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So I Broke My Carp Rods...

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(This post is copy-pasted from the TFF for convenience sake. As such, it includes some species other than carp/buffalo. If necessary, I will delete those for future posts or post under the other species forum.)
It's been quite some time since I posted on here, not for lack of fishing but rather because of an abundance of it. Apparently I've been hitting the banks so hard that I've already worn down my new carp rods, and two of them are about to get repaired. On my last outing I broke the rod tips one after the other, not quite sure why. In the meantime I suppose I'll share all of my captures with you guys, just be ready for a long post!

Trip 1: New Pond w/ Damon & Catmandon

Was contacted by a member of the forum to meet up to do some carp fishing, something I couldn't pass up. Decided to take my friend along as well, as he was about to leave to CT and hadn't been fishing with me for a while. The original intention of the trip was to show Catmandon and his friend a couple of things and while I was able to share lots of information the fish just weren't having it and I ended up getting skunked. It had been a long time coming as I've had more than my share of luck on the bank, but Catmandon and Damon did end up landing a couple! All fish caught were released to fight another day.


The first fish of the day went to Catmandon. He didn't think this fish was picture worthy, and actually caught another one that was a little bigger @13lb 12oz later in the day that I wasn't able to get a picture of before he released it saying something along the lines of "another small one." At least he caught some!


Damon's first ever black bullhead. He was a little anxious after I told him that it was poisonous!


First carp of the day for him, just a little guy.


Last fish of the trip, it was horribly slow but we all had a good time. 10lb 2oz.

Trip 2: Another skunk session for me...

Took the longest trip I've ever taken to go fishing only to find out that the place I'd chosen had no public bank access outside of a small, crappy area. Knew I was incredibly unlikely to land anything but went ahead and fished for 16 straight hours anyway as I didn't want to waste the gas. The only thing I hooked all day was what was undoubtedly my PB turtle, easily 40-50lbs. He buried himself in the mud about 15ft off the bank and I wasn't going to risk losing anything to go in and try to pull him out. Had a really good conversation with a TPWD technician while I was there, learned quite a few things from him and if I'd only had a run I'd have let him take it as he was a bowfisherman and I was sure I could convert him to rod and reel. If only I was able to get to one of the spots I'd planned to hit maybe I'd have landed one of the giants I knew lurked there...
Trip 3: Memorial Day with the Family

Took Mom & Dad out to a local lake as we all had Memorial Day off, wasn't expecting anything big as the lake isn't known for producing anything giant, but figured I'd give it a go as I'd never been and just catching some would be a blast. I soon learned that if I'm ever going to fish on a holiday that I need to go somewhere more remote as the banks were lined with anglers and the water was filled with boats. Although I will say that it's certainly interesting when everyone around you is casting and casting and pulling up nada while you're having trouble keeping more than one rod in the water. We actually attracted a crowd, I guess they figured watching someone catch is more fun than not catching anything! This was one of the rare occasions where not all of my fish were released, as I gave away every one that was under 10lbs (almost every fish) to whoever would take them on the bank, and there were no shortage of spectators willing to take at least something home for the table. I figure if I do this every time I fish these small fish waters maybe I'll make a dent in the dink population!


First fish of the day, just a little guy. Got a new rubber net after my dad broke the old one trying to land a 24lber in it. From now on, this net will only see fish 10lbs or less.


My parents went for a bathroom break and left me watching 7 rods by myself. I had four hits at once and only two hands! These were the only two I was able to get in and one of them had to be handlined as my mom had crossed over two of my dad's lines and made a huge mess.


First buffalo of the day, this is the only fish that went back in the water the whole trip.


Another little guy for me, this lake is filled with 'em!


Baby buff for my dad. This is his smallest one yet!


Slightly bigger but still less than 10lbs


I don't think my dad likes catching these little ones, just look at that face!


Still not beating that 10lb barrier, to the table it went.


Doubled up! I wonder if the fish are smaller because of how trashy the place is, we took a big trashbag and filled it when we left.


Mom finally got her first fish! It's been such a breeze to get a picture now that she's not afraid of the fish anymore.


