Friday, July 13, 2007

Carping on Friday the 13th

"LARGE, LARGE, LARGE!" These are the words that popped out of my mouth this morning as I hooked another giant carp on my fly rod. Right away I realized that this was not like the 5-7 pound fish I had been catching through the morning. I set the hook and instead of the fish taking off and peeling line like a hooked torpedo, it simply started moving off like a nuclear sub on a heading for the uncharted deep. Slow, steady, powerful, unstopable. As the fish moved away I clamped down in the growling reel, but to no avail. I briefly stressed about the 8 pound tippet I had put on earlier, perferring it today to the regular 10 or 12 pound that I use when I expect a big fish. I hadn't expected this. Would it hold? All these things went through my head as the fish, now well into my bright orange backing, showed no sign of stopping. This fish was fully in charge. Could this be another encounter with "Lightning," the 28 pound carp that I caught two times this spring? I was fishing the same area. (See discussion of this twice caught fish by clicking here.) That would be a hoot if I could land the same fish the third time. Would I be able to land him again with the same net that wouldn't hold him last time? He's had two months of prime growing season. Was my camera handy so I could take a shot for evidence if I ever got him on the bank? Then, as quickly as it started, it was over. The hook pulled out. No line break. No broken or straightened hook. Simply a tear out. I felt as limp as the slack line I cranked back onto my reel. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Don't take pictures of another giant fish until you get him on the bank. Don't switch out to a light tippet figuring you won't hook a monster. Do be aware that it can happen when you least expect it.

The day began as I woke early this morning with a case of insomnia - 4:30 AM. Unable to go back to sleep, I finally decided I would get up and load my carp tackle into the car. I had the day off anyway and had figured I might go out in the afternoon. Leaving early would let me avoid some of the afternoon heat. After taking care of some email and website tasks and telling Mrs. zonker goodbye, I was on the road. I reached the water a little before 8:00 AM. Beautiful morning. Calm. Cool. (More of our current heat wave predicted for later today.)

It wasn't an outstanding morning (aside from hooking the U-boat) but I had steady action. No complaints. First fish was this little 4 pounder, rather dwarfed in my large weigh net.

I cast to several other fish, then moved to the other side of the pond, an area with a tiny creek coming in.

Several carp were working the slightly moving water where it entered the pond. One cast and I had a fish on - this 5 1/2 pounder.

Then I did something that was a first for me. I caught a very small carp! I have heard it said that one thing serious carp fishers seldom see is a small carp. Up to this point I had found that to be true. Then bang! Suddenly I've captured a small carp. I also caught a nice 9 inch bluegill from this spot. I should have taken a picture.

One more fish cooperated before I moved from this spot. This nice 7 pounder.

I packed up and walked to the larger lake of the three in this area - to my favorite flat. Fish were active. I saw several large muds indicating fish activity. Soon I had a fish, a nice little 5 pounder.

The water in this area was a lot murkier than it was during spring.

This 6 pound fish soon joined his friends on the end of my line.

Then this porky 9 pounder.

If I counted right that's seven fish. Not bad for half a day. With the sun starting to beat down and warm things up, I retired from the water to go get some lunch. A great day on the water - especially the rush of hooking another large fish.



smallmouth said...

Wow, busy morning. I'm still looking forward to my first carp on the flyrod but my kayak, float tube and other species such as trout and panfish have been leading me astray. I've been back and forth to the condo up North the last 2 weekends delivering vanities for the bathroom reconstructions. My trout club is on the flight path and at the price of gas these days I've been sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of the condo and then stopping for the day at the trout ponds on my way back home. Last weekend I caught 25 trout and this Saturday I got 21. All from my venerable Fat Cat 66 float tube.
There is a major carp flat near Collingwood on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron)that is only 20 minutes from my place in Wasaga but I ended up cruising the back roads of my area looking for access to the Nottawasaga River. It was time well spent because I made contact with a land owner who fishes himself and he told me that since I was courteous enough to ask I could come back anytime. Now instead of parking on the shoulder by the bridge I can drive right to the water's edge and park in his backyard. This will be grat in the Fall when the steelhead and salmon run the river.

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Lets Catch Reel Big Fish said...

I used to fish a lot with flys. Caught many a Trout and smallmouth Bass. I've never tried fishing for Carp on a fly. I've caught a lot of Carp over the years with real bait. It sounds like a challenge to catch them on a flyrod. Like your blog and all your carp pics.