I am Cookie and I like to fish with my son Newton. I have been catfishing and surfishing for many years and I am new to carp fishing. One day I noticed these big fish swimming around us while we were catfishing and said to Newton, “wouldn’t it be nice to catch one of those suckers”. So I found out there were called carp and started to do some research. On the internet there are hundreds of sites fishing for carp and I started to study how to do it. I read about boilies and about chumming and hair rigs. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “we are going carp fishing”.
I went to Walmart and got 5 pounds of sweetcorn and went down to the Potomac river across from Razorback ridge. Here there is a big beach on the West Virginia side you can walk to easily from the parking lot. I threw out the 10 pounds of sweetcorn into the deep water in front of the beach. Here the river is wide and you can cast out very far. I rigged up my surfishing rods with my new hair rigs and boilie plus a big sinker. I have been practicing the pendulum cast and here was the perfect place to let loose and cast big. I ripped them out over 100 yards into the river and waited for my first big carp. Newton was excited about catching his first big carp. I knew I got this stuff figured out now that we are fishing. We didn’t get a nibble.
So the next day we took down 10 pounds of sweetcorn, threw it out as far as we could by hand and cast out across the river. I was getting pretty good at the pendulum cast and didn’t even hit myself in the head or face anymore which was making fishing with the surfrods a lot more fun. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton as we threaded big golf ball sized boilies I made myself on a single hair rig. “Those big carp will love these boilies, they always use them when fishing for big carp on the internet.” But we didn’t get any bites. I was wondering if I wasn’t using enough bait or if the color was wrong. We could see the carp swimming right in front of us 20 yards off of the beach but they weren’t eating any of my boilies.
So I went and studied some more. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “we need to throw out a lot more chum and make smaller boilies.” I was feeling like I knew what I was doing now. I made yellow boilies and red ones. I even combined the red and yellow dough to make orange boilies. They were easy to roll into smaller sizes, all the way down to ping pong ball size. I used strawberry Koolaide and orange Koolaide for flavor. Making boilies is fun. But my secret was going to be in the chum. I found an old bucket that had a dried up old smell squirrel in it and figured it would work ok for a chum bucket. I tossed out the stinky squirrel and filled it up with corn and set it out in the sun to ferment. Here in West Virginia our neighbors are right close at 100 yards away and eventually they began to complain that they smelled something awful coming from our yard and asked me if something had died and could we bury it. I figured it must be about ready to use now.
“Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “we are going to throw this dead squirrel chum out right in front of us and get the carp in close.” I put on my smaller ping pong sized boilies and was really getting good at the pendulum cast because I didn’t cut my finger this time. We fished all day without getting a bite again. These dam carp are smart. They were mocking us, rolling right in front of us, they were almost splashing us with their tails they were so close. Newton had his bass rod with us and an idea hit me like a bolt of lighting. Why not put out another rod. Newtons rod wasn’t big enough to cast out to the middle of the river so I thought I would put on some sweetcorn on the hair rig instead of boilies. I cast out as far as I could with his little rod but it only went out 20 yards, not far enough for carp.
It no sooner hit the water than a big old carp hit it and ran off across the river stripping all of Newtons line. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “we just need to use sweetcorn on the hair rig and cast out real far. The next day we chummed them up again and put sweetcorn on our hair rigs and cast them out even further with the pendulum cast. This time I didn’t even scare Newton casting. Not a freaking carp, even though they were rolling all right in front of us. I was getting ready to give up, these fish were too smart for me. Here they are playing right off of the beach in front of us but wont take the same bait two days in a row. Newton said he wished he brought his bass rod so he could cast out to where the carp were. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “those internet carpers don’t know where the carp are because they are always casting out to the other side of the lake, we are going to cast right into the chum!”
It was difficult to cast so short with my surf rods. At first I tried the pendulum and let go early and it just sailed straight up into the air and almost hit me on top of the head. Eventually I figured it out, I could just put the sinker and hook in my hand, open the bail and throw it all out in one chuck. We caught our next carp. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “cast out to the chum.” We started catching carp one after another. We had three rods screaming at the same time. Newton was catching them as fast I could rig them up. Carp fishing was now fun.
I did some more research on carp fishing on the internet and googled Potomac and carp and found Oatmeal Jacks website. I emailed Jack and found him to be helpful and he invited us to one of his river swims. Jack blanked but we caught a couple of carp. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “we didn’t blank but Oatmeal Jack did so we know what we are doing now.” We invited Jack to join us and a bunch of other fishing friends to a special spot on the river for a carp fishing summer long party. We are catching carp and having fun and Newton and the other kids are learning how to catch big fish and just having fun. I am practicing my pendulum cast and haven’t even hit any pickup trucks so I am getting better with that cast. I even can catch carp on my boilies now that they are a little bit smaller. “Aha, I got this stuff figured out” I yelled to Newton, “this is going to be a great first carp fishing summer all right!”
Cookie and Newton Summer 2007