Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Nemesis The Grass Carp

This story starts quite a few years ago when we had just moved in a new neighborhood. I had my son with autism with me as we fished for bluegills at a local pond. At the time he was still using sign language and hardly talked at all. He might say maybe cookie or juice. So we were sitting there when he stands up points and says SHARK! First I was shocked that he spoke and second I was shocked at what I saw. There was this dorsal fin out of the water and three feet behind that a tail!!!! That means there was about three more feet to the head of the beast. This really got my attention and started my quest to fair hook and land a Grass Carp.

Each year I go out at least twice to carp fish and the grass carp has been the unicorn that has evaded me. Now the ponds in which I fish they are very few in number but they are giants. I try standard American carp fishing for them bread, corn, dough baits, and cherry tomatoes.  In all my trips I have only fair hooked two grass carp until now and lost both. It seems my best chance at success is when they can be spotted and stalked. They also have to be feeding. One of these days I will to learn to catch them without seeing them. If anyone across the pond could point me in the right direction that would be great.

On this day it had just rained and I was looking for common carp by pipes feeding off the fresh food being delivered via the rain run-off. I did not see any movement. I was about to leave when a saw a huge tail pop up out of the water!! I quickly took some bread and threw a few pieces to chum and see if it would react. It quickly sucked down two large pieces. With my hands shaking uncontrollably I could hardly form a bread ball. I set the bait one foot down under a Thill float. I was using a bass pro 8-foot float and fly rod and a Shimano reel. The first cast the float went down quickly and I have a big swing and a miss. Man I missed another one I thought to myself. Even shakier I baited again. This time when it slowly started to swim away I nailed it!!! The next couple of minutes were shear terror and I watch my reel scream and line leaving the spool.

At about the five-minute mark I realize that I have no net, camera, and I am fishing off a 3-foot ledge!!! I franticly call my wife with one hand while fighting the white whale with the other. JUST DON’T LOOSE IT JUST DON’T LOOSE IT was playing over and over again in my brain. After about another 5 minutes my wonderful wife comes running with a net. The fish is soooo big I actually have to get in the water to land the behemoth.

YES!!! I have finally landed my first grass carp. I could not be happier. I conservative guess would be that it was 40+ inches and well over 20 pounds!! What a fantastic moment in my fishing career. Now of course since I have a bad case of fishing pox I am researching how to increase my numbers landed per year. It was awesome, my legs shook when it was all over and I had to catch my breath. What a great memory this will be.

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