Msg 1 Posted: 03:48 PM 08/21/08 (CST)
It was too windy today for boating, in my opinion, but I desperately needed a fishing day. So, I headed for my favorite shore-fishing spot...the public dock at Harriet Island Park in Saint Paul.|
Well, I got there and found out that they had dredged the area around the dock, the yacht harbor and the upstream end of Raspberry Island the day before. An Army Corps of Engineers was doing a sonar survey of water depths.
You'd think the fishing would have been ruined, right, with the water deeper and scraped clean? Not so. For some reason, the fish had moved back in and appeared to be hungry.
I caught lots of 1-3lb. channel cats, a bunch of sheepheads (one was 17" long), and one 10 lb. carp.
Bait was nightcrawlers on a slip sinker rig. The rig is made with a swivel at the end of the line, with two 1/2 oz. worm sinkers, pointy ends out and blunt ends against each other, above the swivel. It's snag-free. A 2' leader ties on the other end of the swivel, terminated with a #2 Eagle Claw baitholder hook.
This rig allows the line to slip through the sinkers, keeping weight at the bait to a minimum. I fish this with the anti-reverse on my spinning reel off. Cast out, then let the current drag the bait a bit. When you get a serious bite, the reel handle will turn backwards, letting the fish carry off the bait a little before you set the hook. This helps keep the sheepheads from nibbling off bits of the nightcrawler without eating the hook.
One tip: Thread the nightcrawler on the hook, starting at the worm's collar, having the hook point emerge when the entire hook is covered. Leave both ends of the worm free to wiggle enticingly. Let the barbs on the shank of the hook hold the worm in place. No loops of worm.
Creating a gob of worm on the hook by looping and hooking keeps the channel cats from being interested, and the stupid sheepheads will quickly strip the worm, loop by loop, from your hook. Threading the worm induces the channel cats and carp to suck the whole worm, along with the hook, in, improving your hookup percentage.
A 10 lb. carp is a fine catch, and fights well. I've caught carp up to 35 lb. off that dock, and channel cats up to 25 lb. Take a big net with you. I like to fish off the high end of the dock, casting straight off the end. If you catch a big one, you'll have to walk the fish, net in your other hand, around the dock and down to the lower boat dock to net it. Just pass the rod around the two light standards as you go. Works great!
O So Minnesota Blog -- Fishing Page