Saturday, June 04, 2011

Stories

Have I mentioned the water was high? With my favorite areas neck deep I was scraping the bottom of the proverbial fish in a barrel deal to put WFF and Wendy on some fish. Late in day one we headed to a tiny strip of backwater that I knew held some carp. Typically I fish big, open water with flats and gravel bars...nice big landscapes. This slough was more like an oversize drainage ditch...narrow and deep with just a 50 by 50 area where the carp are catchable. I have found that sunning carp are nearly impossible if they are in deep water, but if you can find those same sunning fish in waist deep or shallower, you can talk them into eating. The slough was just over waist deep, and there must have been 30 carp spread out in the shallow area...sunning. Time for some fancy talking.

First up was WFF. He snuck down the bank like a seasoned pro, armed with instructions to hook the nearest fish and flat haul his ass out of the scrum so we could take more fish from the group. No pictures of this, but I got a sweet video of WFF basically spoon-feeding a nice 12 lber from a rod length away. When the fish took he clamped onto that sob like a dog with a bone and didn't give the fish an inch. Three minutes later and the fish was in Wendy's net.

Quick disclaimer...if I read one more online forum post about a 45 minute fight with a common carp I am going to puke. If you are really taking that long to fight a fish you are doing the fish no justice. I know carp can kick major ass, but don't wear them out for the better part of an hour! If you fought a carp for 45 minutes one of two things is true...you have no concept of time or that fish will be dead 5 minutes after it swims away. End of rant.

Wendy slipped into the area next and I joined him, leaving WFF on the high ground to take some sweet photos. As established in many years worth of past posts...Wendy is a pro and he stuck a nice fish in short order, straining to keep said fish from blowing up the area.





























I slipped up to Wendy and netted the fish, right around our 12 lb avg for the trip. Wendy offered up the area to me but I pushed him forward a few feet, figuring we could get one more fish before they were all spooked. As he lined up a cast on a nice one WFF shouted from above..."big fish to the left!" wendy and I swiveled a bit and saw a massive head sliding towards us, about twenty feet away. I grabbed the camera and flipped on the video mode as Wendy made the cast. By the time I had the camera up the big fish had eaten, the hook had been set and WFF was screaming like a little girl. At this point all hell broke loose. Wendy was leaping around fighting a truly huge carp and somehow dancing waist deep water like JJ does when he sees the ice cream truck. I am hollering like we just won the state basketball title and WFF is nearly in spasms on the bank at the size of this carp. Suddenly Wendy turns towards the camera and shouts "This is the biggest fucking carp you have ever seen!" One more four year old dance step from Wendy, rod bent double and POW. The fish breaks him off. He drops his hands parallel to the water in a WTF gesture, and looks blankly over his shoulder at me. I turn off the camera and we all stare at the water as if we could somehow get that 10 seconds back if we looked deep enough. It was a huge fish.

13 comments:

Mark said...

the good ole premature celebration where one goes from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows... good stuff

John Montana said...

Premature is right. Hah hah!

Wendy Berrell said...

Well, two notes on this:

(1) It was the biggest you've ever seen.

(2) It didn't break me off; rather, it ran the second fly in the two-fly rig into the veg and rubbed me off.

Good memory there. For another day.

John Montana said...

Love that video. Awesome moment regardless of the result.

John said...

I'm digging the stories and pictures from the carp classic. Good stuff. How big do you think that lost pig was?

John Montana said...

I didn't get a great look at the fish. Saw that it was an absolute hog, and attended to the camera. Wendy hooked up quickly but he had a head on view at 25 ft or so...and let me tell you, Wendy has seen some big, big carp.

Wendy Berrell said...

It was the biggest fish we saw on the trip. Thinking hard on it though, it may not have been as big as some of those swimming suitcases we saw last year.

Big carp.

McTage said...

Better to have hooked and lost than to never have hooked. Those 10 seconds are like gold.

winonaflyfactory said...

I will always remember that moment. Man what an excellent time. Biggest fish I saw the entire trip but I still need to work on my carp goggles. Glad I managed to hold my own and get that fish hooked and out quick. Enjoyed this post alot man, nice work John.

winonaflyfactory said...

So many emotions watching that video. The excitment, the joy, then the moment of silence and words of dissapointment and sadness. Awesome.

Wendy Berrell said...

It kind of sounds like a funeral around here, so let me register this: five years ago I'd still be aching after that fish. But I'm not. We agreed for a few seconds and then parted ways. We've all caught big fish, and more will be caught. So: I'm not dragging it around with me. I laugh at myself every time I watch the vid.

John Montana said...

I'm with Wendy on this one...as Mr. P would say, "the take is the premier moment!"

one of the best things about carp on the fly is you build up these visual memories that encompass a LOT more than simply the finished product lying in the net. we'll get another shot at that fish next year.

winonaflyfactory said...

Next year that fish will be a bit bigger...I'm in.