Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 24, 1975 · Page 100
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 100

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 24, 1975
Page 100
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Page 100 article text (OCR)

Stalking the Wild Carp By John Shuttleworth The majority of folks in this country have traditionally been too proud (or too well-fed) to "stoop" to eating so-called "trash" fish such as carp. If they're properly prepared, carp can be lip-smackin' good. And you can double the enjoyment by stalking them with bow and arrow. Hunting carp generally requires a longbow of at least 30 pounds' pull. Even with a more powerful bow, the carp's large, clearly defined scales are thick enough to make arrows glance off unless they hit at an angle of nearly 90 degrees. On the other hand, too heavy a weapon will wear out your arm by the time you've bagged one fish. For every shot you take you're likely to have drawn six or seven times while you waited for the carp to turn to the right position. It's just as essential to select a fishing arrow that suits the job. Solid-cast fiberglass shafts won't break and their greater weight provides better penetration of the water. The points of fishing arrows are conical and armed on the trailing edges with welded spring steel wire projections. The heads can be double- or single-barbed, threaded or not. There are several brands of bow- fishing reels on the market and none of them has moving parts. One example is simply an open spool with a clip at the top to prevent the line it holds from falling off before a shot. The hoop type made with a central opening through which you shoot -- functions in the same iray. You'll, really need, only a single additional piece of equipment... if you want more than one fish per excursion, that is. A burlap feed sack with a cord or small rope laced over the mouth for a drawstring makes an ideal catch bag. The floating bag should trail far enough behind you so that it won't scare your next target. Now that you're equipped, it's time to discuss the carp's habits . . . and its nature can be summed up in one word; efficiency. The carp is a most effective feeder. Its gills are equipped with strainers so that every breath drawn also pulls in bits of algae and tiny free-swimming organisms. Also, the carp's metabolism allows a far better feed-to-weight- gain ratio than that of most fish. Efficiency is also seen in the carp's patterns of movement. When the water is warm and the relaxed fish are just cruising about, they'll usually move with the current (if there is any). Next to the bank, for instance, look for your quarry to head upstream with the eddy or back current. The one time carp are extravagantly inefficient is in spawning. Lake most other animals, carp become relatively oblivious of all else then, and you can bag all you'll need in one day during the height of the action. But remember -- thousands of eggs need to be laid to ensure one future adult, so don't decimate the breeeders. Carp have a huge appetite after they've mated and can be stalked as they feed with their heads buried in the weeds. Sometimes their rooting will have the water so muddy that only their tails can be seen. When that happens, you can stalk to within eight feet of one of the fish and hold your bow ready until you can see the carp clearly.. .Except when carp are in the . midst of spawning, it pays to scout the area you plan to hunt. The most accessible quarry will be found in little coves and inlets . . . and there's a science to harvesting such waters. If a cove is hunted from its mouth, ony those fish at the open end will be scared off by the first shot. Because the shock wave made by any aroused fugitive dissipates behind it in deeper water, very little warning is passed on to the easily hunted, shallow-water fish ahead. The most efficient manner for two people to hunt a wide cove is for them to enter at one side with the current and work toward the point, standing about 12 to 20 feet apart. The current, which will dip into the cove in a circular motion, should carry cruising carp right to them! If waiting tactics don't result in enough action, the person who stands deepest in the water should begin an advance (leading his partner by 12 to 20 feet). When the point of the cove is reached, the pair should leave the water and move well away from the shoreline to avoid scaring the fish. On the other side of the cove's mouth they re-enter the water and proceed as before. One exception: in a narrow fin- gerlet of a cove, 200 feet or less in width, a pair of hunters would do best to enter from opposite sides of the mouth and stay on their respective banks as they work toward the tip of the inlet. : .;'. The hardest part of hunting fish is seeing into the water. It's best to hunt on a calm,-clear day has been ;warm enough to heat the shallow waters. . _ : To shoot at even a clearly visible fish only eight inches under the surface -- the maximum recommended depth -- you must compensate for the refraction of light at the water's surface. Try only for shallow- swimming carp when possible. Later in the season -^ when you're more experienced the fish are swimming deeper - you can experiment with "longer" shots. When you have a carp on the line, it's important to bag the catch with as little disturbance as possible. Grab the outflowing line with one hand while holding the bowstring with your teeth to free the other. Then -- moving your feet as little as possible - pull the carp close, grip the arrow and push its point into the lake bottom so the fish can't slip off. With the fish pinned down this way, haul in the catch bag that's tied to your waist. Raise the skewered creature and stuff it's head into the sack's opening. Finally it's safe to reach in, unscrew the arrow's point, pull out the shaft and let the catch fall into the bag. Where the law allows you to harvest these "trash fish" by bow hunting, the effort of doing so is most rewarding. Just a single 30-inch fish enables six to eight people to feast on strips of fillet, breaded in home-ground whole wheat flour and fried in deep fat. Ummm! ._ . . 4m CHARLESTON. W. VA. Mansions in the Mountains · The beauty of the past has been brought back in the lovely old antebellum mansion pictured on the State Magazine cover and shown on these pages today. It is the home of Mrs. C. B. Allen, in Ingleside. near Moorefield. Hardy County. Mrs. Allen has this to say about her home: It is Modified Greek Revival and was built in 1842. She does not know the original builder, but soon after it was built, it was bought by Judge J.W.S. Allen, a circuit judge for the State of Virginia. After the Civil War was over and his citizenship had been restored, Judge Allen became a circuit judge Photos by Jack Tiernan August' JU9/0.Su

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