Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Carp

Targeting Winter Carp here means small waters. The area I live in is dotted with about 25 small man made lakes and ponds. The vast majority of them are Urban or district owned ponds nestled behind Malls, fast food places and off major freeways and traffic corridores.  So, they arent city parks which I despise and avoid completly. Some are surounded by chainlink with cut openings or a required fence jump but most are just overlooked resouces and scuffed off as lifeless scum ponds. I usually have the place to myself or maybe a Bass guy or homeless camping lakeside, but for the most part they are quiet isolated oasis' in the middle of 2 million people..

With the exception of a couple, none are no more than 10-12ft and stay relatively clear with little run off all Winter. Carp and Bass are in vertually all of them, and they are connected via an elaborate system of culverts, ditches and the odd canal or pump. The sight fishing is at it's best Dec-Feb when they draw the levels down exposing the flats and giving me access to creep around them. I seldom if ever fish these during the Spring and Summer since sight fishing them with high water is tough. Two of the ponds I just happened to see from a Jet coming into local AP one day.. I could actually see the mudders from the air as we flew about 400ft above coming in for a landing. I found it and caught fish there the next day! I've only scratched the surface and I know there is at least twice as many I have never fished.


Some hold better quality than others and a few are adjecent to Industrial buildings with connecting cooling towers. Those are the ones I like to start with in the dead of Winter. It's an almost gaurantee you will get a shot or two and a few fish can be found shallow every day of the year regardless of the weather. The one I fished ysterday was no exception and I saw a dozen fish in three hours. They won't stay up on the flats in the winter..They will move up and down all day with short windows of shallow feeding. I spotted a couple of nice fish in the 10lb class from a distance but the ones I eventually fed a fly too were much smaller and about average for these small bodies of water.




The major food sources on the lakes is definitly clams. The mud is chocked full of them. Also crayfish and Japanese Smelt. I did see about 10 fish attacking a subway sandwich that was thrown off an overpass one day so I guess they will eat about just about anything, but they really like dark buggers and small flashy baitfish patterns.


Have a great holiday folks!

6 comments:

Gregg said...

Very good commentary on your waters which seem to be a year round thing, lucky you.

Gregg

Trevor Tanner said...

Awesome post David. I know of no still-water's here that work in the winter, that is really cool. Particularly the ones with cooling towers.

Anonymous said...

So I'm a Montana Carper. The usual Montana Carper: a fishing guide (now part time) looking for some new fun. I have plenty of relatives in the Bay Area (mostly in redwood City) and visit plenty, and would love to sneak away for an afternoon on a visit. Without giving away your secrets, can you throw me a bone? I can always reciprocate with Montana info...
mattsimms0@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Great blog, by the way. Same Montana carper, flattering you cause you deserve it. I've wasted plenty of classroom prep time this fall reading yours, Carp on the Fly, and Fly Carpin'
Great stuff!

David McKenzie said...

Hey anonymous, leave your and get ahold of me a week or two before your coming. Carpin is day to day depending on wind and skies. Fishing is an hour from RC.

spearyhopper said...

Thanks, I'll do that. I was hoping for 10 minutes, not an hour. But as always on family trips, you take what you can get.