I don’t normally pay attention to the Solunar chart since it has failed me often in the past. I do however usually go fishing before work on Tuesdays, and yesterday happened to be an excellent day according to Solunar data. With the weather getting cooler (thankfully!) I figured catfish will be hunkering down for the winter. Water temps are well below 80° consistently now, so I don’t expect a lot of catfish activity if any. I planned on trying for rainbow trout or carp.
Arriving at the pond at 5:30am, I got camp set up and had a line rigged with a #4 octopus hook covered with corn on the bottom at 5:45am. I got the second line in the water around 6am, rigged with a #4 hook and hot dog soaked in blood just in case a channel cat was hungry. All was quiet for about 15 minutes.
The first hit on my carp line came hard around 6:15, and the ground was pretty soft where I planted my rod holder. So when I grabbed the rod and tried pulling it out of the rod holder the rod holder came out of the ground with it. I quickly pushed the rod holder off the rod and set the hook, but it was too late. I lost whatever I had on that line. I attempted to reposition the rod holder to harder ground and tamp it down, then reloaded. I also realized these aren’t catfish, carp have a very different mouth shape. The octopus hook is probably a bad choice. I switched to a #4 baitholder hook.
The next big hit was around 7:18. The rod holder went off and the rod was bending in half. I grabbed the rod and it came out of the ground again! This time I set the hook then removed it from the rod holder and was able to bring it in after a decent fight. A 15″ 3lb common carp. The first one I caught in AZ that I was able to weigh and measure before throwing back! (Disclaimer: the weights I’m calling out in the video are from reading the digital scale that was set to kg. I later realized this and set it to pounds, then tested it with a known good weight and ensured the scale was still accurate. It is accurate.)
Lesson learned, don’t use the rod holder today. I reloaded and held onto this one while sitting in the chair with my fishing buddy strapped to my chest, covered in his Thinsulate blanket. In roughly 8 minutes I felt the rod getting small hits and saw the line going out slightly. I waited until it was a steady pull and set the hook. This was another big hit, putting up a good fight all the way in. I brought in another common carp, this one 16″ and 3lb. There was a final big hit as I was striking camp around 8am, but it fell off halfway to shore.
So overall an excellent day. Maybe the fact the Solunar calendar said it was going to be great was a coincidence? There is scientific proof it’s true, maybe in the past I was fishing for the wrong type of fish? I will be testing this out more in the near future.
Videos of both catches are available here: