Fishing by foot in downtown Lowell
Boston and Maine Steam Engine along the canal.
If your a carp fisherman in Massachusetts, Lowell is on your map. The Merrimac River runs right thru the town providing ample opportunity to catch quality fish. Along with the mighty Mac are the interconnecting canals that cross the town from west to east. These canals hold carp in good size and numbers to make it worth your while to take a tour. Vinny Jeffreys one of the areas top carp fishermen knows his carp waters well and was an excellent tour guide. light gear was the order of the day , so armed with my best "Elmer Stick", a 5 foot ugly stick and a Penn 740ss, we were on the road.
Leaving Post Office Square on the river we headed past Lowell High School on our way to the first stop. Loaves of bread and gear in hand, we headed out into the city. A city festival will soon be held and colorful costumes hung out across the canals and artists were putting the finishing touches on their projects.
Stop #1 brought a couple of short runs, but no fish. Old guys stopped on their way by and offered advice on where the best place was. So no fish, no problem. And off we went on our way across town to the next spot.
Here Vinny spread some of his bread on the water allowing the slight current to float the "chum" into the strike zone. Carp activity on the slick allowed Vinny to place his bait in the correct spot to hook this nice 10+ pound common. Elmer proved to be adequate on the net and fish #1 was added to Vinny's, American Carp League total.
We tried a few more spots along the way checking for active fish and looking for some mirrors. Great Blue Herons lined the shores here and there waiting for dinner to come by.
Finally we hit the daily double. Mary reeled in her first, just under 10 pounds, and I had a nice 12 lb. 4 oz fish. It was a little confusing for a minute but soon we had both fish on the dock. Vinny did some serious coaching for Mare-E who handled her first carp well. As we were getting ready to leave I had one more run and hooked another 10 pound 12 oz fish.
So if your thinking carp, look to the city of Lowell and the Merrimac River. Find yourself a favorite spot or put on the hiking shoes and make your way across the city and find canal carp. If your fortunate enough to run into Vinny in your travels, a few well placed questions may give you the solid advice you need to land one of the giants that lurk in range of your hook.
"Elmer Mudguaard" photos by "Mare-E "