BFCs: Crafty feeders or just pushed out of the way

Upon doing extensive specific statistical analysis (p=50) of our carp catches this year it appears that when we caught BFCs (~25+pds) this year they were either within the first wave of fish caught, at the tail end of the feeding frenzy or even sometimes just a few carp were caught but most were BFCs. This happened mostly when we were able to apply one or more buckets of chum to the swim prior to our fishing it. Some of them came from the margins of the chum and others right in the middle of it. They were caught on anything from sweetcorn and maize to boilies. I thought isnít this nice, it fits rather neatly with the theory that the BFCs are smart, that they lurk around the feeding masses of smaller carp going bananas over the chum.

One of the prevailing theories is that if a 30 pounder wants in on the freebies it just wallows in and pushes the teens out of the way and they flee from his bulk lest they suffer the wrath of the BFC. That might be true if only the BFC and a teen were feeding on the freebies.

But, what if the BFC really wants in on the chum but is pushed out of the way by twenty 15 pounders, thatís 300 pounds of teens Vs one 30 pound BFC. Maybe it is the BFC that yields ground to the mass of teens. Maybe the BFC is holding on the edges of the chum involuntarily waiting his turn at the table and is looking for any crumbs it can find and that is why so many BFCs are caught at the edge of the chum. Its not because they are smart and observing the teens and waiting to see where the hooks are, its because the teens will crowd it out and it cant compete on their level.

Other carpers have noticed that mirrors come in the tail end of the feeding frenzy, it may be that they shoal together in much smaller (in NA) shoals than the commons and the commons just push them out of the way so the mirrors hold back until most of the teens are stuffed, this is the mirrors chance to do some feeding. They just cant compete with a shoal of common teens.

We also scored big several times with almost half of the carp caught in a day being BFCs, though not many carp were caught that day. Is it reasonable to assume that the teens were filled with the chum and the BFCs were moving in to mop up the remainders of the feed when we started fishing?

Some of our BFCs this year were well away from the chum (50 Yards+?). I donít think they were sitting back that far off of the feed observing the teens eating. They could smell the chum, hear the other carp eating and knew where the food was. I think they just cant compete with the teens who hover up as much as they can as fast as they can and so they hang back waiting for their turn. That is why a boilie launched well past the chum can sometimes bring in a BFC, its in the mood to feed and just wants to pick up a little snack before it gets its turn at the chum.

Of course to confuse matters sometimes the BFCs were mixed randomly in with the teens during the entire feeding spree, usually I think when we had chummed for several days and so possibly there was not such an intense competition because everyone had had a chance to feed. Also, at fishins where everyone and his brother chums with a 5 gallon bucket of chum, it seems the BFCs are mixed right in there with the teens, but with the biggest being caught at night or at the end of the fishin. Is this due to the biggest of the BFCs being the least able to compete for food so they have to wait until all the others are done eating?

So maybe a strategy for catching BFCs would be to feed the teens, stuff them and get them out of the way so they donít disturb the swim all day, giving the less competitive BFCs a chance at the dinner table.

By Oatmeal Jack, April 1999, Potomac River, MD, USA

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