Carp in a Kayak

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Kayaks Help Hardcore Carp Anglers Find Success

IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE HOOKED TO a freight train with an attitude when you set the hook on a incredibly hard fighting carp.

That has always captivated me about this humble species.

Many fishermen have said the striped bass gives the hardest battle in the freshwater realm. I disagree.

In other words, carp don’t play the game to lose. Nor do they come quietly to the boat or on the shore after being hooked. Add a kayak to the fishing equation, and you will have the action-filled ride of your life, one that can’t be reproduced many other places. 

Kayaks have come a very long way since the days I first started using them. They are more durable, stable and overall more enjoyable to fish from than ever before.

Take for example the Diablo Adios kayaks. They are thinner and wider than many other brands, making them more stable and very comfortable to fish out of all day, whether you want to stand up to fish or slide down to paddle, or vice versa.

Nate Wilson kayak carp

Nate Wilson with a big carp that he caught from his kayak. (photo courtesy Diablo Kayaks)

Using a kayak puts more fish-catching action in your favor. My rule for catching monster carp, or even smaller carp that fight like monsters, is this: Go where other fishermen do not.

Using the kayak to get to a remote area is your key to success. Kayaks are also great for traveling to super shallow areas this time of year, as carp like to sun themselves during the daytime hours. Stalking up on them with a yak is a great way to ambush a school of sunning carp and sight cast until you connect with one.

Even if you use your kayak to get to a spot and wade-fish from there, it is still an effective strategy. You can use traditional fishing gear, as you would for catfish—or even break out a fly rod and go for a more challenging adventure.

The Power-Pole Micro Anchor System is a good choice to anchor in a shallow area with your kayak. Power-Pole’s other larger, shallow water anchors are known for keeping bigger boats on the fish when the action heats up.

The Micro model does the same for smaller boats, such as a kayak. I like to fish stationary in calm water and leave the drag loose on my spinning reel. When a carp picks up the line and makes a run for it with your bait in its mouth, be ready! He will try to pull the rod right out of your hands.

Cuda Fishing Tools


Another tactic I use is to “chum” your potential fishing hotspots with range cubes. You will find this livestock feed at your local farm and ranch feed supply store.

Range cubes dissolve slowly in water, meaning it will extend your potential fishing time, and the fish will feed on them as they dissolve. You don’t have to fit the whole 50-pound bag of cubes on your yak. Just bag some up and chum around points, flats and other areas where carp like to roam in the shallows.

When many Texas fishermen think of carp fishing, they approach the pursuit much like fishing for catfish, using dough bait, punch bait or homemade concoctions. This is fine, but there is a whole ‘nother level to the sport. 

Carp in a kayak

Kayaks can get to remote spots, a key factor in successful carp angling. (photo courtesy Diablo Kayaks)

I have always loved the European style of fishing for carp, as it is very effective and efficient. Build a “hair rig” using the new Mustad BBS Carp Hooks. The Mustad hooks make this an easy rig to fish as they have a wire that comes off the hook where you can tie your bait so it’s presented separate from the hook. Fish approach a hard ball (also known as a “boilie”) that looks the size and shape of a round hard candy. Even sweet corn can be rigged this way.

The reason this is so effective is that carp are a very smart fish and can many times even detect the weight of a hook with bait on it. Having the hook separate from the bait usually increases the chance of a carp taking your offering. This rig has proved successful in my fishing adventures time and time again.  

Regardless how you choose to fish for carp, the kayak is a great tool to increase your fishing success. You’ll cover more water, while you chum and locate more and bigger fish.

Remember carp are harder to outsmart than many fish, so be sure to bring your “A-Game!” 

—Story by Dustin Vaughn Warncke



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