I got the opportunity to take off for a few hours this Friday afternoon. Where'd I go? To my favorite local carp-stalking shoreline, of course.
It's been hot, and the fish have been wary, so my expectations were low. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if I didn't spot a single scaly boy.
Unsurprisingly, I didn't see any along the first stretch of shoreline, nearest the parking lot. But as I got further in, I spotted one, rooting around along a very straight, gradually sloping section of bank with a couple of shade trees nearby.
I baited up. Four kernels of sweet corn on a hair rig with an 8mm fluorescent yellow popup on the end.
I managed to get it in front of him without spooking him. He showed signs of curiosity toward the bait but didn't take it. First refusal.
I continued walking, looking for another, more willing participant. Wasn't long before I came upon another. Same reaction. Curiosity but refusing to eat.
I had a few more encounters on this short trip but no takes. I only had a couple of hours before I had to make the hot hike back to the car.
Was it the color of the popup? Was it the bait? Not sure why they were refusing. The fact that they showed curiosity is a good sign that they were unaware of my presence, and if I had the right bait, I probably could've gotten one.
On the other hand, it's normal to get something like ten or more refusals for every take. In the spring, when there are tons of fish all over the place, you can still catch a decent amount despite most of them refusing your bait. In August, however, when you're lucky to get a few encounters over a 2-mile stalk, the odds are against you. So this leaves me wondering if I can increase the odds by using better bait.
Next time I'd like to try live worms.