Beginner's gear

Rod: sensations, low budget, beginner

Hey! You! Yes yes, you.

You’d like to fish for carp but don’t know where to start? You don’t want to spend a lot of money to practice what will become a passion later on? Well, follow me, I may have the information you need to have a dream fishing experience!

Several equipments are essential to fish carp like a net, a landing mat but above all, you need a fishing rod.

On several occasions, I have been told: You don’t fish carp with that! Speaking of my Ugly Stick GX2 rod that I bought for about 50$ at Canadian Tire. Despite being a 6 foot 6 inch medium rated rod with a capacity of 6 to 15 lbs, it doesn’t let it get to me. I have caught nearly a hundred carp with this rod in my first two years of fishing. My best catch so far is this beautiful 29lb beast (pictured) caught with an Ugly Stick GX2. I also bought myself another, bigger rod. However, the fights are not as exciting as what I still get from a carp caught on this Ugly Stick.

Also, it may be unrelated but I broke my second (bigger) rod the same summer I bought it, during a cast. However, I was able to rely on my little Ugly stick to finish my 48 hours of fishing at Roger Gladu Outfitters. In short, there is no point in paying $200 for a rod to catch a carp. A good rod with an average capacity of 6-15 lbs did the trick for me and is still in use. However, you will have to adjust your technique accordingly. It goes without saying. Stay tuned for the next publication to know the basic equipment needed to fish carp, without breaking the bank.

Let’s go ! Fish on!

Steve Therrien

Story Tournament

Team Carpe Aventure at Fish’n Canada Carp Cup

Carp fishing is still a young activity that needs to be developed in Quebec and Canada. For a few years now, tournaments have been organized here and there. But recently Canada now has an official tournament, the Fish’n Canada Carp Cup, qualifying for the World Carp Classic which has been held every year for about twenty years. The Canadian tournament lasts 72 hours, brings together 23 teams from all over Canada and the spots are spread from Upper Canada Village in the south to Long Sault in the north, about 18kms on the St. Lawrence River. At this location, the river is dotted with huge islands and is at its widest about 6kms wide and about 20 to 30m (60 to 90′) deep.

With El Padawan we decide to participate together in the 2019 edition. Once the registration process is over, we start the preparation of the bait and the equipment. Me (PoissMan) who never fishes with zig, and has never even fished so I plan to have this weapon in my arsenal just in case. As far as the bait is concerned, I stay on my basic bait which is a balanced (snowman) of corn for the feeding hours of the fish from the end of the day until mid-morning. For the rest of the day, I plan my mount armed with a 15mm orange pop-up and a fake yellow fluo corn grain.

Concerning the baiting we agreed to prepare micro-grains and corn in quantity (45l and 60l). In addition, I am planning different kinds and sizes of pellets as well as babycorn and priming flour. This year’s training sessions will have been a real pain in the ass. Indeed, the large amount of snow fell this winter, a late and long end of winter and a sudden thaw made the river rise suddenly. One week before the start of the competition, we set off with the boat’s deep and sonar to explore the different spots. The fact that the deeper records the bathymetry mapping on the cell phone is a great help. We were thus able to classify the spots according to our preferences: those we absolutely want, those that are correct and those that we definitely don’t want. Indeed, the drawing of lots is done in 3 steps: we draw the order of the teams, then each team draws a first ball, if it fits perfectly, if not it draws a second one and must keep this second one whatever it is. We were still able to cover the twenty or so spots during the day. Spotting is always an important part of fishing, both to save time but also to soak up the places and to be able to refine your choices according to the weather.

Here we are at last, Wednesday 29th May. We meet at the Long Sault campground with El Padawan while waiting for the draw which will take place in the evening at the McIntosh hotel in Morrisburg at 7pm. While waiting for the time, we make the last checks of the equipment and take advantage of the opportunity to fish a little bit at the same time to warm up the net! In the evening, we meet everyone at the meeting point and the atmosphere is friendly. Once some announcements are made concerning regulatory changes and a possible expansion of the tournament, we go to the draw. Christian and I inherit the 18th position out of 23 teams. We’ve known better. But still. At the end, at the end of the suspense we draw one of the best spots: the pines (the pines in English because there are several pines on the spot). It’s a spot that is regularly fished all year round. After the draw, we will eat before going to bed. The night is going to be short but the excitement is there!

