Maps & Directions

In the USA, 28th January 2003

Just a short tale here of an outing to a warm water outlet from an Electric Power Plant. They use water from a medium size lake for cooling and release water almost constantly after using it to cool their steam lines which gives an area where the water temperature is never below about 15șC. I'll post a follow-up with pictures probably tomorrow. (note: now I'm finished, I realize this ain't short. )

Fun fishing yesterday with three of us on the bank in snow and frozen ground fishing in water that was nearly warm enough to swim in. Two of us who had received poles from MD regulars had planned to give the poles a go when things were quiet on the carp rods. Never got quiet so the poles didn't see any real action. Too hard to put one away when you get a run and didn't want to damage them.

The area we fished was originally a stream bed and now flooded with a man-made lake of probably several thousand acres. I didn't see much of the main lake though. There is a mesh fence across the entry to our swim to keep boats out. Would be dangerous for them but was great for us to not have to deal with them. About 50-75 yards across and from the bank we used, shallow to about 6 feet until you reach the original stream channel about 2/3 of the way across when it drops to about 25 feet. Lots of old stumps in the shallows and that is where the fish like to stay. Breaks the current for them. Breaks lots of rigs for anglers. The current varies from minute to minute depending on how much cooling water the power plant needs and can go from slack to 2-3 mph almost instantly.

Nothing large all day but plenty of action and plenty of fun. I had 150 miles to drive and after leaving the house around 05:00 and fumbling around a little getting lost, I arrived around 08:30 to find John Bailey and Todd Perdue already set up.

John, our host since he had located the swim and had been fishing it every weekend, is a recent convert to carping. He had caught them as a youngster but then got into bass lure angling from a nice bass boat. He stumbled onto a US carp list where Todd & I spend a good bit of time and got the fever again. He had fished with me one weekend and I showed him how to tie up hair rigs and how to make some simple boilies. He had arrived at 06:00 (well before daylight) and had his rigs widely spaced over about 30 feet to hold the area for Todd & I. This particular section only has about 40 feet open between trees and heavy growth. The far bank is all open but is a much longer walk and John has yet to get a cart so needed a place he could drive to and unload. He had not only his gear but also a load of fire wood. He also hasn't bought any carp rods and still uses the 6ft rods with bait cast reels he had for lure angling. Other than being limited on distance, they work pretty well as long as he doesn't get into huge fish. He had a carp of about 7lbs out by the time Todd got there. Both of these folks live closer than I do with John about an hour away and Todd about 2 hours.

When I finally arrived, Todd had all his gear at the swim but had been so busy talking to John he only had one rod in the water.

I lugged my gear to the swim (no cart for me either since I usually boat fish and couldn't drive there since only have 2wd and the ground is too steep to make it reasonable with snow on the frozen ground). I picked a spot and tried to sink my first bank stick into the ground. Well oops. Frozen solid and the things just wouldn't penetrate. Lucky thing for me Todd had brought along a spare 3 rod pod.

John was baited up with corn on 2 rods and small boilies he'd made on 3 others. Todd was baited up with his boilies - also home made. I had brought along some boilies but also some giant white maize (about the size and thickness of a coin) in various flavors and a thing I'd just gotten and wanted to try - range cubes which are made for winter feed suppliment for cattle. Pressed alfalfa with molasses. Hard so I'd drilled a bunch with my power drill the day before. About 1 inch long and 1/2 inch square shape. From testing I knew they'd shed a little of the outer layer but remain firm enough to stay on a hair for at least 1-2 hours in warm water.

I had a run on #1 rod before I had time to get the other two in the water. Range cube. Now that was encouraging. $6 per 50lbs of bait that is already prepared and just needs drilling. If it isn't a fluke and I catch any more on them today I may have found a wonderful bait. I think the carp was around 6lbs but can't be sure since John had the camera and was taking pics of the fish as I got it to the bank and Todd forgot to get the net. Result - fish got off before we could net it. Ah well. I had a good look at it anyway.

My two companions were very interested in this strange bait that had a fish so quickly and when they found I'd brought enough cubes to keep all three of us going for several days, they each borrowed one to try.

For the rest of the day, I caught a tilapia on bread (light rod and just for fun between runs), Todd caught a catfish on a boilie, John caught 2 more carp on his boilies and the rest fell to range cubes. 17 carp on the bank to 10lbs, 5 carp hooked well but lost to stumps. And every single carp that took a range cube did so in a screaming run. No tapping, no toying. Just a rod suddenly bent with a fish headed for elsewhere. We are now all agreed that this is a warm water bait that we gotta try some more of and also to try it in cold water just in case it works there too.

All in all, a really wonderful day on the water. And considering I'd blanked on carp the past 3 or 4 trips, probably one of the best fishing days I've ever had. Nothing large but lots of action and some really hard fighting fish.

I am sorry the poles didn't get a chance but from the way my one tilapia on a light rod dealt with me, I don't think this was a good time for total pole novices (Todd has only played with his in the yard and I've fished with mine once) to start out. 2 lb fish with bad attitudes just aren't for beginners.

And now some pictures from the trip.

John Bailey's Setup - and pointing toward the outlet to the main lake.

And the way he had spread out to keep space for us later arrivals to set up

Directly across the swim. Some mist from the warmer water rising up.

Todd Perdue (MTPVA) with a nice bend in his rod

Newt (the faithful net man) waiting on the fish to get in a little closer

And the fish played nice eventually

Finally - on the bank, unhooked and holding still for his photo

And back to the water you go - to grow some

From the quick exit, obviously none the worse for the experience

John with another of the size and coloration that was typical for the day

Newt with one of his carp for the day

And a tilapia who liked a piece of bread squeezed on a #8 hook. Evidently this one hadn't heard the species isn't supposed to fight well. He gave me all I could handle on a limber 9 ft rod and 4 lb line.

And here is Todd with the pole Trogg sent him. 8 meters. Do you think Trogg should have sent some instructions along with the pole?

Newt Vail



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