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Hiasinte en ons damme se voortbestaan
Roelof van den Berg
Decisions we make as Fisherman...
Hein Henning
Maak van die Twister Strop
Gilbert Foxcroft
Maak en laai van die Gooi Strop
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die korrekte eindgerei...
Gilbert Foxcroft
Voer akkuraat en effektief met die regte Kettie...
Gilbert Foxcroft
Voer Akkuraat met die "Bait Rocket"
Gilbert Foxcroft
Volg n effektiewe voer strategie
Gilbert Foxcroft
Ontleding van jou hengel area
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die regte Oewer om by te HENGEL
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die regte uitleg vir jou hengel kampie
Gilbert Foxcroft
Fishing for large carp in spring
Carp Fishing Tactics
2009 Karphengel SA's
Gilbert Foxcroft
The never-ending road to monster carp fishing
Maruis le Roux
Word ons aan ons neuse rondgelei?
André Dicks
Wat is verkeerd in Suid Afrika?
André Dicks
OutdoorPAGES toets die nuwe Carp Fanatics floaties
André Dicks
10th World Carp Angling Championships
André Dicks
My pad na sukses
Manie van Eeden
  Doorndraai Dam - 'n Fees van Hengel
André Dicks
Bow Fishing - The fight continues
André Dicks
Is dit al kurpertyd?
Andries Maree
  Hier is die regte manier om deeg voor te berei
Johan Marx
Look after our carp
  Michael Demesmaeker
Pre-baiting
Michael Demesmaeker
  Carp rod basics
André Dicks
  Choosing the right rod pod
André Dicks
  A dark cloud is hanging over our future
André Dicks
Tangling with Eels
Barry Kurten
Part 11 - Protect our sport
John Dearden
  Part 10 - Bait Presentation
John Dearden
  Part 9 - Underwater Blues
John Dearden
Part 8 - FAQ
John Dearden
Part 7 - Early winter session
John Dearden
Baber Hengel - Deel 3
Henry de Beer
Somertyd is Kurpertyd!
Henry de Beer
Specimen Carp Fishing - Step 1-3
André Dicks
Baber Hengel - Deel 2
Henry de Beer
Grass Carp - A Solution or a Problem
Johan Grobler
Wat behoort in my Hengelkas te wees
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Baber Hengel - Deel 1
Henry de Beer
Wurm waarhede
Johan Marx
  Part 6 - Rigs & End Tackle for Carp
John Dearden
  Part 5 - Winter Fishing
John Dearden
Part 4 - Attractors, Stimulants and Enhancers
John Dearden
Part 3 - Specimen Angling
John Dearden
  Particle Fishing
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Effektiewe kort sessie karphengel
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Part 2 - Understanding base mixes and flavours
John Dearden
Part 1 - Specimen Carp Fishing
John Dearden
  Kom ons maak boilies!
Gilbert Foxcroft
The day I got hooked on specimen carp fishing
Johan van der Westhuizen
Vaaldam Bonanza 2004
Bernard Venter
Spesie karphengelaars maak geskiedenis
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Hartebeespoort Dam? You must be joking!
André Dicks
  Stroppe vir spesie karphengel
Gilbert Foxcroft
Moderne karphengel toerusting
Gilbert Foxcroft
Waar sal ek gaan hengel?
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Visse is met die maan gepla
Johan van der Merwe
Areas wat karp huisves
Gilbert Foxcroft
Die uitwerking wat seisoene op karp het
Gilbert Foxcroft
Opsporing van karp
Gilbert Foxcroft
Hantering en bewaring van karp
Gilbert Foxcroft
Dis gazebo koud by Ifafi
Schalk Nolte
Platannas is taboe
Schalk Nolte
  Believe it or not…
Flavio Ferreira
Rekord baber vir TV aanbieder
Joe Lategan
Rietvlei dam. Die dam vir groot karpe.
André Dicks
Wilderness Raft Fishing
Joe Lategan
Oberon
André Dicks
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Look after our carp by/deur Michael Demesmaeker




By
Michael de Mesmaeker


Looking after the carp after capture is probably one of the main reasons specimen anglers do what they do.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching the lump you just landed, being released and swimming back into the depths, unharmed, comfortable and sometimes even healthier than it was before it was caught.

There are a LOT of people out there that wonder and question why on earth we treat the fish with such care and tenderness. I say that’s pretty simple, so that one day, our children and their children can catch those same fish, at triple their weight. The next generation of specimen anglers need their own fish too, so specimen angling is helping the ever increasing number of anglers out there that are after their first and definitely not last “monster carp”.

