How to Catch Asian Carp – Bows, Arrows And Poles?

Bows, Arrows and Poles?

Huh, Bow and arrows? What am I talking about?

Wondering how to catch Asian Carp?

You’re not alone.

Many anglers are picking up this hobby and taking it seriously.

Catching Asian carp is fairly easy too.

From bottom fishing to bowfishing for carp to fly-fishing for carp, we are getting to the point where we don’t really care which method we use to catch them.

We just want to catch as many as possible.

Plain and simple.

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I’m from Illinois, so I have even more of a desire to target this species.

Wildlife agencies in Illinois are trying every method possible to decrease the Asian carp population dramatically.

It’s becoming a threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem as well.

So, what do we want to do with them?

Catch them and catch lots of them. I’m personally torn on this. As a cat fishermen and someone who didn’t pick up carp fishing till about 4 years ago, I was skeptical at first.

I wanted to join the bandwagon and be quick to hate the fact they were even swimming in the Midwest waters.

I’ve learned to just roll with it while the populations are at extremes and make the best of the opportunity to catch a ton of these enormous fish.

I use plenty of methods to do which as well we will cover.

Plus, they put up a hell of a fight which doesn’t hurt my enthusiasm by any means. It’s a driving force behind why I fish.

Many of my readers know that I’m an addict for that adrenaline rush of a nice fight!

About Asian Carp – The Asian Carp Facts

Asian carp has a long, rich history stemming from Chinese culture.

Known as the “jumping fish” or that fish that slaps you right across the face while having a beer cruising in your fishing boat down the river.

The phrase Asian carp is used by many Americans when referring to grass carp, black carp, silver carp, and bighead carp.

Asian carp have a lifespan of roughly 20 years and reach 10-35 LBS in weight.

Grass carp and bighead carp are the two we most often angle for and the ones more worth the discussion.

I mean it’s the ones we want to catch with some of the frequency.

Are Asian Carp an Invasive Species?

Asian carp are considered an invasive species.

They can cause some massive damage to specific environments. The diets they enjoy including mussels and snails is one reason why.

Mussels and snails are already endangered, and carp have a HUGE appetite.

This is the reason we all want to know how to catch Asian Carp and what methods to use to get them out of our lakes and rivers before they cause harm to other beloved game fish.

The Problem Child

Simply put. Asian carp can be a problem.

A problem for many bodies of water as well.

The Asian carp here in Illinois has become an absolute disaster for the Peoria, Illinois and Mississippi River and it’s feared that they are making their way to the Great Lakes.

This isn’t the only area where Asian carp are found.

So how do we reel them in?

How to Catch Asian Carp

Rod and Reel Method – Not the Best Way to Go!

Asian carp are bottom plant-eaters. Mainly just trolling the waters sucking up a ton of plankton and other small organisms.

If you want the fight of an Asian carp on a rod and reel set up.

I’d recommend the following set up.

This is if and only if you want to be frustrated because it’s not going to bring in many carp or work with any scaleability.

Here’s 1 Method to Try

Large Dough Ball or other Dough bait that will break away slowly in the water.

You can use a rig that consists of tiny hooks surrounding the bait.

They won’t bite the bait in a traditional sense, however.

Your bait can be suspended beneath a bobber but your more likely to snag the Asian Carp than hook one right in the mouth.

Here’s the kicker.

Snagging Asian Carp these fish is still a fantastic fight.

Doesn’t matter how the hook gets into these big annoying fish.

They always give you a hell of a run for your money.

Bow Fishing For Asian Carp

Now the fun begins. Bow Fishing for Asian carp is by far the best method. You don’t need a boat and can learn the craft quickly.

Not long ago, we had buffalo fish, gar, and drum as our primary targets, but the focus has shifted.


Now we want the Asian carp out of here, so they stop over running our beloved bass, catfish, and crappies.

The biggest problem is…

Bow fishing Asian carp is a ton of fun as well.

I get the frustration. I cat fished way before even casting for my first carp except for childhood as many of you already know.

The world will always be changing, and we don’t have very much control over what happens.

Roll with the punches and have some fun.

Adapt. Try something new.

It will at least temporarily hold you over until they can figure out Asian carp population control.

Bowfishing for Asian carp is growing massively in popularity.

Grab yourself some proper equipment and get out on the waters.

It’s time to go fishing.

Fly Fishing for Asian Carp.

I personally have not done this for Asian carp. I have however seen that it is possible, or anglers are beginning to try this method and others.

These fish cause injuries to people just trying to enjoy a beautiful day on the river.

People have been known to end up in the hospital from being struck in the head and face by these large jumping fish.

Let’s Discuss the Bowfishing carp one more time.

We have now discussed the general information on Asian carp and the methods used to catch them.

We know that rod and reel isn’t the best method, but it can be done.

Fly fishing for Asian carp is also growing slowly as an option, but I have not found it to be a viable method yet.

Bowfishing for Asian carp is BY FAR THE BEST METHOD.

I have a full guide on bowfishing for carp that can help teach you the ropes if need be.

This is the method I’d invest your time into if you’re serious about trying to catch Asian carp.

It’s not that the other methods won’t work and don’t bring some fun to the day either.

I just don’t want to mislead people that the other methods yield excellent results.

Don’t forget to check out: Best Bowfishing Bows of 2024.

Putting it All Together

I know initially, you had the question “how to catch Asian carp?”

From a traditional standpoint, my answer would be, don’t waste your time.

From the new and modern ways of doing things, I’d say to spend some time learning to bowfish for Asian carp.

It looks pretty awesome as well. I have not tried that method yet so don’t have too much information or tips for you.

I do however plan on doing it very soon so I will definitely keep this blog updated with my trophy shots!

As always, if you can add anything or any impressive methods of catching carp or good stories, drop a comment below.

We all love our fishing stories.

As always, until next time!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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