Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maine Carp Fishing, May Special Call 207-671-4330

Tim Rajaff with a nice Carp!!! Tim's Airflows Ridge floating fly lines,are standard for many carp anglers and the ***New Clear Ridge lines are going to set a new stanard***

Fishing for Maine Carp!!
I started Carp Fishing in Maine with a fly rod Back in 2002, a buddy and I where striper fishing the sand flats and beaches, as the tide started to turn and sun got high and bright we started a long walk back up beach, the conversation turned to fishing warm days in the bright sun, I started talking about the carp I had fished for on the sand flats near Traverse City Michigan in the late 80's and early 90's, His response was do want to "TRY" to catch some carp? well hell yes!! we started working these fish until we figured it out. It took some time, these carp are in a tidal ravine and acted total different to the ones I had fished for in MI but had some similiar behaver to ones we fished for on the columbia river
while I was guiding out of Hood River Oregon. The lower Columbia had a tidal effect on the fish and when and how long they would stay on the mud and sand flats but nothing like we see here on Merrymeeting Bay It's now somthing I look forward to as much as any other angling I do!!! When I started targeting them from my stand up paddle surfboard, I came to the conclusion that my 17 ft flats boat works well but just a bit big for some of the ultra skinny water I found the fish in!!! So for 2011 I have the perfect angling platform for skinny water carp.
Powered by a 40 horsepower 4 stroke this little skiff will run at about 35 mph in 5 inches of water!! But the real performance comes in how well it poles, and fishing for the carp in Merrymeeting Bay often becomes a quit chase and having a lite skiff that poles well and has no hull slap is key.
This little skiff has also been a game changer fishing the sand flats south of Portland, where I can now pole straight into the big currents ripping over the sand that the center counsels with there fish spooking trolling motors have trouble doing..

Friday, April 1, 2011

Maine Carp Fishing on the Fly

I am offering a early season special on the Tidal Carp trips for this May and Early June.
feel Free to call for open Dates and Prices 207-671-4330 email
Remember the beauty is in the Challange!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maine Carp Fishing MerryMeeting Bay With Capt.Eric Wallace

The first time I saw a tidal carp looking like it was trying to do a headstand, as  his tail was up and head down deep happily eating what ever he or she was tuned into for that tide I knew I found somthing that fit my angling style!! watching and wishing my 17 ft flats skiff was about half the size and half the draft, what was even better was how close this fishing is to my house, as the crow flys just 5 miles separates great striper flats of casco bay to the tidal carp fishing that has lent itself to so many fun tides over the years.  Learning over time  One of the most common misconception about carp fishing is that it is easy. It isn’t. People assume that all you need  to catch carp is a piece of corn and that nothing that ugly could be difficult to trick. Fortunately, this second belief is just as flawed as the first. Carp are, in all likelihood, the spookiest, trickiest, smartest fish found in the fresh waters of the United States,The splash down it takes to cast most lures is a waste of time !!! The phenomenally sensitive mouths equipped with chemically receptive cells which allow the carp to distinguish food from foe in an instant are not a fan of rubber fish or for the most part any cast-able artificial, this is wear the  soft presentaion of a well presented fly is about the only artificial that works!! In addition, carp actually have nostrils, small holes near the eye sockets which flush in water and allow the carp to sample its surroundings. Once spooked,a carp emits an alarm pheromone which alerts other carp to the danger. Thus, one shot is often all you get, and making the fly approach about the only way not to spook the crap out of them and light tackle with live bait a waste of time on the  skinny water flats even in waters where the carp experience little to no fishing pressure.

What with the name calling????

They have been called everything from golden bones to freshwater reds, I have even herd the the them compared to tarpon?? that one does make much sense to me because they really don't eat or act anything like a tarpon other then laying up but unlike like laid up tarpon the tidal carp don't eat when they are laid up and sunning..I feel they are more like a big redfish in diets and the smarts of a  double digit  Bonefish!!  The best thing about carp fishing in a tidal ravine like we have here in Maine is the availability of fish in some real skinny water!! Carp have been swimming in these Maine waters sense 1879 and  learning something new on every  tide is half the fun... 