5 am the alarm clock rings, the day rises and we leave to put the boat in the water at the boat trip close to the spot. We take the opportunity to load the equipment on the boat because the spot is 100m from the parking and the way to get there is very muddy, impracticable even with a wheelbarrow. Once all the camp installed, we jump in the boat and probe the spot precisely. The spot is facing south, a bridge and a dike at 150m (450′) on our right. It is a spot occupied by a team, facing us the open water, with a break from the edge and an average depth of 5m (15′) and a bay on our left. The bottom is clean and hard with some grassy spots. A vein of current comes from the right to the left passing 50-60m (150-180′) from the shore. A nice spot in short!

At 8am sharp, the tournament starts and the lines are in the water, we start to feed as it should be. After not even an hour of fishing, first fish in the net. And off we go! Several teams chain the fishes during this first day. We, since our morning fish, no more hits. We continue to work on our spot and we agree to wait until Friday morning to see how the spot will react at night.

At the second weigh-in, we go straight into the middle of the ranking. The difficulty is not to make fish but to increase the average weight. Indeed, the classification is done according to the average weight of the 4 biggest fishes. The podium is played at minimum 50kg (110lbs).

During the three days of fishing we will vary the approaches according to the evolution of the weather and the behaviour of the fish: fishing in the current, in the bay; in the bottom, in snowman, in pop-up, etc. Fun, sharing and not taking ourselves too seriously while being competitive are our watchwords for the weekend!

During the three days of fishing we will vary the approaches according to the evolution of the weather and the behaviour of the fish: fishing in the current, in the bay; in the bottom, in snowman, in pop-up, etc. As for the set up, we remain faithful to our habits. For El Padawan, it will be mounting with lead in derivation with a lead of 5 to 7 ounces (140 to 200g) according to the sector. The whole is followed by a spinner rig (the swivel which allows the hook to turn is replaced by a braided sheath with obviously a part close to the unsheathed hook). The whole thing is cut from its famous big mac trio, namely a pop-up between 2 big grains of corn (Peruvian corn). Baiting level Christian does it mainly with his “famous” corn (he always does it better than me, I don’t know how he does it), tiger nuts and micro grains (bird food). He likes to bait copiously what is a good thing in rivers and streams (I’m more lazy!!!! Ahahahah).

As for me, I also fish in a diversion rig but preceded by a head of line (leader) of at least 5m (15 feet). As for weight, I use the same ones as El Padawan, even if I’m a fan of “the heavier the better”. My first determining factor is the current, the second is the fishing distance. I climb as high as my rods can take it. As far as mounting is concerned, I alternate my two approaches: D-rig mounting in fluorocarbon balanced (snowman) corn (fluo yellow fake corn from Franck Warwick’s range) on feeding time and pop-up sticky peach-pepper baits in orange with the same fake corn grain as for a snowan mounting, on a classic hair mount but made with cheerful braid, the rest of the time to annoy them a little. Baiting level, spombé it’s super precise but it’s hard for the body and with my fly musculature I get tired quickly (yes yes I’m just over 30 years old!!!! Ahahah). So I try to compensate with a more complete priming than just the seed. I mix gooster flour from Decathlon, pellet and honeysuckle flour, pellets of different kinds and sizes (red krill, betaine, babycorn), corn, bird food and tiger nuts.

This is the first time we fish this spot and our approach is successful because we catch a lot of fish. The problem is that we are struggling to get over 25lbs (13kg), except the first part of the ranking is played with at least 100lbs in 4 fishes. The other problem which there comes from the hazards of the draw, it is the situation of the spot. We are “stuck” between two other teams. One at 50m (150′) upstream on our right and one downstream on the left at about 100m (300′). At the last weigh-in on Saturday, the tension rises and the pressure increases. We are around the 11th place. The podium is still possible, we need at least 3 30 lbs (13,6kg) to integrate it or at least get close to it. The downstream spot managed to get fish in these weights and to integrate the podium. Even if they have the weight advantage of being a wing spot, everything is still possible! Finally, we spend the last 24 hours fishing the entrance to the bay for me and in the bay for El Padawan. For my part, I swapped my snowman and pop-up for a fluorocarbon D-Rig mount with an orange wafter with a biological tracer on it from Carpballs Canada to excite them even more.

