B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Carp fishing from a different angle

My name is David Gadeke I'm 37 and moved to White Rock BC from my country of birth, London, England. In August 2007 my little family and I decided to leave England in search of a better future for our 3 year old son Harry. When we first arrived we hired a 32 ft RV and travelled around BC for just under a month, during that time I held a keen eye out wherever I went; spotting every lake, stream and river I passed. Along this trip I spoke with as many fisherman as I could and fished as often as I could. Back in Europe fresh water fishing is divided up into 4 groups which consist of Course, Predatory, Game and Carp of which happens to be the third love in my life.

Course Fishing also known as Match Fishing for many years has been the most popular method of fishing in England, targeting a large range of fish most of which are not found in Canadian waters. Course Fishing has many methods which Carp Fishing has stolen and adapted, allowing fishermen to more accurately pin point their target. This particular subject I will discuss later as it is my favourite and I believe you should always save the best for last.

Predatory Fishing holds three fish in it's category. Starting with the pike (exos lucius) which is the main target of predatory anglers (I believe here it is called the Northern Pike). Large Pike tend to be in abundance in English waters, mid twenty pounders are quite common with a large amount in the thirty range and a fare few in the forty pound range. Then we have the Perch (perca fluviatilis) which also gets tangled up in the Match Fishing category due to it's varied pallet. These feisty little hunters will eat anything alive that will fit within it's mouth including other Perch. Such a mouth would be more suited on a much larger fish. Lastly but by no means least comes the Zander (sitzostedeon lucioperca), though we do have this species scattered around the country it tends to be found more so in French water and restaurants. The Zander is a lot larger than the Perch but no where near the size of the Pike. Tales of old say that the Zander is a hybrid, evolving from the Pike and Perch getting it on, although science tells us this is not true. However if this was true it would certainly explain the fishes aggressive and territorial nature which is common of the Perch along wth a few bodily attributes. The Pikes contribution to the making of this fish would be it's long slender body and the raptor like teeth which make this fish a ruthless killer, probably the most aggressive fresh water fish in Europe. The Zander not only kills for food but could also be considered alongside the fox in a chicken coup. The Zander is very similar to your Walleye.

The Wels Catfish (silurus glanis) is also one of Europe's fresh water predators although not as common in England as the rest of Europe. This elusive fish can grow to 5 metres in length and weigh in at well over 600lb.
These fish in the triple figure category are said to feel as if you have just hooked into an express train that's running late. I myself cannot vouch for this as I have only ever encountered the smaller species, 45Ib is the biggest I have landed and my own personal Cat catch was just a mere 3lb, neither of these fishes attempts at freedom were to be scoffed at (pound for pound).

Game Fishing is practiced more around Scotland and Ireland also in the midlands of England. The fish in this category tend to be Salmon and Trout and the not so common Grayling (thymallus thymallus) and Char (salvelinus). The Trout in our waters tend to be of two kinds, the Rainbow (oncorhynchus mykiss) and the other is the Brown (salmo trutta) and the Salmon (salmo solar) are just simply salmon. I believe that out salmon are Atlantic Salmon. We are not fortunate as Canada when it comes to the different varieties of these fish. The fly fisherman in the UK tend to target our beautiful lochs and streams in search of the wild species thus leavening the farmed fish to the Noddies (as they are known) who prefer the over stocked commercial waters.

