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Alan

Once you have hooked a big ol carp..

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Should you play it for some time to tire it? or horse it in? I had one on this past Saturday, brought him in and as soon as I was about to grab it near the shore, it snapped my 20# fire line like nothing. Should I have played it for a while to tire it some? I am guessing these fish are really strong..

Any advice would be appreciated, as it's not much fun losing a big fish when they are in reach..

Thank you..

anything else I should know?

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Play them out! I have found that if you horse them too much your hook can pull out of their soft lips, especially if you're using a superline. Also, bring a net.

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I agree. Fight the carp for a bit before attempting to handle them. Never hold or weight carp by their gills, use a weight sling or similar item. If you don't plan on weighting or taking a photograph than unhooking the fish in the water is best.

Good luck.

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I've learned that carp are some of the strongest fish out there. It definetely takes some work getting a big one in. Even one in the 5-10 lb. range is strong as an ox. I've had a carp in the 5-10 lb. range break my 20 lb. line like thread. You definetely have to let them play so they tire out. It sure is fun catching those bad boys. A great challenge!

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I like to fish them with my ultralight, 4 to 6 pound test line. That means I have to play them out. The drag is set to about half the breaking strength of the line, and I often backreel these guys, too. You let 'em run for a while, pull them in for a while... this process can go on for a long time. A lot of fish do break off, usually at the shore, but I've landed fish up to 17 pounds on this setup.

And, as Ralph said: bring a net. I like to get mine in the water before I even get the carp close. Pull the fish over the net and grab it. A longer handle helps, and it's best (though not totally necessary) if your net is a drab color.

They are an incredibly strong fish, prone to sudden bursts of speed, even after you thought you had them worn out. A worthy adversary, for sure. Good luck to you.

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I think it really depends on the cover around.. there are times when you are in heavy weeded areas that your better off trying to get them in quick.. but if you are in an open water area, always best to play the fish out for a bit.. then theruns near shore are not as harsh.

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A longer handle helps, and it's best (though not totally necessary) if your net is a drab color.

Drab in color? what color would that be? And why does the net color matter? Never heard of that before.

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It's based on my experience, which may not be the same as others, and I may just be a little over-cautious here. Carp have excellent eyesight. As the carp is pulled over the net, I think it's best if he doesn't notice the net. He'll see the big hoop of shiny aluminum, but might not notice a hoop that's camouflaged.

I usually fish alone, and it seems like the carp is pretty well subdued until I try to net him. Then the last-minute run happens, and I get broken off. Once I started using a stationary net, I started landing more of the fish I'd hooked.

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That makes sense. I'll keep that in mind...thanks for the tips..

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Black is the best color for a net. I find that fish will head to deep water when hooked. Deep water is dark water. Like under your boat. If you use a black net the fish will sometimes swim right into the net. Move slow so you don't spook the fish and as someone said before, get the net in the water before the fish gets to the bank or boatside. Oh yea, get the net under the fish.

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Mono has some stretch that can soften the blow when a carp turns and runs on a short line. If you fish heavy cover or want to stick with a braided line try more like 40 lb test.

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