Despite an increase in pace and weight of the fish we are struggling to climb the rankings. The fight is tight. The last night we finally manage to get some fish into the bay. El Padawan makes there a fish and a breakage. But we limit the weight of the fish. The next day (Sunday) midday, it is the end of the tournament. We put away the material, load it on the boat and go to the boat descent to load it in our vehicles. The competition was exhausting. We didn’t sleep much and we are happy to be back. El Padawan has to go home for family obligations. For my part I’m staying until the end to see the final standings. All the teams meet at the McIntoch Motel for the final word and the trophy presentation. We finish 11th out of 23 teams with 97.02lbs. A great place for a first, we are proud of us! The competition was tough, the first and the second of the ranking is separated by 0.96 lbs or 430g… In the end, one team withdrew, we were 22 to compete and everyone made at least one fish. The organizers are delighted, the fishermen too.

The Fish’n Canada Carp Cup is a great event and well organized. The Canadian television channel Fish’n Canada has signed a partnership to organize and broadcast a summary of the competition every year for a few years to support the development of this fishery in Canada. The event will continue to grow. The wish of the organizers and the anglers is that the tournament can welcome at least 30 to 50 teams. At the beginning, 2 years ago, there were 16 teams. This year, there were 23 spots and there was a waiting list to register beyond that. Moreover, the bigger the event gets, the more it will help to spread this passion and attract new partners. All this on a territory as magical as Canada. What more could you ask for! We had a great time, so see you next year!

Team Carpe Aventure. 🙂

#teamcarpadventure #carpcatcher #buydeeper #canadiancarpfishing #carp #fishing #stlaurenceriver #fishncanadacarpcup2019


One of my favorite tackle

Here is a montage that I have been using almost exclusively for the past two years, from my friend Philippe Rivet. The Trigger rig is easy to make and it gives a very aggressive angle to the hook that bites every time. The ring ensures that the bait is always positioned at the same distance from the hook. This rig works equally well in pop-up, bottom, or balanced mode. I use it with Gardner Mugga hook #4 or 6. An overall length of 15 cm (6 inches) is quite sufficient with a 35 lb (16 kg) Gardner Ultra Skin braid.

Happy fishing!



A wind of madness

As a sport fisherman, all my life I’ve learned to hate the wind. Having fished mainly from a boat, the wind could make conditions very unpleasant. Control of the boat became more difficult and the proper presentation of lures and bait could be compromised.

When I discovered carp fishing, the interest in using a boat quickly dissipated. Gone was the challenge of finding an accessible and reasonably priced boat launch. As a result, my contempt for the wind lost some of its meaning.

The carp allows us to say goodbye to our boat for good if we want to. This species can be fished very well, and even more easily, from the shore. It frees us from the stress of storage, maintenance and the increasingly exorbitant costs related to the use of a fishing boat.

Carp is a very weather-sensitive fish. Sudden changes in wind direction, thunderstorms, showers, cold fronts, the same conditions for several days, or a change in wind intensity can stimulate or stop carp activity. The angler must know how to adapt to weather jolts and the mood of miss carp.

When the wind rises abruptly during the day or intensifies significantly and becomes downright violent, stand close to your rods! I have often experienced one of those instant frenzies in such conditions, even late in the fall!

A strong wind creates large waves that cause a lot of turbulence in shallow water and rip particles, animalcules and earthworms from the shoreline. The water is then filled with suspended matter and food that the carp will take advantage of. The wind also promotes oxygenation of the water, which in turn stimulates fish activity. Finally, the waves reduce the penetration of the sun’s rays, making the carp much less wary.

