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Where to Target Carp

Where to Target Carp

Part 1 of a 2 part blog series on fly fishing for Carp. This blog discusses the best water types to target Carp and why water type is so crucial when hunting down these powerful fighters.


At this point, fly fishing for carp is not a secret. The question is what is it all about and how does somebody begin to target carp?


The first step is finding the right water. The great thing about looking for carp is they live in many places, anything from rivers and lakes to tailwater streams and golf course ponds. I tend to focus on the rivers and creeks that span the south central PA area, but find whatever is most plentiful in your area. There are a few key factors no matter where you are fishing for the carp.


Number one is water depth. When we are targeting these big fish it is crucial to see the fish. Therefore, finding fish in flats or shallow areas of creeks is essential. The reason we need to see the fish is because of how a carp feeds. 95% of the time a carp does not chase down its prey. They are feeding on the bottom looking for crayfish, leeches, and other aquatic bugs. As a carp scans the bottom for food it is sucking in what it perceives to be food. Which means most of the time you will not even feel a bite. I have found there is about a 3 second window between when a carp sucks in a fly and spits it back out realizing it is not food. This makes it crucial to be in a shallow area, and see the fish eat the fly.


Number two is water clarity. As a beginning carp angler, the clearer the water the better. This will help with spotting fish, spotting muds, and seeing the direction of the fish. It will also allow you to see the body language of the fish. I could write a whole blog about reading the body language of carp alone, but the main thing to know is if a carp is in the location of your fly and begins to wiggle its tail, flare its gills, or push out its mouth there is a chance the fish just ate your fly. 


This is part 1 of a series of blogs that will be coming out about fly fishing for carp. If you have any questions about carp fishing please reach out to me at our Lancaster location or give us a call 717-4864646 ext 2 and ask for Erik.


Where to Target Carp
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