Second one for my mom, another little guy. Perfect eating size!


My dad's smallest ghost carp to date, and the only one of this trip.

We just couldn't seem to break the 10lb threshold!


Parents got a nice carp/buff double.


OK, so she was a little grossed out by this one but only because it had (presumably) been sliced up by some boats previously. Poor guy, but he didn't have to worry about recovering as he went on to someone's table!

Trip 3: Finally Living up to my Name (Multi-Species)

Went down to the river in an attempt to maybe get some carp/buffalo and brought along an ultralight just in case. I was having so much fun with the ultralight that I actually missed two runs on my carp setup, and even briefly kept some of the rods out of the water so I didn't have to worry about them going off! I was fishing my carp rods above the spillway in a deep pocket of the river, and using my ultralight below in the small pools as the river was drying up. All fish caught were released above the spillway so they weren't left to dry up and die.


First fish of the day, a decent White Bass! This was my second one ever as I've been way too occupied with carp to give anything else a thought.


This one was a little bigger, they definitely put up a tussle on the UL!


NEW SPECIES! After trying several times and seeing my friends/family catch the drum that I've been after I land my first Freshwater Drum! Not a huge one, but a ton of fun.


Yet another drum, I had finally found 'em!


They must've been in the small pools thick, 'cause they were hungry.


Last White Bass of the day


Another Drum, it was starting to get really hot (this was the first 100+ day of the year), and it seemed like all the other fish shut down. I'd heard that drum will bite when nothing else will and it was definitely ringing true this day!


Finally was able to put down the ultralight long enough to nab something on my carp gear. Love these fish but was having too much fun vertical jigging off the spillway.


These drum were helping me make up for all those other times I didn't catch them! Started splashing water on the bank for 'em as it had gotten so hot.


Fourth species of the day!


These fish are so cool, can't seem to understand why they're looked down on and Red Drum are so prized.


My first ever catfish on a lure! Was psyched after I realized what he was. I actually got one that was even bigger than him on the bank as well, but he flopped around and slid back into the water before I could get a photo. The second one jumped about a foot out of the water during the fight, it was unreal!


Is it normal for a drum's skin to feel rough? All of them that I caught that day felt rough to the touch.


Last drum of the day, that makes 8!

Trip 4: Ol' Faithful w/ my Parents

Went out to my favorite lake and took my parents along for the ride. I had prepared quite a bit for this trip, hand-rolling approx. 25lbs of boilies to throw in the water for 3 days prior to fishing (along with some other goodies). They must've liked them as we tore 'em up! We didn't land anything huge but lots of nice fish saw the mat, including a few PBs! All of the fish were caught using boilies and tigernuts, with either a rice/ketchup packbait (beginning of the day), and when we ran out of that a grits/chili packbait. All fish were released to fight another day!


This was the dough for the boilies I made - wheat flour, masa, powdered milk, yeast, whole eggs (carp love the crunch!), chili powder and tuna. It was a pain in the *** to knead the dough and roll all the little balls, there's definitely some boilie rolling tables in my future.


First fish of the day, a baby Channel cat. We actually saw a huge army of these guys as far as the eye could see in front of us feeding on something at the surface of the water. It was insane!


Technically this was the first fish of the day as my mom's rod got hit a few minutes before my dad's, but it was just so small she couldn't tell she had anything on.


Mom with the first carp of the day!


Decent Channel for my dad.


Good eater for Mom!


First of many doubles! My dad with an 8lb Ghostie and me with a 14lb Buff!



Mom with another decent carp.


Second double, this time my dad had the bigger fish with a 16lb 6oz Smallmouth Buffalo. Pay attention to the red tent-thing in the background.


Dad with a 13lb 9oz Common.


Finally joined the catfish club with this fatty, guess he had been enjoying my special boilies!


Dad with another carp, not quite big enough to justify weighing.


I had brought the ultralight again but I definitely didn't need it with all the action we were getting. I'd go to pick it up and get a run!


She was having some difficulty holding this one. Mom with her new PB buff @16lb 10oz.