I was first introduced to these tidal carp after telling a angling friend about how we would chase these carp on the sandflats near Portland Oregon where the sandy river dumped into the Columbia in-between trout and steelhead seasons, I though this was unique because the of tide effect on the Columbia river system until you hit the first dam and how they acted totally different then the carp we would fish for on the sand flats near Traverse City Michigan in the late eighties, he was also  a duck Hunter  and told stories of these carp working the flats near his hunting grounds. We tried canoes followed by johnboats with poling platforms then in 2006 I ordered a standup Paddle-Surfboard  and would be able  to really get good shots in some  skinny water.   I could not shake these tidal carp, and like permit or big redfish on the flats a team effort works the best, In 2007 I   quietly started to offer carp trips on the fly and anglers became hooked there was one or two other guide doing it and a small crew of core local fly anglers, Over the years we have shared stories tides and flies but we have only seen each other on the water once and that was at the boat ramp, just how I like it!!!! Well over time came success and with it the word spread and this year guys are jumping on  carp guide bandwagon??? for anglers in the know they understand this is a fishery where you really have to put in some time... and in 2010 I invested in the lightest technical poling skiff I could find- my 850 lb 17 ft action craft Flats skiff  was not working out, sure we could half ass it,but with the new skiff we now can make the most out of the tides and give you the angler more shots and with it success with carp on the fly!! and remember the beauty in these fish is in the challenge!!!!!

Tools For a Challenging Fishery

The tools for catching carp Have Been  largely developed by Saltwater fly anglers over the past decade or so. Although blind fishing is an option, the thrill of catching carp is in the stalk on the flats just as it is with redfish and bonefish, so I focus on sight-fishing alone. 

 Most modern saltwater lines are merely adequate for carp fishing, which often demands trout-like presentations with larger food sources. Avoid bass and other tapers which might turn a fly over too aggressively. Use tapered leaders at least as long as the rod,more like 11 ft or longer but use the strongest leader material you can get away with. Ten pound  fluorocarbon is my usual tippet, Carp will skim across the flooded flats seemingly at random, sometimes holding in predictable patterns and sometimes meandering about. Usually they are looking for food, which they attack by hoovering up the sediment and filtering out crustaceans, plant matter, and bugs. Just as a bonefish puffs away at the bottom, so will a carp root for his dinner. In deeper water, carp will sip on  debris lines just like trout, picking mayflies, or seedpods off the surface with an audible slurp, here you will have to drop down to 3x or lighter just to get the eat and often the shock of there power stuns the angler and they brake off,on the first run.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Maine Tidal Carp Fishing, Merrymetting Bay

Tricks to the Maine Carp fishing

Tailers or Mudders - Tailing carp are just like what you see in those great saltwater photos and videos of tailing redfish and bonefish. The carp, basically has his head down and tail up while feeding and looking for food (the tail may or may not be exposed above water). Since the fish is in a downward looking position and is feeding, this is your best opportunity to catch a carp on a fly. A tailing fish is so focused on the bottom, it enables you to throw the fly right at them without them spooking (this does not mean that your fly can make a noisy or splashy entry). Cast your fly in front of the fish and let your fly sink to the bottom; once there, give it a couple of slight strips to get the fishes attention. After pausing and watching your fly line, strip your fly. If your fly line starts to tighten give it a STRIP SET. It is very important to watch your fly line while fishing for carp, (as more often than not you will never feel a carp take your fly!!!). They like to take the fly between strips or when it is paused. Why the STRIP SET you ask? If you were to set the fly by lifting the rod…. ripping line off the water and the fish is not hooked, you just scared every fish within a country mile. So if you strip set and miss the fish, it gives you the opportunity to retrieve the fly and present again. In deeper water where you cannot see fish tailing, you might see a puff of mud rise from the bottom. This is a little more of a guessing game as to exactly where the fish is, but it does give us an idea of where to cast.

