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MinnesnowtaWild

Large River Carp Tactics

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I'm in Mankato, and have had luck with carp just about everywhere but I am wondering if there are certain locations I should look for on the Minnesota River? Should I keep it in shallow water or deep holes? Should I be casting near wooded structure, or just in the middle of the river?

I am using a 5/0 circle hook with a full nightcrawler strung on the hook so no hook is exposed. I'm using a 2 ounce bank sinker with about 18" of line between hook and sinker. My biggest one so far was a little over 9 lbs but I have many in the 5 lb range.

Also, is it illegal to fish for Sturgeon in Minnesota? Sorry for the newb questions, but I am very new to river fishing. I am an experienced fisherman but this is my first season ever fishing a larger river.

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Also, my setup is a Quantum SX30R spinning reel on an 8' Creekside Catfish Series rod. I am using Berkely Big Game 20 lb test on this setup, so I am ready for a nice and big Carp or Catfish (could probably handle a fish up to 30 lbs).

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If you just are targeting carp, chuck half a can of corn upstream from where you want to cast. Then use a slip sinker rig (enough weight so it won't move) and use a size 2 or 4 hook and put 4-5 kernels on it. Cast out and wait!

I was just on the Minnesota R. near Granite Falls for work, we fished it at night. Never fished the Mn R ever before and that technique hammered the carp up to 15 pounds. Deeper holes can be productive, but don't overlook faster runs, active fish will be feeding there. We saw fish with their backs out of the water in super fast current, feeding voraciously.

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I'd go with the corn idea too; chumming is legal in Minnesota.

I thought I've read on the boards multiple times that chumming is NOT legal in MN. I'd have to go double check the regs. Maybe they just write tickets for "littering".

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There is no statute explicitly prohibiting chumming in MN. However, a CO will likely cite you for littering (and they have). It's just my opinion, but chumming doesn't seem very sporting; just like baiting deer. Why not use skill to observe fish behavior and their holding lies, and then stalk and target those fish. It may take a bit of experimenting with different baits/techniques but you should be able to figure them out and bring them to hand. If fishing wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be fun at all.

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Went out today and caught 5 total Carp. My Catfish spot was taken, so I just tried other spots for Carp and Gar.

They were all decent sized, the biggest being a mild 8 lbs. Those things sure love to fight though. Had good luck on corn during the day and nightcrawlers at night.

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Hey, I'd say give corn a try. Sounds like you are having some luck without it, but who are you trying to impress? I bet you just want to have fun catching fish, so why not try to increase your chances? IMO, baiting deer and chumming corn are completely different...you're not killing the carp, you're just looking to have a good time. I'd say do what ever is legal to get the fish to take your bait and the more times the better!

Also, I've only fished the MN River a few times, but isn't it pretty dirty? Tough to sight fish and observe them. Tactics got to change based on the conditions. If you can find a small, clear river where you spot carp, then sure, challenge yourself if you want. But your question was on the MN River.

What's your hook up success been using that 5/0 hook? I actually use a pretty small hook myself, size 8 mainly, and don't seem to have any issues. Just wondering how the fish take a bigger hook?

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The Carp don't mind the large hook, as even the smaller (5 lb range) ones love to bite. The 5/0 circle hooks with the crawlers seems to be a deadly combo for the Carp. I used corn during the day with the same hooks, and was pullin' them out like crazy.

Basically, when my good Cat spots are taken, my girlfriend and I just go fishing for Carp. They are fun to catch, and thats all I care about.

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Well done MNWild. You can't go wrong with crawlers when going for Carp. Plus you are bound to catch a Sheephead or 2. And you never know when that stray channel cat or Walleye might find your hook. Corn can work also, but I have had much more consistent Carp luck with nightcrawlers.

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Hey MNWild, you're on the right track -- congrats on some nice fish -- but don't underestimate the power of canned corn. I've caught smallmouth bass, channel catfish, sheephead, bullhead, and suckers while corn fishing for carp. Crawlers and corn, both good!!

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^ I am not sure, but when I tried tossing a handful or two out in my spot I had better luck. I just would avoid tossing too much corn out, because you don't want to give them all a huge free meal.

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Today while Carp fishing, I was using Corn and I got a bunch of small bites and then it ran. I could tell it was a small fish and knew it wasn't a Carp right away. When I pulled it in, to my disbelief it was a tiny Channel Catfish maybe 12" long. I never in a million years thought I would catch a Catfish at 2 PM on a bright, sunny day on CORN.

My Carp excursion today was lots of fun. Nothing I love more than having "alone time" away from work and other stressful things in life. I just had my Red Hot Chili Peppers in my ear and caught some Carp (and a Channel Cat somehow).

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