How do I catch Grass Carp?

Philip Parker wrote:

I will be tackling a venue that contains a good head of large grass carp. The lake itself is quite shallow 3′-4′ and around nine acres in size. Can anyone offer some advice on trying to catch them. Of all the fish I’ve caught this one has eluded me. Surface baits are not an option at this venue. Any advice would be well received and appreciated.

Hi Philip,

Grass carp are lovely looking fish and a strange species as they are not easy to target. They will get caught on boilies, but this is more often than not in a water that has little or no weed. In my experience on heavily weeded waters they very rarely get caught at all.

Being basically plant eaters the best way to go about attracting them to your swim is with a plant based bait. I have found maize and sweet corn to be very good in this respect. If you put down a large bed of these particles you have a fair chance you’ll get the fish move on to it.

Over this I would suggest a popped up bait a few centimetres off the bottom. While they will pick bottom baits up this is not their natural feeding habit so you’ll mostly likely get more takes on popped up maize, for example.

They are very fragile fish that don’t fight that hard until you get them close to or on the bank. I often think that until you try to net them they don’t even realise they’ve been hooked.

Once close to the net though they often go balisitic and can wipe all your other rods out. On the back they are also very lively and need to be treated with care. They will often lose scales and get red on the flanks as the thrash around. I would say keep them wet, do you weighing and photos as fast as you can and get them back in the water. Under no circumstances sack them.

Hope this helps
Gareth

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