General Techniques

Carp are bottom feeders, so concentrate your efforts on putting the bait where they are most likely to find it. The preferred bait is some sort of dough-ball concoction or whole corn kernels. Use a #4 or #6 hook below a slip sinker on hard or semi-firm bottoms. If the lake or river bottom is very soft, suspend the bait on a snelled hook above a bell sinker, so the bait is slightly above the muck. Some die-hards pursue carp with a fly rod, but don't count on being successful using this method. If you are in the right place at the right time, you'll get them to take a fly, but such days are few and far between.

They can be caught from spring until early fall. Early spring, when you see huge carp in the shallows is the worst time to fish for them. They're too busy being amorous to bother with your offerings. You'll have best success fishing for them in the evening and night-time. Use appropriate tackle, as 20+ pound fish are not uncommon.

Carp are not particularly palatable, but cooked and prepared properly (especially if you enjoy a fishy taste) are eaten my many. If you do not intend to keep your catch for eating, you must release your fish unharmed. Not only is that the ethical thing to do, but it is also the law!


Preparing Bait

Here is a multitude of recipes, but there are many others. Some are top-secret and you'll get them only by befriending and kowtowing to a carp enthusiast. But you can also use a gob of white bread: roll up a piece into a small ball (size of a quarter) and mould it onto a hook. Wonder brand is the best (and you thought it was good only for your kids...).

Some Places to Go

Bays of Lakeview Promenade Park
In Mississauga. This park is right next to the Lakeview Thermal Generating Station at the border of Mississauga and Etobicoke. You can get there from Brampton by driving down Highway 10 (Hurontario) all the way down to Lakeshore Blvd., then going East along Lakeshore for a couple of km. Turn onto  "Lakeshore Promenade", which is on the east side of the power plant and follow the street to the park. I've watched a number of people fish for carp there. I've also had recent success there for small mouth bass, sheepshead ( fresh water drum ) and perch. In the Spring and Fall trout come into the area of the park where the warm water comes out of the power plant. There are also picnic facilities and a splash pad area for children there, along with two marinas.

Desjardins Canal
A great spot on Hamilton Harbour/Burlington Bay for carp is the channel that connects the Bay with Cootes Paradise (under the 403/York Blvd bridges). This is an artificial channel that was cut to create the Desjardins Canal. The water is deep and there is always a bit of a current flowing which carp seem to like. The channel is easy to get to from Princess Point park in Hamilton (at the foot of Paradise St). You can also admire the 'Carp Barrier' that has recently been erected to keep the fish out of Cootes Paradise.

There's a good spot under the Hwy 403 Bridge in Hamilton Habour, but thats as far as they can go because of the carp barrier.

Fanshawe Conservation Area
Below fanshawe dam at fanshawe conservation area where there are lots of carp, most are between 5 and 15 pounds but there are many bruisers that top 20 pounds.

Humber River
The mouth of the Humber river in Toronto tends to have a good supply, and 15 lbs is very common.

Guelph Lake Conservation Area
Carp average 4 to 6 lb there, and can be plentiful, if you hit the right spot.

Lakeview generator
All year round. The best time to fish for them is when they end their spawning ritual in May or June (depends on the weather).

Marie curtis park
In etobicoke, just off lakeshore. caught tones of fish over twenty pounds last summer.

Ottawa Area
The Rideau River is good just about everywhere. Try Black Rapids, Mooney's Bay, anywhere in the Rideau Canal (particularly Dow's Lake) and below the locks where the Rideau and Ottawa rivers join.

Rouge River and east
Try the mouth of the Rouge River in West Hill. Frenchman's Bay and around the Pickering Nuclear Plant. The lagoon at the foot of Liverpool Road is a favourite spot, although I've never caught too many big ones there. Mainly 5 to 15 pounds. I've caught them up to 30 and over at the "Nuke."  Further east, almost any creek mouths will have carp. Lynde Shores and Darlington Bay are also good.

Toronto Islands
A 13 yr-old boy caught a 50+ lb carp in one of the lagoons on Toronto Island last summer. They are also all along the downtown waterfront, they stay pretty close to the harbour walls. I've seen some jumbos around Ontario Place. Lower Don River is good, too!

Toronto Islands on Hanlans Point
At the old trout pond! Best in mid summer.

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