Saturday, May 26, 2012

Head Hunting and the CAG Big Four

Some folks take a negative view on fly fishing tournaments. I guess the idea is that there is something impure about competition that sullies the sport.   As long as people don't take things too seriously I view it in a positive light.  For me competition is a good way to add a fun wrinkle to a fun activity. It enriches the experience, socializes what is frequently a loner activity and provides a different context for learning.

At the beginning of May I entered the Carp Anglers Group Big 4 competition.  The competition adds up the participants four biggest carp by weight in the month of May and is really for euro-style carpers.  My only goals were to not come in last and generate motivation to focus on targeting big fish.  Looking back on May, the competition had an interesting effect on my fishing habits.


I am usually a shot slut.  I take any and every shot I get in the order I see them. If there are multiple shots I don't expend a sliver of thought on which fish is the biggest but rather go for certainty.  This past month I put allot of effort into trying to pick my shots.  I was weak at times but if I saw a small fish tailing I would try to check out the immediate area for bigger fish before taking the shot and even occasionally skip the shot altogether.  If I saw a group of positive fish I would take the time to try and target the largest of the bunch. 


The end result is not what I expected.  I adhere to the John Montana 15 pound criteria and by that measure I did not catch any big carp this May while I caught several last year.  I guess I probably got a few more shots at big fish that just didn't work out, but mostly I found that I became more observant.  Although I caught the exact same number of carp this May as last, I somehow feel that the quality of my shots increased significantly.  I really think I generally got more exciting shots than usual.  I also caught two mirror carp that I may have otherwise missed.


So here we are at the end of May, at least for McTage's fly-carpin adventures.  How did I do in the Big Four?  I think I will take the fifth on principle.  I wouldn't want to sully the sport with any impurities.  You know, stuff like "shit" and "shitty".  Nope, wouldn't want that at all.  At least I have some pride left though.  I am not going to log this awful picture of a very small carp.  Unless I move out of second to last place by 7lb 1ounce of course! 
Is it my imagination or does lack of focus add a couple of pounds?

12 comments:

  1. Yeah, shot slut. Guilty as charged. Can't pass a shot up. Ever. Interesting competition though. Didn't know they ran something like that over at CAG. Pretty cool.

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    1. CAG has a couple of interesting competitions that work for good clean fun. The "First Fish Folly" on New-Years every year is pretty interesting too.

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  2. I am of the mind to pass up shots for the fish you want. I pass on shots a lot, but for the record I would have knocked you out of the way for those two mirror carp! I should have entered the big 4 this year...I stuck some big ones.

    I dig the term shot slut.

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    1. Funny thing on the smaller mirror. I had a layup shot at that fish, a high-teen (possibly stretching low 20) and a couple of commons the same size as the mirror all feeding, all oblivious, all in range. I struggled with the decision and turned down the big fish to go for the mirror. Incidentally with your spectacular month (one thirty and at least three mid 20's right?) you would have probably cracked the top half of people who logged fish. Those bait guys are tough, and they have logged quite a few 30s and even a 50!

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    1. Thanks Dave. Do you have many mirrors out there? I didn't think we did but seem to be hearing about them all over the place lately.

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  4. I never ever, like never ever, ever ever never, not take a shot at a passing feeding fish I can see. Happens far too infrequently anyway for me. I was runner once. Home on leave while in the Army I entered a race between 3 colleges but open to all, I think 5000 meters. My college running was several years prior so I just did not want to come in last. Well, I did, but 2 guys dropped out. I know the feeling of last place. You were not and did not have spectators clapping for you, that was embarrassing.

    Gregg

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    1. Don't worry Gregg, I am not really worried about place at all. The big 4 was as much a joke on myself and just an excuse for fun as anything because if I don't come in last it will be by default really!

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  5. We don't need to see an etched glass award to know that you're a winner.

    Well done.

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    1. Well thanks JM. Your comments are always so supremely supportive, I really appreciate it!

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  6. Cool Mirrors Trevor. Some Mirrors seem to look prehistoric. I like the term "shot slut" too.

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  7. Speaking of prehistoric, love that fully scaled mirror you posted about. Amazing scales on that thing. I am trying to decide if being a shot slut is a good or bad thing. Depends on the amount of opportunities I guess.

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