June 18, 2014.
Entry in my fishing blog:
I was on the phone with one of my long time carp friends Mr. Vanja. He gave me a ring and we chatted. It Just so happened that i was out scouting and exploring a new place in the afternoon hours before work. I do this A LOT. This particular venue I’ve had my eye on for years, but never fished it for carp, just other species. I have a strong belief that observation is the biggest key to successful carp fishing. Spending time actively fishing for trout, pan fish or bass can put you in a position to see something interesting.
I’ve seen lots of grass carp over the years on the surface but its rare for me to ever go out targeting them. Friends and other witness’ reports became null as i would write them off as grass carp. On this day though by chance I made a quick stop to walk around and by even greater chance a great fellow carper was in my ear when over a imbankment I saw a massive common carp. The fish was so long with a immense gut. I was so beside myself that I interrupted my friend to tell him what I just saw and why it was a supper big deal. So questioning all my past reports I bait down from the spot in a place that looked like they would visit. I drive out of the way home from work just to toss some more ground bait in. The next day I wake up to the fishing alarm in my head far to early. Forcing myself to get a little more sleep I can’t wait any more. Off I go.
I’ve got three hours before I have to leave the lake to make the drive into work. I arrive to see quite the sight. This lake is above average clear. The area that I baited, which was maybe 8 foot in a circle was now a 40ft mud cloud with tails all over the place. A very large orange black speckled koi swims in from mid lake into the cloud of mud and weeds. Unbelievable. How could they have stayed so hidden for so long to me? Getting my bearings straight I get back to the truck and load the barrow and jet over, throw the net together and putting all three rods together I realize… I don’t need any of this. I got this. So casting one rod low and under hand past the fish lifting up to come to rest as gentle as possible around the feeding fish. One boilie, no freebies, with no alarm. 20 seconds later the line bounces against my finger then quickly zipping off running over my finger. I lift up, fight the fish to the bank and successfully crack a long time watched water. Yes!
This story is not over. I’ve since gotten fish up to 30lb from this place. All unusually dark and long. Nothing yet was as big as the first common I saw and the year is still early, but none of this is what I’m here writing about. I’m here to tell of the other fish I caught that day and what I saw during the fight. After the first fish the area got a bit spooked. I knew this was the time to set up the pod and three rods. Putting a dozen baits in the water and casting out, I waited spending time chatting with locals until the second run happened. Hard fighting fish these are, as the fish peels line out just past a weed-mass I see something. Focusing on it I can’t believe my eyes. This is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen…. A grass carp, but not just any old grass carp. I have layed this species on to my mat over 50lbs. I’ve seen some big fish. Not like this though. This thing was so large that if I was swimming and saw it, i would have probably panicked. Swimming under the weeds it was gone. I landed that fish, very nice 20. Releasing it on film. looking down at my phone and after the shot all I can think about is telling someone about this fish. Brian wingrad is the lucky guy who gets to hear this fish tail first… I describe the fish as looking a impossible length with a girth at the tail being like a basket ball. He seemed more interested in the commons and I latter tell my co workers and friends about it.
I believe they think I’ve been sleeping out at lakes to much. My most recent time spent here with my few precious before work hours was last Monday. It is my fourth visit that I’d be fishing since I spotted the big bellied common. I spot a fish. So I grab my fly rod, but its not interested. I walk back to the truck to try a different approach. Walking with the barrow a park guy in the typical safety green shirt comments and starts conversation. By the end of that talk I learn a lot of new information. The man ends up being the head of the park and had a lot of good stuff to tell me. Out of that information one bit was the grass carp where stocked over 25 years ago at a count of 130. I set-up and burn my last hour on 2 awesome fish. Both caught in minutes of the cast, single rod in hand. The second fish almost made me late for work! Racing on the hot day sweating to zip off on a hour drive my heads still going over all what that man told me. Driving into work I’m thinking about how the weeds in my net from the last fish had so many tiny snails on it. Could it be that a majority of the 130 died in the 25+ years and there is a fish that has been eating this weed, unintentionally intaking loads of protein creating a genuine lake monster?! I want to find out. It may not happen this month, or this year. It might be a friend who catches it, someone I share the place with, but high odds it could get caught.
When it does I am going to dance and sing, “I told you so” I’m not crazy…not totally.
August 14, 2014:
Today I possibly caught the monstrous grass carp that I spotted 2 months ago. I had a week of vacation and barely got to fish. Most of the time was spent with my girlfriend and working on moving things and settling into our new home that we recently bought. Last day of my vacation and I just had to get out. So my good fishing pal, Austin and I pre baited a lake that I have done good on fishing short sessions. The next afternoon we set up and fished our chosen area. Early into the session I landed a nice long common in the low 20s. Wind and rain sets in and turns off after half a hour calming the lake down. Some bubbles are showing up fairly consistently moving around the area. I brought in my rod and re rigged with a new Kryston PVA bag full of crushed Jetfish Javor boilies with a splash of bread crumb. Casting out I sit back and relax.
An hour before I have to go do family things with my girlfriend I get a blasting run. Lifting up I feel the weight of something serious. The fish turns and surfaces at the same time, revealing a enormous dorsal fin which I immediately identified as that of a grass carp… an epic one. The shore was fairly shallow so I had to walk out into the water to land the fish. I don’t know what I would have done had I been by myself. I’m so glad I got to share the moment with Austin. I will never forget this day. I’ve caught 50 or more grass carp in my life. The first of which died due to my inexperience and lack of knowledge. Grass carp are a very fragile fish. More like a trout then a carp. They also do not stay very calm and I never held them due to this. This monster I kept and unhooked in water. We zero’ed the scale and moved it to my landing mat to be weighed… 59.5lbs. The fish was landed fast and was still surprisingly calm so I just went for it. Austin used his phone and started snapping away. After 40 seconds of photos I wrapped the fish up into my mat and walked back into the monsters lair. Reviving and releasing the fish successfully. The feeling was almost surreal. It took a while till I concluded that I just captured, photographed and released the biggest fish to ever be held in my hands. Did I do it?! Is this the monster I saw or is it just a sign that I did see a unspeakably, even larger fish and this isn’t even it. Could there be a larger fish? 70, 80 Pounds?! As an avid angler I must keep believing in the unknown and keep an open mind. Stay calm and keep fishing.