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Submitted by Anthony Larson

Every spring, I put on my thinking cap to figure out where to find trophy fish.

Where do I begin? On the trout streams? Wrong.

On the wing dams for walleye? Wrong again.

I enjoy my spring season carp hunting!

What?

I love to fish carp in the spring. There's something wonderful about heading to the flooded grass flats of the Mississippi River with a twister tail and fly dropper and hooking into the big carp and suckers as they come in to spawn.

A lot of people undervalue what a carp can do, but I am a big fish junkie and love catching monsters of any species. But there's something special about a 10 to 15 pound carp screaming in my drag that makes my blood pump just a little faster.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

Fishing for carp is a great way to get young or inexperienced anglers to learn how to catch big fish. It's a time to lean how to set a drag mid fight, how to use the back reel to get around a snag, how to net and, most importantly, it's a great confidence builder to accomplish landing a queen carp after a five minute battle

There are many baits and techniques on the internet. I found 35,000 in a Google search. Most of them consists of dough, bread, and corn, but my personal favorite is as simple as it comes. A 1/4 oz jig, twister tail, and a crawfish fly as a dropper.

I like the 1/4 oz jig because it gives me weight to make a far cast, while getting down to the bottom fast. The twister tail gets the carp's attention, while the fly is it's favorite food source.

I cast, let my lure hit the bottom, and slowly bring it back, just gently popping the jig off the bottom. If I hook a fish, and it manages to get off; I'll slow back down and start over. If there's one, chances are there's another couple dozen just like it in the area.

There's a lot of controversy these days on what to do with the carp. Keep in mind it's illegal to dump the carp on the land to die, it's also illegal to intentionally mortally wound a carp to throw it back. Not only unlawful, these disposing tactics are unethical and really don't do anything but stink up the shorelines for the rest of us.

Unless you have a real way to dispose of them in a dumpster or garden, I say let them go. The carp are here and the half dozen you may catch/kill won't have any impact on their population.

Another issue that comes up is what to do with dogfish, gar, sheephead, and suckers. A lot of people don't understand that these fish are native to Wisconsin waters, and are (despite popular belief) good guys and should be returned unharmed. With invasive fish on the rise, it's up to us to protect and cherish our natural resources.

Overall, carp fishing can be a great way to spend an afternoon, can of corn, or on the fly they are a great fish to catch.

Read more posts from Anthony Larson.

Anthony Larson of Coulee Region Adventures has been a guide for over 5 years, and is a lifelong resident of the Coulee Region. Anthony shares the many adventures one can have in the Coulee Region of La Crosse.

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