It's always somewhat disappointing to get a catfish, they just can't seem to compete with the size and strength of the carp/buffalo. Looking forward to nailing a giant while carp fishing!


Another little guy for Dad


Sneaking in some casts in between all the action and landed my first drum at this lake! The drum luck must've followed me from the river


Dad with a ghostly white 16lb buff



Second catfish of the day for me, just a lil guy.


My mom had elected to only use one rod for the day so she was our designated net/camera person, but she still managed to land a few!


The most weight I've ever had on the mat at once! A really nice Smallmouth Buffalo triple, my dad landed a 12lb 10z and I had a 19lb 10oz and a 19lb 13oz at the same time!


My dad caught this 9lb 12oz fish that was missing an eye


8lb 13oz carp for my dad


Dad with a smaller carp and me with the biggest fish of the day, a 20lb 1oz Smallmouth Buffalo. The red tent is suspiciously absent... That's because the wind was blowing pretty hard and sent it careening straight into the water. We tried to jump in to save it, but all the water made it way too heavy. At least I've got some structure to fish next time, I guess.


Mom with her final fish of the trip, a 10lb 9oz Common Carp


Second triple of the day! This time, it was all carp. My dad had the smallest of the three and I had the bigger two, the biggest being 12lb 12oz. Unfortunately, my mom didn't get the fish in the mat in the second photo but I promise it's there.



Dad with another decent one


Final fish of the trip, it was starting to get pretty hot and we decided we'd call it quits. This one ran 13lb 10oz.

Trip 5: Back to ol' Faithful

I wasn't quite finished when my family and I packed up the other day, so I came back to finish what I'd started. I'd extended an invite to Catmandon to try and actually show him that I can catch some fish, but he couldn't make it due to fish due to family obligations. All fish were caught on boilies/tigernuts with a grits and snowcone flavoring packbait and were released to fight another day!


First fish of the trip, a decent common.


A little smaller, but I'll definitely take him!


I hated not having a rubber net, as these little fish's spines get caught up in my "carp-safe" net. It's only really safe for the big ones and buffalo as they don't have any spines.


Guess they're all little today?


Finally landed a decent fish, a 17lb 6oz buff! This one helped me find a new snag, and after giving him a couple quick jerks I freed him and netted him before he could power back into it.


Catmandon stopped by briefly to see how I was doing and got to witness his first Ghost carp, he went on to catch a couple of his own the next day at the same spot as I'd thrown all my leftover bait in the water for him.


Another ghostly buffalo! This one is my smallest out of this lake so far at 13lb 12oz.


Beat my biggest for the other day but not by much with this 20lb 10oz beauty!


Doubled up! Just look at that tiny mouth!



Last fish before I called it quits. Action wasn't quite as hot as last time but it was definitely fun.

Trip 6 & 7: Florida Fishin'

Took a family vacation to Destin and booked a fishing charter. Unfortunately, we were after food fish and not sport fish, so when I told the captain that I expected to beat my freshwater PB (28lb 12oz), he told me that it'd be real special if we did, but not impossible. Those saltwater fish really pull, though!


Me with my (frozen) King Mackerel and the rest of our catch behind. We caught a good deal of Red Snapper, a Mangrove Snapper, a Gray Triggerfish, and 3 King Mackerel. Nothing huge, but still a blast. Next time, we're definitely going to go after some sport fish!


I just had to one-up the fishing charter guys so later that night I went stalking the golf course ponds (we were staying at a place where the apartments are on a golf course), tossing in bread ever so often and basically just feeding the turtles. I was down to my last three pieces and the last pond where I figured I'd just toss it all in and call it a night. After seeing a couple of turtles I heard something weird and saw something a little different. I waited patiently until I noticed it again, and it was definitely the Grassie I'd been waiting for! I pinched some bread around a freelined hook and waited until I saw him again before lowering it right in front of his face. Seeing him gulp down that bread and then setting the hook was so much more exhilarating than catching the fish on the charter even though it cost practically nothing in comparison. Didn't have a scale, mat, or anything on me as I wasn't prepared to catch a carp on the trip but he must've been around 20lbs. Snapped a pic as quickly as possible and released him to try and make up for my lack of preparedness. Won't count him towards my species list just yet, I need to land one here in Texas!


