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Lake: City Park Lake (Denver)

City Park: Bald Eagle, Carp on a Texas Rig

Post By: DenverTodd      Posted: 5/21/2021 11:23:32 AM     Points: 548    
Hi All,

I mostly lurk here, but have a story from this morning I want to share.

I decided to fish at City Park this morning, after dropping my son off at school. I do this on Fridays sometimes, when I feel I have an hour or so to burn. What a fun morning it turned out to be.

A bald eagle was fishing for breakfast when I got there, but it came up empty on the first strike. It then perched itself on a lamp at the edge of the lake. I wanted a video for my son, so I kept my eyes peeled for its next attempt.

When it came I was ready. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, dropped my gear and ripped out my phone. The video is zoomed out at first, but you can see the bird strike the water a moment after it starts. I zoomed in a second later and you can get a nice look. It was pretty thrilling.

[log in for link]

I am unsure how those big goldfish got into that lake, but it's a pretty terrible disguise to have on when an eagle is about.

After the excitement of that died down, I had two bass on and lost them both. One was a nice one. :-(

And then I got a big hit. My rod was bent over, and the drag was pulling out like crazy. I thought I had the biggest bass I'd ever caught. Nope! It was carp that bit on a Texas rigged 4" Senko. I did not think such things were possible. I've always heard how finicky carp are, and did not think one would bite on a dancing worm.

I got it to the shore, and I had it on the edge of the grass when it rolled over, spit out the hook, and said "sayonara". For those in the Denver metro area, that loud groan of disappointment you heard around 8:30 was me. It was at least a 20" fish.

I worked the shore a little longer, nabbed two modest largies, then called it a morning.

Despite losing some nice fish, what a great way to start the day! This is why I love the outdoors, even in a park, smack dab in the middle a city anything can happen.

It's obvious I need to work on my hook set. I think I am not getting the slack out of the line fast enough when I get a bite, and try to set it. I like to let the worm drop naturally, and I get a lot of bites, but it leaves a lot of slack in the line, and I seem to lose a few more than I care to say.

As for the carp, if I had a net I likely would have gotten that fish, not really sure what else I could have done there. Maybe a bad hook set too?

I am definitely getting myself set up for carp. That was way too much fun. Any recommendations for a starter setup are welcome.

I hope you all found this interesting.

Have a great weekend.

(Image seems to be sideways despite being a properly oriented photo. Not sure what's happening there.)


 Reply by: FishingJunkie      Posted: 5/21/2021 11:46:03 AM     Points: 1834
Nice report - don't know where City Park is but some good reports from there.
 Reply by: bluecollarguy      Posted: 5/21/2021 1:42:11 PM     Points: 48
Carp have small mouths relative to body size and Iíve personally found hookups on large plastics very rare. I have caught the occasional fish on large worm (10Ē) and 1/2oz bass jigs but Crappie jigs work much better!

Iíve seen a bald eagle grab a fish one time, very awkward I thought for sure it would come up empty but nope that silly stocker trout must have thought it was getting hand fed!

Good times-
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 5/21/2021 1:45:17 PM     Points: 73044
very nice. thank you for sharing
 Reply by: kusyurdaddy      Posted: 5/21/2021 3:22:16 PM     Points: 582
that is really cool to see. THANKS FOR SHARING.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: 5/21/2021 3:58:43 PM     Points: 6182
Cool video. thanks for sharing.

Hopefully I can help a little with the hookset issue. I'm not claiming to be an expert but these things have helped me as I learned bass fishing with plastics.
1. They don't usually spit the worm to quickly so try not to set right away. Especially on the drop I like to let them swim away a little.
2. Reel in the slack before the hook set. Again, you have a little time. If you set the hook with loose line it pops the worm out of their mouth without driving the hook in.
3. Once you have reel down until you can start to feel the weight of the fish, set the hook HARD. You really need to drive the hook out of the plastic and get the barb into the mouth especially if it is a heavy wire hook.
4. Don't use mono line. mono has a lot of stretch. I prefer flouro or braid with flouro leader. The flouro hides the line, is abraision resistant, and doesn't stretch too much.
5. Use a medium to heavy rod. The heavier the rod the easier to set the hook. Lightweight rods give too much to get a deep hookset.
6. Once hooked, keep constant tension on the line.

Tight lines
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 5/21/2021 6:12:20 PM     Points: 48624
I really liked this post! We watched an eagle fish at Stearns this spring and get nothing (like us that day). Contact me thru my skipper link for carp fishing advice, happy to help sir!
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: 5/21/2021 6:37:06 PM     Points: 11476
Not where I'd expect to find a bald Eagle,but "how cool can that be?"
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: 5/21/2021 6:55:28 PM     Points: 4420
Great story. I just saw my first bald eagle of the year yesterday. I just had to stop fishing and watch it. Seeing ospreys everywhere. They seem to be able to grab a stocker rainbow whenever it pleases them. Glad you got to see the carp. My only regrets are the ones that I don't get to see. If you get to see it, it counts as a catch!
 Reply by: DenverTodd      Posted: 5/21/2021 7:34:58 PM     Points: 548
Thanks for the kind words all!

Thanks for the hook setting tips @spicyhombre! I am fishing mono, but pretty sure it's mostly me. That said, I've wanted to switch to braid for a while to get a little more sensitivity. Now I have two reasons.

> If you get to see it, it counts as a catch!

My wife says "thanks", since now I can stop moaning to her about the fish I lost.

 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: 5/21/2021 8:06:27 PM     Points: 26940
Cool vid👍 I like photography. Some of my best pics are impromptu shots that werenít expected. The old Boy Scout motto ď always be prepared ď still rings true! Bron would be the go to guy for carp . I started seriously chasing them last year. Iím using a one pc 6í ugly stick with a shimanno 4000 baitrunner style reel. Carp make a screaming initial run . If your fishing with a standard reel and the drag isnít set loose enough. And the rod is in a holder . A carp is more than capable enough to pull the rod from its holder and take it with him for a souvenir ! The baitrunner feature allows him to pull against partial drag ( freespool ) until you can get ahold of the rod . A 1/4 turn of the handle disengages the freespool . And you can set the hook with full drag. The reel is the expensive part of the outfit. Itís nice, but not necessary . A loosened drag will work. This outfit worked well for me last year ( my 1st season ) . And itís a capable carp outfit for under $ 200 If I had to change anything . I would get the same rod. But in the 6í6Ē length.

LRR = Long Range Release Works for me !👍🎣
 Reply by: DenverTodd      Posted: 5/31/2021 9:36:15 PM     Points: 548
Hi All,

I have an update.

bron was generous enough to give me a few tips and I caught a carp tonight so I thought I'd share. Thanks a million bron!

Also, thanks to spicyhombre for the hook setting tips. I haven't lost a bass since!
 Reply by: bron      Posted: 6/1/2021 6:10:41 PM     Points: 48624
Way to go Todd! Glad you got one and a decent one at that!

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