Looking for the
perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for the tough-to-please angler on
your shopping list? Or maybe you just
want a great read for yourself.
Let me help!
Get a copy of Carp Fishing In Canada
by Tony Benham. It is very good.
Believe it or not,
I've always had a fascination for carp and carp fishing. Part of the reason is that there are no carp
in the lakes and rivers around home here in Northwestern
Ontario. So, there is the
The other reason the
fish intrigue me, however, is that every time I've gone carp fishing - usually
somewhere in southern Ontario
- I've had so much fun, catching giant fish.
As a matter of fact, I've always come away from those trips wondering
why so many anglers don't take advantage of the spectacular fishing on their
door steps - among the best carp fishing opportunities in the world.
I mean, honestly,
when was the last time you caught a dozen of more fish in the 20-, 25-, even
30-pound plus class that fought like demons when you hooked them? And you don't have to drive hundreds of miles
to find the finest action, nor do you need a boat. The best fishing is almost always right from
When I've mentioned this to friends living in carp country, they invariably tell me the biggest
reason they don't target the gorgeous behemoths living on their door steps is
because they don't know how to get started, given there is a fair bit of
mystique around the fish.
Well, with a copy of
Fishing in Canada
stuffed in your tackle bag, you've lost that excuse.
Indeed, I sat down
with Tony Benham recently, who wrote the book, and picked his brain on a whole
number of things carp related that I'd like to share in this blog ... and in
part 2 to follow.
"I grew up
along the banks of the Grand River in Cambridge,
Ontario in the 1970s,"
Benham told me, when I asked him how he got started fishing for carp. "For me, that was a blessing because I
was obsessed with fishing and the Grand had everything from shiners and sunfish
to big pike and smallmouth bass. Back
then, the Grand was also synonymous with carp.
On a sunny day, we could often see them from up on Main Street bridge – as
long, dark shadows down below, gliding across the bottom like sharks in the
cloudy, knee-deep water.
"I quickly learned that carp had an almost sinister reputation as big,
bad, unruly creatures that were difficult to hook and nigh impossible to land
on light tackle. That was all I needed
to hear! I fished the river virtually every
night after school pursuing bass, pike and, increasingly, carp. I've loved carp ever since because they are
big, fast, powerful, smart and elusive."
When I asked Benham
if he didn't find it a little ironic, that anglers will routinely drive three or
four hours to go fishing for walleye and bass, maybe catch a few fish in the
two or three pound range and think they've had a great day of fishing, when
they could have caught many more and much bigger carp staying much closer to
home, I was intrigued by his answer.
"I totally get
it," Benham said, noting he does
the same thing all the time. "The
road-trip tradition goes with the passion of being an avid multi-species angler. And catching even a few nice fish in
beautiful surroundings with good friends is awesome. But, what I do find surprising is that more
anglers don't target carp locally in between these road trips for other
"I certainly do and it has not only made me a far better angler,
it's allowed me to spend more time on the water hooked up to big, smart,
hard-fighting fish. Plus, I'm often home
in plenty of time to cut the grass and enjoy a barbeque with the family. That's a pretty good deal!
Indeed, but if it is
such a great deal, why, I wondered out loud, have Canadian anglers missed
out on the great carp fishing opportunities for so long?
"That's an easy
one, to answer," Benhan chuckled.
"Here in North America, we're
blessed with some of the best freshwater sport fishing in the world. Trout, salmon, bass, walleyes, pike, big
muskies - you name it! Plus we have
access to endless public waters and spectacular locales. So, culturally, it's not surprising that
North American anglers have focused on indigenous species. But carp are another incredible sport fish
that add to our long list of options.
"I'm most excited about the world-class sport-fishing opportunities carp
offer for young anglers. I'm talking
about kids who may not have access to boats and road trips. But they can target carp from shore with
simple baits and tackle close to home.
In fact, I get a kick out of how many fellow fishing addicts admit they
caught the sport-fishing bug from a big carp that nearly pulled them into the
pond when they were a kid! That raw
thrill is still what fishing is all about for most of us, isn't it?
"As a matter of fact," Benham added, "I wrote the book as a
tribute to the fish that galvanized my love of sport fishing - and I’m still
incredibly passionate about carp nearly four decades later. But, despite its appeal to fans like me, a
carp is still an often misunderstood and under-rated sport fish here in Canada. I hope the book shatters some myths and
provides a great point of entry for anglers just getting into carp fishing as
well as some fresh insights and ideas for anglers who have already caught carp
In my next blog, I'll tell you more about what Benham has to
say about carp fishing in Canada,
as well as detail some of the simple tackle and rigging options that he recommends.
In the meantime, if you're interested in a copy of Carp
Fishing In Canada
, it is available at select tackle shops and book
retailers, but the easiest way is ordering it on-line: www.carpfishingincanada.com