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New spot, nostalgic feel, and a new PB for my birthday!


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I cut my fishing teeth as a child in a city pond near my house, luckily I had parents who did not feel concerned at the prospect of me leaving the vicinity of my house to pursue blue gill, bullheads and whatever would bite. That whatever sometimes included carp. Over the years I would go from bass to catfish, then catfish to carp. If fishing is a addictive, blue gill is the first hit and carp is where I have wound up.

So after being reinvigorated to do some fishing by Spoon, I loaded my car a week later to get out and do some fishing. I went somewhere I have never been and had no expecations of what I may find. As I hauled my stuff to the spot, and sat the paylake rods and reels on banksticks with euro alarms (tackle tarts cringe!) and mixed my grits and baited my hairs (forgot the puffs at home that day) I was able to sit and observe. Sitting at this new spot felt familiar in so many ways. Taking me back to days on the small ponds of my original town 20 years ago.

As I sit there, I really have no expecation of size or type. I figure a handful of 5 to 10lb carp would make for a busy day of small fish. I was still dealing with the aftermath of a home break in and wasted the morning sorting things out. They took no fishing gear thankfully.

After about 35 minutes of daydreaming, it was so rudely interupted by my alarms and the clicker on the Carp Master reel. As I set the hook I could feel I had a decent fish. After a short fight and a wade into thick mud I finally had the carp in the net. Immediately I knew I had an upper teen, maybe even larger. The scales would confirm, the fish was over 20lbs. I cannot recall the exact weight, somewhere between 20 and 22lbs, but that is because it would not be the biggest of the day!


After rebaiting and recasting numerous times trying to figure out the water, I finally sat back down to resume taking in the October sunshine. A first fish over 20lbs, that is always good for a new water. The next run I had was nothing like the first. It started with a small drop back. Then a slight tug and nothing. Fast forward about 5 minutes and the reel was absolutely screaming. As soon as I set the hook, I saw a big black tail come out of the water. I thought it was a catfish doing its normal near surface spinning. But then the fish sunk down and tore off with anger. Now I am pacing the bank trying to work an angle on whatever I have hooked into. Finally after much coaxing I get it near the bank to see what I am really encountering is a carp of the grassie kind.

Having caught more than my fair share of grass carp I know the longer he fights in the water, the less of a beating I will take on the bank. I also know that regardless, a beating on the bank is going to happen. it always does. I could also tell that this was no small grass carp, it was going to be a PB. I had no idea how big until I had him netted and had to lift it up. Now I haven't hit the gym or rolled on a wrestling mat in a long time, but I know heavy when I feel it, and this fish was heavy.

As I get him to the mat I set about weighing and photos. Still sorting out photos with a new phone and fishing solo. Well the dial on the Reubon Heaton scale went past the 6 o'clock position. Coming to a rest at 36lbs 4 oz. There is no true trophy shot as grass carp can kill themselves in a fight, and I had 10 seconds from activating the camera on the phone to kneel, take the carp from my travel sling not made for this huge fish, and strike some sort of a pose without being tale slapped.


After that I recasted, I think. Really I don't recall. I was so content with the fish and the day that I was just taking in the moment. It was a great birthday trip. Rest assured, this water has not even come close to seeing the last of me. If on a first trip I catch a 20 and a 36lber, I can't imagine what comes next.

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