2013 August Carp Outing
After getting skunked six ways from Sunday last year we were out to redeem our self-respect at Banks Lake … fishing for carp. You might have heard that carp are skittish, hard to stalk and have an extremely keen sense of smell. We can attest to that! The last time we gathered on the Columbia and went after the grey ghost, he seemed to be all around us but just out of reach or not even paying attention to our mouthwatering carp candy we dangled, plunked and stripped in front of him. Well, this time we were determined to get the better of him or cry trying.
It seemed to me, the hesitant organizer of this group that a strange phenomenon had occurred. Almost the exact same group of folks signed on this time as last time. Either we are just gluttons for punishment or there is something about carp that draws those that have a need to unravel the mystery of this ancient underwater creature.
Friday, as the weather broke to the good about three, we did some scouting late in the day and early evening with some success in determining where to go on the lake. And one carp was brought to hand by Chris Bentsen as a bonus, the game was afoot. The weather man promised good skies and calm water tomorrow, what a relief as nothing can ruin a good carp hunt quicker than cool air, wind, choppy water, breeze, muddy water, rain, clouds, well you get the picture.
We awoke about 5:15am to the sound of rain on our tents, drats … maybe it would stop soon. Breakfast was scheduled at 7am and on the way the rain had let up and broken clouds were on the horizon. By the time we hit the water at 9ish we had at least determined the rain was not coming back, now to just get this wind to stop or find a couple bays where it was minimized. As luck would have it, we found what we were looking for and started right after it although under cloudy skies. By two o’clock, the clouds became less and less and were gone at about four. Now just the hot sun, smooth water and us … searching for carp.
During the day, a couple of us had hooked up with carp to hand as well as a good number of small walleye, perch and one bass. The tally at the end of the day if I remember correctly was seven carp between us and a feeling of redemption, now if tomorrow could just be as good and those of us who had not been fortunate could land one.
The day ended with us sitting around the camp looking over the lake at one of the nicest sunsets I had seen in a long time. Talk bounced from what to try tomorrow, to how to solve all the problems of the world. Luckily, before it deteriorated any further, our beds as they were beckoned.
Sunday was a bonus day as some of us wanted to give it another go. Low and behold, sun and nothing but sun! We had fallen into a quick routine with breakfast at Big Wally’s in Coulee City, then to the boats and wading as soon as we could get on the water. And now sun looking into somewhat clear water would give us the advantage.
Back to the same territory … carp ahoy captain! Coming and going, back and forth. Cast, hold, wait and set. Pretty soon Chas Wade hooked into a nice one while I marched back into the reeds to see if I could find where all that splashing was coming from. Across a small peninsula I stumbled on a waterway covering about a half an acre and eighteen inches deep clear water with a mud bottom. The water weaved in and out of grass, reeds and the like … with carp everywhere. About an hour later with a carp on the line leading me out into the cove where Jay Burman and Ron Romig were stationed on the boat, I had to admit he was the third one so far. What could I say, the beasts were everywhere in there. My penance, since I had broken up their hunting grounds with splashing around, was that the best course of action would be to head back in there and chase them out for the boys to have a go at.
About thirty minutes later with another carp in the net I stumbled out only to see Ron had a beast on and Jay was filming it for posterity. A smiling Ron looked down and my smaller fish and said, “Now who’s the boss?!” or some kind word of encouragement.
By one o’clock or so when it was time to leave, Chas managed to hook up a couple more beauties(can we call Carp that?) and poor Jay was left crying. He could sleep soundly though knowing he had scored yesterday on a rather huge one, probably the biggest of the bunch.
All in all, the weather cooperated just enough, the water reached the right temps and our rods were ready. Next time we have the edge as we can call ourselves Men of the Mud, Carp Capturers or whatever the hell we want to, we have caught carp and are proud to tell of it.