Thanks to the carp, I learned to appreciate the wind and to take advantage of it, at least, when I am fishing. Although a sudden strong wind can be beneficial to carp fishing, conversely, it will be negative if it lasts several days. Know how to take advantage of it when the opportunity arises and you will experience strong sensations!

Good fishing!



Springtime in Quebec… (continued)

The winter has been particularly long and hard this year, you will agree. Spring was longer than usual, and as was the case two years ago, Quebec is still experiencing the worst flooding in its history, especially in the Montreal area, a sad reality of climate change.

My favourite playground, the St. Lawrence River, is warming up very slowly this year. Around Montreal, its temperature is 6°C on May 5, 2019. So we have to look for calm, shallow areas, such as bays, channels between islands, small rivers that flow into the river and land flooded by the spring freshet.

Despite the water temperature, my first two sessions this spring 2019 (May 4 and 5) were exceptional! I had the chance to catch 33 carp of all imaginable sizes in 14 hours of fishing in total! The carps were not the most vigorous considering the temperature of the water, but they were definitely feeding with appetite.

On the technical side, I used my favorite rig, the Trigger rig, with a Gardner Mugga #4 hook and a small diameter yellow pop-up Pineapple (a year-round classic), an 80 g lead feeder and my favorite method mix (packbait) made of oats and corn, with a fruity aroma.

In the spring, even if you don’t fish as much, take the time to scout. Use Google Maps, Navionics, and monitor stream temperatures. For the St. Lawrence River, the site below can be very useful. Observe the jumps, eddies and movement through the reeds. Use polarized lenses to spot carp basking in the sun.

No matter the size, they’re all fun to take!

Have a nice spring!


Share of the banx

Please, pick yourself up!

Access to water in Quebec is a true luxury, mainly reserved for waterfront property owners and the more affluent. Unfortunately, we have to fish where we can and not where we want. Too often, these rare accesses cannot accommodate many fishers at once either. Access to water in Quebec is a real problem! We must therefore not only raise awareness among our elected representatives, but also do our part on the waterfront. I will regularly insist on the importance of leaving no trace of our passage and NEVER leave WASTE lying around. Be aware that not only are you harming other fishermen, but you may also be blocking access to your favorite spot… It’s easy to carry a rubbish bag with you and to pick up, between two carps, the rubbish which is lying around… Avoid making fires, playing loud music, “partying” or talking too loudly when you are close to inhabited areas. In Quebec, fishermen seem to be “tolerated” at most. By not taking the shoreline as a dumping ground, let’s show the population that we are respectful of the environment.

Have a good season!



Fishing carp in difficult conditions

The spots are often uncomfortable, but worth it!

Conditions in Quebec are generally quite difficult for carp fishing, and more specifically in urban areas where access to water is rare. We often have to improvise and show imagination to hope to find a spot. Consequently, the found places are generally difficult of access, uncomfortable, even dangerous (large rocks) and thus very hard on the equipment!

The St-Lawrence river is without a doubt the best carp fishing area in Quebec, and possibly in Canada. However, natural and artificial structures, currents, grass beds and invasive species make it more difficult to fish than most other rivers.

Carp are known for their lightning starts and long “unwindings” along the bottom, which puts our line under enormous stress as it rubs against the bottom. The St. Lawrence Seaway is the gateway for many undesirable aquatic species brought in by foreign ships, including zebra mussels. Zebra mussels literally line virtually the entire bottom of our river as far as the Great Lakes, particularly in the areas surrounding the seaway.

These mussels have the unfortunate characteristic of being very sharp for our thread. No type of non-metallic wire is resistant to them. With inappropriate material, many fights end in breakage. Too many carps end up with a mount in their mouth for a good part of the rest of their life, and can eventually die if their ability to feed is affected. However, there are ways to find types of line that are more resistant to abrasion than others, but without too much harm to the casting and the flexibility of the mount .

