Carp Fever

USA Record Koi

Elmer displays a proper carp pose.

May 22, 2007

Merrimac River, Lowell, Massachusetts

                                                                           All Carp are released.

                        Vinny Jeffreys                                                                                                Elmer displays a "proper" pose.

Carp Fishing by Foot the Lowell Way

I met Vinny Jeffreys through a mutual friend, to do a story on carp fishing. We were in Lowell and the Merrimac River was only steps away. The water was high and running hard, but there was a back eddy running along the usual river bank. "That's where the fish are." said Vinny. After showing me the "set up", Vinny proceeded to hook a 17.5 pound beauty on the first cast. A stickler for detail, Vinny cast and immediately began to retrieve a "bad cast", a quick bend brought a curse from Vinny about a snag, but the snag quickly took drag and became a 17.5 pound fish.  My first fish came a few minute later,  a nice 7  lb fish but no monster.  The "spot" was a break in the strand of trees that line the river bank. The opening was only 60 feet wide at best and Vinny explained several techniques to get the fish back between the trees. Being very knowledgeable on where to stand, I was right there when the next rod's drag went screaming. I knew I was on to a good sized fish and with some coaching from Vinny, I brought a 19.5 pound beauty to the net. Spectators made it even better.  Many who saw the fish were amazed at the size. I know I was. 12 foot poles and Shimano bait runners made a reliable combo in bringing the big carp to net. The 21 pound fish I caught ran into the trees to the left of Vinny in the photo above. Leaning on the 12 footer and letting the fish work itself free made me a carp fisherman this day. Having fished for grouper, tautog and striped bass, hang ups are inevitable.  Sometimes just leaning into the fish will allow it to free itself and the tension will steer the fish away and into deeper water. Thanks to small favors, it worked this time. As it came free it swam to the surface and I knew I had a 20+ fish.

Elmer and Mare-E's Carp History

 Vinny discusses strategy, types of baits, rigs and all the secrets, Elmer unhooks the 19.5 pound fish.

The water was above flood stage as evidenced by the trees in the water.  and running swiftly down stream. Near where the edge should be in normal water heights, back eddies were running up and over  a sand bar that runs from the bank.  It was here that the fish were holding in the flooding waters.  It didn't hurt to spread some corn "chum" a few hours earlier. Other "good" spots are to be found around bridge bases and the mouths of canals and small rivers.  Most obstructions that cause back currents and upwelling will hold fish. Where ever you see back eddies, be willing to give it a try. Whether you use boilies, or the many variations of corn and maize , Vinny knows where to find top quality fish. Check out the sites and get quality bait and tackle.

CAGI 2007

When the ocean is too rough or the boat has been put away, practice with a great fighting fish. Just make sure to treat them right and get them back in the water. Once you hear the scream of the fish alarm, you will be hooked!

May 30th 2007 brought Mare-E and I back to Lowell to get her a carp. Unfortunately Mare-E was in the wrong place at the right time for me. The water level was down and where I caught my 21 pounder was mostly land again.


Vinny is a real pro and an excellent guide. He knows his waters and quickly hooked up. He lost that one and I lost a nice fish to the structure we were fishing in. Finally Vinny got his fish up and over the hump and brought in a nice fish just short of 15 pounds. First look in the water put the fish as much bigger but it was a long "thin" fish.

The fish did display some fine color and put up a good fight. After a brief rest it was returned to the river and swam away knowing that it took a great carp fisherman like Vinny to catch her.


Vinny uses the "hand" brake to slow down the fish.

Again from behind, keep pressure as the fish runs leaning in the direction you need to keep him away from structure that is sure to break you off.


Mare-E's luck was bad as a brief visit to the truck for some gear brought a 8-9 pound fish and I had to take command. Hey Vinny do I get an assist for playing the net on your fish?

                            Good pose.                                                                  BAD pose

We did lose on a couple of hookups today but still some nice fish were caught. We are planning to fish some other "hot" spots, and I am sure that Vinny knows them all. Since I first mentioned carp on the site, I have received tips on where they can be found along the South Shore of Massachusetts. Look for the Bite me Bait Co flag and come and join us.

May 31, 2007 Vinny catches a 16 pound carp on a crank bait fishing for bass in Lowell canal. Even he was surprised. Of course no camera cause he was only fishing for bass. Still quite a thrill.

New 20+ pound fish canal fishing in Lowell. Some nice bread and a light rod and reel and you are all set. Nice job Vinny. June 4, 2007

June 12, 2007 Same river different spot and some quality fish. Vinny hooked up with a nice 21 pounder right off the bat and it continued from there. Six other fish weighing from just over 10 pounds to 15.5 lbs. Elmer had 2 fish 15.5 lbs and a 12.5 lbs. Great spot, and there are many to be found along the river. Marius came as we were leaving and we gave him some good tips on the bite.

All carp are kept only long enough to be weighed and photographed for the American Carp League.  Both Elmer and Mare-E proved their worth with some good net work. Mare-E lost a nice fish to the structure in the river. sunken trees and branches do pose a problem at times, but you can work around them. Anyway that's where the fish are and you go get them! Thanks to Vinny, Scott, Dom and all our new friends from the American Carp Society and the Carp Angler's Group.

Plenty of action and still time to talk fishing and upcoming Carp events.


file photo

Dominic shows one of his best!

June 21, 2007 and the fishing is still good. We spent a few hours on the "other" side of the river. Again Vinny lead the way with a couple of nice fish. Mar-e was the talk of the day as she moved up a notch catching a 15 pound fish her personal best. A side note was the river rose nearly a foot during that 3 hour stay. Always be aware of the rising waters when on a river.  One more thing I need to buy is ivy block. Today I walked thru poison ivy, God I must love this game!

Mar-e is doing well and one up on me in the American Carp League. 15 pounds for the one on the left and 14 pounds 2 ounces for the other. Nice fish from the Merrimac River.



Elmer Mudguaard


 Wacker Bait & Tackle