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Randyjr.

Open bail question #2

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A lot of places that I fish for carp are muddled with overhanging trees, logs, and snags (and often the carp head straight for those and I loose the carp) they unhook or the line snaps. I heard that if a carp is headed for a trouble spot, the angler should open the bail, thus reducing the pressure on the mouth, which turns or slows the carp. First, has anyone tried this (does it even make sense)? Second, have you had any success "steering" carp from trouble spots and how do you do this?

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That's an interesting theory in opening the bail. I would think that if a fish gets hooked, it'll still run for a ways and/or get into cover even if the pressure is off.

Whenever I find myself carping in places where there's lots of debris in the water I try to bring a bigger rod spooled with fireline or powerpro incase I need to pull the fish out or away from the debris. Not as much fun, but you'll land more.

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I've never heard this theory before. I would think that releasing the spool wouldn't instantaneously slow the carp down from where they are going. If your going for numbers and landing the fish is important, you should rule out or prevent those factors from entering the situation altogether....simply beef up your setup. As Moonie suggested, if your fishing a snagy area it probably isn't a good idea to stick with a lighter setup for example. Put some bigger line on your reel and tighten up the drag...Personally, I enjoy fishing ultralight tackle with 6lb. mono, but I'll also have a few break-offs and the area is very sandy and free of snags and current. I like it because it usually involves a bit more thinking instead of just horsing a carp in on 60lb. braided for example. It's all about what you enjoy. Let that drag scream!!!

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My input is pretty basic:

If I'm fishing snaggy areas I fish heavier equipment, because I hate losing a fish to snags. Wrestle the head away from the snags and they will swim elsewhere.

Giving slack is the #1 way to lose a fish as well.

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I have flipped the bail several times while reeling in carp. It usually happens when it seems like the fish is going to snap the line, so I panick and flip the bail instead of messing with the drag. I've also done this with bigger catfish on light tackle. I'll let the fish run with the line, then reel in. This seems to tire the fish out. Especially when they're in the current.

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Personally, I enjoy fishing ultralight tackle with 6lb. mono, but I'll also have a few break-offs and the area is very sandy and free of snags and current. I like it because it usually involves a bit more thinking instead of just horsing a carp in on 60lb. braided for example. It's all about what you enjoy. Let that drag scream!!!

I have to agree with JimBuck nothing better then that drag screaming.

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How about mixing some of each? I spool up my 500 series reel with 8lb braided line and a 8lb fluoro leader. Match it to an ultralight rod and I have a blast catching fish in pretty much any cover. I've horsed many carp/buffalo out from heavy timber with this set-up. It's like playing tug of war...someone has to give. Fortunately the braid/fluoro is abrasion resistant enough to handle being rubbed along wood (rip-rap, another story!). And then when you tag into some shortheads or mooneye, you still have a fair battle.

As for steering the fish away, you can always try, but often you don't have much a choice. I've heard fishing rivers with heavy current the tactic you described (opening bail or giving slack) has the potential to stop a stealhead on a run, but my hook ups with them are so few that I've never got the courage to give it a try!

To get a fish out of trees, here is what I do. Once the fish stops with its run (assuming it's wrapped around wood), I keep a constant pressure on it, but learn to "flex" with the fish...if it wants to run again, I'll extend the rod (and sometimes my body) toward the fish so that it can move a bit (2-5ft) and hopefully that will make it happy and it won't try to go another 15ft deeper into the wood. Make sense? Hard to describe, but it seems to work and it's kind of like your idea of releasing pressure.. Then keep a gentle pressure on the line and start to pull it back through. It doesn't work all the time, but has worked a high percentage. I fish in a lot of deadfalls, so I'm practicing quite often!

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