It’s been a little while since I’ve gotten out after carp. While nothing gets my heart pumping like fly casting to a tailing fish, I figured that since I have a bunch of juglines rigged up, I may as well set some out with carp bait and see what happens. Dedicated British anglers have developed complex baits based on very scientific nutritional guidelines. I don’t know if “Rob’s Carp Assassin” is such a bait, but the directions read like a cookie recipe so I thought I’d give it a try.
The morning started brilliantly, right away I hooked up a beautiful fish on my version of the carp carrot fly.Next I paddled into a small lagoon, the same lagoon where Tara and I had placed our juglines a few days before, and baited 8 jugs with sweet smelling dough-balls. The lagoon lies right between two good flats and I knew that carp often hang out there between meals. Having just landed a fish in one area, I left the jugs and moved on to the second flat. The carp were everywhere! Even though the wind was blowing, the morning sun penetrated the water and I could see orange tails in every direction. After missing a few, I hooked up to a medium sized fish. Some carp don’t run far when they’re hooked but this one took off like a rocket. It paused about 100 feet away, and then swam off in a completely different direction. Unfortunately, my leader had tangled in some algae and the direction change pulled the hook free.
I reeled my fly in and looked over my shoulder. One of the jugs was moving! In fact it was twitching violently as though something was trying to submerge it. I quickly weighed anchor and paddled over. At the entrance to the lagoon is an old submerged bridge, and as I got close I saw that indeed something was trying to pull the jug underwater and under the bridge.
I grabbed the jug and hauled it in. Hoping for a carp and expecting a turtle, I was thrilled to see I had caught a big ol’catfish:
I’m pretty sure this is a big channel catfish. Though big channel cats are hard to distinguish from blue catfish, blues often have more than 30 rays on their anal fin. This fish only has about 23:
With only 8 jugs out for less than an hour, I caught this fish on a carp bait in the middle of the morning; it makes me question some of the conventional catfishing wisdom.

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