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Grass carp, also known as white amur, are a type of Asian minnow that can reach up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. An introduced species, grass carp often are used as a means of controlling excessive growth of aquatic vegetation in ponds, lakes and rivers. These streamlined, torpedo-like creatures can be fun to fish for, and they put up a tough fight when hooked.
Choose a Good Location
Because grass carp are an introduced species, they often are stocked in private ponds and lakes to control vegetation. Check with landowners or farmers who are using grass carp. They might allow you to fish their properties and help manage their grass carp populations.
Use the Right Tackle
Grass carp are big, strong fish and require substantial tackle. A large 1/0 or 2/0 sized hook and up to 20-lb. test line will do. A medium-size, open-face spinning reel and rod are an excellent choice for these bruisers.
Grass carp are shy, reclusive creatures and prefer to feed while undisturbed. They tend to be easily spooked by movement from shore, so keep activity and noise to a minimum. If grass carp become startled, they will quickly retreat to deeper water.
Bait The Area
Once you have selected an area to be fished, bait it. Canned corn is a good choice. Throw the contents of several cans of corn into the water up to 20 feet from the shore. Soaked seed corn also can be used. Bait the area several days before you fish it.
Bait selection is crucial to catching grass carp. They are herbivores, predominantly eating vegetation. One of the easiest types of bait to make is a combination of bread dough and corn. This works well, particularly if you're baiting the area to be fished with corn. Other good bait choices include cherry tomatoes, watermelon, green beans, lima beans, worms and even freshly cut grass from your lawn.
Quietly approach the area, and cast your baited line into the water. A rig with a light weight to hold the bait down works well. Use the lightest weight possible, as grass carp will immediately drop any bait that offers resistance. Allow your line to remain slightly slack. When the line begins to tighten, reel in the slack carefully, and set the hook. Grass carp are hard fighters, making long runs. A relatively loose drag will help prevent your line from breaking under the strain of a large fish.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.