UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Back Story: What to do about jumping carp?

Silver and bighead carp, which are inclined to jump clear of the water at the approach of a boat, have infested the lower Tennessee River and are becoming more numerous in the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri River drainages.

EverStart Series Tournament Director Ron Lappin attended a meeting of stakeholders the other day in which the only topic of discussion was what has become known in colloquial fishing language as "jumping carp." Silver and bighead carp, which are inclined to jump clear of the water at the approach of a boat, have infested the lower Tennessee River and are becoming more numerous in the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri River drainages. They're reproducing like cockroaches and competing with native baitfish and juvenile sport fish for food - and through sheer numbers, they're winning. If the nefarious Asian carp haven't showed up in your neighborhood yet, stick around - they're on the way. The biggest reason the nuisance fish are proliferating at a much faster rate than they're diminishing has nothing to do with an inability to harvest them. In fact, they will practically jump into a boat. Below Kentucky Lake Dam, the carp commit suicide by swimming along the riprapped shore where eager bowfishermen use them for target practice. In March, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and League of Kentucky Sportsmen co-sponsored a two-day commercial netting tournament on Kentucky Lake that produced more than 82,000 pounds of silvers and bigheads. Unloading carp after a recent Asian carp tournament.The real problem with jumping carp is that they don't seem to fit in any current supply-and-demand model. Typically, the way things get done in this country is that a need or desire for something is created and then served. Marketplace economics kick in: production and delivery, cost and profit. If one component is out of kilter, the machine doesn't run. In the case of Asian carp, the real problem is that nobody wants to eat the fish - or at least not enough people to create a strong and sustainable commercial demand. Probably there are a lot of reasons for that: the fish's name is a turn-off, there are more acceptable species such as tilapia and catfish readily available and, like all carp, Asian varieties have a series of small "floating bones" imbedded in their flesh above the backbone that consumers don't like to deal with. The protein-rich byproducts of Asian carp - their bones, skins and innards - can be turned into livestock and fish feed, but there's not a lot of money to be made there. Considering that 50- or 75-pound carp routinely tear up nets worth about $350, many commercial fishermen aren't too keen on making sets in areas where they know the fish abound. Carp are important dietary staples in the Far East, but the U.S. is a consumer nation, not a supplier, and isn't set up to process and ship freshly caught fish halfway around the globe. In 2012, for instance, the Department of Commerce's tally shows that the U.S. imported $16.7 billion in fishery products, and exported $5.13 billion. Considering that 50- or 75-pound carp routinely tear up nets worth about $350, many commercial fishermen aren't too keen on making sets in areas where they know the fish abound.According to Lappin, the meeting group's consensus was that the best first step to deal with the Asian carp problem is to promote domestic consumption. Hopefully, a domino effect will then cultivate a thriving international market. That might be a reach, but it seems to be the only solution. And such marketing efforts are underway, though they're taking baby steps for now. The alarm bells aren't ringing too loudly now, but they will. And somewhere up ahead, a "United Nations" of scientists, fishery managers, chambers of commerce, tourism councils, fishermen and boating and fishing industry honchos are going to have to get together and tackle the problem. The sheer biomass of Asian carp sweeping toward our fishing future like a giant tsunami isn't going to disappear by itself. If jumping carp aren't your concern, they're most definitely going to be a concern for your children and grandchildren. Think about it the next time you're out there bass fishing and a carp jumps clear of the water near you. Consider it a reminder: It's not going away on its own.

Tags: blog  colin-moore 

/news/2015-08-20-2015-forrest-wood-cup-off-and-running

2015 Forrest Wood Cup Off and Running

If the fishing matches the weather on the opening day of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, there will be plenty of limit stringers brought to the scales in Hot Springs’ Bank of the Ozarks Arena when the weigh-in commences at 5 p.m. Up until a couple of weather forecasts ago, anglers were anticipating hot, miserable weather during all four days of this, the crowning event of the Walmart FLW Tour season, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Passing thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon brought a pleasant respite to the sultry heat, however, and now Cup contenders only have sulking bass to contend with as they vie for tournament fishing’s richest prize: a winner’s purse of $500,000. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-17-peter-t-is-back-on-track

Peter T is Back on Track

Quick, who was the first Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year? If you answered Peter Thliveros, give yourself a pat on the back. Peter T, as he’s more commonly known, led the pack in 1996, the year FLW burst onto the national bass tournament stage. Three years later, Thliveros had another stellar season and finished fourth in the annual standings. In fact, the Florida pro qualified for six consecutive Forrest Wood Cup championships between 1996 and 2001 (the year of 9/11, when there was no Cup) and was one of the Tour’s shining stars in its formative years. It seemed Thliveros could do no wrong when he set out on the tournament path, but then came a lot of ups and downs in what became a rocky road for him. He finished 117th, 135th and 146th in 2002, 2003 and 2005, respectively, and disappeared from the Tour scene between 2006 until his return in 2012. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-12-mr-consistency

Mr. Consistency

Winning is goal No. 1 for any tournament angler, but attaining consistency is probably a close second on his to-do list. Without consistency, it’s difficult for a fisherman to put himself into a position to win on a regular basis. He might come in first occasionally because all the stars align on a particular lake in a certain season when he’s in his groove, but he knows that, ultimately, consistency or lack of it is going to make or break his career. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-07-shifting-gears

Shifting Gears

I am stripping the big line off the Halos and re-spooling with 6- and 8-pound-test Berkley flouro, and reflecting on how much fun it was catching all those fish with all these relatively new baits, how hard some of the strikes were and how easy it was catching fish on baits that they haven't seen before. Well, that's all over now – back to smallmouth fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-29-do-you-really-need-so-much-stuff-

Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-27-fishing-the-cup-for-a-cure

Fishing the Cup for a Cure

n his first year fishing the Walmart FLW Tour, Jason Meninger placed 41st in the standings, earned more than $30,000 and qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup. Oh, yeah, he also found out he had cancer. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-24-shallow-does-it-for-scott-wiley

Shallow Does it for Scott Wiley

Wiley settled all doubt about that at the last Walmart FLW Tour event of the year on the Potomac River, where he finished 12th in the tournament and 27th in the yearly standings. It was his best finish in the three years he’s fished the Tour, and provided him his first shot at winning the Cup and its top prize of $500,000. The Potomac locked him in. Had it not been for muddy water sweeping through his area on day three, the Alabama pro might have made it into the championship round. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-22-never-miss-a-bass-again

Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »

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Shane Lehew Gets His Chance

In 2014, Lehew began his Tour pro career by capturing 24th place in the first event of the year on Lake Okeechobee. His performances on the Big O last year and at Lake Toho this spring reflect his preference for fishing shallow water with mixed cover. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-08-a-bass-is-a-bass-but-not-always

A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-from-kayak-to-bass-boat

From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-more-than-a-fisherman

More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-01-the-no-excuse-guide-

The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-missed-chances-at-the-finale

Missed Chances at the Finale

The final Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River was a tough event for me. After one of the strongest practices I’ve ever had there, or anywhere, really, I drove home scratching my head. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-21-top-10-patterns-from-the-all-american

Top 10 Patterns From The All-American

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/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-burgess-tops-all-american-co-angler-field

Burgess Tops All-American Co-Angler Field

If Bob Burgess could have picked three better partners to fish with in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, it might have been illegal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-19-o-canada-richardson-leads-day-2

O Canada! Richardson Leads Day 2

For a guy who’s put together two solid days of fishing to occupy the top spot in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake hosted by the Henry County Alliance, Curtis Richardson doesn’t exude a lot of confidence. READ MORE »