Hi Lads Thanks for all the input, Ive now found the article that set this seed in my mind.I was wrong its Ficus fruit not Hibiscus, very good read If anyone wants to join me in May you now know where I"ll be- By SUSAN COCKING scocking@MiamiHerald.com Andy Mill, retired host of a cable television fishing show, fly-fishing tournament champion and Olympic skier, kneels on a dirty asphalt path beside a canal that runs east-west between Griffin Road and Orange Drive in Davie. It's hard to cast a fly rod from the kneeling position, but this Boca Raton angler does it anyway because it's important not to be spotted by his ultrasensitive quarry. Mill throws his line in a perfectly tight loop so that the fly alights beneath a broad, leafy ficus tree. The fly, a tiny cork ball painted cherries-jubilee red with Avon nail polish, bobs briefly on the canal's riffled surface. Suddenly, a wake foams up from nowhere and the fly disappears as Mill's rod bends into a semicircle. After a brief battle, Mill brings his quarry up to the edge of the steep bank -- a 17-pound grass carp that is quickly photographed and released. ''Where else can you catch a fish of that size on dry flies -- especially in an urban area,'' Mill says happily. ``You could potentially catch 40-pound fish in here.'' APPEALING COLOR Mill and the fishing guide/author who tied the successful fly, Steve Kantner, who also is known as the ''Land Captain,'' popularized South Florida's recreational grass carp fishery in a cable TV show about 15 years ago. Kantner discovered that the vegetarian fish love to eat the magenta-colored berries that fall from ficus trees, usually in late spring and early summer. ''Like kids hanging under a Pez machine,'' Kantner said. He sat down at his fly-tying table at home in Fort Lauderdale and fashioned fake ficus berries out of spun deer hair. Then he took Mill with him to use the new flies along Broward's C-11 canal. Both of these expert fly casters caught and released numerous carp for the cameras. Mill said that of all the shows he produced from around the world, that episode drew the most comments from viewers. But not everyone is happy about it -- especially officials of the South Florida Water Management District, which stocks grass carp in Miami-Dade and Broward canals for flood control. ''I know people recreate with these fish, but go fish for a cichlid instead,'' said Ellen Donlan, an environmental scientist who stocks grass carp for the water district. ``I want these fish to eat weeds. That's what the district pays for them for.'' Fishing for grass carp is not illegal, but they must be released immediately and unharmed, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Keeping fish can result in fines. Donlan says anglers must use extreme caution when taking grass carp off the hook because picking them up by the mouth or using a Boga-Grip can break the jaw and potentially kill them. ''Anything that stresses them out, they'll do that less munching [of weeds],'' she said. The water district began using the native Asian fish for weed control in 1987, stocking an average of 30,000 to 40,000 per year, according to Donlan, because they are more cost-effective than using herbicides or mechanical weed-eaters. THAT'S A BIG CARP The district buys 10- to 12-inch fish in bulk from an Arkansas fish farm for about $3 apiece that have been genetically modified to be sterile, or triploid, so they don't overpopulate waterways. She said water control structures keep them from wandering where they don't belong. The largest grass carp known to have been caught in Florida was 15 years old, 56 inches long, and weighed 75 pounds. In China, they can grow much larger. Fred Ade, a Cooper City recreational angler, said he once released a grass carp from the C-11 that weighed 42 pounds, 7 ounces. He often fishes with a 4-weight fly rod and uses Styrofoam strike indicators painted with red magic marker to trick the fish. ''They're the second-smartest fish in the canal,'' Ade said. ``The first is tarpon.'' Adrian Gray, who works for the International Game Fish Association in Dania Beach, recently took a couple hours off from work to catch and release his first grass carp with Mill and Kantner. Using a 6-weight fly rod with 10-pound tippet and one of Kantner's cork-ball ficus berries, Gray released one estimated at 10 to 12 pounds. Said Gray: ``That was neat.''