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saltwater sensei
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to try fishing for Carp this weekend. The ones I have targeted are fairly large, haven't seen any under 2ft and some appear to be much bigger.

If I am concentrating on the much larger fish, should I still be using a #6 hook, which seems widely suggested all around the internet for carp fishing, with a wheaties based bait ball? I was considering using a 3/0 circle hook, 3/0 mustad bait hook or a 1/0 mustad bait hook.



The circle hook seems best suited to the job but way too big. Should I be investing in a smaller sized circle hook?

I already spent $2 on wheaties just for fishing carp, I don't want to have too much specialized carp gear since I don't know if it'll be my thing yet. ;)

I'll be using a shimano baitcaster on a med fiberglass rod with 18lb trilene xt mono. Baitcaster will be set to freespool with the clicker engaged with a sliding bottom rig.

So big Carp = Big hooks???
 

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Big carp ≠ big hook. My two largest carp over 30 pounds have been caught on size 4 hooks. I have caught multiple twenties on size 6 and 4.

If those are the only 3 hooks to choose from I would go with the 1/0.

I grew up using wheaties and had great luck. If you can get some anise or vanilla extract to add to the doughball, it may produce more fish. My favorite flavor is anise.

You could also buy a can of sweet corn. Put a few kernels on the hook and throw about half of the can in the water. Cast into the chummed area and get ready!

Switching hooks and creating a hair rig might be a worth while investment if you find yourself getting into carp fishing. The hair rig allows the hook point to be exposed so the carp isnt sitting there sucking on a doughball for extended periods of time.

17 lb test should be plenty when it comes to catching carp. Set your drag to allow the fish to take line when necessary and there should be no reason you couldn't bring it to the net.

Good luck out there!
 

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Carp Angler
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Like Vince said, there is no reason to go with hooks larger than 1/0 when targeting carp.

My largest carp (39lb) was landed on a size 10 hook, but that was a dedicated carp hook. In my opinion, smaller hooks tend to produce better hook holds. A smaller hook is going to have a shorter shank, which is going to exert less leverage, making it less likely to move after hooking. The hook will not rock/wiggle back and forth as much, which would make a bigger wound, and weaken the hook hold in the process.

For the most part size 2-8 baitholder hooks will be the closest American style hook to cover your carp fishing needs. If you are putting bait directly onto the hook, you will need a larger hook to accommodate the bait than if you used a hair rig. The advantage of the hair rig is that it leaves the hook fully exposed to grab hold. This also allows for use with a much larger selection of bait, since you can use items that may be to big or hard to hook directly.

There is certainly nothing wrong with using Wheaties doughballs, but like Vince suggests, there are more productive methods for catching carp. Fishing with doughballs requires a lot of attention, watching for line movement, and finesse, knowing when to strike.

On the other hand, using a hair rig with a 1-4oz sinker creates a bolt rig where the fish hooks itself. With this setup you either need to have a baitrunner/clicker, or loosen the drag on a spinning reel, so the fish can freely take line. Then you simply wait for the clicker to start screaming. Since the fish it already hooked at this point, there is no need for a "Texas whip" hookset. Instead just lift the rod until there is a bend and palm the spool to slow it while tightening the drag, if needed for conventional spinning reels.

Some think this sounds like cheating, when compared to freelining doughballs, but as Vince, Crappielooker and other can attest, the moment when you hear a screaming run is exhilarating.
 

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The Corn Chucker
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Screaming runs? I haven't heard that in a looooong time... Hopefully things will change soon...

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Ohub Campfire mobile app
 

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saltwater sensei
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371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. I'll be using the smaller hook then.

I've spent my free time this past week learning all about hair rigs, knotless knots and boilees as well as 'the method'. Obviously much of it on euro carp technique websites and youtube vids.

I've not been quite certain whether the euro techniques were overkill for the underpressured carp here in the US, so I decided to try the most basic set up and bait. Hence the wheaties and strawberry jello powder bait. EDIT: Though even that seems a bit too much now since the simplest would be corn. I may have over-thought all this a bit.

I've actually decided to use that mix two ways. As sort of a hybrid method feeder with a DiY cardboard bait holder I thought up and will test and as a cooked boilee with flour using a hair rig.
 

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Carp Angler
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Euro techniques can be overkill on our unpressured carp, but a simple bolt rig with sweet corn is hard to beat.

If you are just starting out with Euro style rigs, don't overcomplicate it by trying boilies at the same time. I won't say boilies are overrated, but they are not an instant bait, and require getting the carp used to feeding on them in most circumstances.

Work your way up to method fishing and that will serve you well for most carp fishing situations in the US.
 

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saltwater sensei
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371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unless I'm going crazy, I remember someone ITT telling about their special corn for bait.

It seems to have been removed, so if you thought better of it and didn't want to make it public, PM me and I'll tell you were I found it on sale today for .50 cents an 11oz can.
 

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Carp Angler
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Unless I'm going crazy, I remember someone ITT telling about their special corn for bait.

It seems to have been removed, so if you thought better of it and didn't want to make it public, PM me and I'll tell you were I found it on sale today for .50 cents an 11oz can.
Are you talking about maize? It is just soaked and boiled field corn, the dry hard stuff from a feed store. It is more durable and cheaper than canned sweet corn, but lacks some of the attraction and requires preparation. It is great for prebaiting with, since it is cheap and can be prepared in bulk, with a turkey fryer.
 
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