Carp Fishing, I will try not to go on too long on this subject as I know it has never really hit it off in Canada, but would love to tell you all I can in the hope of inspiring some of you to head out in pursuit of this most rewarding fish. Once you understand the way they feed, breed the way they adapt to their enviroment and the sheer beauty of these magnificent fish; not forgetting their powerful attempts at freedom. I believe that once you have this knowledge you will be hooked. The Carp family (cyprinidae) holds a wide range of fish varying in size and appearance, the two main targets are the Common Carp and the Mirror Carp (cyprinus carpio), these two being heavy weights of the family reaching weights of 86lb for the Mirror and the upper 70's for the Common. The Common Carp has a dark bronze upper scaling fading into a beautiful rich gold. The Mirror Carp has a leathery type skin covered in over sized scale ranging from five or six right through to the whole body being covered. Not as large or commom as the Mirror but of the same strain comes the Linear Scaled Mirror, the name given is due to the perfect straight line of scales running along the side of the body. The Leather Carp still in the Mirror Group is even less common and has none of the large scaling anywhere on its body, this gives the fish a perfectly soft and smooth feel very much like a fine Italian leather. Next on the list if the Grass Carp (ctenopharyngodon idella) the third largest of the species and probably the strangest one of all. The Grass Carp looks like a giant Chub and smells like a forgotten cucumber from the back of the salad draw. The long slender body of this fish gives it the ability to put up the most powerful attempts of escape although not the longest fight of the species. Similiar to the Sturgeon, once hooked the gras Carp fights like f...! and then just floats in unlike its cousins who fight to the end. Another large contender is the Ghost Carp a hybrid of the Common and the Koi, released from domestic ponds these fish have thrived in wild waters and are considered quite a catch. The appearance of the Ghost Carp has the body shape and scaling of the Common but has a strange translucent colouring coming from the Koi. The last member of the family is the Crucian Carp (carassius carassius). The Crucian is not really targeted by the carp fishermen due to its stubby little body and lack of weight of which has never reached double figures. The Crucian is more suited to ornamental ponds rather than Europes lakes and reservoirs, it has no escape from predators because of its tug boat appearance, full to muscle but not speed. The species is fast becoming extinct down to the ease of hybridization in the species. Thailand is home to the Giant Siamese Carp that exceeds well over 250lb but is not considered a true member of the carp family though many an angler would love to bag one of these monsters.

Carp anglers all over Europe would like to believe in the 100lb Carp although we have no proof they exist we have no doubt that they do, it was only the early 1990's when the first big boy was caught by Kevin Ellis, just over 83lb from Lake Casein in France. Not so long ago 60lb Carp were unheard of in England, come to think of it so were 50lb carp. However with global warming the planet may be suffering but its making the summers longer and the fish bigger. The Carp I'm used to fishing for are seasoned prey due to our catch and release system and our love of the species. Englands waters are so heavily fished and restricted that we have started out around Europe in our quest for the ultimate catch. Fishing for Carp in North America has never really taken off, why this is I don't know. I have heard stories of and met people who shoot them with crossbows, fly anglers who toss them on the bank behind as unwanted catch. In England this sort of thing if spotted by other anglers would result in a ride in one of our complementary ambulances to the local hospital. The Carp in North America should in theory be easier to catch than in Europe due to the lack of interest. But I have read reports of Carp taking fly's ment for Salmon and Trout, in England this would be unheard of due to anglers trying every method possible time and time again and then releasing the fish back to the water ready for the next angler to do the same. This makes the most timid of fish in our waters the hardest to catch but the lack of interest in Canada should make them a little easier to catch!

I've been in Canada a year now & have been Sturgeon fihing once, what a great day that was. I shared a boat with another guy from San Diego, we both caught five fish each with a few in the 5' range & one 6 footer which fell to my partner Jim. I've spent days sitting on my pontoon at Kawkawa Lake float fishing for Brookies & trolling for Kokanee, I've spent tireing days fly fishing a Jone's Lake & up at Merrit (all those lakes & only one with Carp in or so I'm told) My work permit finally came through from your goverment in August thank God, on reciept of this I gave the ok for our container to start it's journey across the pond & deliver my cherished Carp tackle. Once I'm in possesion of trusty rods n reels I'll be attacking your carp in a way un be known to them before. If anyone out there is even slightly intrested I'd be glad to write in & tell you all what I've caught, how I caught it & where.

Tight Lines
David Gadeke
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