Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) has many family fishing events across the state each year including two Carp-O-Rama events; one at Pawnee State Recreation Area (SRA) near Lincoln and Lake Maloney SRA south of North Platte, both provide a great opportunity for the public to get out and see what carp fishing is all about.
Carp-O-Rama starts off with NGPC fisheries biologists chumming the lake with a corn mixture a couple days in advance to lure the big-scaled fish into the event area.
When anglers arrive at the event they find NGPC staff on hand to assist them with rods, reels and bait that is ready to go and plenty of advice for landing a nice carp.
Carp is an excellent fish for beginning anglers to pursue as they are plentiful statewide and are easy to catch with basic equipment. The strong-fighting fish has no possession limits or size limits – so you can fish to your heart’s content.
More and more anglers are catching on to the challenge and excitement of carp fishing adding a new dimension to sport fishing.
Once a print is made of the carp it’s off to the fish cleaning station where renowned carp cleaner Stan Krause of Lincoln gives cleaning and scoring demonstrations. Cleaning carp, as I learned at the event is quite an art, but relatively easy to do with the proper knowledge.
Once the fish are cleaned and scored they are covered in a mixture of four and seasonings, which are purposely dabbed in to the scored areas to assure great flavor.
Those in attendance have their fill of carp, slaw, chips and a drink as part of a free shore lunch. Many people have never tasted carp before and are pleasantly surprised at the flavor.
Providing people with the opportunity to catch, clean and eat the fish will hopefully bring them back for more.
Some kids catch their very first fish during the event – the smiles on those young faces are simply priceless. Kids will have so much fun that they will bug their family and friends to take them back out fishing because of the fun experienced that day.
Adults that attend and try their hand at carp catching have a ball. Crowds are mixed with older anglers, young couples with families, grandparents with the grand kids and even aunts and uncles and friends.
In the end fishing isn’t always about the type of fish you caught the size of the fish or where you were at; it is about spending time and experiencing fun things together, which is what Carp-O-Rama is all about.