fishing mono I will use a bolt rig with a lead clip. If the water is very clear and there are not too many snags, a 10lb fluorocarbon hook link is a favorite of mine.
Worst ever session?
Blanking during horrible weather when no one else would dream of being out fishing!