Sight-fished this bullhead at the same pond, they were swarming on my bread!

Trip 8: Back at the Spillway with my Sister

Took another trip to the spillway, this time without all my carp gear weighing me down in an effort to catch a couple more of the fish trapped in the small pools. We were each armed with an ultralight and a variety of small lures.


Another White Bass at the start of the trip for me!


Another new species! This thing fought so hard on my ultralight, can't believe I was able to nab him with a crappie jig and 4lb test. 35in long Alligator Gar.


Second White Bass of the day.


My second ever Warmouth and the smallest one I've ever seen!


My sister with her first fish of the day, she kept missing a ton of bites or losing them right at the bank because she wasn't setting the hook hard enough.


She was able to land this solid bass, though! 2lb 1oz, bigger than my PB roflmao 


Got a little Spot


Last fish of the day, a baby catfish



Trip 9: Spillway, Round 3

I can't get enough of this place!


First fish of the day, a decent Channel Cat on a lure


My biggest catfish caught on a lure so far, 3lb 11oz. He took that tiny crankbait you see in front of him.


PB Freshwater Drum! 3lb 2oz. Still not large by any means but I'm getting there.


3rd species of the day, little White Bass


This little guy really wanted the bait, choked on it and started bleeding a little. Swam off fine, though.

Trip 10: Walking a Little Creek in Carrollton

Saw a little creek while driving, stopped and grabbed my UL to see what I could find. Very weedy, but I did manage to land a couple!


I only ever catch dinks. They're still fun, though!


Good size Green Sunfish


Another big Greenie


Last one of the short walk



Trip 11: Redemption w/ Catmandon

Seeing as how I blanked the only time I've fished with the guy, I needed to get some fish on the mat while fishing with him. So I prebaited heavily, 25-30lbs of bait a day for 3 days prior. I was not going home without at least banking something. The place we fished was surprisingly deep, capping out at around 35-40ft just a toss from the bank, so we were hoping there were some giants present. All my fish were caught on boilies/tigernuts with a grits and snowcone flavoring packbait, and all fish were released to fight another day!

As a note, I will be censoring photos or taking them in places that aren't distinguishable, as I've noticed a couple people visiting my spots and taking home large fish. They're well within their right, but I'm certainly not going to donate good spots to people taking home the bigguns.


First fish of the day for me, a nice sized Channel Cat


Catmandon with the first carp! This one had some bruising on his gill plate, maybe they're still spawning as it's so deep? 


My first carp of the day, not too shabby!


Another carp for Catmandon, this one had some bruising as well.


Doubled up (sort of). Had left mine in the net to rebait and Donovan hooked into one.


A nice dark carp for me


Decent one for Catmandon


Just a little guy for me, at this point we were wondering if there were any buffalo here because they're generally a deep water fish. All we could do was rebait and cast out to see.


Nothing big just yet, but another one in the bag for Catmandon


Donovan got a run on one of his rods and shortly after another one of his took off so I grabbed it. Ended up netting the buffalo we'd been talking about earlier! His was the bigger one at 15lb 7oz.


Beautiful dark carp for Catmandon


Got my first (official) buff on the board. I suppose I caught that other one, but it wasn't on my rod!




Doubled up (actually this time!) Donovan with the small carp and me with a 15lb 7oz buff that tied us for the biggest of the day.


Catmandon lands a decent Blue


And a fat Channel right after, now he just needs a Flathead for the trifecta...


We knew there had to be some nice ones here! This 26lb 1oz beauty finished off the day for us, it was about 103 degrees outside and with no real shade to speak of we decided to pack it up.
New to angling. Catch and release. The dream - to catch at least one of every species in our great state (if I can manage to resist carp)!

PB Common - 20lb 6oz
PB Ghost - 13lb 9oz
PB Koi - 9lb
PB Smallmouth Buffalo - 28lb 12oz

"Take only memories, leave only footprints, kill only time."
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