Guys Iíll tell you this story from years ago. Dad and I were out one night gigging suckers and carp, just the 2 of us. It was this time of year and cold. Back at the time, we had our best sucker/carp gig mounted on a 12-foot ash handle. If anyone knows of where you can buy a good ash handle for under $100, Iíd like to have one! That handle was light, quick to move around, and strong too.
Dad and I always switched off from time to time, and took turns running the motor and gigging. Anyway, we were putting fish in the boat. After a while, after ramming the gig into the rocks, itíll get dull. And that makes it tough to get a good grip on a fish, unless you can pin it to the bottom. When youíre gigging carp, sometimes the prongs on the gig will spread apart. What happens, youíll knock off 2 or 3 fish scales from each side, and away it goes.
We were down on the big river that night, I remember exactly where we were, itís a pretty good sized hole of water for around here. Anyway, between the 2 of us, weíd knocked the fuzz off of 4 or 5 big carp. And we couldnít find them again. We searched up and downstream as far as we could make it with just an electric trolling motor.
It was just like they disappeared, we just couldnít find them. Anyway, we thought weíd make one more pass. We went up the creek, nothing. I remember it was my turn to gig, Dad was running the motor, we were just coasting downstream. Dad was only using the motor just enough to keep the boat square. The battery was getting weak, it was getting late and we were just about ready to call it a night.
Back at the time we were using a handheld light. It was a sealed-beam headlight, one of the rectangular type bulbs, and had it mounted inside an antifreeze jug, for a handle. We had the wires running through the jugís cap, with the headlight wired inside of the jug.
Anyway, I was standing on the front seat of the boat, sweeping the light back and forth, side to side looking for fish. The water was clear as a bell, standing on the seat, holding the light head high, I could see a fish the size of a carp probably 30 or 40 feet. In shallow water, maybe 50 feet.
We were almost back down to the truck, when I spotted them again. I told Dad something like: Whoa, there they are, take her hard right. Those carp were all clustered up in a little pocket of water, about the size of the average house, or a little bigger. All lined up, pointing in the same direction, spaced out 10 or 15 feet apart, about 2 dozen of them. Dad told me to try to get the ones that weíd crippled up first.
A small stream comes into the river there, itís a silt/muddy bottom, in that pocket. I went to work on the fish, after I gigged the first 4 or 5, the water was stirred up so bad it was hard to see the bottom. For whatever reason, those fish stayed in that little pocket. Long story short, we put somewhere around 300 pounds of fish in the boat in about a half hour. I donít remember if Dad and I switched off gigging during that little deal or not? Dad loved to gig, and he was very good at it too.
Thatís one nice thing about using a handheld light, whoever is gigging, just shine the light on the fish you want, whoever is running the motor will put you right on top of it. Honestly, itís about as much fun running the motor, tell me where you need to be and Iíll put you there.
I donít really have any good digital pictures of us carp gigging, not yet anyway. But, above we were talking about 20 pound carp. My brother and I have both gigged carp over 30 pounds, I know that Dad had also. As well as I remember, our biggest ones were around 34 pounds. Once you get up to 26 or 28 pounds, they are few and far between!
The ice has came off the river, from the first little cold spell, I had 8* F. this morning. The water should be crystal clear. Ideal conditions. Iíll check with my brother, we might be able to go out in a day or 2. Iíll try to get us some pictures.
Itís a whole different story about the ďCarp-hoonĒ. Itís like a harpoon, but I made a few for carp. Run back up and re-read the story above, about the carp clustering up, youíll understand the reasoning.