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The first big catch of April 2008
By Jeff Vaughan

What I love most about being a carp guide is all the detective work to find out where the fish are and try to second guess where they are going to and when they will feed . Colin and I are out driving and walking every morning and every evening and during the afternoon out on the boat checking water temperatures and depth readings etc, and of course putting baits into areas we fancy. The down side about being a guide, is when we find an area we fancy we generally fish it ourselves for a few hours, if it is performing we move customers into the swim. This makes for a frustrating time as we rarely get to fish the best spots at the best times. April and first week May are the only times we do not have customers out so we try to make the most of it.

Canadian Carp ClubThis spring has been a strange one. The ice was late leaving and the water very cold. But we have had periods of very hot weather. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that the fish will move into the shallow water in the afternoons to sunbathe, and sure enough, in the mornings the bays were empty, by 11 am the fish were moving in and by 3 pm we were catching fish. However shallow water carp fishing is no good for our business. Long Sault is about numbers and being “special” Like clockwork we were catching, but at the rate of one an hour, which is not going to pull punters across the ocean. The problem being, catch one and you spook the rest. We had some good fish, my first 30 coming around April 23th (too lazy to go to the van and get my book to be exact) this is really early for the better fish to move in.

So time for a Canadian Carp Club board meeting in Grumpies bar to sort it out. How do we set the trap and hammer the little bastards?

The main river areas were still showing low to mid 40 degree temperatures, the bays mid 40`s by midday and upper 50`s by 3 o’clock. The deeper water was moving up to mid 40`s at most, except of course the very deep water that we cannot easily fish. There are dozens of bays here but 3 in particular stood out. A little deeper than the really shallow bays (5 feet deep) but because of their position they were getting most of the sun. We settled on one, found two areas in it we fancied and started to bait up. The first couple of sessions we caught fish but did not bag up. All the fish were plus 20`s though so we were encouraged.

The forecast was for 4 straight days of sun and unseasonably warm weather, so we decided to leave the swims alone and feed them every day. We do not fish weekends because the shop is busy so we have to be around and also there are too many people about watching us. So Monday 28th April was set as the big day.

Then for me disaster struck. In the winter I still have a “proper” job and a company I work for asked me to do a big favor and fly home for a negotiation meeting on the Monday. So Saturday night I was on a plane back to the UK.

Now you would think the Colin being a good mate as well as me supposedly being the Boss would hold off and wait for my return. Restricting himself to keeping the swim topped up with bait. Yeah right.!! He was on it like a rash 9 pm Monday morning. It pains me to report he had 37 fish. 25 over 20. 3 over 30 with a back up 3 over 29. The bastard….

Hey Ho it has now gone cold and they have moved out again, but the sun is due back soon and I will be waiting. This has been a great start to the season. The mornings are crap, but by the afternoons the fish are already feeding well. Please God it is going to be a great season…..Jeff