Hunters - Give you the next best opportunity to catch Maine carp on the fly. These are carp that are moving slowly along the shoreline and from time to time stop to pick something off the bottom. A carp that is milling about in shallow water is very spooky, so this is NOT a time to throw your fly at the fish. You must anticipate where the fish will be and have the fly waiting!!!!. I try to my anglers lead them by about 5 feet but will vary this depending on conditions. Once the fish is within a foot of your fly, give it a couple of quick strips trying to imitate a crawdad or baitfish that has been spooked out of his hiding place and trying to flee. Then let the fly settle back to the bottom like it is trying to hide again. If the carp turns towards the fly do nothing until you see him tail on it, then STRIP SET. If the carp does not turn towards the fly give a couple more strips and if still no luck retrieve and re-present the fly the same way. I will usually give a carp a couple good presentations before I give up and move onto the next fish. The best way to sum up this technique is to try to get the carp to feed or turn on the fly with his eyes and not his nose or sense of smell.

Cruisers - These guys are tough to catch as they are moving quick and deliberate. They seem as if they are late for a meeting and have some place to be. I think they are either heading for a place to rest or heading to another feeding ground. I tell my clients if they can get one of these carp to stop and eat, then they’ve made the perfect presentation. Here again you need to lead the fish in order not to spook them. I will try both a couple of strips and pause technique and if that does seem to make them stop and take notice, then I will try a steady quick strip retrieve. If the fish stops and turns for the fly, I stop the retrieve and let the fly settle like it is trying to hide and watch for the carp to tail on it. STRIP SET!

Laid Up - Well, I can’t describe this behavior any better than that. These guys will just not eat……they’re suspended and motionless. I think they’re just resting, napping and or sunning themselves to recharge their batteries. I usually find this behavior in the heat of the day and high tide hours. So this is a good time to Head home have a beer or take a nap yourself or better some evening striper fishing on the next falling tide.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Maine Carp Fishing

Water temp have them moving now!!!Give a call to check some really cool flats fishing

Some Tricks to getting the eat.....

I have been getting emails from anglers who have been having a hard time, with carp on the fly, remember these are not easy fish!! and many anglers have to learn a ton about flats fishing quickly to have success with carp, the carp we are fishing for differ becouse they are in a tidal ravine and act to the tide like a Redfish, Permit or Bonefish, here are a few things to think about without getting into skiff angles or fly patterns...... You must see the fish to be successful!!! The take is very quick and soft so you will not feel it until its too late. Watch for the fish to tail and strip set the hook. Cast 3-4 feet in front of crusing fish, make sure your fly is on the bottom and visable to you before they get to it. Short jerky strips are effective to help them to see the fly. Rembember carp hunt mostly by scent so it can be very difficult for them to find your fly if it is sitting still. Be ready to let the fish run, most fish are lost on the first burst after the hook set. It is tough to get a good strip set and let go fast enough to not break them off. If you can hold on beyond the first run, landing a carp is almost guaranteed.

Most days this is the first fly out of my box." This is Hogan's general carp attractor. Heavily weighted and designed to ride hook point cantilevered up tailing, rooting, or cruising carp have a hard time resisting this fly.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Maine Carp Fly Fishing

Here it is, our new skinny water skiff at CFA, adding to our 17 Action Craft with a 115, the IPB is half the weight allowing us to pole earlier with the tide and stay longer,Power will be a 40 4 stroke Suzuki tiler, Can't wait for it to get here! and go chase some tailing carp.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Maine Carp Fishing

Without giving up to much info on this fishery, Maine carp fishing is not for everyone and many striper angler struggle with it, and many trout anglers I guide miss the eat, it's a redfish, bonefish angler who gets it and I'm not talking about those easy 5lb Bahamas feel good bones either, Very very good casting and someone poling you into the right angles are key. Flies are dictated by the water depth, bottom and food on the flats, long leader and the right fly line are a must, then there's the right tide and weather, There are only a very few poling the carp flats here in Maine, and very few have the boats to do it right. Give Me a call if your looking to give it a try, Capt Eric Wallace 207-671-4330

Local Carp

Carp are a well-established species in Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec main stream They exist in large schools and may be the most abundant large fish species in the river. Often they can be seen in the shallows of the extensive rice flats of the bay as they feed and spawn during spring, summer and fall months. Despite five to seven feet of tidal fluctuations, Merrymeeting Bay and the many large coves of the main river seem to be ideal carp habitat. Merrymeeting Bay carp routinely reach weights of 10 pounds and get as heavy as 15 pounds.