Friday, April 27, 2012

My Callus Theory

I like big juicy carp lips and I cannot lie. 

Not all carp lips are created equally though.  Or are they?  I have this crack-pot theory.  I think that carp lips are like calluses.  The more often and harder a carp grubs on the bottom the bigger the lips get.  If that is true then you can gauge some of the feeding habits of a body of water by the lips.  In our local river you will catch many carp with small lips.  Stillwater fish almost always have big juicy Angelina Joline (post silicone) lips.  I think this relates to how they feed. 

Both of the carp I caught today were lip challenged.  The first one had lips so small it's mouth looked more like a bonefish than a carp (based on pictures not personal experience).  It was actually harder than usual to get the fly out because it was embedded in cartilage deep in the corner rather than rubbery lip. 

Lipless carp on a Primordial Carp-Stew fly


This fish lives in a spot where he/she probably spends significant time feeding in light to moderate current.  In case you haven't fished light to moderate current for carp the tailing just is not the same.  You will rarely find a fish sitting in one spot with it's butt in the air grinding his or her face into the bottom.  The hydrodynamics just doesn't work out.  You are more likely to see carp hanging just off the bottom hanging in the current and waiting for food to come to them or moving ever so slowly up-river and briefly dipping their heads for a juicy morsel drifting along.  That is what the next carp I caught today was doing.  Once again minimal lippage.  It's my theory, I am sticking with it.
    
17lb Carp on a Leather Trouser Worm Fly

And that brings us to another difference between stillwater and river fish.  A stillwater fish of this length would probably go 14 to 15 pounds if it was lucky but these river fish are shaped like footballs.  This fish scaled in at 17lb and was massively strong.  All that current builds girth!

13 comments:

  1. I can buy that. Lord knows I have caught a few bottom feeders with massive lips!

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    1. You arent just kidding. Went back and looked at your mammer jammer from last year. Those are some lips!

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  2. Phenomenal theory. I totally follow the logic, and from my observations, completely agree.

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    1. You think it is ready for publication? Maybe need to down some fancy references, add some equations and pie charts?

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    2. Oh for sure! And pie charts make everything seem more believable. ;)

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    3. I think bar graphs look more professional than pie charts. For publication in order to increase circulation you should probably add a picture of Angelina. If you can find a picture of her holding a carp you have hit the fly fishing magazine mother lode.

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    4. I think I would purchase that magazine. For the articles of course.

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  3. Hmm, not much moving water experience here, but I'll be more observant from now on. The substrate has to have something to do with the mouth, assuming where they are is of one type most of the time. Those were pretty lips. I also was somewhat heartened by your weight of the fish. I would have guessed close.

    Cool, Gregg

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    1. Thats a thought. I wonder which is harder on the lips, gravel or mud. Either way can you picture digging through with your lips!

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  4. It would also depend on the crayfish population in the river, I'd think. More crayfish in their diet would equal tougher lips according to your theory.

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    1. Hmmm. Do you think eating lots of crayfish would be easier or harder on the lips? Depends on if they are grubbing them out of crevices or scooping them up in the open maybe? There is a good population of freshwater lobster in my river and the first fish (pencil lips) actually took a 90 degree turn to take an olive carp-stew before it hit bottom which is intended to be a cray but could go for leach too.

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  5. Angelina Jolie! Freak'n hilarious. Loved this one Trevor!

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  6. Thanks Lee, finally it is official, somebody besides my son thinks I am funny! Of course that could just speak of your maturity level. And watched you video on the grassy last night. Loved it. I know those taile (put in a decent amount of time last spring on that water), they still wake me up in a cold sweat ocassionally.

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