Day four dawned and we drug our beat up bodies out of bed. Truthfully, we were whipped. We had spent four days destroying the river, the carp, our gear and our bodies. We had lost one net, walked the soles off of 2 pairs of boots, poked countless holes in our waders, burned our fingers, cracked our knuckles and broke one rod (my beloved Helios 2). We slept like dead men every night, exhausted and exhilarated, but on day four we had one thing on our minds. Get a 4th 20 lber for Wendy. As we rigged up at the jeep, we knew that goal was going to be super tough. Full cloud cover and 30 mph winds are not a good combination on the big C.
We dodged the wind a bit and found some shelter, but the clouds made seeing carp tough. I picked out the ghost of a carp, and got a sweet head turn take for our first fish. Shortly after I spotted a nice fish tailing in the little pocket pictured above. It was feeding heavily, unaware of our approach. I knew this fish was pushing 20 lbs...we were sticking this fish. Wendy's first cast was too far away, so he cleared it and laid another cast out...too short, so he pulled that out too. Third cast landed true and we both uttered something along the lines of "that's it" at the same time. The big carp dipped its head, Wendy set the hook and I got ready to get the scale out. When the fish hit the net we looked at each other and said "19". The scale confirmed it, and Wendy ended one lb shy of a 20 lber each day...so close!
From there though, the carp gods smiled on us. Out of nowhere the sun came out, and while the wind kept up we found an area that had some ledges to break up the waves. The carp were thick inside these reefs, and with full sun...the ass whooping was back on! Our tough morning gave way to another huge numbers day, with Wendy sticking at least 20 fish and me ending somewhere north of 30. What a day!
Wendy and I know how lucky we are. Not everyone gets to extend the friendships they develop in college into their 30s, and now for us, nearly 40s. We are fortunate to have amazing wives, and amazing kids who let us do this every year. These trips are always a success, just by virtue of being, but the big C 2014 will go down as one of our top trips.
Thanks again to my buddy Wendy, and big thanks to our families. It won't be long now and Elia, JJ, Danny and James will be coming along with us!