In this article, I’m going to cover a few topics in one. The equipment available to buy connected to carp care, and the correct way to handle a carp and why. So first and foremost, we need to make sure, as individuals and groups, that we are doing our bit in preserving the sport for years and decades to come.

There are a large number of items and equipment on the market at the moment, that are designed to benefit the carp and keep them safe whilst in the process of landing, unhooking and holding.

Carp care equipment

Unhooking mat

This is one of the most important pieces of equipment and no specimen angler should be without it. It consists of a fairly large “cushion” that is padded and comes in many different designs. Most are rectangular in shape and padded in some area or another. The unhooking mat is the most important piece of tackle because it’s where the carp will spend most of its time before being released again. Always remember to keep you’re unhooking mat wet and cool at all times. You don’t want to be caught un-awares and left with a fish in the net and nowhere to put it because of the scorching hot unhooking mat that needed wetting first.

Landing net

The first piece of “fish friendly” gear that a tired carp will encounter once its been hooked up. The standard specimen anglers landing net will measure 42” in size and is made up of a fine mesh-like material, that is knotless, so as to protect the carp's delicate scales and prevents them from being lifted. The landing net is usually the item you will use to transport the carp from the water, to the unhooking mat.

Weigh sling

The weigh sling does exactly as the name suggests. It’s used for the weighing of the fish and is basically stress free for the fish. Made of a soft plastic material, they too come in varying sizes and shapes and are fitted with either 2 handles for easy maneuverability or a steel ring on the handles, so as to allow easier access for the scales to be hung onto. Many weigh slings come with zips across the top, just incase you have a fish that is still very lively when you are handling it.

Carp Sack


Michael showing how to properly hold a carp

A carp sack works in pretty much the same way as a weigh sling, except its main purpose it to hold a carp for a certain amount of time. The main reason that carp sacks are used, is to hold a carp that’s been caught at night, so that photos may be taken at first light, although with today’s technology and digital camera’s that are available, there’s not a huge necessity for a carp sack.
A lot of anglers also choose to use one to calm a fish down a while before unhooking and weighing it. Some fish get very stressed out during the fight, so calming them down in the carp sack a little while is not a bad idea. Stressed out fish tend to emit small white bubbles or even get nose bleeds, if this starts happening, keep the fish wet.

Those are the items that every specimen angler should have with them when angling.

Next I will explain a small step-by-step process of what to do from landing the carp, to releasing it.

  1. Once the carp is in the landing net, it needs to be carefully carried to the unhooking mat, positioned not too far away from the waters edge. Roll the landing net up as tight as you can to the carp and lift it up with 2 hands, carrying it close to the ground.

  2. Once on the unhooking mat, place the carp on its side straight away, so not to harm the fish’s internal organs, you can now proceed with unhooking the fish once you have managed to calm it down, it may kick and jump about on the mat, but placing you're chest over the fish will calm it down.

  3. Get the rig and rod clear of the mat and make sure you or one of your fishing partners is pouring lake water over the carp as often as possible, just to keep the fish comfortable.

  4. Weighing the carp comes next. Gently slip the weigh sling underneath it and make sure that the carp’s pectoral fins are pushed flush with its body, so as not to break the fins.

  5. Taking the photographs is next, if you feel the need. Holding the carp in the correct positions is vital, because there are parts of it that will hurt it if held incorrectly.

  6. When holding a carp, position your hands as shown on the photo above. One hand between the pectoral fin, and one hand between the dorsal fin. You are not damaging any internal organs and there is no pressure on the fish. Stay low and close to the unhooking mat at all times.

  7. After photos you can inspect the fish for any sores or scabs, missing scales, that it may have. Try to keep a bottle of mecurochrome with you, or otherwise a product called KLINIK that is a special waterproof anti-bacterial that will stay on the fish for a long time and keep the sore or missing scale covered from anymore water born germs. Please be sure to handle the fish with wet hands as well, because of the special slime that covers its body.

  8. Once photos have been taken, slip the fish back into the weigh sling or your unhooking mat, and carefully carry it to the water's edge. Once there, lower the sack or mat into the water and let the fish take its own time to recover before swimming off.

Please be sure that you take all these points to note, because they are vital in preserving the sport of specimen angling. Remember, we can’t catch a fish and then release it, if it wasn’t looked after properly. That’s defeating the point of catch and release.

These fish are the reason we do what we do, so keeping them alive and healthy as long as possible, can only be beneficial to the future and us.
 







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