Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Competitive carp fishing; a fast growing sport coming to U.S.

Roy Buchanan of Greencastle checks his rods while fishing for carp at Cataract Lake.

Sometimes I think I should have been an explorer, but then reality sets in and I realize I’ve never been tough enough. I prefer to explore while utilizing my car or truck with plenty of water and peanut butter crackers along.
But i do enjoy taking my vehicle accompanied by my rat terrier, Tyler, and sometimes wife, Phyllis, for drives along new back roads along streams and lakes.
In my mind, being an outdoor writer, gives me some license to be nosey. It gives me reason to stop and ask a fisherman or woman what they are fishing for, are they having any luck, how often do they come to this place, and more. And of course, I do a similar inquisition with hunters, hikers, campers and more.
While on a recent evening safari with Phyllis and Tyler to Cataract Lake, I noticed a fellow fishing on the bank not far from a boat ramp. I stopped, attached Tyler’s leash, and exited the car to see if the angler would endure some of my questions. I had noticed the fishing rig he was using was not typical or at least what I call typical. He was utilizing three poles, set on a rack. The reels were equipped with some sort of electronics.
When the fellow looked up, I asked, “Are you fishing for catfish?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m fishing for carp.”
He continued, “I fish tournaments. Last weekend, I placed third. I just missed winning by one fish.”
The angler was Roy Buchanan of Greencastle, IN, and he went on to tell me about the growth of carp angling, including tournament angling in the U.S.
Competitive carp fishing isn’t something you hear or read much about. Bass and crappie, yes. Carp, no.
I was aware of bow carp tournaments in both Indiana and Kentucky, but frankly was surprised about growth and level of carp tournaments and recreational angling in this country.
From several trips to England, I knew carp (rough fish) angling is big in Europe. It is No. 1. But, I had no idea of its growth here. is an interesting site and claims carp to be the world’s greatest sport fish. It says it is the largest carp club in the U.S. and is dedicated to the sport of catch and release carp fishing.
Roy Buchanan’s carp techniques are based on those developed in Europe.
The Carp Anglers Group site has an area for beginning carpers. While it says most any rod and reel can be used, it recommends some particular gear.
According to the site, “The most common reel used by carpers is the “Baitrunner”, used by carp specimen anglers. It’s an open faced reel with a rear drag system that has a lever at the back. 
“Lever in the back switch from “Running” drag to “Play / Fighting drag”. The baitrunner allows line to be pulled from the reel by the fish, thus the name “Baitrunner”. When the angler flips the switch (or starts reeling) normal drag is activated.”
In tournaments, anglers fish from a specific assigned bank stake, which is determined by a drawing before the start of the event.
All fish caught during tournaments are released, and must be alive to be counted for the angler.
Another website with carp information is:
Additional Kentucky carp fishing can be found on the web simply by looking for “Kentucky carp fishing” or at 

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