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OUTDOORS: Might be time for summer fly-rodding

Waters are low and clear, and the weather is hot. It might be time to find your fly rod and go carp fishing.

While most anglers despise the carp they can put up a formidable fight on light tackle. From early spring until this time of year, carp can be found in most rivers and streams throughout the state.

Because of the many bones in the carp’s flesh, most folks do not attempt to eat them. Many who do find them to be a tasty dish when prepared right.

The best carp bait right now is nightcrawlers. Using the fly rod, they must be cast out gently to avoid tearing. Once out, the bait can be left lying on the bottom until the fish find it. You may encounter other fish while waiting as nightcrawlers attract most all species. Carp are most active during hot weather periods, though, and can spice up an angler's interest and hone skills for other fish during the year.

Best areas are backwaters on river systems or below dams on the Fox and Rock rivers. These are hot spots for carp during low-water conditions. The carp has a voracious appetite and will hit most baits any time of year. The hot weather, though, beefs up their metabolism, and therefore makes them feed constantly.  

Once a large carp is hooked, hang on to your rod handle. The carp is a great fighter and will test most tackle. Keep your rod tip high and don’t let it contact the boat’s gunnel, as a fast run can break your rod.

The carps’ mouth is designed to both feed off the bottom and also eat prey higher in the water column. This makes them easier to catch. I tried this years ago near Goose Creek in Ottawa and had a ball. The carp were stacked up right on the sand bar, and every cast brought a strike. They are easier to hook as well as when they flair their gills any type of bait gets sucked up and well into their mouth.

Try it, I’m sure you will love it.

Sportsman’s Hall of Fame news

Hank Walsh called me last week and wanted me to remind folks that it is time to start compiling info for your favorite outdoor person. That is, select someone who has given back to the sport such as teaching young folks, obeying all laws and being an avid outdoorsman or outdoorswoman. These should be mailed to Hank to be assessed by a committee to be entered into the Hall of Fame.

Hank’s address is 3291 E 1951 Road, Ottawa, IL, or you can call Walsh at 815-434-4077.

Outdoor report

Fishing remains a little slow on all cooling lakes as well as the river. The very warm water temps are a factor on all bodies of water at this time.

Cool August nights will help things pick up this month.

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