Recently, as you have probably seen on IG or Fb if you follow us, I managed to land my first carp on tenkara. I felt a sense of accomplishment having reached a goal that I had set over a year ago to land a carp on a Tenkara Rod. As fishing usually does, I was reminded during my next outing that there are no guarantees. You may able to see the Carp feeding, the stalk may be perfect, the carp may take your fly, and you may have a good hook set, but they can always snap a line or demolish a rod that really isn't fit for chasing Carp.
I knew better and I also knew I was pushing boundaries, so I got what I deserved.(chasing a 30+ inch fish with a rod built for mountain trout) I know some of you do not care about pushing the boundaries of your equipment. You just want a rod/equipment that fits and does the job. I get it, but for me it's all of it. The stalk, the delivery, and having to have everything work in your favor.
So here's what I found that has helped me chase bigger fish with slightly less:
1. Be quiet and limit reflective surfaces. Carp hear and see very well. If you think you're being quiet, shhhh! I have kicked myself over and over for spooking fish.
2. Just go get a Carp rod or Keiryu rod. I have caught a 6 pounder on a Shadowfire 365 and I have caught an 8 and 1/2 pounder on the Hellbender. Is it smart to do that, that's up to the individual. I can tell you that the carp that you see fins up mudding in the shallows can be deceptively large. The rod will be the first to pay the price, then your wallet.
3. Learn how to cast delicately with two hands. Cast just beyond where the carp is headed and lead the fly into the path of its feeding zone. I fish in muddled water mostly so this is not exactly clear and sometimes I have had to try and follow the new area of silt propagating in the water to check direction of travel, or maybe look for the hint of a tale.
3. Carry a backup rod (two is one, one is none!) I think I have made my point.
4. Carry a big net, preferably one that is extendable. Will help land big fish without putting undo pressure on the rod.
There's a lot of satisfaction in catching carp on Tenkara. I actually think it may be my favorite freshwater species to catch.
Hopefully more to come when I actually have the opportunity to test out a Kyojin and a Rocky Tenkara rod.
Also, check out the Instagram and the latest snafu chasing carp with a Dragon tail 365.
Follow us on Instagram go check out the website and let us know what you think. If you're new to chasing carp, or a tested veteran, we want to know what you think! Chime in and drop some pics!
Hope the beverages are always cold this summer and tight lines! - Kevin