For my main line, I use very high-strength braid, with a slightly larger diameter, i.e. Sufix 832 Advanced Superline with 86 lb (39 kg) strength and 0.42 mm (0.42 mm) diameter. As a bottom line, 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) of 70 lb (32 kg) mono with 0.75 mm diameter, from the Ultima Enigma brand. This momo is very flexible and it is easy to tie knots. The knot that I use and that I prefer is the Albright. This mono is not available in North America, so you have to order it from Europe. However, if you want something that you can easily find on the shelves here, I recommend the Berkley Big Game in the 40 or 50 lb (18 or 23 kg) strength. It’s much less flexible than the Ultima, but can help out very well.

This poor carp probably got caught at the bottom with a mouth mount wrapped around the gill and pectoral fin. While pulling with all its forces, it wounded itself very seriously!



Springtime in Québec…

Spring is a season highly anticipated by carpanglers. It heralds the awakening of carps which are coming out of a long period of “hibernation” during which they have fed very little due to a metabolism which works in slow motion in icy water.

It is also the moment when the carps begin to feed abundantly again, as they come out of this long period of starvation and must now regain their strength for the most popular annual event of the year, spawning!

In the spring, the carps look for areas that warm up more quickly – shallow berries that are well exposed to the sun’s rays, with a good cover of vegetation that will allow the females to eventually lay their eggs. They also swim up shallow rivers with muddy bottoms and very low flows. Carp can also be found in areas flooded by the spring freshet. When the temperature of water will have reached 18°C, it will be the signal of the great annual gathering for the posterity… It is a period during which it is easy to find the carps with a minimum of spotting. The numerous jumps betray their presence…

When the water reaches 7 or 8°C, it’s the right moment to start teasing the carp. Although the carps normally respond very well to a generous baiting, it is not rare to make beautiful peaches with only a fluorescent yellow pop-up and a well stocked feeder method, especially when you have found a good gathering.

Have a good season!


#regroupementdespecheursdecarpe #rpc #carpeauquebec


Be acurate

When I fish with friends, there is one who always catches systematically less carp than me. He fishes in the same place as me, with the same baits, and yet he catches much less than me, to his great displeasure. Am I in direct communication with Brother Andre? Do I have any magical power? Are my pockets full of four-leaf clovers? Let’s see what distinguishes my friend and me. When I arrive at a new spot that I have previously analyzed with a bathymetric chart or Navionics, I always try to find out what kind of structure I am dealing with. Using my Deeper sonar, if I find an interesting break or shoal, that’s what I’ll focus on. I clip the wire to my reel so that I can reel back at exactly the same distance. Then, to measure it accurately, I wind my line on “distance sticks”, each turn being equivalent to 12 ft, like a typical carp rod. This will become the baiting distance and the reference measurement for my bait.

When I cast my spod, once again, accuracy is the key. From a fixed point such as my rod pod, for example, I make sure I always aim for a reference point on the opposite bank, to be in the right axis. With the clipped wire for the chosen distance, I only have to worry about lateral accuracy.

The bait should preferably, in my opinion, be presented directly on the offering mat. There’s no point in casting 50 feet alongside. If I miss my cast, I raise immediately. This can make all the difference between a 20 carp session and a hood.

After each catch, it is up to you to measure your line again with the “distance sticks”. Sometimes, laziness takes over and you try to cast again approximately at the same place without clipping. If it’s not far, it can pass, but for distances of 50 m and more, I don’t recommend it. It can be useful to mark your line with a rubber band or with a liquid marker. I prefer the latter because it holds very well on the line. Elastic bands tend to slip and move too much. The marker is particularly useful when you want to retrieve your line to change bait or refresh your “packbait” on the lead. It avoids us having to use the “distance sticks” and saves us time. We simply clip the line before rewinding.

With carp, it is necessary to work constantly and to be very methodical. It’s a guarantee of success. There is no miracle boilie. There’s no use pretending that one brand is superior to the others. It’s all about marketing to catch a lot more fishermen than fish. Carp fishing is a fishery that requires a lot of strategy and depends on a combination of several factors; weather, structures, water temperature, baiting, color of lures and baits, rigging, perseverance and you guessed it, accuracy. When you’re looking to take shortcuts and don’t want to get out of the comfort of your bivvy too much, the results are proportional.

Happy fishing!